Mill Avenue Resistance Reports: Saturday, June 20th 2009

I’m so excited I can barely contain myself. The Lord is going to blind me!

Last night was a fairly calm night, as Phil and those with him were the only ones hanging around. The exception was Edwin, who vanished soon after we arrived. With Phil was Cesar, a preacher I’d seen around only a few times.

He came up to us immediately as we approached the post office corner, and started in on his usual shtick. “I love you. You are my sister,” he said, indicating me, “and you are my brother.” He waved his hand at Kazz. “I love the both of you. But you need to respect us.”

He rambled on in the vein of “respect” for a while, and his main premise seemed to be that we would be bringing the wrath of God down on us if we continued to do what we do. He ignored me when I told him that while I respected their right to preach what they wanted to preach, I didn’t have to respect what they were saying. Also, the very fact that he seemed to be threatening us with God’s wrath was not terribly “respectful” of him to do.

“I can make you blind,” he said, looking at me. “For a little while, you will be blind.” I took this again as somewhat threatening, until he assured me that he had no need of touching me. He had only to speak to God, telling him that I was a child of Satan and to reveal himself to me. He did this, at my request, and he told me that the blindness would start some time the next day.

Phil made his usual mischief (including the hilarious misspeak below), and Jim rolled up to discuss the “merits” of creationism with us. We were at one point convinced that everyone was leaving when it turned out they were just making a final lap around Mill, preaching out of their portable loudspeaker. We followed behind, our megaphone held at the ready. The cacophony of the mixed sounds migrated down the street as we tailed them, and we left them only when they began to preach directly into the bars. I was sure that the police would be along soon enough to stop them from disrupting the merrymaking of the bar patrons.

The night itself was fairly nondescript, with the main event being Cesar’s little séance. Today has not brought me blindness, but I am willing to give him some leeway. Today was Father’s Day after all. Perhaps God was busy; perhaps Jesus took him out for a nice lunch and a Mylar “Best Dad Ever!” balloon. I’m willing to wait and see if this blindness thing will come through.

I can’t wait.

Quote of the Week
Phil: “Jesus said if you have hated in your heart, then you have committed adultery!”

Mill Avenue Resistance Reports: Friday, May 22nd, 2009

This Friday night was sparse with us-lings, since many were at the SFTS end-of-year party. Kazz, Spyral, Ezra, and I all dropped in on the revelry; Spyral and Ezra decided to stick around while Kazz and I went out to Mill.

An unpleasant little surprise awaited us upon our arrival. The Door were out, in all their screaming, shouting, spooky glory. I had never yet seen them, only heard tales of their insane antics and occasional violent behavior. They were all I could have hoped for and more on this night. A large number of them were dressed in black bodysuits, dancing and wailing with skeleton-painted faces as a mad preacher howled above their writhing bodies. Some waved ghostly gauze banners with images of what may have been demons on them. A reasonably large crowd looked on, and Omar and Jim stood not too far from where we set up the speaker.

A couple of the less-crazy members came to speak with us while the show wore on. However, when I say “less-crazy”, please remember to whom I’m referring. These two young men seemed completely devoid of anything resembling sense. The one I spoke with primarily seemed absolutely unwilling to consider, even for the moment, that the Bible was fallible or in any way untrue. He seemed to dance around my questions regarding his presence on Mill; after all, didn’t Jesus proscribe such behavior as public worship and showing off?

After some time, the large group began to pack up and leave. Relieved at their retreat, we began heading back down Mill towards Urban Outfitters. As we walked, Omar told us about having the cops called on him earlier that evening. As when this happened before, the Door simply didn’t want to share the corner and decided to make a police matter of it. Of course, once the police turned up they could do nothing about it except to make sure no one was obstructing the sidewalks. This was welcomed with frustration by the Door, as one could expect. And to top it off, Omar went on to say that the guy who had called the police on him got a faceful of bird feces some time later. Ah, irony.

On the northwest corner of 6th St. were Jonathan, Phil, and their attendant hangers-on, who were about to set up at the southeastern corner and begin their usual proclamations. As we walked up, Phil hastily removed his arm from its position around Missy’s shoulders and sat up straighter on the planter box. Refraining from teasing him about “lusting in his heart” was quite difficult, especially as he crossed his arms and leaned back, yelling “Jesus is LORD!” at passerby as we spoke with Jonathan about having a debate.

We attempted to set up near them as they moved to the southeast corner, until we were shooed across the street by the hot dog vendors. Here, Jonathan performed the most sickening act of the entire night: he began to administer the “Good Person Test” to a group of kids, all of whom looked to be no more than twelve or thirteen at most. Not five feet from us, we looked on as he smilingly asked them what they’d call someone who lied, or stole. They seemed generally willing to listen to him, and I admit that I was saddened and angered beyond belief by his tactics. It’s disgusting enough when these mind tricks and falsehoods are used on adults, but when he tries them on children…

A man who’d been hanging around us, however, asked us to think about how Jonathan thinks of what he’s doing. He doesn’t see it as bad, or evil, but as helping people. I still cannot find it in myself to condone such behavior, even when considering it from that side. What he does preys on the weak and the gullible, at the best of times. In this instance, he was polluting the minds of those who aren’t sure of themselves yet, who can be more easily shaped to think certain things than adults are. I find it abhorrent, no matter what the context there is within Jonathan’s mind.

At long last, however, Jonathan packed up and Kazz and I returned to the party, there to watch the antics of our compatriots and try to feel less ill about what we had witnessed.

Mill Avenue Resistance Reports: Saturday, May 2nd 2009

Apologies that this took so long to post.

Mill Ave. wasn’t quite crawling with preachers this past Saturday, which isn’t to say there weren’t any. Since it’s usually pretty devoid of them on Saturday nights now, there seemed to be a comparatively large amount. Al and his cronies were handing out their “I.Q. Test” tracts by the Light Rail, and we kept an eye on them for a while. Then word came that the dreaded Jeremiah was on on the corner of 5th St.

A cameraman was out to document Jeremiah’s incredible preaching abilities, and we set up our equipment nearby. Joe and Kyle were already there, and Rocco turned up a while after. We were bothered for a while by the adversarial cameraman, who intimated that we were cowards for not “preaching” our beliefs on our own, instead of merely reacting to the street preachers. He didn’t seem to understand when we tried to explain to him that we aren’t really fond of annoying people without cause.

Jeremiah began to speak, and we all watched as the crap began to fly from his mouth and splatter, moist and mushy, onto the pavement and the deaf ears of the crowd. He seemed fixated this night on the “10 out of 10 people die” line, as well as “God knows what’s on your computer history!”. His infinite loop seemed even shorter than usual, inducing yawns after about three revolutions of the “Jeremiah’s brain” turntable.

Appropriating Rocco’s megaphone, I said my usual stuff too. Hey, if he can have reruns, so can I. Kazz and I passed it back and forth for a bit, then I gave it to him to recover from the thin fog of smarm particles emanating from Jeremiah, which were beginning to overcome me. Hence the new saying, “When Mill gives you smarm, make smarmalade.”

Of course, it does not do to forget why we’re out here. What Jeremiah does hurts people. It doesn’t take a lot of thought to realize that. As Kazz said to him, if he had a leg to stand on he wouldn’t have to resort to frightening people with tales of “the lake of fire” and such. There is also the simple fact that he is not willing to debate with us. When asked, he said, “I’m not here to debate! I’m here to proclaim,” which induced gales of laughter from all present.

Eventually Jeremiah got frustrated and stomped off, carrying his equipment with him and almost visibly sulking. We stayed around for a while, and Rocco spoke with several young men of an unsavory, rather intimidating character. El Presidente also granted the cameraman an interview, which will be ostensibly be shown in their church and almost certainly have Rocco misquoted to the point of ridiculousness.

We decided to pass on an opportunity to bother Al, who had since brought out his speaker. A few of the hecklers we’d had earlier were there, and we figured they were capable of handling anything Al had to dish out (which as usual wasn’t really much).

This Saturday was an important reminder to us, however. No matter how dead they’ve been, they can’t be neglected. As ever we need lots of people out to contend with the “proclamations” of those such as Jeremiah. We’ve recently been a little sparse, especially late on Saturday nights. Sometimes it’s difficult making sure you have enough people with you to be safe. Even if there aren’t many preachers out on Saturdays, it’s important to be safe since things can happen even when you aren’t opposing anyone.

Mill Avenue Resistance Reports: Saturday, April 4th 2009

The Mill Avenue Resistance reports are written by Kyt Dotson as an extension of anthropological research on the population of Mill Avenue in Tempe, Arizona. Since the Resistance does their protests Friday and Saturday there are two reports a week. The supporting material not related to the Resistance reports can be found on the Under the Hills blog.

The lit cross is visible again on ‘A’ Mountain, most likely due to the upcoming Christian holiday of Easter (the vernal equinox, and thus Ostara has already past.) It was visible around the same time last year as well. A decoration that counts probably about sixteen feet in height, made of a series of round-white lights fashioned in a cruciform. The holiday will occur this upcoming weekend on April 12th.

Also creating a different atmosphere on the Ave happened to be the Tempe Music Festival.

At around 9:30pm some of the Way of the Master evangelicals were congregating around Mill’s End café talking to Korky and Cindy; when suddenly they scattered upon some unknown signal. Totally disappearing from where they were previously crowded handing out pamphlets. A mere minute later, Gadfly and Kazz arrived from across the street. The evangelical group had Al, Suzanne, Richard, and a few others—most of whom did not reappear that night.

Omar set up in front of Urban Outfitters for most of the night and used the amplification system of the Resistance to talk to passersby; he also had one of his new signs that reads, “EVOLVE LOVE.” There, a few of the Resistance stopped to talk to random components of the WoTM evangelicals—like Richard, who got himself caught in a long discussion with Strawberry Joe, a street rat who’s been around Mill for a two years or so.

Evidence shows that Jonathan’s group were possibly out earlier in the afternoon and night at the Tempe Music Festival. However, they were not in that position later on in the evening nearing 11pm.

The cap on the entire night was the arrival, once again, of Jeremiah who took advantage of the groups moving between the Tempe Music Festival and Mill Ave proper. As soon as he appeared the Resistance moved to siege him as they usually do—primarily out of a desire to see him because he’s well known, partially out of sheer entertainment.

The encounter with Jeremiah went predictably. Between arguing points out of Christian mythology and doctrine from their holy book he vacillated between poorly supported and ignorant positions on scientific issues like the Theory of Evolution and Global Warming. Parroting unknown propaganda that wasn’t taken well by the Resistance. Rocco, Joe, Gadfly, and Kazz took their measure of him as he tried to talk to passing crowds on these various subjects—Joe coined a speech out of his refutations: “Jeremiah, why don’t I just record the proper responses to these things that you have to say so that they can just be played back when you say the same thing without having researched it…I wouldn’t even have to be here to prove you wrong.”

Roosevelt Resistance Reports: Friday, April 3rd 2009

The Mill Avenue Resistance reports are written by Kyt Dotson as an extension of anthropological research on the population of Mill Avenue in Tempe, Arizona. Since the Resistance does their protests Friday and Saturday there are two reports a week. The supporting material not related to the Resistance reports can be found on the Under the Hills blog.

Art Walk had a showing of the Way of the Master evangelicals on their usual spot at the Roosevelt triangle. Some people who haven’t been seen in a while joined Al and Edwin, mostly in the forms of Erin and Richard. The Resistance arrived with a great deal of people and set up amidst them sometime around 7:30pm—Todd, Rachel, Gadfly, Rocco, Kazz, among others.

The other groups lacked this time, nobody set up across the street in the opposite corner as sometimes happened in the past.

Art Walk pulled down a pretty fair number of people this round, sending them past that corner at a decent rate, possibly nearing fifty to sixty people or more a minute. The evangelicals had two separate amplification systems set at opposite sides of the corners and quite a few pamphleteers of varying stripe.

Discussions and argument this night weren’t well observed, but it appeared that Rocco spent a lot of his time managing one side with Kazz on the other.

Small knots of evangelicals from different groups were spotted out amid the Art Walk itself near Conspire and other regions, such as Trevor, and eventually Vocab’s group near night’s end.

The Phoenix Anonymous kept the Scientologists company across the street with their protest against the Scientology Corporation displaying glowing signs that read “CULT” and the Church of Scientology Corporation held their usual personality test tables upside their building—no tent set up today. As the Resistance don’t really connect themselves with the Phoenix Anonymous nor do they take notice of the Scientology protests little mingling happened there.

Rumors were that there was another group of preachers somewhere on Art Walk but they could not be found.

Mill Avenue Resistance Reports: Saturday, March 28th 2009

The Mill Avenue Resistance reports are written by Kyt Dotson as an extension of anthropological research on the population of Mill Avenue in Tempe, Arizona. Since the Resistance does their protests Friday and Saturday there are two reports a week. The supporting material not related to the Resistance reports can be found on the Under the Hills blog for Saturday, March 28th 2009.

Once again, Mill Ave is shut down due to the visitation of the Tempe Art Fair. White tents take up the center of the road, leaving the street open to all comers and passersby. The Resistance was sparse today but thick enough to entertain themselves on the preachers who came out to do some speaking. As usual, they found them set up in the middle of the intersection at 5th and Mill Ave—the diagonal between Urban Outfitters, Coffee Plantation, Hippie Gypsy, and American Apparel.

The Resistance consisted of Rocco and Gadfly, with a visitation by Kazz and Spyral.

Amazingly, the old-school core components of the Way of the Master evangelical group made it out! The preacher crew turned out to be Al, Jeremiah, Richard, and one other new individual of unknown disposition. This created an unexpected reunion of evangelical preachers who haven’t been out in a very long time. It’s been several months since either Richard or Jeremiah have been seen by the Resistance. Much to the amusement of all, Jeremiah took the stand later in the night and delivered his usual speeches—the rest didn’t really spend much time on their amps for the time people were out there to listen.

The notable event of the night didn’t involve the street preachers at all; although the night did end with Rocco and Gadfly with Jeremiah in front of the Brickyard.

It is reported that, earlier in the night, an itinerant busker took exception to one of Gadfly’s signs, set down his guitar, took it from her, tore it in half, and smacked her across the face with it. The sign in question was a rendering of the “BUTTSEX 4 JESUS” whiteboard-and-black-marker that originated at the protest against Brother Jed. He says that hitting her with the sign wasn’t intentional. This particular busker—an itinerant man, with a guitar, sporting a heavy, rounded dark beard of about an inch, usually sits between Hippy Cove and the Mill Avenue Jewelry store—has been on the Ave for possibly a little over a month. I haven’t gotten his name yet but I’ve spoken to him a few times about his guitar playing.

The evening wound down with Rocco preaching the gospel of the “Cookie-dough Dragon” at Jeremiah—and he even threw in some of his own criticism of contemporary Christian mythology and doctrine based on interpretations of their holy text, the Bible. I will try to paraphrase Rocco’s claim as I understood it:

The argument seemed to revolve around a prophecy from the Old Testament of the Bible which included a mortal patrilineal lineage for their messiah deity, Jesus. An event that wouldn’t make sense if the virgin birth also occurred, because therefore mortal Jesus would have no mortal father and therefore no possible patrilineal line to speak of.

FURTHER RESOURCES

  1. Gadfly herself has a narrative about what happened the night of Saturday, March 28th on her blog that I invite everyone to check out.

Mill Avenue Resistance Reports: Saturday, March 14th 2009

The Mill Avenue Resistance reports are written by Kyt Dotson as an extension of anthropological research on the population of Mill Avenue in Tempe, Arizona. Since the Resistance does their protests Friday and Saturday there are two reports a week. The supporting material not related to the Resistance reports can be found on the Under the Hills blog.

The Resistance didn’t see much in the way of anything to resist when they put foot on the Ave. They congregated for a while at different restaurants and mingled. It took them a while of wandering around the Ave before they eventually found a single, lone preacher way out by the now closed Borders. That would be Al.

Rocco held a sedate discussion with Al most of the night about civil justice. The crux of the argument hinged on how positive law and social justice work and how harm is involved. The usual assertion involves something to the end of “any transgression against an infinite god is therefore an infinite crime deserving of an infinite punishment.” Except that social justice is a system based on harm. Thus the suggestion of transgression suggests two things (1) that the Christian god can and must be harmed for a transgression to happen and (2) that harm is comparable to “infinity.” It seemed interesting that someone decided to take an argument about justice to this particular quote rather than the obvious argument by definition: “a finite harm to an infinite object is infinitesimal, a harm that approaches nothing.” Although, this did have a stake in Rocco’s argument as well as sidebar.

Most of the replies smacked of special pleading—claiming that one justice was different from another but failing to demonstrate why to any sufficient extent or dismissing the need to show sufficient cause. After a long period of responses that Rocco found inadequate, Al fell back on, “You don’t understand it because you don’t believe.” Quoting a passage from the Bible making a reference to “making fools of wise men.”

The rest of Mill remained totally empty of anything the Resistance would have noticed.

So they spent most of their time clustered around one of the inner flanges of the Borders’s building, letting Rocco intermittently talk to Al. Until he finally left around 11:30pm. Rocco did also have a lengthy discussion with Maurice—a writer who makes some money selling poetry on Mill Ave (and he also possesses a particularly Mark Twain aesthetic.)

Tonight proved pretty much to be a social excursion for the Resistance and lacked much activism.

Probably giving them a calm day before the storm of Brother Jed who is coming to bring his carnival act to ASU all next upcoming week.

Mill Avenue Resistance Reports: Friday, March 13th 2009

The Mill Avenue Resistance reports are written by Kyt Dotson as an extension of anthropological research on the population of Mill Avenue in Tempe, Arizona. Since the Resistance does their protests Friday and Saturday there are two reports a week. The supporting material not related to the Resistance reports can be found on the Under the Hills blog.

Tonight the Resistance found Jonathan’s crew, including Phil Washer, milling around the corner of 6th and Mill Avenue at Hippie Gypsy. Later into the night Jim Coleman came out as well as Vocab Malone and his group—who were a lot more amiable and easy to speak with than Jonathan’s group.

The group with Jonathan brought with them one of the loudest amps that anyone has yet brought, almost as loud as Shawn Holes and Jeff Rose (if not in the same ballpark.) The cone-of-sound manages to compete with the louder buskers on Mill Ave. Accusations of its misuse have been mentioned as well including last Friday someone holding it against Rocco’s ear, and this weekend—directly witnessed—having it pointed directly into Omar’s face. The outcome of pointing it at Omar created a nearly 90 second feedback fencing match.

This activity is becoming more unacceptable as Jonathan, and his group, has moved from simply ignoring respondents to being part of assaults. They are failing fundamental civil responsibility by acting as bad neighbors to the Ave, causing injury, breaking the commons, and not engaging in actual discourse with the community. They should really clean up their act.

Jonathan appears to have modified his behavior to mollify would-be anger by other street practitioners who are out there to do their thing and make money by offering pale conciliatory gestures in his deafening speeches: “Buy some hotdogs, they’re $3, and they’re excellent,” and “Check out these paintings over here, some of them are $6 and they’re wonderful paintings.” This probably emanated from an earlier experience when James, owner of Bun Devils, became angry with Jonathan and his crew for stopping up the corner he sat at and thus caused fear that customers were being chased away.

A cameraman appears to have come along this time—well a camera at least—since multiple people carried the camera during the night. It was a large, heavy, shoulder-carried television camera with a huge fuzzy microphone.

Around 10:30pm the night really calmed down as the amplification went away and the groups broke up into smaller discussions.

I spoke for a while with Michael who came out to support his “Brothers in Christ,” as they did their thing on Mill Ave. He couldn’t stay long—as he had to take the light rail—but seemed to be around with Jonathan and Phil’s group. Our conversation was short, but he had a fairly decent affect; although, it was difficult for me to hold a conversation because my ears were still ringing from the earlier extreme noise.

Rocco, Omar, Isaac, Jim, and Vocab managed a long winded, winding conversation about almost everything from the historicity of Jesus, linguistics, anthropological evidence for the origins of Christianity (from neat stuff like ancient manuscripts) and … even a weird little passage from the Book of Matthew about an indeterminate number of Jewish scholars coming back from the grave and returning to their lifetime posts and jobs.

Kazz met with a pair of young women who stopped to look at some of the signs. One tall and overweight, the other small and quiet; the more vocal of the two professed her Christianity while discussing some of the tracts with him. Although, the conversation got a little bit strange when she admitted that she didn’t believe in dinosaurs because the Bible doesn’t mention them—problematically, I don’t think the Bible mentions microbes either, but we demonstrably have those. The conversation did eventually digress and dissolve and they went on their way.

Also, another one of Kazz’s signs from the speaker has also been stolen. One of the “MURDERER / MISSING” posters that hangs on the sides of the Resistance speaker has been taken.

Roosevelt Resistance Reports: Friday, March 6th 2009

The Mill Avenue Resistance reports are written by Kyt Dotson as an extension of anthropological research on the population of Mill Avenue in Tempe, Arizona. Since the Resistance does their protests Friday and Saturday there are two reports a week. The supporting material not related to the Resistance reports can be found on the Under the Hills blog.

The Resistance left meetings at ASU taking cars and light rail up to the First Friday Art Walk, arriving in parts around 7:30pm and found an noticeable crowd attending the various parts of our favorite artists’ faire. They set up in their usual spot in the triangular easement between the split of 3rd at Roosevelt. Joining the Resistance again with Kazz also was Spyral who spent most of her time next to the Resistance speaker on Roosevelt.

The Way of the Master preachers set up on the same corner and also across the street closer to 4th and Roosevelt. In attendance we had Valerie, Al, Lee, John, Edwin, among other notable faces. Passing out tracts and using their amplification. Both the position on the triangle and across the street used amplification; and later into the night two positions were set up on the triangle on opposite when Edwin came from across the street to the triangle.

Omar spent most of the night talking to John2 from Streetfishing. He is the large male with a heavy face and loud voice who generally sets up on the opposite side of 4th and Roosevelt. He also brings two young girls with him ages ranging possibly between 8 and 10 years old, who he uses as an excuse to tell people to “Watch their language,” and also uses to pass out tracts. The girls are polite and quiet, clean up after themselves and attempt to avoid people littering tracts by simply dropping them on the ground—it’s not uncommon to see them darting out from where they’ve huddled near John2 to hand one out.

During Omar’s stay John2 switched out once or twice with another preacher. They compose themselves of a behavior where they totally ignore Omar and other passersby who he offers his amplification to. No actual conversations happen. They spend a lot of time claiming the attention of members of the general public and then make broad claims about respecting them when others who are in the cone of the amplification want to also ask and answer questions.

At one point Omar began playing EBM music in between his questions and John2 approached him.

“I appreciate the discourse,” John2 said to Omar, “but the music is beneath you.”

“We don’t really have a discourse, though, you just ignore me the entire time,” Omar replied.

And there certainly was none the entire time that I observed.

Amid those who took up Omar’s offer of amplification—he would switch to his megaphone—were a few young ladies, a passing man, and Nicky, a bespectacled, outspoken young woman who had joined him last First Friday when speaking to John3. As always, the Streetfishing preachers spent most of their time totally ignoring them, using mirror-speech, and expectedly ordinary rhetoric on anyone who stopped to talk to them. Ignoring Omar and Nicky also managed to produce something of a cacophony on that corner very similar to what happened to the WoTM preachers on Mill when they wouldn’t reply to the Resistance early on.

The crew from Rocky Horror Picture Show passing out pamphlets also came to visit the WoTM preachers on the triangle at 3rd and became embroiled in some sort of strange siege, with black fishnets, lace, and eyeliner—oh and golden underwear (as per an overweight Rocky with a friendly face and red fliers for all.) After a small discussion they dispersed, took over the corner there, and handed out their fliers by pronouncing ecumenical acceptance of everyone using talking points counter to common Christian fundamentalist rhetoric. “At RHPS we accept you even if you’re gay! We don’t care. Bi? Come with us! Boy. Girl. Whatever. RHPS is the place for you.” Their position and the verbiage certainly increased the number of people who took pamphlets from them.

The WoTM and Streetfishing preachers finally left the area around 10pm—slowly filtering out as that witching our rolled around.

The night wound down with a few groups of Christians stopping to talk to Issac, Rocco, and Kazz. At last one of them had an alpha who promised to pray for Kazz, and another promised to pray for Omar. To which he stated that it wouldn’t have any effect, she said she was going to pray anyway.

During one encounter, Spyral stood by handing out various tracts as Kazz was speaking as the conversation necessarily wended between common points from the Nephilim. When Spy attempted to give one of the atheist tracts to one of that group she was roundly refused.

“Why won’t you take it?” Spyral asked.

“Would you take a tract from me?”

“Yes.”

“Why would you take one if you don’t believe in God?”

This went around a few times where Spyral pointed out—like I would—that we do actually read all of the material we take. That, in fact, taking a tract is precisely like giving someone else time to speak to us, time to listen to their words. It is extremely common that tract bearers will refuse literature from us after we accept it from them; it is also common for them to not want to listen to us while at the same time proselytizing. This group managed to both listen and speak, but that fell down when it came to exchanging tracts.

One of the members of the group mentioned that this was her first time at First Friday but she had not been able to take any time to enjoy the booths and artists because she had come out to hand out tracts. Notably, a similar thing happened to Spyral because she kept to the Resistance speaker and didn’t manage to spend time around the various artists and music.

Hopefully next time both can have a much better experience by being able to be part of the celebratory atmosphere, the art, and the glimmering amazement that is the Art Walk.

Mill Avenue Resistance Reports: Saturday, February 28th 2009

The Mill Avenue Resistance reports are written by Kyt Dotson as an extension of anthropological research on the population of Mill Avenue in Tempe, Arizona. Since the Resistance does their protests Friday and Saturday there are two reports a week. The supporting material not related to the Resistance reports can be found on the Under the Hills blog.

The Resistance appeared on Mill Ave at about 8pm. Almost every corner had been taken up with various entertainers, people doing Mill Ave work, and other functions. The first encounter that members of the Resistance had with anything related to their mission was an offhand conversation about Christian convictions between some common folk mingling.

Eventually, Al, Jim Coleman, and Valerie set up in front of the Post Office and were immediately met by Kazz and other members of the Resistance. Although, they were quickly siphoned away to a set up that Omar had taken at Urban Outfitters which became more of the Resistance corner than anything else—no preachers countered them at all.

Edwin wandered past during the night commenting that he and others had gone to check out the light rail.

“Do you ladies believe in goodness?”

It was one of the WoTM preachers speaking out to a group of down-dressed young women who sauntered past, chuckling in alcoholic glow. The reply, however, came from a small cluster of young men. “No!” they shouted past, and burst into a fit of laughter.

“These guys don’t believe in goodness,” the preacher said. “Very dangerous guys.”

Dangerous to themselves at least, as they immediately crossed the street against the light without looking.

The only other noteworthy event was when Strawberry Joe had a conversation with Valerie about religious convictions. Earlier that night he professed to me that he had changed his mind about diesm, and talked about his stroke experience. He had a cerebral event and knew that he was dead. This probably was what he talked to Valerie about, but it’s difficult to get him to form coherent sentences sometimes so I doubt that conversation went anywhere with a rapidity.

Beyond that, the night was singularly boring, it had little going on, few people stopped to talk to the WoTM preachers—but lots did stop to talk to the Resistance group and Omar in front of Urban Outfitters with his “GODLESS 4 GOODNESS” sign. Rocco spent a bit of the night using his newly bought megaphone to heckle Al at the Post Office, but eventually he must have grown bored of that as well as nobody paid much attention to them.