Stacey Campfield, BallBuster Supreme

Aquarian Weekly 10/5/05 REALITY CHECK


Stacey CampfieldI am interested in anything about revolt, disorder, chaos – especially activity that seems to have no meaning. It seems to me to be the road toward freedom. – Jim Morrison

I have a new hero. His name is Stacey Campfield, a Republican lawmaker from the state of Tennessee. Campfield is a major league ballbuster. Coming as no shock to the readers of this space, ballbusting, especially world-class ballbusting, is one of my favorite past times. Some might dub it a hobby of sorts. I consider it more a way of life than a hobby or past time really, a religion, you might say. But ballbusting has become something of a crusade for Campfield, who has boldly taken to petitioning the state’s Black Caucus for inclusion. Campfield, you see, is white. Very white. Very southern white. His blog states emphatically that he loves the Bible and cites his favorite activities as karate, scuba diving, real estate and fencing. He left out mayonnaise and the Gap.

Okay, so Campfield is a blonde blue-eyed WASP, who just happens to want to join the Black Caucus in Knoxville. What’s the big deal?

Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Johnny Shaw, lacking a keen sense of irony, has described Campfield as an oddball, crazy, and a racist, and strongly believes he just “wants to mess with somebody”. You can’t blame Shaw for not warming to Campfield’s high jinks. He’s an African American from Tennessee. He deals with enough shit. Not to mention that Shaw is old enough to chair a caucus, so he likely remembers when he was prohibited from eating at the same local diner as guys like Campfield.

For his part Campfield argues that when he endeavored to procure information on how the group spends its money and, failing this, obtain a list of its bylaws, a labor he insists was born of curiosity, he was refused. He had to be a member, Shaw told him. So he applied for membership, but was summarily denied, because, get this – he’s white!

That’s when Campfield decided to play the race card too. He did so by offering the KKK’s bylaws as being fairer than the Black Caucus.

This brand of homespun wackiness gets you national press.

“My understanding is that the KKK doesn’t even ban members by race,” Campfield told AP reporter Matt Gouras, adding that the KKK “has less racist bylaws” than the black lawmakers’ group.

By even top-level ballbusting standards, this is atomic. You must stand in awe of this guy. This shames even Ann Coulter and Michael Moore style antics.

By even top-level ballbusting standards, this is atomic. You must stand in awe of this guy. This shames even Ann Coulter and Michael Moore style antics.

Back on planet earth, the embattled Black Caucus bylaws begin with a simple refrain: “The regular membership shall consist of those black elected officials serving in the state Senate and House of Representatives.”

This was apparently not good enough for Campfield, nor should it be good enough for any worthwhile ballbuster. The ballbuster hopes, even prays, for boundaries and hurdles impeding the ball-bust salvo. This way it looks like the ballbuster is truly “working it”. I myself find such vagaries as logic, law, or the odd outcry an added pleasure to the ballbusting. The best of the best ballbusters had their own hindrances: Socrates, Jesus, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Gandhi, Alice Paul, Edward R. Murrow, Bobby Seale, Lenny Bruce to name a few. But they rose above them and made history.

It is unlikely Mr. Campfield’s story will survive the next hurricane watch or Bush Administration blunder, but, for now, it is making enough noise to warrant space here.

As a matter of habit or mental crudeness, I have always enjoyed those who wish to horn in on traditional parameters for social upheaval. For instance, the Gay Pride set who insist on marching as gay Irishmen in the St. Paddy’s Day Parade. I always figured parades for all-inclusive festivities, albeit silly ones, but then the city of New York banned these potential revelers from marching as gays, not merely Irishmen, just gays.

Then there are those interesting theologians, who wish to combine personal beliefs with the stringent parameters of the Catholic Church, like giddy pro-choicers who wish to keep posing as Catholic.

And the meaningless anti-activity doesn’t have to express social commentary. I especially love vegetarians who eat fish and dieters who scarf loads of low-cal cookies. What about federal emergency departments that ignore emergencies? That’s a good one.

Anyway, you get my drift.

But I pain to demean Campfield’s efforts to merely better shine a light on exclusionary tactics, or the semantics of law. For instance, boys wanting to join the Girl Scouts or vice versa, Jews allowed to golf in gentile-only country clubs or ten year old girls playing in the NFL. His is a grander stand.

As a conservative from the south, I bet he also protests the idea that school prayer and religious symbolism might exclude the sensibilities of citizens who may not worship. He probably thinks the erosion of the God thing in American society a devaluation of his rights and morals. But that can’t be right, because then he would be a hypocrite, and, again, as any reader of this space knows, we don’t suffer those gladly.

Of course, I could be wrong about Campfield. Maybe he seriously wants to participate in the Black Caucus. I fear he will face the same flack I received from the Sussex County Chapter of the Wicca Society. But I doubt it. Witches tend to make rashes appear on sensitive places and speak oddly about your aura. You do not want to ball bust witches.

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