Daniel Villarreal

Colorado Student's Arrest Could Finally End Glitter-Bombing

Filed By Daniel Villarreal | February 09, 2012 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: glitterbomb, Mitt Romney, Nick Espinosa, Peter Smith, Secret Service

If you hadn't heard, 20-year-old University of Colorado Boulder student Peter Smith got arrested by the Secret Service on Tuesday after trying to glitter bomb GOP presidential candidate Willard Mittens Romney during a speech.

romney_glitter.jpg

Smith now faces misdemeanor charges for creating a disturbance, throwing a missile and committing an unlawful act on campus. He also faces the possible consequences of jail time, a $1,000 fine and expulsion from school. As such, he illustrates why glitter bombing has overstayed its welcome on the political landscape - basically, it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

When Nick Espinosa introduced glitter bombing as a form of LGBT protest about a year ago - showering rainbow sprinkles onto GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich during his book signing at an anti-gay Minnesota conference - Espinosa laughed off the conservative pundits who called glitter-bombing as a form of "assault":

"It's almost laughable that people like Glenn Beck and Mike Huckabee claim that glitter is assault. I would laugh if they weren't assaulting people's humanity on a daily basis, and if their constant inflammatory rhetoric didn't produce real violence."

On one hand, glitter bombing is a harmless, entertaining and dramatic way to publicly humiliate a bigot using the same sparkles that drag queens and go-go boys slather onto their bodies. After all, glitter is used in makeup and children's art projects, so a handful of stardust hardly constitutes "assault", right?

On the other hand, glitter is made from small pieces of copolymer plastics, aluminum foil, iron oxides, bismuth oxychloride and sometimes even the carcinogenic substance titanium dioxide.

Now imagine a pepper's sprinkling of that dashed into your eye - the shards can cause serious irritation, scratch your cornea and even result in a serious infection or temporary blindness.

Overcautious, some might say, but when you consider the necessity of surprise to a glitter bombing's success, it's not inconceivable that a target might end up with an eyeful of metallic shards.

Luckily (or unluckily) most of the glitter bombings have missed their intended targets: the pink glitter directed at Tim Pawlenty on June 17th covered his table more than him, the glitter thrown at Michele Bachmann on June 20th barely reached her kneecaps and the October 3rd attempt to get Karl Rove got absolutely zero sprinkles on the bastard.

But what's most surprising is that a glitter bomber hasn't gotten arrested before now. Glitter bombing targets have largely been candidates for the Presidency and if someone tried to throw a canister of glimmering dust at Barack Obama, they'd likely get tackled by the men in black and then charged with a felony before you could say the word, "unicorn."

But what's worse is that the media effect of glitter bombing seems to be losing its sparkle. Romney has already been glitter bombed about three times. Can you name his glitter bombers or remember their message? Mittens excused away his last glitter bombing as a supporter's celebratory gesture for winning the Florida primary.

Even would-be glitter bomber Smith said that he wanted to shower Mittens as a protest against his "general political philosophy" rather than just his marriage views; hence the act has begun its disassociation from its primarily LGBT roots.

The LGBT community prides itself on its originality, so it's time we came up with a different, uniquely queer way to draw attention to anti-LGBT politicos. I'd suggest we go back to throwing pies Anita Bryant style, but why waste good pie on such sour people?


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