Midnight Cricket Showdown

Midnight Cricket Showdown Trophy

I don’t actually know what cricket is or why you have to play it with a fraternity’s hazing paddle, but am glad that it’s finally being used to liberate the struggling proles from their nefarious capitalist oppressors. It’s about damn time.

In the Space Hijackers 4th Midnight Cricket match, the Anarchists battled the Capitalists for sports superiority at the historic Paternoster Square pitch and emerged victorious. In fact the Capitalist team has lost all four matches thus far, though there is no word on whether they will be changing their name to the Washington Generals. A full summary of the evening’s activities is here.

The whole Space Hijackers idea — using political theater and culture jamming to radicalize people and build community — is brilliant and should be happening in every city. It changes the lived experience of politics for activist types (as organizing can be pretty boring/irritating) making it more livable for this involved and more appealing to those not. In that it subverts how our public space is intended to be used, it gives people a glimpse of a more liberated world, which is intoxicating. Hopefully, it also makes people more open to radical politics and pushes them towards reorganizing their lives along democratic lines.

The last effect is hard to show — I’ve never met anyone who said they became antiwar specifically because of political theater. Former SDS prez and movement scholar Todd Gitlin critiqued politics that was not issue-based very persuasively (though I have source amnesia), and for a long time I was convinced. However, I’m a bit older now and I have seen people’s politics evolve, and it seems there is rarely one pivotal moment. Retroactively one may identify an evil policy (the continuing disaster that it is the Iraq War for example) that led to the change, but even then there are many conversations, news reports, and articles at work. In that context, a fake subway-expansion sign becomes one more data point in a person’s internal political debate.

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