On January 6th, white supremacist insurgents stormed the Capitol building as Congress certified Joe Biden’s Electoral College win against Donald Trump. The takeover has made much of the United States, including myself, deeply anxious that a second attack could occur at Biden’s inauguration on January 20th. But as much as I dread an insurrection at the inauguration, I cannot in good conscious pretend that wouldn’t make a sick band name.
Before the novel coronavirus struck the United States last March, I loved going to see local artists play live. What I wouldn’t give to hear a band say something like, “Thank you so much for coming out tonight—we’ve been Maps Johnson, and stick around for your next act, Insurrection at the Inauguration!”
Unfortunately, because of right-wing extremism and the possibility of a literal insurrection at the inauguration, I may never get to hear what would have undoubtedly been excellent punk music. I understand the importance of focusing on the present political moment, but it’s difficult to think about what could have been. Probable hits from Insurrection at the Inauguration, such as “Swearin’ in the Revolution“ and “Not on My Watch, Mr. President,” would be forever shrouded in connotations of extremist conservative violence despite the group’s flawless name.
Don’t get me wrong—just because I think Insurrection at the Inauguration would make a perfect band name doesn’t mean I don’t take the possibility of an actual attack seriously. The increasing boldness of right-wing zealots in the United States is a disturbing symptom of the racist principles and practices on which this country was founded. But I am able to bravely hold space for the idea that an insurrection at the inauguration could be both a historical event that destabilizes our already-precarious democracy AND an awesome band I would love to see live.
Conservative extremism has taken so much from this country, and that’s why I am allowing myself to recognize that this potential, troubling political moment would also make a great anti-establishment, independent punk band. As Trump exits office, it would behoove us as a nation to remember that just because a bunch of extremists are terrorizing the country, we can’t let them ruin perfectly good band names for the rest of us.