Sparrow for Prez 2012: Exclusive interview

About the video:

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Sparrow is a poet who has run for President the last 5 election cycles — beginning in 1992. In 1996 he ran as a revolutionary communist within the structure of the Republican Party and wrote a book about it, “Republican Like Me”.

This video is an interview taped on New Year’s Day 2011 at The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s in New York City. It includes thoughts on: Sudoku; postage stamps; Wavy Gravy and Nobody for President; and various third parties.

Interviewer/Director: Kimberly Wilder.
Key Grip: Ian Wilder.

You can find out more about The Poetry Project and its programs at www.poetryproject.org.

16 thoughts on “Sparrow for Prez 2012: Exclusive interview

  1. Question

    Did he ever appear on the ballot anywhere?

    Did he ever get a verified vote?

    I could say I’m running for President every 4 years, but if I don’t do anything with it, then who cares?

  2. Chipfrommd

    Question, I was wondering the same thing–I went back through the US electoral atlas for 2008, 2004, 2000, and 1992 (he said in 96 he ran as a Republican) and could not find a single vote for him, unless he was a write-in candidate which strikes me as a strong possibility.

  3. Kimberly Wilder

    I understand that since IPR here is a very pointed, political website, people’s first inclination is to study an article or candidate with a traditional, political paradigm.

    Perhaps there is even a tendency to want to judge a candidate’s political worthiness, or dismiss someone quickly if they have different, political values. It is partly because we swim in serious waters, circling around the magnet of genuine, political power.

    Though, Sparrow’s candidacy, and my video, belongs to a different energy. It is about something different than a candidate striving to be elected.

    It is more of an interesting way to look at the political process. It is taking ideas such as political slogans and party labels, and even “third party candidates”, and examining them in a fresh way by using them in an art experience.

    As I watched the video, I thought of the parallels between Sparrow’s efforts and those of Nader. I thought about how there were some similarities and some differences.

    I love the part where Sparrow says that he ran with so many third parties, he doesn’t remember them all.

    What loyalty does a candidate owe to a third party?

    When someone creates a party name merely to make a line to run on, is that party valid? useful? real? Or, is it merely a slogan, which will become but a memory.

    That is how I read the video.

    I learned a lot from interviewing Sparrow, and also from studying his website.

    Sincerely,
    Kimberly Wilder

    P.S. I hope someone who “got the joke” — or the lesson — will consider posting a comment.

  4. Kimberly Wilder

    New Federalist…

    A story that is close to yours…

    In one of Sparrows videos from 2008, he notes that a bird, which may have been a pigeon or sparrow, plopped on George Bush’s head.

    Sparrow the poet/candidate took that as a sign.

    😉
    Kimberly

  5. NewFederalist

    The sign being that the president was/is a “shithead”? OR… bomb only others as you would have others bomb you. 😉

  6. Michael Cavlan RN

    Kim

    I think you will REALLY appreciate this.

    In the last (s)election in Minneapolis, there was a very unusual candidate and campaign.

    Rich Stanek was running to be re-elected for Sheriff of Hennepin County in Minnesota. He was running unopposed. As an aside Stanek had been one of the local architects of the state repression that happened here during the RNC in 2008. Or at least he was planning to run unopposed..

    Kitten filled out the paperwork and filed to run.
    Kitten was a stuffed toy kitten.

    Kitten ran a full fledged campaign. Kitten had buttons, Kitten attempted to engage Sheriff Stanek in debates a number of times. Kitten was cute. Kitten had a facebook site.

    Kitten was denied the right to run on the ballot. There were cries of anti-toy animal bigotry. Kitten became a write in candidate.

    Kitten’s campaign manager was Melissa Hill, who had run for City Council under the Civil Disobedience ticket. As an aside, Melissa received 15% of the vote.

    I met Kitten and fell in love with Kitten. I proudly endorsed Kitten during one of my Press Conferences. I was the only candidate to endorse Kitten For Sheriff. Needless to say there was no corporate or local “progressive” media present at the Press Conference (located in the MN State Capitol).

    Kitten got almost 5% of the vote. I received 1%.

    Kitten was cuter than I was.

    Actual true story. Google it, see Kitten and understand why I endorsed Kitten.

    Grin

  7. Catholic Trotskyist

    I disagree with Kimberley and Michael a lot, but I agree with them about this article. I appreciate the energy and new paradigm of Sparrow, and even if he has only been able to be a write-in candidate so far, he contributes a lot to the political process. The Catholic Trotskyist Party is trying to operate on a similar paradigm, even though we haven’t always been good at showing it because of our inexperience and tendency towards passionate outbursts. I hope that Sparrow and the catholic Trotskyist Party can work together sometime.

  8. Catholic Trotskyist

    The problem with animal candidates like Kitten, is that everyone knows that they are being controlled by a group of people. If Kitten had won the sheriff’s race, whoever was his human representative would really be doing all the work. So we have to ask; are the human representatives of these candidates trustworthy?

    I know there was also an effort 5 or 10 years ago to run a ficus plant for Congress, with plans for a presidential campaign.

  9. Kimberly Wilder

    Catholic Trotskyist: Thanks for your messages. I especially enjoyed #12.

    I usually only see Sparrow once a year. But, if I remember next year, I will be sure to suggest to him the opportunity of working with the Catholic Trostkyist Party.

    😉
    Kimberly

  10. paulie

    a bird, which may have been a pigeon or sparrow, plopped on George Bush’s head.

    One of my favorite memories from the USSR: a pigeon shitting on a statue of Lenin as our hapless school field trip guide praised his achievements.

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