While Mitt is the campaign film that has been getting all of the press, a lesser-known candidate also received a documentary as a consolation prize for their efforts: Vermin Supreme.
Known to outsiders as "the crazy guy who wears a boot on his head" or "the candidate who promises a free pony for every American", it turns out there is a lot more to the story than the viral videos on YouTube let on.
Vermin Supreme has been an activist and perennial candidate for numerous offices under every mainstream political party going back decades. With roots in the hippie counterculture movement, the film traces his background as a high school pothead and college art student through to the present day, where he lives a hermit lifestyle in the woods of rural Massachusetts. Part performance artist, part protester, Vermin Supreme occasionally descends from his hobbit hole on cross-country skis in a wizard-like costume to lampoon the democratic process.
John McCain. Mitt Romney. President Obama. No politician is spared from the craziness Vermin Supreme unleashes in his 2012 campaign. With a loyal band of occupiers, Ron Paul fans, and other creative people, Vermin Supreme's campaign is revealed in the film to be a crazy whirlwind tour of activity through every town square in the country. At nearly every location documented by the film, the local police, generally clad in riot gear, also make an appearance to shoo Vermin and his megaphone away.
Throughout the film, Vermin emphasizes that his ideas have a real constituency and that his campaign represents a pushback against the erosion of civil liberties. He is joined in some of his adventures by other third party candidates, such as Jimmy McMillan (“The Rent is Too Damn High”). Jill Stein of the Green Party also makes an appearance. Vermin frequently discusses how these disparate radical viewpoints can be united by their love of freedom and disdain for the mainstream viewpoints on important issues. In Vermin's mind, these seem to be not healthcare or social issues, but America's violent foreign policy, the destruction of the environment, and an economy which often seems like a Ponzi scheme. The director of Who Is Vermin Supreme? An Outsider Odyssey explained the importance of documenting their protests by saying that, "Vermin Supreme's ingenuitive antics make it clear that wit and comedy have a lot more potential to change hearts and minds than even a well delivered logical argument has."
The film reaches its climax as Vermin Supreme enters the inauguration ceremony in January 2013 with his characteristic outfit and uses a megaphone to shout "President Obama! Stop the drones! Stop killing American Citizens! NDAA!" into the crowd as marching bands and a parade pass by the stands. As might be expected, he is escorted away from the event and told to leave.
Vermin Supreme has no plans to leave our imaginations so soon, however. He says he is running for President again in 2016. The revelation of a sophisticated domestic spying program at the NSA makes it seem more necessary than ever to have a candidate fighting back against the erosion of privacy and civil liberties, and we can be sure that Vermin Supreme and his followers will attempt to make the mainstream candidates answer for it in 2016.
This article was conceived and written by Ice. Stay frosty.
For more information about the Vermin Supreme documentary, visit www.whoisverminsupreme.com