Editor’s Note: Sometimes we don’t talk about music. This is one of those times.
- A 45 foot fall escaping police after an odd interview in a parking lot of NBC 13. There’s a great moment 6:50 in this video when the reporter lets him know it says “honorary” on it. The last two or three minutes are really worth watching.
- Thousands of kids in some sort of fugue state.
- Wrapped Chevy Tahoes.
- Merchandise, oh, the merchandise.
- Comparing a guy who either did or didn’t impersonate a Sheriff’s Deputy twice to Martin Luther King.
- The divergent and yet endlessly entertaining #freepitt hashtag.
- The odd crusade against J.T. Smallwood, the tax collector of Jefferson County.
Look at those links. Look at all of this. This has been occurring in my city. The city where I go to dog parks far too much, drink beer at Parkside, see a show at Bottletree. That’s my world. But as I putter down 459 every morning to work, someone is receiving orders for hundreds of Free Pitt shirts. Someone is organizing protests. Someone is outraged!
The thing that stands out to me, and it’s not too original of a thought, is that at some point this year, Matt Pitt became more important than anything else these guys are doing. Maybe they are doing some good. I’m not really a religious person anymore, and I could spend plenty of this space talking about the bad part of Christianity. But there’s a good part too. For every Westboro Baptist, there’s a Christian Service Mission. There are values I got from growing up in a church that I’m glad I have- but there are plenty that I’m glad I shed.
But that’s not what’s going on now. Now it is about the oppression of Matt Pitt. This poor man was messing around behind a townhouse in Grayson Valley with rifles and 4-wheelers, and then told someone he was a Deputy. This is, of course, after pleading guilty to doing the same thing. So we are now to equate his struggle with civil rights movement. You can look at the “evidence” here.
I’m not buying it. You’re probably not buying it. That’s ok though. We’re not the target audience. The kids. The kids who don’t know any better. If you’re 17 years old, and you’ve had an amazing experience at The Basement, then why not buy in? Being part of a movement is exciting. I have a #FreeUAB shirt because for like 3 weeks I thought it would work.
But there’s a problem. See that #freepitt twitter search I shared up there? The night we find out the injustice that has been thrust upon dear Matt, it’s not trending in Birmingham. And a very healthy amount of the tweets with #freepitt are not supportive. I dare say they are mocking it. Let’s check out the Awareness Tour. Notice the amount of people from the start to the finish. There are not thousands of indignant kids. #FreePitt’s latest stop in Montgomery had about 15 people. His Facebook page seems to be more of the same. Most of the posts have 2, sometimes 3 comments. The righteous indignation just isn’t there. I can imagine the boxes of unsold t-shirts are, though. I think despite their success with The Basement (and it’s undeniable), this movement is doomed. Doomed like the on-campus stadium they aren’t constructing right now. Doomed by indifference. These two aren’t the same- but I’m pretty sure they are going to have the same result.
So please, free Matt Pitt. After he’s served 10 more months. And then, please Matt, I beg of you, get in front of a camera. I can’t wait.