ELECTION CYCLE SPECIAL: PlanetPhoebe Interviews Vermin Supreme

Interview By: Phoebe A. Xavier

Recently, I was fortunate enough to spend a healthy chunk of the spring and summer in the beautiful rolling terrain of Vermont. My main goal for the trip was to explore the place before and after the forty-fifth Annual Rainbow Gathering that was planned for New England. It had been consensed upon that the event would happen in either New Hampshire, Maine or Vermont, depending on which state had the best conditions in June when the set up would begin.

But I wanted to explore Vermont more, so I hopped in my homegirl Seven’s car and went up with her in late May. We wound up getting to see and stay at some beautiful ponds amongst towns where paved roads were a rarity, while nature roared & splashed all around us. After a week at our friend Kato’s cabin, close to the Canadian border, we headed down to Spring Counsel where we would collectively decide which state’s national forests would be in optimal condition to host the 2016 Rainbow Gathering.

Over the course of a week, it was decided that Vermont’s Green Mountain National Forest was likely our best bet for a safe gathering space, so my exploration of the state would get to continue unabated! For the second time ever I decided to focalize a kitchen named after the punk DIY space I have been an on-and-off resident at the last 5 years; I brought Disastr House to the woods and ran Disastr Kitchen.

It was an understaffed but fun kitchen from my perspective, shaded from the hot summer sun during the day, and a safe place for drunken bonfire musical jams at night. I had a rotating cast of people helping on different days. We cooked food for the people who showed up first by the dozens, then the hundreds then the thousands. One night, when I was serving random walkers-by, my friend Finch called after the guy whom we’d just served spinach Alfredo to, “Peace Vermin!”

My curiosity was piqued so I asked Finch, “Why’d you call him that?” only to be informed I had just served Vermin Supreme dinner. In disbelief I was like “But he helped us cook last night!” I just hadn’t paid enough attention to be able to recognize him without his trademark rubber-boot-as-a-hat on his head. He was such a nice, helpful person totally in the spirit of communal peace that is the embodiment of a Gathering. His personality in person was more approachable than the spectacle of a satirical politician he is when he dons the boot.

For anyone that doesn’t already know, Vermin Love Supreme has run for president the last seven elections. He has always run on a strong platform upheld by four tenements that he has remained resolutely committed to. They are as follows:

1) Everyone gets a pony.

2) He will travel back in time and kill baby Hitler with his bare hands.

3) Brush your teeth – it’s the Law.

4) Zombie Apocalypse preparedness.

A lot of my friends are into fringe politics, so I already knew about him. I was happy to meet such a nice guy chilling around the Gathering, usually with his equally chill girlfriend Becky. We got into a conversation once or twice about politics and I got to ask him things that I had always wondered when I watched videos of him. He wasn’t a total madman when not full-on in his public persona and I could relate a little better to where he was coming from.

So I asked him if I might interview him later in the summer for Urban Vacancy, as the election would be really heating up. The following is the abridged version of that interview, which eventually took place online, via webcams.

PlanetPhoebe: Alright I am here with the illustrious Vermin Supreme. What other titles do you claim actually? Are you President of anything already?

Vermin Supreme: Well I did claim to be the Emperor of The New Millennium back in 2000. So I can just coast, I’ve got close to 900 years before I have to think about re-election.

PlanetPhoebe: Yeah you don’t have to sweat that for a long time. But regarding your effort to get elected as the President of the United States, you are 0 for 7 in getting elected President of the U.S. Are you a glutton for punishment, or do you think it’ll just take another couple election cycles for you to really catch on?

Vermin Supreme: Well I think I caught on, I think there’s a lot of catching on occurring. And I believe that what was once a band wagon perhaps or let’s say a pony cart, is now more of an unstoppable juggernaut. That’s my impression.

PlanetPhoebe: So you expect to get elected?

Vermin Supreme: Well I’m in it for the long haul, I’m in it for the long game. It’s a slow build and I’m OK with that. I’m in no hurry. America becomes more and more ready with each passing campaign. Much like America had to go to a certain level of shit hole before Donald Trump became a feasible nominee, for example. So I’m giving it another twenty years. My prediction is 2036 will be my year. And I will not be incredibly old or frail at that point if I’m lucky. Well OK I’ll be seventy-five, I’ll be Bernie’s age. So I’ll be a legitimate old Granpa figure and that’ll be the year that I have it.

PlanetPhoebe: I was thinking maybe since it’s part of your platform that you might need to perfect time travel first? And it might be a consequence of causality?

Vermin Supreme: But after that – after that time, all bets are off.
PlanetPhoebe: OK, one of my friends has no teeth. If it is the law to brush your teeth, will you replace teeth for those who lack them?

Vermin Supreme: Absolutely, absolutely. If that’s their desire. Otherwise they could probably simply walk with them in their pocket. But they’d still have to brush them.

PlanetPhoebe: And they could brush them outside their skull?

Vermin Supreme: Absolutely. I don’t see why not. Now they will be responsible for brushing their pony’s teeth of course.

PlanetPhoebe: That sounds like a good way to get your hand bitten off.

Vermin Supreme: No they just have to be careful. There’s specialized equipment. They have bridles that have these little pry things. It holds their mouth open. I was recently in Pennsylvania, I was a judge at a facial hair competition. The gentleman who brought me down there comes from Mennonite stock. And so I was able to stay at their farm and I was able to see up close and personal pony dental equipment. It was very enlightening quite frankly.

PlanetPhoebe: Wow. Well that kind of brings me to my next question. Which is: I’ve been given to understand that there are less than 10 million ponies in America, while there are over 300 million people in America. I then saw you say in an interview that you will exterminate Americans until the Human to Pony ratio is one to one. So my question is how does one get selected to survive this great culling?

Vermin Supreme: Well some journalists have tried to nail me for claiming that I support genocide. And I was claiming at the time that it wasn’t really genocide because America isn’t particularly a homogeneous culture. That it represents different cultures and we wouldn’t be trying to take out any particular cultures, just trying to get the numbers down until we could reach that proper human/pony parity. I assume it could work a little bit like a lottery. A few… a lucky few might be saved in some sort of a lottery. Others could be political friends of mine. Supporters. Big donors of course would be spared.

PlanetPhoebe: That sounds like American politics.

Vermin Supreme: Yes of course. Big political enemies would be going first. Here. I wanted to read a passage from my new book “Blueprint for a new America: iPony.” That is my exciting new novella and I encourage each and every one of you out there to pick up a copy so that you can find out what the future holds in store for America and what Vermin Supreme holds in store for you. That’s right it’s a future of frightening flying winged monkey mutations and secret dental police, but everybody has their pony. So it’s a good trade off. So this is what you must read before you go into that voting booth. Because this is a message from the future to you the people of the past, also what is known to you as your present, to let you know that Vermin Supreme is a madman and he must be stopped. Vermin Supreme cannot be elected president. Or the frightening scenarios put forth in this auto erotic pony fiction novel may come to pass. And it has amazing illustrations. It has art from twenty different artists.

Vermin shows me a drawing from the book

PlanetPhoebe: Oh that is nice. Nice monkey dick.

Vermin Supreme: Oh yeah that’s Zombie Kong. As he escapes his enclosure and attacks the zombie hordes. So was that about Zombie Kong.. what was that about monkey dick, I’m sorry, what?

PlanetPhoebe: Great monkey dick, every interview needs a little monkey dick. Alright my next question is, in 2016, which convention had more asshats at it, the DNC or the RNC?

Vermin Supreme: Well I’d have to say that I think Cleveland – I think the Republican National Convention brought out a much more concentrated amount of asshats, all in all.

PlanetPhoebe: That’s what I would expect.

Vermin Supreme: …The way the police formed a blue wall between the various ideologues, the various different factions .. a lot of the action took place in this one plaza. About a city block big, but it was so congested, it became so tense. You had all these different groups. You had the actual Westboro Baptist Church. You had the Westboro Baptist Church wannabes flying their own horrible signs, with their own bullhorns screaming their own hate. And you had one or two of these on either side. You had the armed militia walking through. There were like ten of them or an even dozen. They were in body armor and had these long amazing rifles on. I had a great time essentially co-opting that one. I started marching. I unfurled the Vermin banner, and claimed that it was an open carry for Vermin Supreme event. And they were not totally amused by it, they were trying to get rid of me. But it was very funny, because I was banking on the fact that they weren’t gonna shoot me. Because it would have been bad.

PlanetPhoebe: Getting shot sucks, yeah.

Vermin Supreme: So there was that. It was heated, it was hot. Of course tempers flare. We had the bikers for Trump showed up, who thought they were going to protect the other side from the protesters. But I got along with pretty much everybody. Pretty much everybody after a while. And I think that I was reasonably effective. The police seemed to do a major part of separating the different groups, where conflict ‘might’ have occurred. Whereas in Philadelphia (the DNC) it was very different in that the police were very hands off. They stayed way back from most disagreements. So in Philadelphia I got to do this thing where I would look around, I would see because every time a couple people got in an argument over any reason they were surrounded immediately by a hundred people with cameras. Citizen journalists trying to get it and record it. So as I saw a knot of people filming, I knew there was something going on in the middle. So I would just cut right through it with my own live streaming crew of course. But we’d get right up into the middle of it to find out what the hell was going on. And try to deal with it, try to diffuse it. Whereas in Cleveland that wouldn’t have happened because the police were doing all the diffusing. So in Philadelphia I was able to interject myself with my peace keeping skills, if you will. And was able to change a few different things. And I got a lot of props for it but there were many many people there; many level headed people who had undergone peacekeeping training.

PlanetPhoebe: I’ve read that you were a part of Occupy Boston, can I ask what are your fondest memories of that part of history?

Vermin Supreme: Well, I didn’t spend a lot of time, but I was an Occupy commuter perhaps. I went down there when I could. And my pattern was, I set up across the street from the financial district. And where it was, everyone going to the South Station and everyone going to the commuter rails and to the subways, had to go across these set of lanes. They had to do these lane crossings. And there was one lane that the light would change before the rest of the lanes, but they still had a no walking sign.

So these people would start crossing the street and I would start trying to get them arrested for jay- walking. And accusing them of being scofflaws, essentially. And it was very entertaining, I would just play it very over the top because I would yell “Officer they’re walking across the street! DooOOOoO something!!” And you know, because they were bankers they were scofflaws. I also got to visit Zuccotti Park. That was a very powerful visit. I visited for a night or so. I certainly do know a lot of the occupiers. And the fact of the matter is I was so close to actually going to their first event when it opened. I saw the invitation and I tried to get some confirmation that it was a real thing and nobody got back to me. So I didn’t think about it. But yeah I run with a lot of the Zuccotti Occupiers, on the street.

I went to the one year anniversary. A lot of them came down to Tampa to the Conventions down there. When I was there it was such an amazing thing. It was just like an urban Rainbow Gathering. It was full on rainbow Gathering in the city, right there. It was so very familiar. It had a lot elements. I mean it wasn’t rainbow, it wasn’t a festival, it wasn’t a political demonstration. It was such a fusion of everything else. It was similar to a peace march, or sort of a long encampment. But it was very different from that because of where it was.

PlanetPhoebe: OK you’re kind of reading my mind leading into my next question, part of this question. So you were part of G.A. at Occupy Boston? You would go to the general assemblies?1

Vermin Supreme: So-so, I’m not a big fan of meetings. No I didn’t go a lot.

PlanetPhoebe: OK well I was a part of a lot of G.A. meetings in Occupy, and I know you are part of Rainbow too.. So I wanted to know how you feel about the variances in consensus process between Occupy and Rainbow?

Vermin Supreme: Oh well.. I like having a facilitator in my consensus attempts. And of course Rainbow does have that also. It doesn’t have it in place for certain key counsels. Like the Vision Counsel or the day to day counsels or the actual decision making body of the daily counsels how to make long term policies. They don’t really function necessarily with a facilitator, but sometimes they do. When they do of course things run a lot smoother. When you have a facilitator, and vibe watcher and a time keeper, I think things are much less likely to go off the rails. But on the other hand you have the mic check thing. I think that made it a little hard to conduct meetings.

Maybe people were more concise, but I think it sort of broke up what could have been a slightly more streamlined procedure, if people are simply saying the thing that they are saying. But you have to over come ‘how can every body hear it?’ Of course both – anybody can participate. Which includes people who are going way off topic. And wing-nuts, people who just don’t t have the focus to really effectively input into the particular topic in hand. I still like the consensus process very much. Like anything, scaling things up is always difficult. Things that work on a smaller scale in a smaller group.. I think there’s a tipping point where maybe we loose the effectiveness of the decision making body with the numbers involved. But, I’m talking out my ass there.. quite frankly.

PlanetPhoebe: No, it is very hard to run things by consensus. I think the instances where it occurs and succeeds over time is when everyone has the same agenda. If we have different agendas and are trying to reach consensus, it’s gonna be difficult if there are five thousand of us.

Vermin Supreme: Yeah, I think it could be very efficient. It could be like a full on slice and dice. Especially if it’s a critical situation. Or if we have a serious focused thing that needs to get done: you know if the shitters need to get dug or if the vegetables need to be chopped, things of this nature.. if the food needs to get dumpster dove. I think very practical things definitely occur in the consensus basis in a very ad hoc fashion. So I think that’s a good thing, that’s an attractive thing. But with trying to draft policy, things could get easily bogged down.

PlanetPhoebe: Actually with Rainbow, that’s one of the things that I find that can distract for days. They can lose sight of what they’re there to do. Because there is no A ) There is no facilitator. There is no one there to say ‘that is out of order’ ‘that is not our process’ and B ) Because the fundamental values of Rainbow aren’t even necessarily defined.

Vermin Supreme: Ah, true also. Not everybody is on the same page.

PlanetPhoebe: And with Occupy they wrote and voted on what they wanted to be their fundamental principles.

Vermin Supreme: Right exactly, so theoretically it should have been a lot easier beast to steer. But I think politically, when it starts to get political. People start to have agendas. And I think they start to try to manipulate the process in ways. I think lobbying people into thinking your way of thinking or into voting for/or not blocking you outside of the counsel (or G.A.) process. I think that’s totally fair and legit. I think that’s part of making it work, trying to get your ideas out there. Trying to use people as a sounding board to see it makes sense. To see if other people can get on board and will support this type of idea, whatever the idea may be. And if other people like that idea, it’s more likely that it will move through a consensus process. But also it’s a way that people can manipulate it if several people come in with a particular political agenda. Then they could try the same thing, they could try to muscle through their consensus or decision. So there’s pros and cons.

PlanetPhoebe: Totally. OK next question is kinda hard. Kind of a tough hitting question if you will. My sources tell me that your boot was recently caught exchanging over 18,000 emails with Baby Hitler….? Can you confirm these allegations?

Vermin Supreme: Well I would have to say this about that…. Yes. Baby Hitler is under the boot. I’m not gonna show him to ya though. I’m not saying if he’s dead or alive.

PlanetPhoebe: Does he have pneumonia?

Vermin Supreme: He does have some intell on Hillary. He’s suffocating slowly, I will say that.

PlanetPhoebe: Well I’ve seen interviews in which you claim you will kill Baby Hitler with your bare hands ‘Before he is born’. So that means you’ll perform an abortion with your bare hands. And that’s fucking metal dude. But I watch the TV show ’12 Monkeys’ obsessively and I am concerned you may cause a time paradox. You were born in 1961. Hitler was born in 1889. The world without him would most likely be changed so much that you might not even get to chance be born in 1961, thus preventing you from traveling back in time to abort him. What is your stance on creating space-time paradoxes?


PlanetPhoebe: So you’re down to cause paradoxes? That’s OK?

Vermin Supreme: Full speed ahead!!! You won’t know nothings changed! You won’t know! Cause it will have always been like that. It won’t matter. See for me, it’s a completely irrelevant issue, cause you won’t know that things have changed. That’s all.

PlanetPhoebe: Even if you get erased in the process?
Vermin Supreme: It’s all covered in my new book here, Vermin Supreme Presents: “iPony, Blueprint for a New America.”

PlanetPhoebe: That’s disturbingly close to PNAC’s “Partnership for a New American Century”.

Vermin Supreme: Hey I’m working on it. The funny thing is I went to International Students For Liberty Conference. And I was on their trade show floor. And I got some crazy love from the Kato Institute. Got some crazy love from the Cock brothers booth, I mean the Koch brothers booth. I got some crazy love from some far out, far right folks. That’s something too.

PlanetPhoebe: I think they view you as an entertainer.

Vermin Supreme: So this is where you order the book from, you can see right here.

PlanetPhoebe: BobtimysticBooks.com

Vermin Supreme: If you’re one of the first one hundred to order – I think we’re about half way there. The first hundred get it autographed and with some other little prizes. I stuff the envelopes. Let me see if I got another illustration here for ya, I think I might?

PlanetPhoebe: More Monkey dick! We’re rooting for more monkey dick!!

Vermin shows me another full page of art.

Vermin Supreme: How bout… zombies… and Pony drones….?

PlanetPhoebe: Oh! Alright but wait. The zombie gives me a chance to ask this question about zombies. Zombies are pretty popular this election cycle. If there was a zombification outbreak in this day and age, I reckon people might invite it rather than resist it. I personally think it’s possible your platforms may be a bit outdated. Aren’t you concerned you’re going to lose the #ZombiesLivesMatter constituents?

Vermin Supreme: Well once again. I believe that the Zombie Rights movement will inevitably become a vocal minority voice. But I am pretty confident that the Supreme Court will decide the right way, that zombies are in fact dead, and that they have no rights under the US Constitution.

PlanetPhoebe: So. You’ve said before that you ‘paved the way for Trump’. You seem to be saying so in your satirical play acting way, but if a third party candidate upsets well enough to prevent Chillary or Trump from attaining a majority of the electoral college, then the selection of the president is left to the House of Representatives. At this point the Republicans dominate that body, so in essence, the better your campaign does, the better Trump’s chances actually are. Were you hired by the Trump campaign to split the left-leaning voters away from staunch centrist Chillary Clinton?

Vermin Supreme: Well let me say this – about that. I do not believe that spoiler candidates are a real thing. I think the way that the whole electoral college is set up for example… Third parties and certainly fringe candidates, I don’t see them having the impact (the way) that people fear them. Mathematically, I am not convinced that Nader was a spoiler candidate although he certainly was blamed for George Bush’s presidency. I personally believe that it is the candidate’s, the nominee’s themselves, the people who are running for President, (it is their responsibility) to run the campaign that will win. Al Gore ran a losing campaign.

PlanetPhoebe: Well he won the popular vote.2

Vermin Supreme: It was his to lose and he lost it. And the fact that Nader got a few points, I don’t think it made that kind of impact. Sure you like to think it’s gonna drain out votes one way or the other. As far as my constituents of possible or potential voters go, I think they are pretty clued in that their votes not gonna make a difference; that when they vote for me their vote is going to be not tallied or thrown away or ignored or will have no impact other than as just a protest vote. For me personally I think more candidates means more democracy. I think more voters means more democracy. I believe more voices means more democracy.3

PlanetPhoebe: This the last question that I have. I heard that at the Rainbow Gathering you became a part of Nic@Nite which is a camp devoted to distributing tobacco to all that desire it. So my question is, how many snuff push ups can you do in one minute?

Vermin Supreme: Well that’s a very interesting question. Interestingly I was jumped in at mafia level, and was never forced through the proper vetting procedures if you will, the hazing that they seem to put people through. Because they felt that they needed a celebrity spokesperson in their midst. So this is arcane Rainbow trivia at this point, but.. they went up and asked John Caterpillar. And they presented him the same deal, they made it clear that they were looking for people with imaginary power. And he turned it down but they came to me and they offered it to me. And my wife Becky, is a militant anti- tobacconist. She’s for years, she is really anti anti tobacco. So when I was made this offer.. of mafia level, and I wouldn’t have to do anything in particular and there were no rules I’d have to follow. Then I said “Well Listen I have to see if it flies by Becky.” And quite frankly I was expecting her to say “No f’n way, ain’t gonna happen.” And it would have caused me a lot of marital strife if I had agreed to have done it. So I touched base with her, and she realized what a high honor it actually was. And she said “Go ahead, go ahead Vermin, do it.” So I did it and I carried around the busking can, or as I’ve re- christened it the cannouch, cause it’s a can and a pouch. The only qualms I really had to get over, other than Becky agreeing, were ethical in nature. I had to get over my ethical qualms about pushing a cancer causing product. So when I gave out a cigarette I would say “To your health.”

PlanetPhoebe: I quit smoking this year after smoking for 23 years, but I still represent the Nic@Nite kids. I got my Nic@Nite patch.

Vermin Supreme: Good for you that you quit.

PlanetPhoebe: Oh yeah well I think I had lung cancer, I still might be dying who knows. I started to have physical pain every time I would smoke a cigarette. It would make my throat, lungs and mouth ache, so I quit… Alright that’s all that I had. I think I went over and satisfied all my curiosities about what I wanted to know about Vermin Supreme. Thank you so much for giving me your time this afternoon.

Vermin Supreme: Well you are very welcome Phoebe. It was great meeting you at the Rainbow. I hope to make it out to your kitchen and do a show sometime. Where are you located physically?

PlanetPhoebe: I’m broadcasting out of Rockford Illinois. I’m at Disastr House right now. That was the name of my kitchen this summer, Disastr Kitchen. We have a punk collective sort of space, we do shows here and we do a lot of activism and art.

Vermin Supreme: Well I’m glad to hear it I’m glad to connect and chat. Let’s see any last minute plugs??

PlanetPhoebe: Buy the book! Alright Vermin thank you for stopping by.

Vermin Supreme: Have a good day take care. Goodbye.

Hope you enjoyed this insight into Vermin’s mind as much as I did!

This is not the full interview, there is a lot that I edited out of the fifty minute chat we had. But I pared it down to something that would be of the right size for Urban Vacancy online. I encourage you to go watch the vid sometime, when you have an hour to kill.


1. G.A. or General Assembly was the main decision making body for each particular cell of the Occupy Movement. Decisions were made by a consensus process. The process varied a little from city to city but many were based on NYCGA, a growing movement from Manhattan that had been developing leading into the September 17th 2011 commencement of Zuccotti Park’s occupation. See NYCGA.net and other sources for more information.

2. Though Al Gore beat Bush by more than a million votes, the electoral college was won by G.W. Bush. This was not due to Ralph Nader, but due to the fact that the voting booths in Florida that year were fixed with a virus that forced Bush to win despite the fact he really didn’t. For more info on that topic you should watch “Hacking Democracy”. Not sure where you can view it for free, but it’s out there.

3. Check out https://www.youtube.com/user/LearninWithVermin for more on what Vermin can teach you about the voting process.

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