Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Ten People Who Actually Didn’t Suck in 2022

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

2022 sucked. That’s how I usually introduce this annual list of people who miraculously didn’t, and I wouldn’t be totally off base to do so again. 2022 was a year as chock full of horrors as any other year you might expect to survive during this dark age of Cthulhu. After all, this year was decimated on every conceivable front by a grotesque imperial proxy war in Ukraine that seems frighteningly likely to end in a thermonuclear third world war. On a far more intimate front, gender outlaws like myself have never faced such well-publicized vitriol, with the partisan industrial complex using us as their go-to props for their latest midterm election circus.

I get called groomer six times a day with mushroom clouds blooming on the horizon. For all intents and purposes, it really is the end of the world as I know it. So, why then do I feel strangely fine? Could it be the estrogen finally coursing through my veins after 34 years of testosterone poisoning? Or maybe something that my therapist suggested about rewiring my grim brain in the positive finally clicked. I don’t know. But for whatever reason, 2022 was a heinously apocalyptic year that didn’t quite suck and here’s at least ten reasons why.

Richard Fierro & Thomas James 2022 was a year that found my tribe under near constant attack, both figuratively and literally and it didn’t get much more literal than the recent massacre at Club Q in Colorado Springs that stole five beautifully freaky people from us too soon and grievously wounded dozens more. But it could have been much worse, and it would have been much worse if it wasn’t for the aggressive mutual aid of a tribe under attack. Richard Fierro was an ally and an Army veteran of multiple stupid wars who was at Club Q that night with his family to support his daughter’s friend performing in the drag show. Thomas James was a US Navy Petty Officer celebrating another day of Queer survival during the Kali Yuga with the family he had found.

When faced with a heavily armed beast in their midst, these two men and countless nameless others reacted automatically by throwing themselves before the bullets. By the time the cops finally managed to show up, my people had already subdued this beast and beaten him to a bloody pulp. The cops should have stayed home. We didn’t need them. We never have and we never will, because, as Thomas eloquently put it from his hospital bed, “When you come out of the closet, come out swinging.” In the eternal words of Oscar Wilde, people have gone to heaven for far less.

Roger Waters I’m not really a Pink Floyd fan. truth be told, I lost all interest in the band after their madcap ringleader Syd Barret took his experiments solo before vanishing altogether. I’m even less of a fan of celebrity activists. Neoliberal saints like Bono and Angelina Jolie just use poor people as another stage to masturbate their insatiable egos on and I can’t help but notice that they’ve only gotten richer and more powerful by hitching their names to obnoxiously newsworthy causes. This is precisely what makes a character like Roger Waters so inspiring. Waters didn’t set out to be an activist. He never showed up at Live Aid or rocked the vote. But one year, a few Palestinian fans convinced the rock star to visit the West Bank Wall before a scheduled concert in Tel Aviv. What Roger saw changed him. He canceled the stadium performance and chose to play to a far smaller crowd at the Arab Israeli commune of Neve Shalom instead and he never looked back.

Since then, Waters has gone out of his way to isolate himself from his bourgeoise industry by becoming the highest profile spokesman for ending Israeli apartheid and this stance has cost him millions if not billions of dollars in the process as he’s been tarred by that apartheid state’s international lobby as an anti-Semite for standing up for the rights of the only Semites still facing an imminent genocide in Palestine. And Waters hasn’t stopped there. After a year of celebrities posing for photo-ops with Volodymyr Zelensky and pledging their undying allegiance to peace by supporting a new Cold War, Rogers stood virtually alone in condemning the violence on both sides and calling for an unconditional ceasefire. The result was as predictable as it was depressing. More canceled shows and more mainstream venom. But somebody has to sing “Give Peace A Chance” and thank Kali that there is still at least one rock star who lives by the lyrics he sings.

Omali Yeshitela This may come as a shock to some of you, but Black Power isn’t dead and the feds who brought you such Motown hits as Cointelpro remain as committed as ever to stomping it out like an ebony flamed campfire. They made this abundantly clear this July when the FBI launched a series of multi-state raids against the Uhuru Movement and their political arm, the African People’s Socialist Party that together form the oldest existing Black Power Movement in the country. Several members were arrested, including the movement’s founder and spiritual leader, Omali Yeshitella, whose been scrapping with these cunts since J. Edna wore kitten heels. Their crime was simply maintaining an open and constitutionally protected relationship with a Russian anti-globalist activist accused of having ties to the Russian government. People who condemn Uhuru out of hand for simply maintaining relations with a government you or I may disapprove of are missing the whole point of stateless third world nationalist movements like the one built by men like John Africa, Omali and Malcolm X.

Marginalized people seeking autonomy from the colonialist states that oppress them should have every right to engage in diplomacy with any nation that may help them gain the recognition they require to ensure their very survival and if the government succeeds in criminalizing these relationships through draconian measures like the Foreign Agents Registration Act, it won’t just be Yeshitela’s ass on the line. It will be any socialist organization that works in solidarity with the Cuban Revolution, any Shiite Twelver Mosque in contact with state sanctioned imams in Tehran, any charity sending aid through Lebanon that might pass through Hezbollah territory. What Omali Yeshitela and his comrades are standing defiantly against isn’t a war on Russian influence, it’s a war on international solidarity. Omali spoke for every stepped-on tribe living under the boot of this colonialist empire, including my own, when he stood on the courtroom steps and roared, “Don’t tell us that we can’t have friends that you don’t like!” Well, Uhuru has friends like me and I’m one bitch who knows how to throw a punch in kitten heels better than any chickenhawk closet queen.


Leave a Reply