Laroche will save us all.
November 24, 2005 6:30 PM   Subscribe

What witty, ideology destroying quip can I make to the "Laroche Youth Movement" guys who are going to disturb me outside the train station this evening?

I can't stand these guys. I know what they're on about - as far as I can tell, a popularist, neo-fascist, crypto-anti-semitic leader worshipping cult that seems to suck in bright young things and spit out dazed, confused arseholes. But I always get in such a tizz when I decide to confront people handing out leaflets on the street whose ideology I disagree with. Any suggestions?
posted by Jimbob to Society & Culture (20 answers total)
You're about as likely to change their minds as they are yours, so in these situations, I like to stick with the classics... something like "Bugger off".
posted by pompomtom at 6:41 PM on November 24, 2005

What exactly are you hoping to accomplish? If you're trying to dissuade the individual to whom you're speaking, I would be reminded of the old adage "you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar". Any anger on your part will cause them to shut you out.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:41 PM on November 24, 2005 [1 favorite]

Hi, JimBob,

Eerily, I've had this exact thought. One of them outside the White House asked me, "how are we going to stop Bush?" I said, "by passing out pamphlets from a guy who says the Beatles were a CIA plot."

But they just laugh. "Where'd you get that, man?"

Unfortunately, cult members are only heartened by proof that the Satanic outside world is teeming with people who just don't get LaRouche and his warnings that Alan Greenspan, 2004 is just like Nazi finance minister Schact in 1935.
posted by johngoren at 7:50 PM on November 24, 2005

Response by poster: Well I don't want to be angry, I guess that's the point. Like I said, I've got this attitude in myself before and have just acted like a wanker, and I don't want to - I just want to say something that they can think about - some fact about the "Movement" that might make them realize they're worshipping an anti-semite criminal as some potential leader of the free world.
posted by Jimbob at 7:51 PM on November 24, 2005

Response by poster: by passing out pamphlets from a guy who says the Beatles were a CIA plot.

See, that's what I'm looking for :) I know it's futile, but I feel people who want to spend their days standing on the street handing out leaflets should be able to defend their ideas instead of just trying to disseminate them.
posted by Jimbob at 7:53 PM on November 24, 2005

Jimbob: Well, I thought you were talking about young guys promoting the LaLeche (sp?) league -- so maybe you could congratulate them on their pro-boob attitude? ;)
posted by coriolisdave at 8:25 PM on November 24, 2005

Best answer: I like just looking at them like they are crazy and saying Yess, I'll keep that in mind. You catch more flies with vinegar than you do with honey, but you offend more by being patronizing and laughing at them.

I don't meet Larouchies-- I live in Canada-- but I do enjoy treating the odd mormon like a freak from hell time bomb.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:56 PM on November 24, 2005

I once passed an enviromental, or "green" awarness rally in columbus circle where the organizers were using a gas powered generator to blow up an inflattable something. As the rickity generator was shaking and blechtating back and forth I just asked, "green, like this is?" pointing to the gas powered machine (maybe two stroke?) The guy smiled, and seemed to acknowledge the uncertainty in his zealotry.

Most people are pretty nice if you approach them with humor and honesty.

Telling them to fuck off will, I believe, only steel them to further criticicm.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:56 PM on November 24, 2005

Response by poster: I don't meet Larouchies-- I live in Canada-- but I do enjoy treating the odd mormon like a freak from hell time bomb.

Hey, I live in Australia...and I saw Larouchies when I was in Montreal earlier this year. They have gone international.
posted by Jimbob at 9:00 PM on November 24, 2005

When they come up to my girlfriend on campus, she always looks at them with a deadpan expression and asks, "Now, is it true that Dick Cheney is an alien?".

I don't think this works, but she gets a fair amount of pleasure from it.
posted by rossination at 9:44 PM on November 24, 2005

they're still at it? ... they were at it 30 years ago

i wouldn't bother with them ... although if you were to act crazy ... you know, talk about the cia listening to your brainwaves and such ... that could be amusing, i guess
posted by pyramid termite at 10:55 PM on November 24, 2005

I always try to give them an answer that is completely obtuse to whatever is being offered. It stuns them just long enough for me to escape unharmed.

* Accepted Christ as your personal savior? No thanks, I already receive the Wall Street Journal.

* Sign up for a free Visa Card? Really, I just had a burger, not hungry, thanks.

* Sign this petition? Have you seen a lost schnauzer? Grey, answers to "Buddy?"
posted by frogan at 11:16 PM on November 24, 2005 [1 favorite]

You can try confusing them, which buys you time to walk away. I get attacked by various campus groups trying to recruit me, and I usually respond with nonsense (e.g. "Join this fraternity!" "Sorry, I'm vegetarian").
posted by spiderskull at 11:30 PM on November 24, 2005

This is pretty obscure, but if you really want to get to them give them this quote from Frobenius:
Euler gave the most algebraic of the proofs of the existence of the roots of an equation, the one which is based on the proposition that every real equation of odd degree has a real root. I regard it as unjust to ascribe this proof exclusively to Gauss, who merely added the finishing touches.
They have some bizzarro thing with worshipping Gauss and for some reason like to refer to Euler and Newton as "sophists." As a (wannabe) mathematician I also find it incredibly funny that LaRouche claims to have co-written a paper with Riemann, who died over a century ago and is considered by many to be the greatest mathematician who ever lived.
posted by Astragalus at 1:29 AM on November 25, 2005

As an aside. If you've ever been slightly interested in "Street Magic" or Mind Reading tricks and so on, but you've never had the nerve to practice on real people, you should see it as an opportunity...

Them: "how are we going to stop Bush?"
You: "I want you to think of a card, clear your mind, got one? Good, Two of Diamonds? Oh... Queen of Hearts? Ace of Spades? No? Nevermind, here watch this fork..."

Of course you'll need to start carrying around a fork with you at all time, so YMMV.
posted by RevDanCatt at 3:33 AM on November 25, 2005

I'm going to agree on the molasses point. I tried once to screw with LaRoche people by asking if he was in favor of letting cousins marry. I thought I'd get all high-and-mighty and accuse him of not trully standing for the little guy until he recognized our God-given right to marry our cousins. The leafletter just deadpanned "Guy, I'm just doing my thing" and ignored me.

Screwing with evangelicals or telemarketers often makes for great speculation and story-telling, but in real life is often just depressing.
posted by allen.spaulding at 6:04 AM on November 25, 2005

They have gone international.

Yeah, but their coverage is extremely spotty. Coming from DC I'm familiar with the name (his compound is in the suburbs there somewhere), but never come across his cult out here in California. And speaking of the name, is there some reason y'all are dropping the "u"? It's key to the pronunciation.
posted by Rash at 10:30 AM on November 25, 2005

Best answer: I was a very commited activist for many years in Chicago, and had a whole mess of run-ins with the Sparticists (the crazy Stalinist LaRouche-ies of the left wing) on a regular basis. I finally found the best way to get them to leave me the hell alone was to pretend to be crazy. I mean, batshit insane crazy -- I'd look at one of them with some intense, unblinking stare, snarl some goofy non-sequitur through clenched teeth ("they say pork is the other white meat -- how do you think that makes chicken feel?!"), and then give a little twitch.

Worked like a charm.
posted by scody at 8:22 PM on November 25, 2005 [1 favorite]

No luck, Rash - unless I'm mixing up my crazies, there's a pretty regular group of LaRouche acolytes who hang around the UCLA campus and try to pass out written materials. Unfortunately I've never witnessed any passerby reaction more interesting than silence and some eye-rolling.

I like that line about Dick Cheney, though.
posted by brookedel at 3:32 AM on November 26, 2005

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