In a surprise announcement today, an unidentified COAST insider revealed that the organization was started as a prank. The insider, who is not quite ready to reveal his identity, explained that it was all started by a group of friends who wanted to parody extreme political organizations. “To be clear, our group of friends are actually against wasteful spending, but we were commenting on how things like that can be taken too far, and thought it might be a fun exercise. None of us imagined it would keep going this long.”
What’s In A Name
In talking about the origins of the group, he explained there was a lot of debate surrounding the name. “Initially someone proposed Citizens Organized Against All Spending and Taxes, or COAAST, but we thought it would be too over the top.” He went on to say “I thought COAST was still too obvious. I mean come on, you aren’t going to get anywhere in life coasting, and the only direction you can coast is down hill, but I was over-ruled, and turned out to be wrong.”
According to the source, the logo was also carefully designed to hint at the prank. The trajectory of the star is clearly downhill, and even includes a dead-cat bounce at the end. The original design included a shattered star, but that was changed because they felt it was too obvious.
He went on to reminisce about some of his favorite moments in the organization’s history. He felt the Streetcar was a gift from above. His favorite moment was the infamous “We don’t have signs, we can’t afford signs” press conference. He continued “What people did not realize is that this was one of the best instances of performance art in the city. Tom Luken gets a lot of flack for this, but the signs were actually his idea, and he ad-libbed that entire bit on the spot. Outsiders cannot appreciate his sense of comedic timing.”
When asked why he was coming clean, he admitted that it just wasn’t fun anymore. He explained that they have fallen into a rut. “There is only so many times you can retweet someone complaining about something on a streetcar before even you get tired.”
He also pointed to some mistakes. “It seemed like a good idea when we decided to compare the 9/11 tragedy to the City’s policy of browning out Fire Departments. In retrospect, we really didn’t think that one through.” But the real tragedy , he admits, was trying to connect a fire death on a browned out station. “Even if it had been true, it was in bad taste, but the fact that the responsible department was working that day put it over the edge.”
He is not sure how long the others will keep things going, but he admits he is done. “I have mixed feelings about the whole experience. It was a lot of fun at times, but it was also depressing that the general public didn’t catch on to the joke. I always felt uncomfortable when I ran into committed folks that were not in on the joke.”
He imagines that his decision to out the organization will not be popular with the group. He tried to get them to come to a consensus to reveal the prank, but in the end he decided it was time, and today was the day to announce it.