We Are Legion: #MillionMaskMarch, Russell Brand Goes Anon in London

Firebrand actorvist Russell Brand joined the #MillionMaskMarch on in London on November 5. #MillionMaskMarch went across the global, proving Anons are legion and while the majority of protests were peaceful, there were clashes with police in London where protestors threw inevitable bottles, scuffled with cops outside Buckingham Palace and one protestor appeared to have been struck by police van. Anons in Australia and Armenia marched. South Africa was only sub-Saharan African nation to participate though some Egyptians did don the EFG masks. In Oslo, police stopped 60 protestors who were wearing mask.  Sao Paulo Brazil was epic-check  out the pic below!

In the United States, Anons marked in front of Edward Snowden’s former employer Booz Allen Hamilton in Atlanta. In front of the White House where a flag was burned and protestors chanted:

Obama come out. We have some shit to talk about.

In Los Angeles, Anons marched downtown and assembled outside LAPD headquarters and the Los Angeles Times building, while in Denver the police kept a wary eye. The yellow masks of Texas brought it in Austin and Dallas, Anons proved they know the way to San Jose…. Twitter #MillionMaskMarch has plenty of news, photos and updates.

Back to masked Russell Brand who told the BBC  that he doesn’t vote, and suggested the rest of us not vote either. While Brand has expressed some interesting views, avoiding the ballot box is pretty dumb in the  United States, where the ability to vote is being eroded with the closing of polling places in minority neighborhoods, and the  limiting of mail-in voting, provisional ballots and early voting.   Huge masses of people suffered jail, beatings, police dogs, and even death fighting for their right to vote here in the US and abroad.  Brand doesn’t think voting will change anything. He’s wrong.

Guess who votes religiously in the US? Conservatives. Liberals, progressives, moderates who  avoid voting will cause change, but not in hopey changey way. You want to see change? Stay home and don’t vote and see who gets elected. Right-wing theocrats like Ted Cruz and Tea Party candidates because their followers vote. Don’t vote, and watch ballot measures that can screw you get passed. Don’t vote and see local right wing judges hit the bench.

 

Brazil photo: @RedHack on Twitter, Brand photo: @Skip_Lord  on Twitter

Remember, Remember the 5th of November: Anonymous Gets Things Done

When Anonymous erupted on the streets some five and half years ago to protest Scientology, their branding is what caught everyone’s eyes: The majority of protestors wore the Guy Fawkes mask from the movie V for Vendetta, in part because of the movie’s message and in part from EFG, Epic Fail Guy, a meme on 4Chan, the board where members can post images anonymously.

Anonymous is real a cool guy and doesn’t afraid of nothing.

As thousands of people who had never met joined in the protests and on the online discussion board WhyWeProtest.net,  Anonymous grew and developed . The concept was that anyone is anonymous (though tracing ISPs eventually proved otherwise in arrests for DDOS attacks), and anyone could protest anonymously.

Since that fateful day in February 2008, Anons have gone on to kick some pretty serious butt, and occasionally get theirs handed to them by law enforcement (careful with that Low Orbit Ionizing Cannon, kids!). Anonymous provided tech aid in the Arab Spring, reported on uprisings in Iran, took on San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), supported rape victims and made their accused rapists pretty uncomfortable, supported Bradly Manning and Julian Assange, and have ordered a lot of pizzas delivered. EFG masks could be seen at Occupy, are  at rallies and protests, and at just about any public semi-political gathering. Since anyone can be anonymous, and there is no central organizing committee, sometimes groups of Anons act in apparent cross-purposes. Don’t try to figure out exactly what they stand for except freedom on the intertubes and beyond–that’s the cornerstone of their ideology.

Anonymous’ original goal when we, they crept out of  notoriously Cheeto scented basements was to expose Scientology and have some lulz. It worked. In 2008 a group of Anons marched in the San Diego Pride Parade. A member of Scientology then signed the Church of Scientology on as a supporter of Prop 8. Screenwriter Paul Haggis, a Scientologist and a supporter of LGBT rights saw this and spoke up to the Scientology powers that be. He then very publicly left the organization, Lawrence Wright published an article in the New Yorker about Haggis’ defection, and well, now books have been written, more than ever people are leaving Scientology, the cult is facing court battles, and no one is afraid of them anymore. Well played. >9000 FTW.

Today, November 5th was the Million Mask March where Anons participated in

mass demonstrations in 477 locations around the world this Tuesday. The Million Mask March’s Facebook page states that followers should “remember who your enemies are: billionaires who own banks and corporations who corrupt politicians who enslave the people in injustice.”

Remember, remember this 5th of November:

We are Anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive, we do not forget. Expect us.

 

Halloween Early with “Old Dogs & New Tricks”: Obama, Anonymous, Wonder Woman and a Rabbi

Happy Halloween from WeHo! While the city gears up for its annual gianormous Halloween celebration–half a million people expected, Queen Latifa getting crowned as Carnaval Queen(!), and, oh my gods, the horror, the horror of resident permit parking suspended for the night–I celebrated early, on the set of Old Dogs & New Tricks, the fabulous web series about the friendships and tribulations of a group of diverse and successful West Hollywood men – each one located squarely within middle age. (I have a super soft spot for OD&NT who donated DVDs to give away at Netroots Nation 13 LGBT Connect booth).

The old dogs and new tricks were shooting a special Halloween episode in a disco with pulsing music, hot go-go boys, and costumed extras drawn from their friends and friends of friends. So, thanks to the master of Back2Stonewall.com I threw on a gown, affixed my witch hat firmly on my head, and headed to the top secret location to join my fellow revelers and dance the afternoon away.

I don’t want to give away too many plot points, but expect some awesome costumes (including an epic Epic Fail Guy, aka Guy Fawkes, aka Anonymous), rippling muscles, an appearance by “Barack Obama,” fine drag served with a side of melancholy from one of the series’ stars, Leon Acord–and if it made the cut, me in a Sapphic embrace. What was my motivation? When called to act, we do!

Old Dogs & New Tricks has just signed a licensing deal with LGBT film distributor Wolfe Video to release the comedy series on DVD and via various streaming platforms online beginning November 26.

Bank Transfer Day: Remember, Remember the 5th of November

Money-movers, who advocate changing from large corporate banks to credit unions or small local banks, are calling to make November 5 a nationwide Bank Transfer Day.

Together we can ensure that these banking institutions will ALWAYS remember the 5th of November!!

• Open an account with a Credit Union
• Transfer your funds to the new account (online or in person) by 11/05
• Follow your bank’s procedures to close your account

To find a credit union near you: http://www.findacreditunion.com/

Wire transfers cost $35, can take three to five days to clear, and require an existing account in which the funds will land. A better plan may be to simply go to the bank and close your account in person, ask for cash or a bank check, trot over to a credit union and open an account. 11/5/11 is a Saturday so make sure your bank is open that day! Most credit unions are closed on Saturdays. Don’t forget to change any automatic bill pays, etc to your new account–and don’t forget where you hid the cash or bank check over the weekend!

Obviously there is an Anonymous component to this, since Bank Transfer Day is using the iconic Anonymous logo, drawn from the film V for Vendetta, based on Alan Moore’s serialized graphic novels of the same name. Side note: How peculiar was it that V for Vendetta was airing on TNT the first weekend of Occupy Wall Street? And yes, everyone appreciates the irony that TimeWarner makes a miniscule royalty on the sale of each mask. Your point?

The mask, and the stories behind it, are based on the futile hero/epic fail guy Guy Fawkes, who was captured in the basement of the House of Parliment with 36 barrels of gunpowder, which he and 12 others were planning to use to blow up the building and kill King James I on November 5, 1605. Fawkes was executed, and that night, throughout England bonfires were lit on November 5 to indicate the king’s safety. The tradition continues in the United Kingdom today, with added layers of meaning.

Anonymous pretty much considers Guy Fawkes to be an Epic Fail Guy, someone who fails brilliantly and whose fails may end up as successes anyway in spite of his own utter fail, and An Hero, s/he who strives with valor, yet futilely.

Bank Transfer Day 11/5 seems a far more enjoyable and profitable event than a proposed November 5th DDOSing of the NYSE website which could only get those who try that v&d (arrested). Just remember, remember the 5th of November is a Saturday!

Late Night FDL: Larry Flynt Sez “Keep It Private!”

Anonymous’ #opBART dox dump of user names, emails and passwords presaged Larry Flynt’s Huffington Post blog today in which the free speech advocate wrote:

Any information you put out into cyberspace could come back to bite you in the ass.

That’s why it’s a good idea to use different passwords (and email addresses!) for marketing sites, and paying bills, trolling, visiting AshleyMadison.com, etc. (I wonder if Flynt’s Hustler site uses cookies?) Flynt goes on to point out:

Social media sites and search engines act as data mines, storing information that could later be accessed by the government and used against you in court…

The Feds have no problem letting companies collect and exploit our personal information because it makes running a surveillance state that much easier to do. Whenever the government wants to find out what weird shit you’re up to on the Internet, guess what ­they’re going to find out? You can thank Google, Facebook, Walmart and all the other megacorps for that.

Which is why we like teh lulz at Christine O’Donnell’s, Marcus Bachmann’s and Glenn Beck‘s Amazon sites:

[h/t Wonkette]

Thanks to Hot Chicks with Guy Fawkes Masks for photo permission (a NSFW site!)

Message from Julian Assange?

I think Julian Assange’s penalty for four counts of  whatever the Swedes are calling it now should be a stint as global EFG poster boy for safe sex:

Ultra Rick Roll: “Epic Fail Guy” Republican Governors Association Meme

Heads ups: some links are a little salty in their language and images, amirite?

There are obviously some merry pranksters of the 4Chan /b/ level  in conservative think tanks who infiltrated and convinced the Republican Governors Association that Guy Fawkes Day would be a really cool sub rosa coda to their new campaign, now known as  “Remember November.

Basic historical facts: In 1605 British Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators stashed a bunch of gunpowder under the House of Lords and planned to blow up Parliament because the English government was Anglican and the plotters were Roman Catholic.  That would be a jihad, except the dudes were all Christian not Muslim, but you see where I’m going.

Fawkes was left guarding the boom-boom room, got caught when guards–tipped off by an anonymous letter–searched the basements. He confessed under torture and named his pals, and so was convicted of terrorism.  On execution day, he jumped off the gallows scaffolding, breaking his neck, in order to avoid the rather painful drawing and quartering that awaited him.

The failure of the Gunpowder Plot is celebrated in the UK on November 5 with bonfires. Depending on who’s lighting the fires, sometimes the Pope and other political figures, like Margaret Thatcher, are burned in effigy instead of a figure of Guy Fawkes. There’s also a little poem that’s recited:

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…

Flash forward 400 years to 2005 when the film V for Vendetta–based on the graphic novel written by Alan Moore–was scheduled for release (it was delayed until February 2006): A mysterious figure in a Guy Fawkes mask seeks to overthrow the totalitarian British government and becomes a hero, empowering the masses who all don the masks.

Along the way, on the Internets, most notably on 4 Chan.org the image sharing boards where people post anonymously and where cultural phenomenons like “rick rolling” exploded into the mainstream,  Guy Fawkes became a symbol of  utter failure, developing into a meme known as “epic fail guy,”  (EFG), a failure so grand it somehow succeeds in spite of itself and becomes “win.”

In 2008 EFG and the Guy Fawkes mask became a universal symbol for Anonymous, the global anti-Scientology protest group which coalesced on the Internet and actually succeeded in exposing much of the organization’s dirty laundry,  making them a goofy joke. Anonymous became underground heroes within the youth and online cultures. Can’t you just see the brain storming at RGA:

Whoa this whole Guy Fawkes thing has a hip new youth movement on the internets. Let’s subvert their subversion! They’ll never notice our subliminal appropriation.

Um, fail.

Fix’t by infiltrator:

/b/tards, this is full of win. And what do you want? Win! What will this give you? Delicious caek, made of win full of win>9000. All their bases are belong to us. Resistance is futile; they will be enturbulated! Doooooo eeeeet!

And the RGA fell for it.

And even more backstory: The term “anonymous” and “Anonymous” are often confused; when an “anonymous” kid hacked into Sarah Palin’s email account and posted the info on an “anonymous” site, “Anonymous” was blamed by Scientology. Um, epic fail all around.

Scientology calls the Guy Fawkes-mask wearing Anonymous “terrorists.”  This is the religion practiced by Washington insider Joe Coale who, after the hacking and Palin’s failed bid to be a heartbeat from the football, helped Palin form SarahPAC while his wife Greta Van Susteren shills for her on Fox.

And now the RGA is kinda trying to explain themselves as seen above…and failing.

Quick recap: For their campaign, the RGA uses slogan celebrating either the attempted traitorous overthrow of government on theocratic grounds, or the failure of said plot. Either way, celebrating fail. Additionally,  the RGA is co-opting a youth movement symbol which is (wrongly) associated with terrorism and harassing Sarah Palin, as well as annoying Greta Van Susteren. Epic fail.

But maybe, as explained on Encyclopaedia Dramatica, in some deeply non-dualistic universe it makes sense with so much fail surrounding them that the RGA would, in fact, adopt Epic Fail Guy as their subliminal electioneering slogan. Way to go an hero!


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