An Ode To Gay Cowboy Orgies Is The Anthem For The Ottawa Resistance
OTTAWA — Two weeks ago, a group of anti-vaccine mandate protesters in Ottawa was talking on the live chat app Zello when one member chimed in with an offer. “I’d love to share a freedom song,” he said. “I’ve got my old guitar here ready to go.”
The others responded appreciatively. So he began singing: “How many roads must a convoy drive down, before you reach the Ram Ranch…”
“Unbelievable!,” complained one protester. ”You give that guy respect to play a song and then what happens?”
Welcome to the Ram Ranch Resistance. For weeks, as trucker protestors dug into their occupation of downtown Ottawa, double agents have infiltrated their communications channels waiting for the perfect, unexpected moment to blast Ram Ranch, the deliriously vulgar song detailing the various actions and hard, throbbing body parts of 18 naked cowboys at the titular ranch.
It started as a way to ridicule the members of the so-called Freedom Convoy. It’s grown into an audio guerrilla warfare campaign to stymie their communications and tank morale. The ranchers, as they identify themselves, even played a role in helping break down the blockade at the Detroit-Windsor border, and their cause has become something of a widespread resistance slogan.
“I never thought the words ‘Ram Ranch” would mean so much to me,’ said one Ottawa resident, a burly, bearded guy who blends into the convoy crowds to steal as much food and supplies as he can, which he then gives to local homeless people. “You want some hand warmers? I’ve got four boxes of them.”
It’s become a way for people angry at the Ottawa protests to fight back. A large majority of Canadians are vaccinated. Ranchers include residents of Ottawa and nearby cities like Montreal and Toronto, but also expats around the world. Now they’re sharing their tactics with Americans, as Freedom Convoy protests begin to take shape there.
“Ram Ranch has historically been a rebel song,” said Grant MacDonald, the writer and performer of the song.
Ram Ranch started as a protest song a decade ago. MacDonald had written some country music songs and submitted them to record labels. He said the songs, such as one about his friend Jake swimming in a lake, were rejected for being “too gay.” Fed up with what he saw as the hate and homophobia of the country establishment in Nashville, he decided to write a song showing how gay country songs could be. “I took out a piece of paper and I started writing ‘18 naked cowboys in the showers at Ram Ranch…’”
He said the song has regularly been used in pranks, such as tech kids taking over their school’s speaker system to blare the song. When he first heard his song was being played in Ottawa, his heart sank because he thought the trucker protestors were playing it. He then found out it was being used against him, and he was thrilled. “I’m just honored,” he said. “The Ram Ranch cowboys have stood up for Canada, for love, dignity and respect.”
The high water mark of the resistance came last week when police were moving in to clear a blockade of the Windsor-Detroit border crossing. A double-agent named Teagan McLean had infiltrated the convoy’s Zello chats and even showed up to protests in person to earn their trust. Eventually he worked his way up to being the owner of a chat with almost 2,000 members.