More on the Bundy Bunch

Passed on by Gregory Ward yesterday, this clever mash-up (ultimate source not identified), representing the confluence of two very silly themes issuing from an utterly serious news story, about the armed occupation and ensuing standoff in Oregon led by rancher Ammon Bundy:

(#1)

The first theme, Occupy Me, is the homoerotic fanfic development I posted about two days ago. The second theme, Send Snacks, is the outgrowth of a Facebook posting by a Bundy Bunch member asking for, among other things, snacks for the group.

Background note: the Bundy Bunch think of themselves as defenders of liberty, protectors of the Constitution; some relatively neutral observers think of them as activists or protestors; other observers (of whom I am one) think of them as terrorists. At this point, thoughtful and well-intentioned people can disagree about whether humor is an appropriate weapon against terrorists, murderous thugs, violent militants, and the like; some feel that mocking them diminishes the extent of their (actual or potential) offenses, makes them less monstrous, especially if the mocking comes close on the heels of actual offenses. The risk, according to these critics, is that truly dangerous people will be viewed as mere buffoons, My own belief is that it’s salutary to view such people as fools, but extremely dangerous fools — and that’s a job that humor can do. So on to the silliness.

Occupy Me. The image in #1 is a visual parody (plus some verbal play in the title) of the poster for the movie Brokeback Mountain, about the doomed love affair (and intense sexual relationship) between two young men:

(#2)

The lovers Jack and Ennis in #2 have been replaced in #1 by two Bundy Bunch figures, Ammon Bundy and Brian Cavalier (appearing in #1 under the name Major League Sniper, from the slogan on the patch on his cap), and the new title No Snack Mountain is a take-off (alluding to the Send Snacks theme) on the original title Brokeback Mountain.

The material for the figures in #1 comes from a press conference Ammon Bundy gave in Oregon on January 4th; a shot from that conference:

(#3)

(Cavalier on the left, Ammon Bundy in the middle.)

Now a note about Cavalier and his costume in #3. Brian Cavalier, 44, is the personal bodyguard of (father) Cliven and (son) Ammon Bundy, with the code name “Fluffy Unicorn” (I am not making this up). Cavalier has boasted to members of the press that he’s a Marine who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the costume he’s wearing in #3 includes a scarf and cap (minus the patch) favored by some men serving there.

Suspiciously, that Major League Sniper patch —

(#4)

isn’t government issue, but comes from the Mil-Spec Monkey (MSM) site, which says, light-heartedly, of it:

Based on the NBA / MLB style logo, this one is for all the Snipers out there.

(The image is also available on a t-shirt.)

Cavalier is beginning to look like a buffoon. And now we get to a story today from the Daily Mail (U.K.) Online site, with the heading:

EXCLUSIVE: Stolen valor: The militiaman bodyguard of ranchers Cliven and Ammon Bundy is falsely posing as a US Marine who served in Afghanistan and Iraq

Cavalier’s story about his military service is apparently a total fabrication; the man has had nothing to do with the Marines, but seems to be a tattoo artist with a very big body and a record of DUI arrests. So he is in fact a buffoon, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a dangerous zealot (like Ammon Bundy).

(Brief digression on the name I’m using here for the Bundys and their associates, the Bundy Bunch. This is a play on the title of the tv sitcom The Brady Bunch and also an allusion to the real-life Butch Cassidy’s outlaw gang The Wild Bunch and to the Western outlaw gang in the movie The Wild Bunch.)

On to the Send Snacks theme. This starts with a 12/31 posting on Bundy Gangster Blaine Cooper’s Facebook page:

(#5)

People on the net pounced on the request for snacks and made great mock of it. One commenter even managed to combine the Send Snacks theme with the homoerotic Occupy Me theme by writing

Hopefully someone packed some fudge.

— playing on fudge packer, referring to a man who plays the insertive role in anal interourse with another man, used in a semantic extension to refer to gay men in general.

Some of the net mockery was visual, playing on familiar images. Like these two

(#6)

(#7)

#6 is a play on “Let’s All Go to the Lobby”. From Wikipedia:

Let’s All Go to the Lobby is a 1953 animated musical snipe played as an advertisement before the beginning of the main film. It featured a family of four talking concession stand products, singing “Let’s all go to the lobby to get ourselves a treat” and walking to the concession stand. One shot from the film depicts the anthropomorphic gum, soda, popcorn, and candy walking behind the silhouettes of audience members in the foreground, creating an illusion of depth.

Snipes are defined as material broadcast in a projection screen without being part of the featured presentation. This definition includes advertising material, previews of coming attractions, courtesy requests for the audience, and notices concerning the concession stand of the movie theater.

You can watch a 1957 drive-in movie version of the snipe here.

As for #7, the “Snacksden flag”, it’s a reworking of the Gadsden flag. From Wikipedia:

The Gadsden flag is a historical American flag with a yellow field depicting a rattlesnake coiled and ready to strike. Positioned below the rattlesnake are the words “Don’t tread on me”. The flag is named after American general and statesman Christopher Gadsden (1724–1805), who designed it in 1775 during the American Revolution. It was also used by the Continental Marines as an early motto flag, along with the Moultrie Flag.

In modern times, the Gadsden flag is often associated with political movements such as libertarianism and the American Tea Party

The creator of #7 just changed the slogan.

There’s more, lots more.

One Response to “More on the Bundy Bunch”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    Ken Rudolph (who had a long career as a film-maker) on Facebook:

    Weird, I’ve never heard the term “snipe,” used for the ad materials shown before a movie, even though I’ve worked on some in the past.

    New to me too, and not in the OED. The Wikipedia source is Daniel Eagan’s America’s Film Legacy: The Authoritative Guide to the Landmark Movies in the National Film Registry (2010), in its section on “Let’s All Go the Lobby”, with snipe described on p. 542 as a term used in “the industry” – presumably the industry of film exhibition, not film-making. (The Eagan looks like a solid source.)

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