If the news has taught us anything, it’s that people will find a reason to protest just about anything. Nothing makes people madder than, well, everything apparently, and clearly the best way to express your indignant outrage is always in the most public fashion possible. Here are 15 ridiculous, counterproductive, and stupid protests.
Their parents probably helped them with their homework
There is the old adage, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Feel free to adapt it to your general region’s crop of choice but it should probably maintain some level of veracity unless you live somewhere devoid of flora/fauna. To be blunt: dumb people usually breed dumb children. So is it any wonder that parents protested their children’s exclusion from a high school graduation ceremony with signs reading “LET ARE KIDS WALK”? No, of course not. Despite their children failing to receive grades that entitled them to graduate high school, this group of parents felt that their children deserved the honor of walking across the stage with their classmates who had successfully maintained an GPA demonstrating that they had mastered the concepts of the basic high school curriculum. While being ostracized totally sucks, in this case the school is warranted in their actions since the graduation ceremony is basically a celebration of the student body’s successful completion of high school, so it only makes total and complete sense that students who DID NOT PASS HIGH SCHOOL not be allowed to fake-graduate.
Complexity of English spelling protested at a spelling bee.
English can be a difficult language to learn if you’re not a native speaker. The language itself is basically a medley derived from Germanic, Latin, Greek and French roots. To make matters worse, we have a variety of oddball spellings that are phonetically redundant, making English a very difficult language when it comes to proper pronunciation. Some people felt a little too entitled when they began demanding a serious overhaul to make English more accessible. Armed with signs reading “Enuf is enuf. Enough is too much,” members of the American Spelling Council and the London-based Spelling Society protested the complexity of the English language outside the Scripps National Spelling Bee event. If the protesters had their way, the beloved tradition of the spelling bee would be laid to rest, since every word would be obvious to spell out. Who wants to live in a world without spelling bees? That would totally suck.
Swedish feminists burn 100,000 kroner to protest wage inequality
Sweden is a pretty cool, liberal and progressive country for the most part, and it’s basically riddled with incredibly attractive and fashionable people. But things aren’t all crayfish and aesthetically pleasing chairs in the land of IKEA. Swedish women make 100,000 kroner ($13,000US) less per minute annually than their male counterparts. To bring attention to this discrepancy, the Feminist Initiative burned that exact amount in a huge bonfire, an act meant to somehow symbolize the money that they are not receiving. It’s uncool that there is a big wage discrepancy between genders in Sweden, but it’s also pretty stupid to burn that much money. Couldn’t they have raffled it off or something and burned fake money? Party leaders justified the act by stating, “I can understand that many are outraged by this. Many will say that there are plenty of worthy causes to spend this money on. But we are not a charity, we are a political party.” Good logic! That almost makes too much sense.
San Francisco anti-war protesters stage a “vomit in”
War totally sucks so it’s no surprise that over the course of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan we’ve seen a fair number of protests against them. But while most are of the fairly respectable “march with signs and chant” variety, San Francisco anti-war demonstrators combined their powerful collective of minds together to come up with a thoroughly unique form of war protest: the “vomit in.” At the Federal Building at 450 Golden Gate Ave., around 300 protesters gathered to ingest milk combined with red dye, which they promptly forcefully vomited onto the buildings exterior, an act which apparently was attempting to emulate the vomiting of blood and signified their disgust with the war(s). There are just so many more effective and less disgusting ways to protest the war that it is absolutely staggering that 300 people could possibly come to an agreement that this was going to really be a “wake-up call” to those warmongers in Washington. There seriously wasn’t a SINGLE person out of all 300 that could’ve stepped in and been like, “Wait a second guys, this is literally the dumbest way to protest the war ever! We should totally do something that makes sense and isn’t really, really gross”? Shame on you San Francisco anti-war protesters, shame on you.
“Big Brother” housemates stage a protest for more alcohol
“Big Brother” is a show where contestants are locked in a house and forbidden any contact with the outside world, generally for a period of around three months. Within their house they are voyeuristically filmed as they go about interacting with each other, and every once in awhile they all vote to kick one person out of the house. Sounds pretty boring, so it’s no wonder that during one season of the show contestants climbed to the roof of the house to stage a protest for more alcohol. Who wouldn’t want to while the months of monotony and sensory deprivation away in a constant drunken stupor? The show’s producers ordered them down from the roof for their safety (one of the protesters, the Iranian party planner Siavash, climbed up only to loudly declare his fear of heights) but when the contestants refused to comply, they were all told that if they didn’t come down they would be kicked off the show. Reluctantly, they all came down and then proceeded to continue their protest by throwing objects into the swimming pool, including an outdoors bath. Basically, the contestant’s protest consisted of them soberly engaging in all sorts of malicious and dangerous actions, effectively demonstrating that they were capable of violence and stupidity while free of any mind altering substances that would definitely amplify such tendencies.
Video game nerds protest Sonic 4 by threatening to purchase Sonic 1
Video games are taken very seriously by a small yet vocal niche of people. These hardcore gamers never take kindly to acts they consider desecration of their beloved game franchises. One of the oldest and most beloved game series, Sega’s “Sonic the Hedgehog”, came under fire by a group of protesters who were not pleased with the video footage that has so far been released for the latest installment, “Sonic the Hedgehog 4.” In a chillingly worded statement published online, the group made known it’s demands:
“Fans of the sonic series are like most Sega fans, we want their old games brought back to the glory days when Sega was pretty much the power in video games. Seeing the gameplay of Sonic 4 has made many of us realize what we already knew, Sonic 4 will simply not be anywhere near as good as the original Sonic games. Either way, We will decide to finally show Sega what the fans truly want. A real Sonic 4, as long as Sonic 4 stays the way it is, we will not buy it, we will in fact buy Sonic 1 on release in protest of Sonic 4, till we end up with a retool, or change, we want Sonic in hd, not sonic RUSH HD. We will not buy a future Sonic game, till we get a true successor to Sonic 1/2.”
The plan is nefarious indeed; the group will boycott the release of the latest installment in their beloved franchise by purchasing the original game, forking over their hard-earned dollars to the very corporation that is RUINING the good name of Sonic. This plan is so diabolical, so intricately concocted, that it probably appears to make absolutely NO sense to us lowly plebs who can’t even BEGIN to understand the complex machinations of this ingenious protest.
Female protesters don’t understand how boobs work
Female equality is a good thing, but there are certain discrepancies between the sexes that are going to be hard to erase. For instance, both men and women can have “boobs.” For the former, the quality is generally considered unattractive and a sign of an unhealthy bodyweight, for the latter, breasts are primarily thought of as a positive and desired sexual quality. As similar in most respects the sexes are, the dividing line between which areas are appropriate to expose and which aren’t have been essentially decided by swimwear, albeit a few outlying suits that have decided to push the boundaries of what most consider acceptable attire while sunning at the beach. But, when a number of women in Portland, Maine (not the Portland you would have expected, I know) decided that the right to bear one’s naked chest was unfairly biased towards men, they decided to stage a protest demonstrating a woman’s right for equal shirtless-ness rights. As noble as the effort was, the protesters sadly succumbed to an onslaught of camera-wielding male oglers, with many of the protesters eventually relenting to posing for pictures.
Starbucks? More like “Slutbucks”
While there are probably myriads of reasons to detest Starbucks (their prices, their coffee, their omnipresence and the state of their bathrooms, etc.), the peddling of pornographic images is definitely not one of them. But try telling that to conservative Christian group The Resistance, who issued a statement protesting the allegedly sexually suggestive pose of the Starbucks mermaid featured in their logo. Member Mark Dice explains, “The Starbucks logo has a naked woman on it with her legs spread like a prostitute. Need I say more? It’s extremely poor taste, and the company might as well call themselves Slutbucks.” Yeah Mark, they might as well call themselves “Slutbucks.” Did it take a focus group to come up with such a biting turn of phrase? Someday these lunatic fringe groups will probably realize that hugely successful and insanely wealthy corporations are not going to comply with their insane demands.
PETA protesters dress up as the KKK to protest a dog show
Oh, PETA! What won’t you protest? Honestly, it’s really cool that you care about animals and people treating them ethically and all, but your ridiculous protest stunts just make us all want to go punch a bunny in the face or something. For instance, dog breeding does have a lot of horrible aspects to it, and it’s totally worthwhile to bring attention to the negative side-effects of limiting a dog’s gene pool, but it’s totally counterproductive to dress up in Klansman robes and compare dog-breeding to racial purification. This is because they are not the same because one involves dogs and the other humans, and honestly as much as we love animals, they really do not enjoy the same rights, both legal and inherent, that people do. Also, you are dressed up like the KKK. It would probably be perfectly fine to hand out your pamphlets dressed normally, no matter how wacky the ideas contained within them might be, but as soon as you don that white hood you basically cross the line from “perfectly fine” to “not okay at all, ever.”
Dunkin Donuts protested for featuring an ad with an “Islamic” scarf
Getting dressed can be extremely difficult. All sorts of factors must be taken into account when you plan your ensemble for the day: what the weather’s like, where you’re going, how long you’ll be out (is it going to be chilly later?), if you’ll be doing a lot of walking; talk about exhausting! Plus, there’s also always the chance that you might mistakenly pick some sort of fashionable accessory that people could misconstrue as a statement of support for terrorism. This happened to Rachel Ray, who in an online advertisement for Dunkin Donuts wore a paisley scarf that many conservatives thought looked suspiciously like a keffiyeh, the traditional scarf of Arabic men. One upset conservative protester, Michelle Malkin, argued that the scarf has “come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad.” Never mind that Rachel Ray wasn’t actually wearing a keffiyeh, that her lightweight summer scarf dared to even look slightly like one to people with obviously terrible eye sight is just a total outrage. While at first Dunkin Donuts dismissed the complaints, pointing out that Ray was not wearing a keffiyeh, the conservative blogosphere continued to sound the Horn of Gondor, rallying their troops to fight for this nobel cause until finally Dunkin Donuts pulled the ad to avoid any “misperception.” I don’t know exactly what “misperception” stands for but I believe a rough definition is “to get whiny conservative pundits to shut the hell up and buy our coffee again.”
‘FlashForward’ fans protest their crappy show being canceled
Over the years, TV executives have time and again canceled critically acclaimed shows with small but loyal fan bases for not doing well in the ratings. “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien,” “Carnival,” and “Arrested Development” are just a few recent casualties. But more often than not, a show has low ratings and is canceled because it just flat out sucks and nobody wants to watch it. Well, almost nobody, because apparently people will watch anything. This is proved by the fact that people actually staged a protest for ABC’s recently canceled sci-fi drama, “FlashForward.” Despite the show’s laundry list of flaws, its impassioned fan base staged a protest where they mimicked the opening scene of the show, in which the entire world “blacks out,” outside of ABC offices in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Detroit and Chicago. Protesters gathered outside the offices and simultaneously fell to the ground and lay there for 2 minutes and 17 seconds, demonstrating both their commitment to getting the show back on the air and their poor taste in entertainment.
Westboro Baptist Church protests Lady Gaga
The Westboro Baptist Church, that charming organization with the “godhatesfags.com” URL, is perhaps best known for their protests against homosexuality. But did you know that Westboro Baptist Church knows that God hates a lot of other things too? In addition to “fags,” Twitter, and funerals for soldiers, the WBC claims that God also hates Lady Gaga. God sure is a hateful omnipotent being isn’t he? To draw attention to God’s utter loathing of Lady Gaga, the WBC spent hours creating a parody video of Lady Gaga’s hit song “Poker Face,” the title of which they cleverly parodied by calling their version “No Poker Face.” Weird Al must be a member of the WBC because that is just a staggeringly clever re-titling. Lady Gag’s sins seem to be that she possesses what the WBC deem a “whorish face” and that her revealing fashion choices “show everything.” For this, they claim she will burn in hell. The WBC also stood outside her concerts with picket signs while harassing her teenage fans because they just like to do that kind of thing apparently.
PETA tortures its interns to protest cruelty to animals
PETA and the Westboro Baptist Church are basically the two best groups at staging ridiculous and ironically counterproductive protests. During World Vegetarian Week in 2008, PETA staged a protest outside of City Hall in Washington, D.C. that consisted of two interns smeared in blood and wrapped in cellophane to emulate meat packages. Cool idea PETA, too bad you chose a ridiculously hot summer day to stage your awesome protest and nearly killed one of your interns. When police inquired on the well being of PETA interns, Shawn Herbold and Thomas Olsen, Herbold claimed she was “in pain and feeling nauseated from the heat after being wrapped in cellophane for 30 minutes.” She also asked “how much longer she needed to stay there.” Ashley Byrne, the PETA coordinator who organized the protest, debated with officers for 30 additional minutes while the interns lay cooking in the sun before finally allowing her wretched interns out of their cellophane tombs.
WBC protests Comic-Con for promoting “idol worship”
Comic-Con is a big horrible event that basically attracts only the worst people in the world, so it would make sense that members of the Westboro Baptist Church would show up there. The group made an appearance at the con to protest what they saw as the “idol worship” of superhero characters like Spider-Man and Batman by comic enthusiasts. The WBC posted a breathlessly incoherent justification for the protest on their web page (which you should never visit, ever):
“Are you kidding?! If these people would spend even some of the energy that they spend on these comic books, reading the Bible, well no high hopes here. They have turned comic book characters into idols, and worship them they do! Isaiah 2:8 Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: 9 And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not. It is time to put away the silly vanities and turn to God like you mean it. The destruction of this nation is imminent – so start calling on Batman and Superman now, see if they can pull you from the mess that you have created with all your silly idolatry.”
Worship them they do! Ironic that they would adopt Yoda’s speech pattern for their statement protesting Comic-Con, but whatever, everything they do makes sense none it does.
Obama “beer summit” protested for serving beer
In an effort to mediate strained race-relations in the wake of the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. after he was allegedly racially profiled by Sgt. James Crowley of Cambridge, MA police department, President Obama hosted what he dubbed a “beer summit.” He, Vice President Joe Biden and the two men would sit around a table and share a beer. It’s admittedly a strange idea, but it seemed like a nice symbolic gesture. However, Christian group Pray at the Pump, joined by the pastor of the Rising Sun Baptist Church of Baltimore planned to picket the summit unless Obama changed his choice of beverage to lemonade. Rocky Twyman, founder of Pray at the Pump explained that beer sends the “wrong message to our nation’s youth who are becoming alcoholics at young ages.” Never mind that indulging in a single beer, as Obama did, is, if anything, demonstrating moderation with alcohol, but your stupid protest is distracting from the issue at hand which is race relations in America — an infinitely more important subject than teenage drinking and an issue that Obama’s actions will have little to no effect on. You should just relax and have a beer or something, Rocky Twyman, because you’re way too uptight man.