While I was negotiating the gauntlet, a hand grabbed my arm, pulling me toward the corner of the block. I staggered to maintain my balance, surprised by the strength and resolve of my unseen captor.
“You!” another Comitan sneered. He was enormous, standing a full head taller than me and wearing a long trench coat, black boots, and baseball cap with a patch that read “Freedom.” His long, narrow face had a twisted scar running down one unshaven cheek. A tattoo of an American flag fluttering in the breeze adorned his reptilian neck. His dark, hooded eyes squinted at me and I recoiled.
“You,” he snarled again, still holding my arm. “I saw you pull down my buddy’s poster a block back, outside the subway. Don’t deny it.”
“What are you talking about?” I shot back, yanking my arm from his grasp. “Get the fuck off me.”
“Don’t deny it,” he repeated. “I saw you. Have the courage of your convictions.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about. I didn’t rip down anyone’s poster. I don’t do that sort of thing. I respect free speech. Not like you and your fascist buddies.”
I stomped off.
“The revolution is coming,” the Comitan boomed after me. “It’s coming! Just wait. I’m John Galt! I’m John Galt!”
Useful idiocy is an American tradition. In the Civil War, countless Confederate soldiers gave their lives to preserve their own impoverishment, since employment in the region’s dominant sector, agriculture, furnished by enslaved blacks, was off-limits to them. Thus, a monument to them and their ideological heirs could appropriately reference a famous fictional character whose “heroic” struggle against the undeserving masses stirred many an imagination. It would read, “I am John Galt.”
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