Many of us who watched the inauguration of Donald Trump last Friday were flinching in the safety of our living rooms — but such was not the case for 21-year-old Zach from Philly.
Zach (who’d rather we not use his last name) traveled to Washington, D.C., to represent the City of Brotherly Love at the inauguration – with a tab of acid and a few joints on hand. Zach is, it’s safe to say, not a Trump supporter, but when he and his dad scored two tickets to the ceremony, he put on a “Make America Great Again” cap, rolled through TSA, and hoped the drugs would help him through what would otherwise be a rough experience.
We gave Zach a call to ask how the inauguration went and how he’s handled feedback since his drug-fueled excursion was first covered by Vice.
What was the inauguration like, and how did this happen?
It was rad. I had a great time. I knew that the inauguration was happening, but I wasn’t planning on going, and then last minute my dad got in contact with a state representative, and they gave him two tickets for inside the grounds of the Capitol building. So I was like, “Awesome – let’s do it. I’ll go with you.”
Last minute, I thought, “Wait, this is going to suck. How can I make it better?” And then I thought, “Acid. Acid will make it better.” So it did.
Your dad got tickets from a state representative?
I’m under the impression that the tickets were free, but they were first-come, first-serve. So he just reached out to somebody, and they happened to have two extra ones.
What was it like being there, on acid, with your father? Did he know?
Yeah, he knew. The aspect of being with my father kind of helped me out a bit. I knew about the all the stuff he went through with all the political stuff that happened when he was my age. He never did anything like go to an inauguration on acid, though.
Having my father there was very calming. I wouldn’t say that having my dad there was a big part, but it definitely helped out. Me and my dad were over in the corner just laughing and joking and really not doing what everyone else was doing.
How did people in the crowd react?
I kind of flew under the radar. Everyone was dressed so nice, and we looked like we were dressed from Philly. We kind of flew under the radar until [Trump] did his “I Do’s,” and I started smoking weed because I got bored by that point.
And no one said anything?
No, just a few dirty looks. People called me a dirty degenerate and stuff — which, I mean, they’re not too far off.
What kind of feedback have received since the Vice story?
Everyone is calling me an edgelord.
A lot of the feedback I’ve been getting, and I want this in the interview, is about my privilege. You know, with all the political justice issues, people are saying that I didn’t check my privilege. I did check my privilege.
Someone brought up a good point that was like, if someone who was a minority decided to do what I did, they would’ve been lashed out upon instead of having an article written about them. And I recognize that. And I don’t know what to say about that. People came at me on the internet for not recognizing my privilege. But I do realize that I got away with a lot by being who I was. And I think that says a lot about America. People love to do interviews with me, but if it were a person of color or minority they would’ve gotten totally different comments than I got.
It opened up my eyes. I did get away with a lot just because I’m a white male.
My Instagram [direct messages] are hilarious. People are only talking shit on places where I can’t see it directly — Facebook comments, things that I’m not tagged in. People are saying, “You’re my hero,” and I’m like, “I’m not your hero. Please don’t — I don’t want to be your hero.” And then you have the older generation that has reached out and says, “I was doing this shit during Reagan!”
I did it for a totally different reason they did it. I just did it to have fun, because I was not going to that sober.
What was the craziest part?
I thought we were getting attacked during the 21 Cannon Salute. Most people in the crowd did think that — most people did duck down. They don’t show the cannons on TV or anything, and I feel like, me, being impaired, kind of heightened that fear a little bit. Everyone was on edge, so when that happened, that was crazy, but then I realized what was going on and that’s when I decided to go smoke the joints.
Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.