- Dana Decoursey
- A winning costume from the Idiotarod 2011.
The Occupy Wall Street encampment makes an interesting choice for the start of a race, but it’s not a total surprise for anyone familiar with the antics of New York City’s annual Idiotarod, the shopping cart competitive spectacle cum raucous pub crawl now in its ninth year.
Last night, an email from “Corporation X,” the elusive organization running the show, announced to Idiotarod enthusiasts that it was game time. Race registration would take place Feb. 4, 10 a.m. sharp at Zuccotti Park. This hardly means the race will actually occur in the middle of the current protest—traditionally, the Idiotarod has a history of giving false information to ward off police-types, only releasing the true details by word of mouth an hour or so before the competition is to take place.
In the meantime, it looks like some Zuccotti Occupiers will be occupying a place many never imagined they could when protests began last year. This Tuesday, Occupy movements from all over the country will gather in Washington D.C. for a day of occupying Congress. It’s a shift in strategy for sure, as protesters will try to set up as many meetings as possible with legislators, as traditional lobbyists would. Politico notes that the Occupy movement has begun to take positions on specific policies as the protest’s jargon has entered the political mainstream.
Perhaps it’s fitting then, at least symbolically, that one movement grow beyond its initial stomping grounds and another form of social satire take its place. Themed shopping carts and costumes often take on current events (last year, one team from Columbia University dressed up as the BP oil spill), and Idiotarod organizers have designed their leadership to lampoon a generic, ethically inept corporation. As for those of you who are already avid followers of the Idiotarod, or have been stockpiling paper maché for costumes and hotel mini bar sized bottles of tequila to bribe judges all year, stay tuned for alerts from the official race website, Facebook or Twitter.
Follow Sydney Brownstone on Twitter @sydbrownstone