America has had some shit years lately, in fact, rapping about the general Spenglerian shitty-ness of America on the brink of decline has become a traditional feature of this annual list. But I doubt even Spengler would argue with my decadent Queer ass that 2020 is the undisputed motherfucker of all shit years. I mean, we literally had a plague for Christ’s sake. The shit has gone biblical. Between COVID murdering people, the police murdering people, and the COVID police murdering what’s left of democracy in the name of not murdering people, this year has pretty much been 80% to 90% murdering people.
But every cloud of shit has its silver lining. In times of great crisis, renegades find opportunity, and that is precisely what this list is for, a celebration of renegades for renegades by a renegade. People on this list aren’t perfect. Some of them can be fucking assholes. But this year, the Year of the Shit, these dearest motherfuckers got in a few punches for the freaks, and I’m gonna celebrate them regardless of whether I get along with them, and if anybody’s got a problem with that they can line up and kiss my Queer ass. In 2020, these motherfuckers didn’t suck. In fact, some of them were downright heroic. Let’s salute them.
Rose McGowan– The MeToo Movement died a rather fast and undignified death this year at the hands of it’s own founders the moment Tara Reade came forward about a sexual predator they had already fallen for. Rose got the memo, she just chose to jam it up their collective ass. After coming forward about being one of Harvey Weinstein’s many victims, McGowan became a leader of this feminist movement. But when her comrades decided to get another rapist elected president, she burned what was left of it to the ground, torching every last bridge she had left in Hollywood along the way. I’ve adored Rose since falling in love with the Queer teen cult film, The Doom Generation, in high school. But Amy Blue ain’t got shit on the real thing. Real feminists don’t let feminists vote for rapists. Anyone who’s got a problem with that can eat our fuck.
Garret Foster– Garret Foster became a martyr for bottom unity this year when he was shot dead putting his body between a crowd and a killer during an anti-police brutality protest in Austin, Texas. A 28 year old veteran and unapologetic gun nut, Garrett had become a fixture at his local George Floyd uprising, always with his AK and his high school sweetheart, a quadruple amputee and Black Lives Matter activist named Whitney Mitchell. When a psychotic Army sergeant charged the crowd with his car, Garret instinctively put himself in front of his fiancé and their fellow marchers and was murdered for his heroism. Garret foster is a clear example of why I write this blog. To bring radicals, left and right, black and white, together against the state. We owe it to Garret to make sure his death was not in vain, just like he owed the same to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The march goes on. They can’t run us all down.
Jo Jorgensen– Jo got a lot of shit from fellow Libertarians for reaching out to PC woke culture and not making much of a dent in the 2020 elections in the process. But I thought she steered the ship of liberty in the right fucking direction for a change. Murray Rothbard himself, during his saner years, recognized that libertarians had far more in common with his era’s New Left than they ever would with the right. The Libertarian Party has as much to offer today’s radical left in BLM and Antifa as these kids have to offer the LP. Is it a perfect marriage? Fuck no. But I’ll take Jo Jorgensen over dope-smoking Republican drop-out artists like Gary Johnson any day of the goddamn week.
Raz Simone– After the Seattle police abandoned the gentrified streets of Capitol Hill to lick their wounds, something downright groovy happened. For about 15 heady minutes, the neighborhood became a stateless commune bathed in bong smoke known as CHAZ before changing its name to CHOP. The right needed a boogey man to sell this utopian horror story to the nursing homes, so they naturally found the biggest, blackest motherfucker they could, and thus the legend of Raz Simone, the Soundcloud warlord, was born. It was 90% bullshit but so was the original rap against Angela Davis. Sometimes the times make the bad motherfucker, and with his gold grill, bullhorn, and AK-47, Raz was the kind of antihero marginalized freaks like me needed. We needed somebody that could scare the pigs for a change, and for fifteen beautiful minutes, Raz delivered like a gangsta rap outlaw.
Perfume Genius– For years now, Michael Hadreas, better known as Perfume Genius, has been the Queer indie scene’s dirty little secret. This year he decided that even straight America deserved to have that secret out by launching his greatest album yet, Set My Heart On Fire Immediately, to his widest audience yet, and it gets my vote for best album of the year. A lush gothic R&B tour de force, Set My Heart On Fire was precisely what I needed this year. Something beautifully broken to hang in my dark suburban COVID prison cell like a mirror ball. The videos alone for singles like ‘Describe’ and ‘Without You’ were Harmony Korine grade cinematic reminders of life at the bottom of the ocean. But nothing was more 2020 than watching Michael get busy with himself in the dirt to the epic grandeur of ‘On the Floor.’ It was like a filthy peasant Flashdance, only way gayer. We fucking needed that. I fucking needed that.
Grandmaster Jay– You could hear a hundred southern gentleman collectively shit themselves this summer when Louisville’s typically depraved Kentucky Derby was hijacked by several hundred heavily armed black guerrillas in the form of the fabulously named Not Fucking Around Coalition, the most fantastically terrifying thing in Black Power since Huey and Bobby hit the streets with the Black Panthers over fifty years ago. Sadly, this phenomenal show of force couldn’t go un-scolded. Months after the fact, the police hauled the NFAC’s shit talking, rifle cocking, fearless leader, hip-hop legend, Grandmaster Jay, on trumped up charges of Assaulting, Resisting or Impeding Officers or Federal Employees. The only thing Jay did, and we’ve all seen the footage, was check a roof for snipers with his AR’s tactical light. For this they wanna throw the man away for a decade. Good luck. Word has it, he has an army.
Ammon Bundy– Ammon became a sweetheart for the right wing militia movement after a series of sketchy occupations of federal property, including his racist daddies ranch, but he became a symbol for bottom unity when he quite literally put his own well being at risk to stand up to the hypocrites in his own movement, first by condemning Donald Trump’s draconian border practices and then, this year, coming out in support of both Black Lives Matter and the movement to defund the police. He fearlessly pissed on his own base to point out the basic fact that these were movements against big government tyranny and thus causes the libertarian right should get behind. It was a bold move for a bold motherfucker. He’s still receiving death threats from both sides of the aisle, but he’s earned at least one left wing faggot’s begrudging respect.
William X Nietzsche– The Kinney Family have lived in the Red House on Mississippi for 65 years, since coming to Portland to escape the racism down south. But racism found them. It found them in the form of of gentrification, redlining, predatory loans, and eminent domain. They have watched their suburban home disappear in the shadows beneath towers of swanky condos and big business. When their slumlord foreclosed just before a moratorium on such vile actions during the height of COVID was passed, the Kinney’s decided to make a stand. Lead by William Kinney Jr. under the fantastic nom de guerre, William X Nietzsche, the family and a few hundred of their closest friends and comrades launched an armed occupation as William declared he and his Black-Indigenous kin sovereign citizens on stolen Native land above the crooked letter of our government’s corrupt authority. This marriage of Black Power and libertarian anti-government activism now threatening to take the Pacific Northwest back from the crabs of big tech has been a long time coming. Zuck and company best check themselves. It just got real.
Luis Arce– After three+ years of one imperial belly flop after another, Donald Trump finally achieved his first successful coup when he had left-wing Bolivian maverick and this-list-alumni, Evo Morales overthrown and replaced with a white conquistador witch named Jeanine Anez. Less than a year later and her ass is grass. While Trump is likely to be replaced by more confident imperialists, Jeanine was given her walking papers by Luis Arce, the dauphin of the man she deported, in a massive campaign victory. Can you imagine Salvador Allende coming home to a heroes welcome in 1974 like Evo in 2020? Sometimes the good guys still win and the conquistadors fall on their swords. Suck it, Pompeo.
Glenn Greenwald– 2020 was a shit year for journalism. I mean, shit, the greatest journalist alive is currently being slowly tortured to death in Belmarsh as we speak. Even typically sharp cookies like Amy Goodman and Naomi Klein fell victim beneath the sway of Trump Hysteria, Russiagate, and Biden Fever. But Glenn Greenwald has never been a typical journalist. In a span of a few years, he went from schilling for the Iraq War to aiding and abetting Edward Snowden in a realistic attempt to end it, and he’s been one of the very few voices of reason on the periphery of the mainstream to survive the Trump era with his dignity intact. This year he underlined that legacy with three red lines by resigning from a multi-billion dollar cash cow he helped build when he resigned from the Intercept in protest for refusing to run an unredacted story critiquing the Fourth Estate’s attempts to silence the whole damn internet on the crimes of our president-elect’s scumbag son. Wherever Glenn lands, people like me will follow because we’re still thirsty for the fucking truth.
Maj Toure– “Well how are ya gonna fight crime without the police?” was the dipshit question lobbed in Don Knotts’ voice by every superspreader from Thanksgiving to Hanukah. Maj Toure answered that question handily with his bombastically flamboyant Black Guns Matter movement. Upon hearing of George Floyd’s lynching, Maj hopped on the first flight to Minneapolis and set up shop teaching rioters and shopkeepers alike how to defend themselves without getting shot because, believe it or not, the only thing that will ever stop a racist with a badge is a hood full of anti-racists with guns. I don’t get along with Toure on every issue, but this country badly needs a new Robert F. Williams to show us the way. Don’t hate the police, replace the police.
Pamela Adlon– This may be far from the hippest way to end a list of terrifying iconoclasts but the stone cold reality is that this has been one of the hardest years of my life. I struggled for years to overcome my crippling agoraphobia and the gender dysphoria that likely sparked it, only to find myself locked away again in my house by COVID and my state’s gestapo overreach on the crisis. Pamela Adlon’s critically acclaimed dramedy, Better Things, has been a rare light in the darkness for me. I only really discovered the show this year and binged it ravenously before the triumphant fourth season. I rarely get through an episode without crying. Nothing seems to trigger my childhood trauma so cathartically.
That’s likely because the complex gender identity I’ve been struggling my whole life to comprehend is a lot like Sam Fox’s house full of assholes with cunts, as she stoically describes her daughters. I’m several different dykes locked in a skull. A theatrical diva, an androgynous teenage rebel, and that pure hearted little girl the Catholic Church tried to bury alive in the basement of my soul. Somehow, something as seemingly banal as a TV show brings these ghosts to life and gives them peace. Thank you, Pam, You saved an insane person’s life this year. I promise, when the revolution reaches Hollywood, not to torch your house. It’s the least I can do. After all, I’m every bitch, its all in me.
Take care of yourselves and each other, dearest motherfuckers. At the end of the episode, we’re still all we got to hold on to.