Friday, 23 October 2020

red scare, town square

Via Super Punch, we made witness to the spectacle and pageantry of the politics of fear and allure of bad actor cosplay in this vignette from 1950 about a small town called Mosinee in Wisconsin that staged a pretend Communist coup.

Given the state of America’s dictatorial and regressive aspiration, this episode is highly resonant and corresponds to a particular sort of reactionary tribalism and the paternalism of the well-intentioned and seems quite the antithesis of a similar demonstration undertaken in Canada less than a decade earlier to impress upon people the price of complacency. Albeit the latter was only a one-day affair and described by Life Magazine as the town’s most exciting since the business district burned down in 1910, and ‘according to the official Schedule of Events, the entire town would “cast aside their subversive roles and join in the raising of the American flag.” Boy Scouts would “burn all Communist banners, etc. in a huge bonfire” before the whole crowd would join in singing “God Bless America” and “start peacefully home, thankful to God that they live in AMERICA.”’