HEAD MUSCLE PRESS (8 October) In a surprise press conference earlier today, an alliance of California-based environmental and animal rights groups known as Code Green, announced that they would “radically depart from tradition” an endorse a Coastal Barrel Cactus as their candidate for Governor in 2010. “This is a great day for the people, and succulents, of California,” newly appointed alliance spokesperson Cindy Sheehan proclaimed. “It is my privilege to announce that Code Green has chosen to formally endorse an outstanding plant, Genus Ferocactus, as the next governor of this great state. Unfortunately, Genus is not able to be with us in person for this announcement as he is firmly rooted on a coastal hillside just south of La Jolla. However, I am happy to say that our candidate will soon be transplanted to a special portable container for the duration of the campaign.” Ms. Sheehan went on to further explain the choice. “We have chosen this Barrel Cactus because we believe that he embodies the struggle that all of our flora brothers and sisters have had to endure since the founding of our cruel plant killing nation. They have been cut down, harvested, picked, burned, and trimmed against their will for centuries and, by endorsing a Succulent-American for Governor, we are saying enough is enough!” The announcement was met with cheers and accolades by green groups around the state. It has also received early support from the Obama administration’s Science and Technology Czar John P. Holdren. “This is nothing short of a plant rights revolution!” he quipped to press members who, ironically enough, caught him at lunch eating a salad. “It is about time that we recognized the fact that plants are people too – only crunchier…”
Upon further investigation, HM discovered that one of the key groups behind this endorsement is the little known California Nogan Society (CNS), founded by long-time plant activist Perry Millet. “With this daring and provocative nomination, we have once again put the spotlight on vegetable rights,” he stated in a coordinated press release. Millet started the California Nogan Society after he gained notoriety among radical environmentalists in the late 1980’s, by marrying a stalk of broccoli. Shortly afterward, he used his newly realized fame to start CNS. Like Vegans, Nogans believe that it is morally reprehensible to eat meat or dairy products. Nogans take it a step further however, by refusing to eat any plant-based food as well. Some, hardliners in the group have even ruled out water. The current rumor is that Millet sent his support for the Barrel Cactus endorsement via press release, because he is currently…well… dying. This has been a wide spread problem across the CNS organization. Though recruiting remains strong in green circles, retention has been a real problem. Wanting to get more information on this landmark endorsement however, HM Press arranged a late afternoon telephone interview with Mr. Millet:
HM – So, Mr Millet thank you for the opportunity to talk to you about today’s endorsement of a Coastal Barrel Cactus for the 2010 California gubernatorial election.
Millet – His name is Genus Ferocactus you know – you could use it. How would you like it if I called you “Caucasian Human Being” every time we spoke?
HM – Um, sorry about that. So why Genus?
Millet – Well, it is time for flora discrimination to come to an end. I mean do we really think that only “humans” are entitled to hold office? When you count single cell algae strains there are approximately three hundred fifty trillion plants on earth for every person. I mean where is their representation?
HM – Most people would say that it is absolutely ludicrous to nominate a plant as governor. They would argue that a cactus has no brain or self awareness and would be completely incapable of executing the office. What do you say to these folks?
Millet – First, they’re nothing but a bunch of bigoted Floraphobes. Second, these are the same idiots that elected Grey Davis and then replaced him with Arnold Schwarzenegger! Why on earth would they be upset with a cactus?
HM – So what is the campaign message going to be?
Millet – Well, we are still in our focus groups on that, but I want to play off of Obama’s winning “Hope” and “Change” platform. I am thinking something like “Growth” or “Roots.”
HM – Interesting…So let’s say hypothetically your cactus wins the election and now governs the eighth largest economy in the world…what’s next?
Millet – Oh this is only the beginning. Our alliance has ongoing operations in almost every county of the state. We plan to start a major push for representation in the legislature as well.
HM – More succulents?
Millet – Nope, we will be past that. We are thinking big. We have a Long Horn Fairy Shrimp that has agreed to run in San Mateo for the District 8 seat, and a very promising fern that we are marketing in Marin County. I think it is just a matter of time before we really change the political demographic in our state.
Shortly after Millet’s last comment the phone went dead. His administrative assistant called us back and explained Mr. Millet had not been feeling well since his weight had dropped below 35 pounds, and that he was taking a nap. Millet is not the only outspoken advocate for this cause however. A group of activists in San Diego are said to be working on legislation classifying companies like Orkin, Terminix, and Scott’s as “hate groups.” Other states are also poised to follow in California’s steps should the Barrel Cactus get elected. Reports are that a moose is being urged to run for Mayor of Alna Maine, and a farmer in Rolla Missouri has a clump of clay that is quickly gaining popularity. If this radical trend continues, as some say it will, analysts project that potted plants and slugs alone could comprise almost 12% of the US voter base by 2020. Analysts say that this will only spell greater trouble for “red states” as ferns, cacti, and fairy shrimp typically vote liberal. Regardless of what happens anywhere else however, all eyes will be on California in 2010 to see if an unassuming Coastal Barrel Cactus can bring eager Californians the “change” that their state so sorely needs.
Chuck, you do make me smile.
Good satire must contain an element of truth and it is not so far-fetched to picture some branch of the lunatic fringe coming up with a truly outrageous candidate for a major political office – but wait, they already have, many times, actually.
Thanks much for your comment. I tend to gravitate toward satire. I love reading and writing it. If done correctly it can really cut into an issue much more deeply than direct analysis.
As far as the lunatic fringe goes, a couple of years ago we had a lady in California marry a dolphin. We have stopped major developments for fairy shrimp (aka sea monkeys), and have shut down an entire agricultural industry because of a small fish. Truth is even stranger than satire in California’s case.
That is really an obscene looking cactus. It’s going to confuse a lot of people who were surfing for porn and googled “head” and “muscle” and ended up here. I hope nobody gets injured.
Thanks Diane. I now see something subliminal in the photo that is somehow appropriate to the post….