Matthew Carpenter was already hard at work at 4:30 this morning, at his home in Australia, filling the orders pouring in at ShipYourEnemiesGlitter.com. “The house looks like it’s 1975 and Donna Summer has just hit the stage,” he told The Washington Post. The 2016 elections may just be gearing up, but glitterbombing, the most unusual protest tactic of the 2012 cycle, is back with a vengeance.
The sparkly stuff, traditionally associated with fairy godmothers, a much-ridiculed Mariah Carey film, and New Year’s dresses, has found a second, darker use. The "glitterati" gleefully flung the stuff at politicians, to express anger and disdain for their positions on LGBT rights and marriage equality.
ShipYourEnemiesGlitter.com, an Australian-based venture, is trying to strike gold with glitter. The site’s launch—and subsequent crash—on Tuesday means that it hasn’t been able to ship glitter to your enemies quite yet, but, as founder Mathew Carpenter told The Washington Post, “We are a real service, we actually do send glitter to your enemies.”
Glitter is an ingenious tool of protest. Its shimmery sheen carries an innocence and sparkling carefreeness that prompted The New York Times to declare it "a kinder, gentler form of pranksterism." Its association with fanciful things make glitter easy to dismiss as silly, random, even fun. Even the first glitterbomber, Nick Espinosa, believed glitter to be essentially "harmless," as he told news outlets after launching the first glitter attack: "I knew he wasn't going to be hurt by it, but I also knew that it would stick with him and that, you know, for the days to come he'd be remembering what I said as he pulled the glitter sparkles form his hair. And that you know, of course, who doesn't want to see Newt Gingrich covered in glitter?"