A couple of days ago, AnnArbor.com ran a story about the Occupy actions planned for Black Friday. I was quoted in the piece, as I’d announced that my friend Jeff and I would be walking around Ypsi with signs, in solidarity with the folks in Ann Arbor and Detroit, who were going into big box retails stores, and spreading the gospel of the Occupy Wall Street movement. At some point on Friday, I started getting calls from AnnArbor.com readers, asking if I’d been beaten up… It seems as though someone left a comment on the site, saying that “Maynard” had been punched in a parking lot. As I had been the only Maynard referenced prior to that, people obviously assumed that it had been me. Here’s the comment that was left by someone calling himself Inside The Hall.
My first thought was that the comment must have been left by someone who was just practicing a little positive visualization, imagining me to have been beaten to a pulp by a gang of self-professed patriots. (By the way, I’m not sure which Sons of America are supposed to have beaten me. Was it the Patriotic Order Sons of America, the Confederate Sons of America, or American Son? It makes a difference. One is a group in Texas that would like to have the Confederate flag on their license plates, and another is a five-issue Spider-Man story arc written by Joe Kelly for Marvel Comics.) Of course, it’s also possible that there was another Maynard that was punched in the nose on Black Friday. I know of at least one other Mark Maynard who lives here in the area. I’ve never met him, but, from what I’m told, he hangs out at the Corner Brewery, hoping to talk with my about something. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but, now that I’ve heard from three people that he’s approached them, and asked about me, I’m kind of getting freaked out. (As a result, I’ve taken to drinking alone, in my garage.) Anyway, I suppose it’s possible that these license plate activists from Texas could have found him walking into Wal-Mart on Friday morning, and punched him in the nose. I’d feel terrible if that were the case. I feel bad enough knowing that I took this URL – I’d really start feeling like shit if Texans, or, for that matter, stacks of Spider-Man comics, started hunting down other Mark Maynards and breaking their noses, especially if they have delicate, little noses, like me.
And, here, should anyone still think that my nose was being punched in the Wal-Mart parking lot on Friday morning, is a photo of me taken here in Ypsi at 2:00 PM, with my friend Jeff and his daughter. As for my sign, it didn’t work out quite the way I’d wanted it to, but I guess that’s to be expected when you put the sign-making off until just 15 minutes before the march. (Linette had recycled my signs from the last march.) I don’t know if you can tell, but it’s supposed to be a can of pepper spray, spraying out the word “Democracy,” which, by the way, is a longer word than I’d bargained for. I’m not sure what the message was supposed to be, but, like I said, I didn’t put a lot of thought into it. I was going to have it say, “Remove the Blood Funnel Friday,” in answer to “Black Friday,” but Linette talked me out of it. She didn’t think that anyone would get the blood funnel reference. The other side of this sign was better. It just says, “Best Buy / Worst Choice… shop local.” As for our little march around town, it went very well. We had about a dozen people show up for it, including an esteemed professor of Marxist history… And no one was hit. One cop did roll up and talk to us, but he was nice. [note: It's hard to get national press for your movement when your cops aren't assholes.] Anyway, if you didn’t show up, you missed a very pleasant afternoon, strolling though Ypsi, not punching me in the face.