Gary Swing received 134,127 votes, or 5.5% in a race against Democratic US Representative Ann Kirkpatrick, and John McCain. This is the highest percentage of votes cast for a Green Party candidate for US Senate in the nation this year. Read more about it here.
Gary Swing has given me permission to share his writings on this blog. Very excited. To start things off, here is Gary’s response to two questions he has received about his campaign to be a US Senator in Arizona:
Q: It appears to me that you’re taking this election as a joke. Why do you think that is appropriate?
*It turns out that this question was sent from a fake email address. How disappointing.*
A: Thanks for your question.
American elections are a meaningless farce used to create the false illusion of representation and legitimacy for a criminal government that will never provide fair representation for a politically diverse electorate. These meaningless elections are a form of popular entertainment, used to distract attention from reality. The truth is that your vote doesn’t matter. What you choose to eat for breakfast is infinitely more important than whether or not you choose to vote, or who you vote for. Individuals are responsible for the consequences of how they choose to live their own lives. The winner-take-all voting system in the United States maintains a corporate-controlled political duopoly that engages in perpetual crimes against humanity. The American election system is a bad joke. I hope that my candidacy is a better joke.
Here are a couple of links concerning life choices that I would consider much more relevant to reality that voting in sham elections: [Read More…]
When and how did you first get introduced to paintball? When did you get hooked?
I was first shown paintball by my friend. At the time I didn’t think much of it. Honestly I didn’t even care, I was around age 11. My friend first showed it to me because he thought the markers looked cool. I remember I was at his house and he pulled up a chair and sat me down at his computer showing off different markers he liked. I remember him mentioning the Empire Axe a lot in particular. He liked it because it both looked like an actual axe and because it had an “edgy” name (pun intended.)
We sat there and I was bored outta my mind. Now a few years later all I do in my spare time is drool over paintball markers I can’t buy. Bit ironic isn’t it?
I didn’t go to the field and actually play until I was 12, it was for a birthday party a friend was having at SC Village.
The first game I was absolutely terrified, I sat in the back and did nothing but cower, but the rush of adrenaline I would come to cherish and chase for years to come was there, even in those first few moments. The second round I played again, not much changed except one thing. I got caught behind the same bunker as a pump player.
The pump player seemed so calm, collected, and focused. It was incredible watching him, to this day I never got his name and I only remember him for the odd contraption he used that I later came to know as a stock class Carter.
I got the courage to stand up and fire back and that’s when I was truly hooked. I gained so much respect for pump players from the very beginning and I think that’s most of the reason I started to play pump myself, I wanted to be that guy I saw.
I also believe that bigger companies should give back more to the kids and those who can’t really afford to play. Focusing only on the “pros” is not going to get this sport anywhere because once the pro players are done, who is going to continue our paintball legacy?
I have seen a lot of kids that want to play but don’t have the means to, which is why I started Painting The World (PTW). My goal with PTW is to grow paintball for the next generation and also help others. I target at risk kids so I can take them off the streets and show them something better. We hook them up with donated gear and take them to the field and play with them and visit their fields if they are out of state.
What makes paintball fun for me is the family of brothers and sisters you find in the sport. I believe if we all helped each other to help others we would take the sport to places it’s never been.
How did you first get politicized? Radicalized? Active?
It’s been a long process, man.
I went through a lot of trouble, enough substance abuse to damage my health, and ultimately, I hit rock bottom.
I was at a point in my early-thirties where I realized that I didn’t feel like I knew how to learn anymore. It was surreal.
I had vague memories of being a small child, feeling hopeful about life. But damn, if there was a mistake to make, I was going to make it.
So, I suppose I had a choice to make. I chose to clear my head and figure out what I was here for. I had a lot of catching up to do, I felt.
Starting in my community, in Los Angeles, I started to connect with folks, hearing their stories.
A few of us started to organize things like bicycle drives for children in South L.A., and clothing drives for survivors of human trafficking. The more we dove into that kind of work, the more it became apparent to me that, while the organizations were engaged in much-needed work, these cycles of oppression weren’t going to break with topical measures.
Remember, at this point, I hadn’t begun to dig into socialism, so I’m sort of figuring this stuff out without really knowing much about systems, causes, etc. But, eventually, I got to that place. And once I got there, I really dove in.
Life moves by so fast, man.
Damn thanks for sharing that… Did music play any roles in this for you? I think I’ve seen a few things from you and interviews about you mentioning music as a key influence in your personal/political development?
I’m not sure it played a role in my political development, although I suppose all of our experiences contribute to who we are.
It was certainly an escape for me, like trying to reach another world where everything was going to be okay.
But, I’d be lying if I said that my definition at the time of “okay” wasn’t misguided and somewhat fucked up.
What was your definition of okay then, and whats it now?
“Okay” at the time mostly meant not being able to feel and not being held to account for much of anything. “Okay” today? Revolution.
I asked Mimi for his favorite song so that I could embed it into this interview.
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