No Billionaire Left Behind: Satirical Activism in America

By Angelique Haugerud

Growing fiscal inequality, company impression in politics, an eroding heart classification. Many americans depart it to politicians and the media to discuss those themes within the public sphere. but different likely traditional american citizens have determined to go into the dialog of wealth in the United States by means of wearing ball robes, tiaras, tuxedos, and best hats and taking up the imagined roles of rich, strong, and entirely fictional characters. Why? In No Billionaire Left Behind, Angelique Haugerud, who embedded herself in the "Billionaires" and used to be granted the identify "Ivana Itall," explores the internal workings of those pretend billionaires and mines the depths of democracy's dating to political humor, satire, and irony.

No Billionaire Left Behind is a compelling research into how satirical activists take on of the main contentious subject matters in modern American political tradition: the more and more profound department of wealth in the US, and the position of huge cash in electoral politics. Anthropologist and writer Angelique Haugerud deftly charts the evolution of a gaggle named the Billionaires—a fashionable community of satirists and activists who make a mockery of wealth in America—along with different satirical teams and figures to puzzle out their influence on politics and public opinion. within the spirit of renowned courses like The Colbert file and The day-by-day Show, the Billionaires reveal a cosmopolitan wisdom of economics and public affairs during the lens of satire and humor. via player statement, interviews, and archival examine, Haugerud offers the 1st ethnographic research of the facility and barriers of this evolving kind of political organizing during this witty exploration of 1 group's efforts to elevate desire and encourage motion in America's present political climate.

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Most likely a mix of frankness and flattery, Boyd’s feedback seize contradictory emotions of my interlocutors, for whom my presence appeared right now “novel,” “surreal,” and a “feather in our cap. ” a few instructed me they have been happy that I, in contrast to many reporters with whom they talked, used to be drawn to the organization’s historical past and origins, together with its early recruitment of individuals from different organisations, and its pre-2004 organizational identities, instead of simply their newest occasions. I permit my interlocutors understand that i used to be sympathetic to their political agenda—important details to proportion, considering the fact that sophisticated losses of severe info can happen while the interviewer’s personal voice and political place are lower out. a hundred even though I proportion their political sympathies, i didn't myself “join” the Billionaires and get dressed or practice the half. That symbolic distance used to be mirrored in musician and singer Fillmore Barrels’s (musician Dave Case’s) light teasing Irony, Humor, Spectacle forty-one approximately my non-Billionaire clothes. “A bit underdressed, aren’t you? ” he acknowledged through the August 2004 Million Billionaire March down Manhattan’s 5th street (when I wore informal black slacks and blouse). And at Reverend Billy’s may well 2011 exhibit in big apple, billed as a “Billionaires’ gown Ball,” Fillmore Barrels joked with me: “I proposal chances are you'll get blinged up for this occasion—cross over to the opposite side,” that's, the elegantly costumed Billionaire facet, the place many ladies have been donning tiaras and night robes or cocktail attire. (I used to be donning a silk jacket, silk shirt, black costume slacks, and understated jewellery that will no longer qualify as “bling,” although others complimented me on my visual appeal. ) Fillmore Barrels’s jests in addition to others’ comments approximately my note-taking spotlight universal contradictions of participant-observation: engaging, yet no longer as a member, and gazing, yet now not as a whole outsider. the road among learn matters and associates is blurred and maybe continuously has been in unacknowledged methods. Like Andrew Boyd, the various different activists (“expert subjects”101) who're the focal point of this publication are themselves without delay engaged in wisdom creation approximately political struggles and social justice. They converse to the media, write books and articles, compose slogans and chants, learn monetary regulations, and research their public picture and effect. Their voices animate this paintings. I write no longer as their suggest yet as their colleague within the look for and creation of latest wisdom, new views on modern political existence. What did the Billionaires desire to profit from my study? Boyd talked with me approximately accurately that during July 2006: we wish to research anything approximately ourselves, not only . . . that the surface global can examine anything or that the anthropology academy can study anything approximately political tradition. we wish to research anything approximately ourselves that we don’t already understand. we'd like you to crystallize, theorize, synthesize, Rashomon,102 tie jointly items . .

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