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If you don’t know what LARPing is, it’s an abbreviation for “live action role-play”. Live action role-playing games are a form of live-action entertainment where the participants physically portray their characters.

The players pursue goals within a fictional setting represented by the real world, while interacting with each other in character.

Basically, it’s people dressing up in costumes and hitting each other with foam swords in the woods.

Since the 2016 election, it seems as though there’s been a very noticeable increase of tribalism in our day to day lives.

It seems like everyone’s on a team now, and it feels like 20 new political groups make the news cycles, day in and day out. The thing is, though, it feels as though everyone is just… pretending.

For many young people, religion has been pushed to the side.

It’s generally not a massive concern to young people whether they belong to a religious communities or not. But the thing is, young people still want to be apart of something larger than themselves, and young people definitely want their voice to be heard.

People are frustrated! They need an outlet for their anger, and want to be around people who think like them, and want to see change in the world for what they consider to be “for the better!”

So they LARP! They observe groups from the outside, find one that aligns closest to their ideology, and then join those communities. They become friends with like-minded people, put on an outfit, and become someone else, a more interesting, and cooler version of their boring selves.

Here, we are going to examine four of these new groups that the young people are LARPing as. They are assuming a new persona, under the guise that they are fighting the good fight. You may have even heard of some of them. And we start with a group that has gained a fair amount of notoriety.

Group 1: Antifa

Motto: ”We go where they go”

Goal: Not entirely clear

Weapon of choice: bike locks, 2×4’s, urine in bottles

Background: mostly rich kids that go to college on their parents dime and feel guilty about how easy their life is

Antifa, short for “anti-fascist,” are violent counter-protesters, made up of mostly rich (white) kids that feel guilty that they’re going to college for an expensive yet useless degree on their parents dime, and are so uncomfortable with how easy their lives are, that they feel the need to protest.

The strange thing about Antifa is how generally acceptable it is to be a member. If one were to walk around the downtown Montreal area, for example, you’d swear that everyone between the ages of zero to 30 was Antifa.

Their ideology is rooted in the assumption that the Nazi party would never have been able to come to power in Germany if people had more aggressively fought them in the streets in the 1920s and 1930s. So basically, to Antifa, we’re in living in the 4th Reich, and they’re the only ones that can stop it

It’s like that question that was once asked to Jeb Bush, “would you go back in time and kill baby Hitler?” Apparently, Antifa just has that magical 20/20 foresight that no one else on Earth has, and they’re here to save us all from the impending doom that is a Trump re-election. By hitting other LARPers with bike locks.

Group 2: The Proud Boys

Motto: Proud of your boy/ Uhuru!

Goal: To stop western men from being ashamed for “making the modern world”.

Weapon of choice: Their fists

Background: MAGA bros that like to drink beer and get into fist fights.

Founded in 2016 by right-wing provocateur and Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes, the Proud Boys are a self proclaimed fraternal organization that is made up of men who love Trump, and are tired of being shamed for being men.

They’re identifiable by their uniform, which usually consists of short skinhead style haircuts along with a black Fred Perry shirts with yellow piping, and oftentimes wear  jeans and Doc Martin boots.

According to founder McInnes, the Proud Boys got their name from a song that he heard during one of his children’s talent shows. The song, “Proud of your boy,” is from the broadway version of Disney’s Aladdin, and is a song that isn’t found in the original movie.

The lyrics of the song drone on about not being able to live up to the expectations set by parents, and how one day, Aladdin will make his parents “proud of his boy.” Their war cry, “Uhuru!” is an African word that means “freedom” in Swahili. They also use this term as a greeting.

Their mission statement is to get men off the couch, stop playing video games, stop masturbating, get laid, eventually find a wife, and have kids. Beliefs within the group varies, as the group claims they don’t discriminate based on race or religion, but you do have to “love trump and drink beer.”

The Proud Boys do not seem to shy away from conflict, and have been described as alt-right neo-fascists that promote political violence.

There have been numerous incidents in which Proud Boys have made headlines for physical or verbal conflicts, claims that they adamantly refute. At the end of the day, once they go home to their regular lives, they take off their uniform and boots, and go to sleep, and go back to their 9 to 5 the next morning. LARPing to the max.

Group 3: Communists

Motto: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

Goal: overthrow the capitalist system and replace it with the unflawed socialist utopia we all need.

Weapon of choice: hammers and sickles

Background: people that follow too many rich people on Instagram and are jealous that they don’t get to go on boats, or whatever.

The working class. The proletariat. That one guy you that you used to work with that wore a Che Guevara t-shirt and a beret with a red star on it to his niece’s birthday. He also invited you on to a Mayday rally on Facebook. You clicked “Interested,” but didn’t go.

We all know the communist. It’s basically a pseudo-religion. It mirrors a faith in various ways. They flaunt their bible, the Communist Manifesto. They’re proud of their prophet who granted them the holy book, Karl Marx, and have various spiritual leaders who they admire, like Lenin and Mao.

There are various types of communists, and the beliefs of how much communism is necessary vary from commie to commie.

Some like to rebrand their communism by saying that everyone should get a Universal Basic Income, where people would get, say, $1200 a month just for existing. The robots will do all the work, and everyone will just get to do what they want, for the rest of their lives!

Do not remind them that these systems have been tried before, because as we all know, that wasn’t real communism.

Oh, and by the way, if you remind them that communism was the ideology behind the deaths of an estimated 70-100 million deaths in the 20th century, they will aptly remind you that capitalism has killed way more people, and exploits everyone that is under its evil spell.

Forget the fact that the human literacy rate, infant mortality rate + life expectancy, and lifespan have all  greatly improved since the 70’s.

Group 4: The Ku Klux Klan

Motto: We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children

Goal: to establish a white ethnostate

Weapon of choice: Flaming crosses, poplar trees, nooses

Background: Neo-confederates that are so afraid of the outside world, they try to disappear by dressing up like ghosts

Okay, first and foremost, f*** the Klan. If anyone on this list is responsible for real atrocity, hatred, violence, and evil, it’s the Klan. If you are in the Klan and are reading this, I would like you to stop, and never read anything I write again. However, have you checked them out lately?

Before you read any further, please understand that I’m not talking about people that could potentially be aligned with the Klan. I hear about the KKK a lot nowadays, as people are constantly being called white nationalists. But when I say the Klan, I mean people that are members of the Klan, that own a hood and will burn crosses with their cousins Nate and Cooter.

Gone are the “glory days” of the Klan. They have since been reduced to 5000-8000 people across several states that hide in the woods and have barbeques with their Klan buddies.

They’ve essentially become a hive of losers that don’t leave their towns, and are afraid of America’s changing demographics.

These guys do LARP their hearts out though. Their outfit, a pointy hat with a white gown, is very distinct and instantly recognizable. In the past, they committed some absolutely heinous acts, held political power, and have even been elected into public office. (See David Duke, Robert Byrd.)

But wow, how the mightily racist have fallen. Yes, there are still hate crimes committed by the Klan. This is true. One memorable instance was the lynching of James Byrd Jr. in 1998. Byrd, a black man, was dragged to his death behind a pick up truck. An absolutely horrifying event, that fortunately we do not see as much of anymore.

Most of the Klan’s antics are fairly tame nowadays, as they generally keep to themselves and don’t hold nearly as much power as they did at their peak.

They dress up as ghosts and have titles like “grand wizard” “squire,” and “knight.” They’re roleplaying. They’re LARPERS, and they need to knock it off. It’s nice to see that the numbers have declined so rapidly, though, as there was at one point an estimated 6,000,000 klan members in the 20’s.

Everyone wants to be apart of something

The real crux of this is that no one wants to be lame. Everyone wants to feel like their life is incredibly important, and that they’re fighting for a just cause. The problem is, that these people aren’t thinking for themselves, and have leached onto a movement that is telling them what to think.

They aren’t thinking for themselves, and instead have become apart of the hive-mind that takes place when one becomes enamored with a political ideology

No one is winning

Isn’t it funny how on both sides, people feel as though they are losing? Both sides feel as though the tides are turning in the wrong direction, and that they need to take action before it’s too late.

Both sides feel as though the media is against them, and feel as though their team is under constant attack. Both sides feel as though they don’t have a say, and that they are up against an evil, rising political movement.

No one is winning in this role-play. There are people getting seriously injured, and even killed, because of this dangerous game of identity politics that is being played.

Politics were boring, and now we’re all LARPing

We’ve gone down a dangerous road. Politics were incredibly boring, but now they’ve become fantasy sessions where no one wins, and no progress is made.

Before Obama was elected, I used to hear people complain about how every president was a boring, old, white man. We’ve definitely spiced it up since then, and I’m admittedly not a fan. Can we make politics boring again?