Dancing in the Streets
January 17, 2017
I'm all in a tizz! The place is in shambles. Overturned drawers are strewn about while specimens of headwear now rest where they have been flung. They didn't make "the cut." It seems the "Women's March on Main" this upcoming Saturday has a sort of, unofficial, informal, solidarity-driven dress code.
Now, it just wouldn't do to have the Portly Gray Dude show up for such a star-studded (and quite valid) protest march on the morning after Trump's inauguration and be out of step chapeau-wise. With marchers being encouraged to wear pink, purple, or white headgear, I would hate to be mistaken for a closeted supporter of the neo-fascist alt-right.
I mean I've already got two strikes against me, what with being an obvious member of that spurious White-Male demographic that, more than any other congregation, resides at the root of our current collective angst. So, the search for a symbol of political accord continues.
I should mention that one of my all-time favorite street-protest embellishments is the orange sash many of us sported during the march from Pioneer Park to the Federal Courthouse on the opening morning of Tim DeChristopher's trial for interrupting what would be later termed an illegal oil-gas lease auction.
Of course, the color of one’s headgear is of lesser consequence when issues concerning 'justice for all' are being bandied about.
The sash is currently draped around my "Bidder 70" placard which has found a home upon one of the few wall open spaces here at my humble digs. Not even thoughts of Trump could turn me against that particular orange.
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But back to my search for an appropriately-colored "lid." I swear there's an old purplish "deerstalker" around here someplace. I think Sammy English gave it to me one somewhat-sodden St. Patrick's Day as a way of tarnishing my Irish veneer. Both of us were always in danger of having his alter-dude imposing an on the spot, at-the-moment, sans-warning, "Sherlockian" quiz upon the other. Trivia doppelgangers are like that.
If the truth be known, I've already located a neon-pink logo-rich ball cap from back when the Park City Ski Area's "America's Opening" transitioned from a World Cup tour stop to the dual-racer format of the "Pro Cup" circuit. How did the old saying go? "Say No to Day-Glo?"
Now, if memory serves, I'm also pretty certain I once possessed a much-more-muted purple version of the same headpiece but, for some reason, it has yet to show itself. You can't really blame it. How would you like to be forever linked to this particular "noggin?"
I guess I could always draft the "black" John Trudell ski hat that was part of the Swag-Bag I moseyed out the door with following the "Trudell" film Premiere after-party a few years back. If located upon the wrong side of the tracks of the visible electromagnetic spectrum, at least it has a Sundance Film Festival connection.
Of course, the color of one's headgear is of lesser consequence when issues concerning "justice for all" are being bandied about. With an incoming administration set on returning to a palaeolithic patriarchy where men exercised the final determination on the breadth of a woman's free agency, civil disobedience will most certainly celebrate a rebirth.
And the timing couldn't be better for a population that totally rejected such regressive policies at the polls. Although Utah may be Trump country, Park City and Summit County do not accept that characterization. And, of course, the Sundance Film Festival operates upon a philosophy diametrically opposed to the current Republican mindset.
"Diversity comes out of the word independence," is the way festival founder Robert Redford put it. And, it would seem, those women with a similar viewpoint, both officially and unofficially affiliated with the festival, are pretty much ready to manifest their notions with what has all the makings of a huge "Women's March on Main" this Saturday.
There will no doubt be chanted mantras along the route and strident speeches at the rally. I can only imagine the "inappropriate signage" quoting or paraphrasing some of Trump's classic campaign one-liners. There will be a sense of humor accompanying the anger at this affair.
Especially now that his cabinet nominees and Supreme Court short list are known, the manner in which he will remove protections from minorities and public lands in general and women and national monuments in particular appears in much clearer focus.
No doubt about it, down the road, if marches are to create meaningful change, civil disobedience will have to become part of the package. But it never hurts to publicly showcase one's intentions. See you Saturday!
Jay Meehan is a culture junkie and has been an observer, participant and chronicler of the Park City and Wasatch County social and political scenes for more than 40 years.