Tuesday, August 31, 2004


I'm ignoring the Republican National Convention as best I can. I ignored the DNC, too. Both conventions have become nothing but theater. The nominees are decided months in advance, everything is scheduled and scripted for TV coverage, and the speeches are nothing but rhetoric that preaches to the choir. It's unlikely that they're going to sway any undecided voters. This round of conventions also marks a new era of extraordinary security, the cost of which will undoubtedly cause potential host cities to think twice about taking on the burdon. Many Bostonians and New Yorkers simply left town rather than deal with the hassel of security, crowds, and protesters. The city of Boston's post-convention financial analysis discovered that the dearth of citizens doing their normal spending actually negated the economic bump expected from conventioneers ("J-O-H...N-N-Y...K-E-R-R-Y!"*). Cities will have to begin taking that into consideration as well.

Rather than what's going on inside Madison Square Garden, I'm watching what's going on outside. Protestors fascinate me. Some of them I agree with, some I think are nuts. But you've got to admire them. They're the voice of the people, unexpurated. They are the (sometimes not so) quiet revolt. America has turned and evolved throughout its history on the tide of these people. I say (in words GWB no doubt understands), bring...them...on. I want to see the streets clogged with masses who would otherwise be ignored by those who occupy the ivory towers. I want to see people demanding to be noticed. I want the world to know that we don't all agree with those in power.

A group called Shut it Down! is working to organize a mass strike tomorrow, in protest of the RNC. As they put it on their web site, "Tom DeLay wants to go to the theater. Broadway Shows --- SHUT IT DOWN!" Though I doubt they can pull it off, part of me secretly wants to see them succeed.

* most of you will not get this.


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