“introduce a little anarchy”

Leading up to the election last November, I put in the work. I made phone calls, I wrote letters to family and friends whose opinions differed from my own. I even coordinated volunteers for a local city council race.

But on election day itself, I handed out salmon hot dogs at the polls.

If you want to get technical, this was a component of my job, but the sheer absurdity is hard to ignore.

I told a friend about this recently and he was aghast: “You decided to fend off the tide of fascism in America by handing out fish hot dogs. And no, you can’t dress it up by saying they’re salmon hot dogs. Nah, that doesn’t count. They’re fish hot dogs and the only thing more suspect than a hot dog is fish hot dogs.”

If we’re honest though, something like this is the perfect way to fend off fascism. You put in the work, then unleash play. You engage with that which appears to have no value, highlighting the absurdity of placing value on anything.

This is why Duck Soup, the classic Marx Brothers film, was banned in Italy in the lead up to World War II. Mussolini saw the film for what it was: an unrelenting criticism of government, politics, militarism, and the relentless pursuit of power. But more than anything else, it was fun.

When done right, play can be a powerful weapon. Introducing a little anarchy not only becomes the means to show the absurd for what it is, but is also a road to unvarnished joy.