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The year 2021 got off to a rocky start in the United States when an angry mob of armed Trump supporters, unhappy with the election results, stormed inside the Capitol building in Washington D.C. Whilst most news media outlets covered the events from a distance, performance artist Crackhead Barney and Friends was on the front line of the riots interviewing the violent MAGA protesters (including the now-infamous QAnon Shaman).

Her social media satirical video interviews, which she records with the help of BeHappyforOnce, are not only very telling of just how divided the country has become but how blindly and deeply rooted Trump's ideology is ingrained in American society. And even though Washington D.C. painted a completely different picture last week, as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were both sworn in as the new President and Vice President of the country, Crackhead Barney and Friends is sure that a storm is brewing in the US, and promises to be right in the middle of it to make us laugh.

I guess to start off we would like to know a little bit more about who’s behind Crackhead Barney. Who are you and where are you from?
Normally I don’t like to do interviews because I don’t like to let people get to know about me or my background. But I’m born and raised in Jamaica, Queens, New York City. Want to know my background? I’m upset right now, I’m an alien from Mars, and I feel like I give you all you need to know about me from my performance art. That’s it, next question.
New year, new country? Is this how you envisioned the year starting off for the United States?
OK, so 2020 was fucked up – and I honestly believe that 2021 will probably be even more fucked up, or at least just as fucked up – really I have no anticipation for 2021 to be this great year. A storm is building. I was in DC during the capitol riots and it was amazing interviewing these violent MAGA idiots. I went back during the Inauguration of Biden to meet some more Patriots and QAnon-ers, whatever you want to call the nazis who wear the red hats and fuck their American flags or their machine guns. Plus, you know what, 2021 is only gonna get worse. So be on the lookout.

The name you go by on social media is Crackhead Barney and Friends, is this related to the kids’ TV show? How did you come up with that and why?
A few years ago I used to dress up in a Barney costume, like the kids' show, and harass tourists and strangers on the street in New York. But the fucking idiots from Amazon sent that shit with one eye missing, fucking idiots sent it to me with one eye! And so when I would finish performing and start to walk away people would be like, "That’s not Barney – that’s Crackhead Barney!” I guess they called me crackhead Barney because I’m skinnier than the real Barney, or maybe because I’m Black. If I was a white woman would they still call me crackhead? I never knew. If I was white they would probably call me Queen Barney.
Anyway, I’ve had that name for years and when I started to work with BeHappyForOnce who is our producer, our director, our dick sucker, basically just the person who tells me what to do – he thought it would be funny combine my artist name with the children’s tv show. But the funny thing is we named it Crackhead Barney and Friends, but in the show, my only real friend is New York Pig – we don’t need no other fucking friends. So don’t message me saying you love us or want to collab because I will just say fuck you!
What you're doing is the literal definition of satire. Are the situations you find yourself in and what you say scripted at all?
Nothing I do in my life is scripted and it never has been. I just go out onto the streets and whatever happens happens. If I get killed or shot or stabbed or something else happens, it is what it is – and that’s exactly what I try to put emphasis on with NY Pig and BeHappyForOnce, anything can fucking happen. We just see how far we can get, some explosive yelling or crazy reactions or sometimes the people even get violent. What I do draws a lot from dada, which kinda offers an element of terrible randomness in this terribly random state our country is in.

You’re really putting yourself out there in pretty dangerous situations with potentially dangerous people. Do you ever or have you ever feared for your wellbeing whilst shooting?
So the most dangerous thing off the top of my head is when NY Pig, BeHappy, and myself went to Staten Island, New York for a Trump rally before the election. This was before we started Crackhead Barney and Friends and BeHappy and I were working together on a documentary about ME, the star! We were the only people who weren’t Trump supporters and we got there pretty late, so I just ran into the crowd holding a baby carriage with a Black baby doll wearing a Trump mask on, a bikini, and an American flag in my pussy, and started crawling around the floor in the middle of the crowd. I just remember looking up and being instantly circled by Trump people and they were trying to hit me and trample me and stomp me to death.
The last thing I remember seeing was a foot heading toward my face and behind it white children who were yelling “Fuck you bitch! Go die! Fuck you!” and then I was in handcuffs. I couldn’t see out of the Trump mask but they walked me through the crowd with my titties out of my shirt and everyone yelling, booing, and throwing shit at me on the way out.
They put me in a car and took my mask off and I just saw the Trump people surrounding NY Pig and BeHappy and some of our other friends and I don’t know how they got out of there. But then the cops brought me to the psych ward of the hospital nearby, saying I was having a mental breakdown and trying to expose my naked body to kids, but they were the one who exposed me. I saw one of them throw my Black baby in the dumpster and after my team picked me up we went back to get it.
How do you pick the people you end up interviewing? 
Alright, so when we pick people we pick the absolute antithesis of who the fuck I am. That’s why I’ll go to a MAGA event in DC or something, because I want to talk to the biggest clowns and losers, the biggest right-wing Christian morons, and hear the dumb shit they have to say. I gotta shake up the shit I hear I wanna hear different stuff.

“If I was a white woman would they still call me crackhead? I never knew. If I was white they would probably call me Queen Barney.”
What is it you want people to feel or take away after watching your videos?
What do I want people to take away? Well, I want people to laugh, and I kind of just want them to feel surprised or shocked. Whether it’s by me or by the crazy stuff these people say, I want people to laugh and say “I can’t believe this really happened.” That’s all I need, because yes, it happened.
I could honestly see you having your own TV show. Is this something you would like to do and if the opportunity presented itself what type of tv show would you do?
I do want to get on TV, and you know what? If you’ve seen our shit and work for some production company or network or something and you don’t see our potential – you're the biggest loser I know. I’m the next biggest thing motherfucker and I’m only shooting up and up and up! So, if you don’t see it and strike now you’ll lose your chance – also fuck you!
We got that guerrilla-style, I’m a guerrilla-style type of person. I’m about the woman on the street shit, the garbage trash can talk show with weirdos shit, desperate housewives on viagra shit, violence, nudity, pornography, whatever it is I’d do it and it’d be a hit. Don’t bring all that shit trying to place me in a box or category about what I am because you can’t, I never played by your rules and I never will. You know what I really have? Something your mama never ever gave you.

Why was it important to ban Donald Trump from using his social media accounts?
You know why it’s good they banned Donald Trump? Because as a Black queer woman artist, I’ve gotten banned like five times at the drop of a dislike or someone not liking what I said or what I posted. I would climb up in followers so many times and get banned, rinse, repeat. Social media is a nightmare for me. I have been banned or shadowbanned or deleted on every platform and Donald Trump has actually instigated real violence because he’s so awful. I’m all for diversity in ideas and stuff but not when it causes violence.
Now that Trump's presidency is nearly over. What do you think he’ll be most remembered for?
Trump will be most remembered for my perfect impersonations of him.
Biden has just become the new president of the United States. What are your thoughts and hopes for his presidency and the future of America?
In the words of Nancy Pelosi, they need to stop picking their whiteness over democracy. She said something so profound the other day, that Joe Biden was a healer and the spirit of America. He is the spirit of America because he’s a fucking bullshit racist piece of shit that invented that 94 crime bill. You got Biden and fucking Kamala who have jailed and incriminated more Black people than Trump and Pence put together. I hate all of them. Stop with the fuck shit, Biden is trash, Kamala is trash, and Trump is definitely trash. Maybe the QAnon shaman knows some healing spells for this country.
Finally, why has the year 2020 been important to you?
2020 was crazy to me because we all had access to money and the time to pursue things we never had the time to pursue before. I got to take advantage of the time I had and the unemployment money to do what I wanted to do which is make art. I never go 100%, not for some guy’s dick, or a job, or my art, but this 2020 was different. I’m now devoting myself completely to performance art.

Words
Walter Adrián
Photos
Budi (@bbuudii)

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