This article originally appeared on VICE UK.
In the end, the baby Trump blimp is airborne, and it turns out it's not very big at all—small enough, in fact, to make you wonder if its real genius was generating so many column inches and galaxy-brain takes on its significance. Lighten up, guys: It's just a blimp at a protest—basically a placard with a bit more buoyancy, really no need to have a protracted national debate over it.
Okay fine, time for one more: the blimp debate and the protests against Trump are an important moment in the culture war. With YouTube shock jockeys bursting the bubble of oversensitive wokeists, the right has recently managed to position itself as the new "counterculture." The mantle which the left used to hold by railing against patriarchy and injustice has been picked up by reactionaries, as attempting not to be a sexist, racist prick has become more mainstream. Battles against oppression are hardly over, but what used to count as counter-cultural insurgency has become normalized in the centers of cultural production. So now you have a ton of neckbeards thinking they're anti-establishment punks.
This is ironic, considering that by welcoming their hero, the right has become part of the welcoming committee for Trump, siding with the British state—the opposite of counterculture—which has laid on a pageant of military marching bands and spent millions on a policing operation.
With a sentient piñata of the world’s evil coming to be feted by our government, the Trump tour has been a chance for the left to reclaim its iconoclastic edge. We sent photographer Orlando Gili down to the protest today to capture some of the best middle fingers to Trump.
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