Da, Comrade!

Commies, as we all know, are brainwashed humanoids dressed in drab- colored clothing, usually quickly eradicated in the name of democracy. Democruds and Republicraps need to be rounded up and shaped into harmless fruity Jell-O molds and given to a pack of hungry turtles. Socialists, however, have yet to be condemned to like fates. Socialism still carries a mystique of sorts that manages to draw in new members, many of whom are still in their twenties. One conclusion a person might make about the Party is–after hanging around the members of the national branch for 28 days–that it’s predominately run by people you wouldn’t want to be stuck on an isolated island with. Though the basic ideas behind socialism are worth looking into, politics have managed once again to turn well-doers into melodramatic cretins.

If and when you decide to expose your fresh, idealistic collegiate mind to the Socialist Party, the first people you will most likely meet are as follows, and this is meant as a warning:

Instigator Joe. Joe is the walking, talking, 45 rpm and still smiling type of guy. Joe will put your bullshit detector immediately to ease and will make you toss out any preconceived stereotypes about Socialism you many have. Like his name, Joe wears normal clothes and drives a stick- shift Volvo. He raves about his family life and even asks if you like to write poetry, but thinks Green Day is a punk band. He makes sure you don’t feel out of place among the other members and introduces you to everyone, even to people he doesn’t know. His professed love for humanity quickly convinces you that he’s an all-around good guy, and with that warm smile and twinkle in his eye, he can very easily be mistaken for Socia Claus. His first gift to you is the handy dandy Trotsky-Lenin handbook.

Mediator Barbara. Barbara is the mild, super-friendly gal who calls you up at home–interrupting just as you’re about ready to make the moves on your date–and engages you in small talk. She is the one who informs you of upcoming protests, rallies and forums that “may be of some interest to you.” She knows that get-togethers by word of mouth are hard to say no to–especially when she offers you a ride to every event–and has photocopied the handy dandy Trotsky-Lenin handbook into her brain. She enjoys visiting the “Indians” at the Grand Canyon and wears a lot of turquoise jewelry.

Enigmatic Michael. Michael is the older, white-haired guy who doesn’t say too much but is always listening and acknowledging your presence with an annoying nod. He sparks your interest because he holds back in conversations, making you wonder what it is that’s swimming around in his head. He wears worn jeans and nice starched shirts, and, upon closer inspection, you find that he even wears Converse hightops with white socks- -a sure sign of honesty. When you manage to corner and talk to him, you find that he spent the first thirty years of his adult life as an artsy fartsy beret-wearing fuck, which solves the mystery behind his demeanor. You get the feeling that he may have had something to do with the handy dandy Trotsky-Lenin handbook.

The Young People. The Young People, as they are literally called, will be the ones you will be working with. The Young People consist of members your own age, people who wear alternative clothing and sport piercings, acting like your basic mainstream oxymoron. They, unlike the older set, are not overly eager to make you feel comfortable. You get the feeling that they’re sizing you up to see whether they will be your peer or your comrade, depending on how many quotes you can rehash from the handy dandy Trotsky-Lenin handbook. Each of these Young People are noticeably trying to establish a slot for themselves within their mini-hierarchy, giving you hairy flashbacks of the social traumas you experienced during those years in high school. You sincerely hope there’s a good reason behind The Young People’s complacent attitude because if they don’t, you will feel obligated to mow them down with an Uzi.

Agitators. Agitators are the various souls whom have too much energy for their own good. They take part in the existing political structure and make major nuisances of themselves among the Democruds and Republicraps. While this may sound like a good idea, the life and basic existence of an agitator is confined to such: Find someone’s platform and attack it, using the handy dandy Trotsky-Lenin handbook. Go to as many public hearings as possible, and try to monopolize mic time. Ask accusatory, suggestive and angry questions to city politicians and demand results, pronto. When demands are not met–surprise, surprise–take the results and report everything to the members at a weekly forum and vent all unjust reactionary working class struggle rhetoric to the members. Answer questions by referring to the handy dandy Trotsky-Lenin handbook and then gather together, happy to be with others who have found the same meaning in life. Repeat.

You. You are the new Party member who wonders what you’re doing here. Vaguely remembering that you wanted to see concepts put into action, you blurrily–amid the reactionary working class struggle rhetoric–gasp for air as you try to comprehend the meaning of it all. You glance through the handy dandy Trotsky-Lenin handbook and wonder why the same concepts that brought you in here now reads more antithetical. You refuse to buy the lapel pins with the tiny heads of Lenin and Marx, even if they’re only two bucks a pop (no use getting beat up by a redneck lunk-hed for this).

The Handy Dandy Trotsky-Lenin Handbook. The handy dandy Trotsky-Lenin Handbook is a 100-page pamphlet that gives the words “drab-colored clothing” a whole new meaning. It is especially useful as kindling for the fireplace, the spot where you plan on making the moves on your date.

Joining the Socialist Party can be great for people who have not yet decided their major or for people who have read one too many plays by Bertolt Brecht. It is not recommended to anyone who hates politics and ninnies, especially when you can be making the moves on your date. My excuse is that I couldn’t get one.