Those Jamokes In Oregon Aren't Terrorists, They're Jamokes

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The American political lexicon has an appropriate word for the armed men conspicuously loitering in part of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge instead of going home. It is not terrorist or militia or occupation or revolution or movement or front or army or resistance. The word is jamoke. “Get a load of these sad jamokes!” is the thing you say about them.

Maybe when they are done annexing this remote administrative office’s supply of free park maps and permit application forms, they will liberate rural Oregon’s port-a-johns next. Some of the port-a-johns are heavily fortified with locking doors and hand sanitizer pumps. Surely this will call for siege weaponry.


Imagine the grade of sad, stunted halfwit who decks himself out in paramilitary regalia and lethal weaponry to stage a sit-in at what is for all intents and purposes a remote wildlife park’s visitor’s center. Okay, men, when I kick in the door, you three move on the 74-year-old v0lunteer who shows the birdwatching slideshow to elementary-school field trip groups; if she makes a move, be ready to take her down with force. The rest of us will establish a defensive position behind the cardboard beaver. If bigger goobers than these exist on our planet, you identify them by the bruises from where they poked themselves in the eye while trying to pick their noses.

BREAKING: White Men Enter Building In Rural Oregon, Act Like They Run The Place. Here is a question: At which rural Oregon building isn’t that true? That shit happens at 9:00 in the morning literally every day at literally every building in rural and suburban America. It is called the start of the workday. Maybe these shit-for-brains jamokes can push a broom around while they’re there, or take the recycling to the curb. Make yourselves useful, clowns!


A tragicomic thing happens, though, when a handful of slow-witted white dorks in their best Sunday camo decide to take their guns and their entitled, useless, cosmically unserious day-to-day dull-eyed skulking to a minor government shack and pretend it’s some sort of insurrection against tyranny. Liberal internet users’ latent frustration at the disproportionality and unfairness of the way American law enforcement and media treat different kinds of people tips over into a mild derangement that has us likening these shit-for-brains dinguses to friggin’ ISIS. This is understandable! We’re just about a week from an Ohio grand jury deciding that summary execution is a fair consequence for 12-year-old kids who play with toys outdoors; by that standard, the entire state of Oregon should be a radioactive desert right now. This seems a fair thing to point out.

Still, hang on. First, watch this nimrod tearfully explain to his family that he had to miss Christmas and New Year’s Eve because his solemn duty to the Constitution required him to go to a wildlife park’s empty administrative building and hang out there for a while in the desperate hope that someone outside his brotherhood of blinkered morons would decide this makes him Andrew Pickens:

All together now: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Hey Jon, pick up some toilet paper and fruit roll-ups on the way home, wouldja?

Here is the thing. These men are not frightening. They are jamokes. They are exactly jamokes. Their guns, on the other hand, are very frightening—for precisely and entirely the same reason and to absolutely the same degree that those same guns would be frightening in the hands of toddlers. Not because the people holding those guns are serious, but because the people holding those guns are not serious.

This, my good buddies, is the entire American pro-gun argument made (embarrassing, oh my God so fucking embarrassing) flesh. A big scary gun lends a degree of real power even to the variety of sad, corny-ass loser who invades and occupies what is essentially a fancy birdhouse in the name of ending tyranny. That is the whole reason to have a big scary gun. Not as a safeguard against home invaders or the totalitarian state, but as a safeguard against a clear-eyed reckoning with plain reality. A gun is—or at least these jamokes hope it is—a Get Out Of Getting Laughed At Free card. When you call these horse’s asses “terrorists,” you are not only dignifying their ridiculous, impotent actions, you are doing them the biggest favor for which they can hope.


Here is what this is: it’s the moment the gun-humping right pantsed itself for all the world to see. Look at these sad cowards! The smallness of their acting-out; the transparency of their bullshit; the fraudulence of their anti-authoritarian pose; the convenience of the fact that their active search for a tyranny against which to rebel—it wasn’t coming to take their guns away, you see—led them to an unoccupied building of zero value in the middle of nowhere, where the most aggressive response they’ll muster from the government they so eagerly pretend to fear is an irritated phone call from a Bureau of Land Management flack. There’s no reason to join them in the collective fantasy that they represent a threat to anything other than the urine-free status of this random building’s bathroom sink.

Some morons decided to take a vacation from reality. They brought their guns along. The rest of the world actually does not have to join them! Eventually they will get bored of waiting for tyranny to come certify their jagoff fantasy. Maybe they will leave a bag of flaming crap on tyranny’s doorstep on their way back home.


Top photo via AP

Contact the author at or on Twitter @albertburneko.