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CLASH OF THE TITANS FOR PARTY SUPREMACY I

The task of creating a p

An incredible menagerie has been assembled to entertain the masses and strike fear into the black hearts of the enemies of  the beast Rhinoceros. Alas, with the exception of Stalin, not one of them could pass the political aptitude test the Montreal Rhinos threatened. Thus it is left to Stalin and Zilla to define exactly what the Gnu Rhinos are (and are not) to be.

The task of creating a philosophical, ideological foundation for a new splinter party is the kind of heavy lifting usually left to brainiacs, not entrusted to a guy dressed as Joseph Stalin and another who rollerblades around town in a pathetic, tattered Godzilla costume. How the Hell are these two hollow-legged ne’er-do-wells going to come up with some kind of plan that will defy the odds and keep Rhinocerosism alive, against the will of the illegitimate and unworthy leaders of the state, a state with almost infinite resources, who are so determined to wipe out the still-in-its-infancy philosophy that they are willing to rape the constitution? Huh? Come on, that’s not a rhetorical question.

Okay, listen: the answer lies in what Hunter S Thompson said at The Bench on the night he and the Spaceman swept Super Tuesday in ‘88 – “Fucked if I know but ain’t nothing a Wild Turkey can’t figure out!”

Every political party ever conceived has developed the twisted psychology and strategies they would use to bamboozle voters during all-night-long marathon debates fuelled by some manner of fermented or distilled beverages. What? Don’t believe that? Go ahead and examine the ample evidence and then come back and deny that unassailable charge. How else can you answer the eternal question – what the Hell were they thinking?

Fortunately, Stalin happens to be the bar manager of a bizarre East Van watering hole known as the WISE Club (no, no, that’s not the MENSA clubhouse – Wales Ireland Scotland England). In reality, The WISE is (or at least was at the time) a second living room for a hodge-podge of East Van’s strangest characters – communists, anarchists, drug fiends, drunks, intellectual perverts, sexual perverts, tool-belt lesbians, actors, posers, artists, artistes and numerous other weary-of-the-world weirdos).

It has become apparent to Zilla that Stalin has been studiously studying his hero Uncle Joe, and the lizard is a little leery that his friend may be taking it all a bit too seriously and lusting for power. Zilla has had enough of power-mad, wannabe tyrants, thank you very much. Thus he enters the first negotiating session with one absolute – anarchy shall reign supreme. Having listened to Zilla speak his peace, Stalin sips from his pint glass of Stoli and ponders. Like his namesake, he understands that anarchists are nothing but trouble. “Anarchists are nothing but trouble,” he says, matter-of-factly. “History has proven that again and again. The only good anarchist is a dead anarchist, comrade Zilla. Surely you can see that. Death to the anarchists!”

Zilla sips from his pint glass of Finlandia and ponders. He notices the ice-axe that Stalin is pawing under the table, puts on his hockey helmet and replies, “Fuck you, you fuckin’ fascist scumbag!” There’s no point wasting any time negotiating with Stalin… unless he’s refilling that pint glass of Finlandia, that is. Fortunately, Zilla’s glass is still more than half full and he goes on the offensive, ”Let’s get one thing straight – I’m the fuckin’ leader of this operation.”

“Fuck you, you fuckin’ fascist scumbag hypocrite! You want to be the leader of Anarchy Inc? What the fuck?”

Well, there’s no arguing with that, is there? Stalin is delighted with his strike. He has struck a thunderous blow, but it is not devastating, and Stalin is a little too pleased with himself for his own good. Instead of striking again, Stalin smiles and congratulates himself on his cleverness by taking a long pull on his Stoli. Zilla seizes the moment. He smiles. Stalin cringes. He knows a knockout blow is coming but, swimming in a sea of vodka, his mind cannot load up and fire again before Zilla says, “You’re right, of course. There can be no leader of this party. Therefore, I shall be the ‘leader-schmeader’ of the Gnu Rhinos.”

Stalin spits his mouthful of Stoli across the table, blinding Zilla, who instantaneously recalls Stalin’s favourite Stalin quote – “Damn their eyes,” – and fears that Stalin is reaching for the ice-axe. But no! Stalin is laughing his ass off. The vodka-in-the-eye attack was accidental. Stalin simply could not keep himself from literally spitting up laughing at Zilla’s brilliant counter-strike.

As Zilla writhes in agony Stalin capitulates, “Okay, comrade Zilla, you are the leader-schmeader.”

“No no, comrade… I am the leader-schmeader for life.”

“I see. So I can never be the leader-schmeader so long as you are alive?”

Hmmm. Hmmm. Ice-axe, ice-axe. Trotsky, Trotsky. “Well… we can take turns.”

“Agreed. I shall be your loyal left-hand man, then?”

That settled, they move on to other matters of great import, such as where the Hell they can score some decent Peruvian marching powder at 5:30 in the morning. After placing several calls, with no luck, Zilla throws a Hail Mary pass to the end zone by calling Ruff Tuff Duff Duff. The grasslander is of no help but listens attentively to an update before saying, “Excellent! The torch is now in your hands. Sally forth and burn the rot to the ground! Now, leave me alone and let me sleep, you fuckin’ lunatic.”

Stalin and Zilla decide they have done enough to save the world from the forces of evil for one night and pack it in. Anarchy will reign supreme. There will be no need for long, drawn-out debates on the finer points of party ideology. Stalin curls up on a couch and Zilla retreats to his hovel to see what fresh hippie Hell has washed in on the tide from Clayoquot Summer to stink up his couches and ring up his phone bill.

hilosophical, ideological foundation for a new splinter party is the kind of heavy lifting usually left to brainiacs, not entrusted to a guy dressed as Joseph Stalin and another who rollerblades around town in a pathetic, tattered Godzilla costume. How the Hell are these two hollow-legged ne’er-do-wells going to come up with some kind of plan that will defy the odds and keep Rhinocerosism alive, against the will of the illegitimate and unworthy leaders of the state, a state with almost infinite resources, who are so determined to wipe out the still-in-its-infancy philosophy that they are willing to rape the constitution? Huh? Come on, that’s not a rhetorical question.

Okay, listen: the answer lies in what Hunter S Thompson said at The Bench on the night he and the Spaceman swept Super Tuesday in ‘88 – “Fucked if I know but ain’t nothing a Wild Turkey can’t figure out!”

Every political party ever conceived has developed the twisted psychology and strategies they would use to bamboozle voters during all-night-long marathon debates fuelled by some manner of fermented or distilled beverages. What? Don’t believe that? Go ahead and examine the ample evidence and then come back and deny that unassailable charge. How else can you answer the eternal question – what the Hell were they thinking?

Fortunately, Stalin happens to be the bar manager of a bizarre East Van watering hole known as the WISE Club (no, no, that’s not the MENSA clubhouse – Wales Ireland Scotland England). In reality, The WISE is (or at least was at the time) a second living room for a hodge-podge of East Van’s strangest characters – communists, anarchists, drug fiends, drunks, intellectual perverts, sexual perverts, tool-belt lesbians, actors, posers, artists, artistes and numerous other weary-of-the-world weirdos).

It has become apparent to Zilla that Stalin has been studiously studying his hero Uncle Joe, and the lizard is a little leery that his friend may be taking it all a bit too seriously and lusting for power. Zilla has had enough of power-mad, wannabe tyrants, thank you very much. Thus he enters the first negotiating session with one absolute – anarchy shall reign supreme. Having listened to Zilla speak his peace, Stalin sips from his pint glass of Stoli and ponders. Like his namesake, he understands that anarchists are nothing but trouble. “Anarchists are nothing but trouble,” he says, matter-of-factly. “History has proven that again and again. The only good anarchist is a dead anarchist, comrade Zilla. Surely you can see that. Death to the anarchists!”

Zilla sips from his pint glass of Finlandia and ponders. He notices the ice-axe that Stalin is pawing under the table, puts on his hockey helmet and replies, “Fuck you, you fuckin’ fascist scumbag!” There’s no point wasting any time negotiating with Stalin… unless he’s refilling that pint glass of Finlandia, that is. Fortunately, Zilla’s glass is still more than half full and he goes on the offensive, ”Let’s get one thing straight – I’m the fuckin’ leader of this operation.”

“Fuck you, you fuckin’ fascist scumbag hypocrite! You want to be the leader of Anarchy Inc? What the fuck?”

Well, there’s no arguing with that, is there? Stalin is delighted with his strike. He has struck a thunderous blow, but it is not devastating, and Stalin is a little too pleased with himself for his own good. Instead of striking again, Stalin smiles and congratulates himself on his cleverness by taking a long pull on his Stoli. Zilla seizes the moment. He smiles. Stalin cringes. He knows a knockout blow is coming but, swimming in a sea of vodka, his mind cannot load up and fire again before Zilla says, “You’re right, of course. There can be no leader of this party. Therefore, I shall be the ‘leader-schmeader’ of the Gnu Rhinos.”

Stalin spits his mouthful of Stoli across the table, blinding Zilla, who instantaneously recalls Stalin’s favourite Stalin quote – “Damn their eyes,” – and fears that Stalin is reaching for the ice-axe. But no! Stalin is laughing his ass off. The vodka-in-the-eye attack was accidental. Stalin simply could not keep himself from literally spitting up laughing at Zilla’s brilliant counter-strike.

As Zilla writhes in agony Stalin capitulates, “Okay, comrade Zilla, you are the leader-schmeader.”

“No no, comrade… I am the leader-schmeader for life.”

“I see. So I can never be the leader-schmeader so long as you are alive?”

Hmmm. Hmmm. Ice-axe, ice-axe. Trotsky, Trotsky. “Well… we can take turns.”

“Agreed. I shall be your loyal left-hand man, then?”

That settled, they move on to other matters of great import, such as where the Hell they can score some decent Peruvian marching powder at 5:30 in the morning. After placing several calls, with no luck, Zilla throws a Hail Mary pass to the end zone by calling Ruff Tuff Duff Duff. The grasslander is of no help but listens attentively to an update before saying, “Excellent! The torch is now in your hands. Sally forth and burn the rot to the ground! Now, leave me alone and let me sleep, you fuckin’ lunatic.”

Stalin and Zilla decide they have done enough to save the world from the forces of evil for one night and pack it in. Anarchy will reign supreme. There will be no need for long, drawn-out debates on the finer points of party ideology. Stalin curls up on a couch and Zilla retreats to his hovel to see what fresh hippie Hell has washed in on the tide from Clayoquot Summer to stink up his couches and ring up his phone bill.

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