Knowing the Voltron

The Voltron roves across Twitter, a crude accretion of grift, bruised egos and begrudgery. It’s a doddering thing, infant-like in its tendencies and possessing the sort of mega arrogance that naturally attends a coming together of con-artists who’ve all somehow managed to never really get caught at their game. Now it wears a clergy collar, but don’t mistake it as worshipping anything other than its own reputation, its own renown. It never has and it never will.

See it go off ravenously in search of more timelines. That’s all it wants—more timelines, more things on which to make its horrible, hateful noise. And that is, in essence, all the Voltron really is: just noise. It’s a kind of squawking. Block it. Don’t block it. Report it. Or don’t. It doesn’t matter. It won’t ever go away. But the fact that it won’t go away also doesn’t really matter, because the Voltron operates under the grand delusion that a growing chorus of voices all chanting “Trash!” at an idea can actually result in that idea’s death.

Think about that for just a second. Imagine what you must indulge in yourself in order to think that you can kill an idea on Twitter. We live in a world that saw fascism—another idea—survive a war that wiped out three per cent of the global population, but these people think they’re going to kill an idea that actually seeks to heal a people by blue checking it to death? By RTing each other?

See the witless vultures circling the Voltron’s head. See around its feet a pack of simpering imbeciles. See it dragging behind it a limp, barely alive thing, an absolutely miserable record of real world accomplishments. It trails the Voltron as it roams Twitter like a tantrum-prone child possessively clutching its blanket. It loves its blanket. See the prelate, the Voltron’s latest component, hold it up by its tatters and shake it angrily when someone from #ADOS challenges him. ‘Look! We sued Alabama last year!’ ‘We sued Myrtle Beach last year!’ ‘We sued Prince George’s County last year!’ What—he asks with absolutely dripping contempt—has #ADOS accomplished? In fact, last month, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals “agreed with the State of Alabama that the plaintiffs had no standing to sue the Attorney General over their complaints about Alabama’s minimum wage law.” Last week it was reported that the Prince George’s case awaits hearing in another appellate court with what seems equally dim prospects for success. The Myrtle Beach thing is the third iteration of a case that has languished in defeat since 2018. These are less ‘wins’ than windows into what awaits black America without—as Yvette Carnell has said—“chang[ing] the discourse that’s going to be in court,” and the economic power to actually back and protect the group’s ostensible rights. And that’s the thing that #ADOS has, over the past three years, done more to meaningfully advance than the Voltron has done in several decades.

What’s blindingly apparent is that the Voltron has nothing whatsoever to offer in the way of a better alternative as a response to the very real crisis that confronts ADOS in 2020. It offers them nothing unique. Nothing that actually penetrates. Nothing true. Only an insistence upon the old, ossified forms that no longer fit in the world, at least not right now. And right now is all that can possibly matter to ADOS. It insists on selling them a soil that is incapable of supporting new growth. And when you dare to point that out to the Voltron, its face floods a kind of indignant crimson and its mouth starts to froth. It fumes bitterly and eventually it calls you trash. There. That’s your alternative.

The Voltron is what manifests when those old forms are under threat. It’s what emerges in response to a situation where people actually start to notice their abandonment. And the Voltron mobilizes so swiftly and manically because the questions that start being asked when a whole group begins perceiving the fact of their abandonment are ones that necessarily contain the possibility of exposing the whole lot of these hucksters as being totally complicit in that group’s miserable condition. That threat is always there for these people, always latent. That threat animates the Voltron, and it rages at the sight of #ADOS doing the slow, hard work of pulling people into the orbit of its idea. It rages hardest at how the #ADOS movement proceeds with the very conviction that the Voltron is right now in the process of losing, or rather, having it ripped away; namely, that there is no doubt on its claim to the future. #ADOS is reclaiming the group’s singular struggle against their immiseration and despair, and all the Voltron can do is choke on its own rage at how it can’t annihilate that idea, how the movement remains visceral and alive in a way they have never know, no matter how desperately they all try to render it insignificant or banal.