So what better news could I read the other day than the fact that one of my favorite feisty spirits on Twitter (@Symbolman) has taken the Tea Party to task, Alice-style.
Political satirist and illustrator Micheal Stinson and his wife Julie Sigwart have written mAlice In Wonderland – A Tea Party Fable. And I’m so pleased to have Michael join me for a few Mondays to help those of us who have fallen down a dark rabbit hole climb out.
MS: Love them or hate them, the Tea Party has created a political firestorm, and are now a force to be reckoned with, especially in the midst of the election season. Julie and I believe the best way to approach the political insanity around us is through satire. By rewriting the original Lewis Carroll victorian classic fable, “Alice In Wonderland” we can educate and entertain with this basic plot line: Alice stars as an “Independent Voter” who must somehow navigate this bizarro world populated by Tea Party crazies!
LN: And you leave no character unturned as far as I can see. Alice, as The Independent Voter, navigates the madness of a Tea Party “Wonderland ” which includes The Mad Hatter (Michele Bachmann), The Very White SuperPAC Rabbit (Karl Rove), The Queen of Hearts (Sarah Palin), The March Hare (Glenn Beck), King of Hearts (Ronald Reagan), and The Keithshire Cat (Keith Olbermann). And Julie provided 30 illustrations, also in the original style. I suspect you left no hot topic off the table, am I right?
MS: That’s right. Politicians, the media, big corporations, it’s all in here. Everything that you and I might value, it seems the Tea Party loves to hate. And their attitude toward gays is chief among the topics we tackle.
LN: There are multiple references to gays through out the story. And there are multiple reasons to believe the Tea Party is rife with homophobics. You can imagine where I am coming from on this. I live in the Bay Area. It's all good here. And yet there is so much hatred out there. Talk a bit more about how you address this.
MS: Specifically we talk about that in the section of the book where Alice banters with the Mad Hatter (Michele Bachmann). She and her husband's tactics of using their bizarre religious philosophy to "talk" gays out of being gay, (or "reparative therapy" - exposed by a Truth Wins Out video) at their "Clinic" are abominable, have been widely discredited, and cause incredible damage to a person's psyche. This is totally irresponsible, on top of receiving government grants for it, which should be cut off immediately. Bachman’s on the dole in a big way and it’s sickening. I felt I had to speak out, and this story represented the perfect satirical vehicle for it. I've got plenty of gay friends, and for these monsters to call them "barbarians" is beyond the pale. Mad Hatter it is, they're nuttier than squirrel crap.
MS: Here's an exchange between Mad Hatter (Michele Bachmann) and Alice at the Tea Party, regarding Michele's Husband and his clinics that "talk" gays out of being Gay:
"'You should learn not to make personal remarks,' Alice said with some severity; 'it's very rude. Especially as you demand no one says a word about your husband, while you yourself have called the President's wife Un-American. If you run for King, aren't we to worry that he'll make policy, are you not required by your church to submit to him?'
'Oh, HIM. He wouldn't hurt a fly. He's obliged to try to talk it out of being a fly, suggesting that being a fly is not it's nature in the least.' the Mad Hatter squinted, but it was hard to tell as her eyes were stuck wide open all the time. "We're both good Christians, and that's his calling, while we make a fairly good business of it - so far he's talked a goose out of being a goose, and a fish out of being a fish, though the goose later hung himself in a barn, and the fish perished when she went for a bicycle ride to celebrate her newfound freedom.'
'I would rather suppose that was a form of torture for them, a very sad tale.' Alice said in wonderment.
The Hatter opened her eyes ever wider on hearing this; but all she SAID was, 'A riddle: "What is the difference between Loving and Hating Gays?"'
Michael Stinson, it is a sad tale indeed when people make it a policy to hate others. But to shine the light on their hypocrisy, that is a good thing. Thank you for joining us today. Let me leave our readers with this short bio of you and Julie because it’s mighty impressive…and so is your new book! See you next week.
Long time political activists Micheal Stinson and Julie Sigwart have appeared in countless interviews on radio and television. Micheal has appeared on The Bill O’Reilly Show (FOX Network), Joe Scarborough (MSNBC), and Lou Dobbs (CNN), among others. Media articles regarding their last book, “Going Rouge – The Sarah Palin Rogue Coloring & Activity Book” include AP, New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, Chicago Sun Times, as well as being featured in Entertainment Weekly, and as an interstitial on Entertainment Tonight. Julie Sigwart was a political cartoonist for the Arizona Business Gazette, as well as an illustrator for The Arizona Republic.