September 01, 2004

The Shitstorm of ’04: Day Two

Things in the city escalated a bit today on the protest front, as activists carried out their “A-31” initiative in which they “stormed” the convention site, with minimal success and lots of arrests.

Then there were people lying down in the streets to “symbolize the dead”- I don’t see how creating a citywide traffic jam draws positive attention to anyone’s cause, and they can’t even stick to it- I just saw a guy on the news scream- “I’m a dead person! I’m not alive!” I also ran into the tail end of the public-library conflagration at about 6.

- After work I went to a convention-connected industry event that I was invited to for work. I won’t say more because the event was supposed to be “off the record,” but a couple of vague observations: the steak was really, really good (they were, literally, serving red meat to the base) and the “Old School”-like ‘80s-era cover band was hilarious. They played Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun”; nothing like a roomful of Republicans grooving to a song about masturbation.

- I went back to my office at around 8 to grab something and midtown was pretty much in lockdown, as barricades were up along 35th Street, I guess to prevent screaming hordes from overtaking the MSNBC set. People were shouting “this is Bush’s America!”, as though the inconvenience of having to walk around the block is somehow tantamount to fascism.

(UPDATE: Apparently, a hooded man DID rush MSNBC's set, which explains the extra security. Guess I was right).

- A woman risked the protesters’ wrath by carrying a “Four More Years” sign down 38th Street; a passing hippie screamed “enjoy your nuclear holocaust!” at her. We should set him up with the “protect North Korea’s right to nukes” girl from the other day.

- One girl was more succinct, carrying an all-purpose sign that merely read “Fuck You.”

- I decided at that point to try to get a little closer to the convention site, so I walked over towards Eighth Ave.- it was crowded but less blocked, and I loved what CNN did to the Tick-Tock Diner- I knew they were taking it over but didn’t know it was still operating as a diner during the convention.

Congressman Charles Rangel was being interviewed inside; afterward I shook his hand and told him I’d just moved into his district. Elsewhere on the famous-for-DC celeb-sighting front: I saw Lou Dobbs standing outside the diner, passed Shepard Smith on the street about a block away, and there was a guy at the aforementioned industry event who may or may not have been G. Gordon Liddy.

- After that I just went home and watched the speeches. Arnold Schwarzenegger was generally impressive, except for the part in which he listed a few criteria in the speechwriting construction “If… then you are a Republican.” Lots of them were true of me, and I’m not a Republican. And I also hate this trend, also practiced by Rudy last night, of the speaker starting a chant mid-speech. Ugh.

Then there was the part when he said the Democrats should’ve used “True Lies” as their convention theme. Hey- McCain and Giuliani last night only talked about fighting nuclear-capable Islamic terrorists- in that movie, Arnold actually did it.

- As for the Bush Twins, I’d never seen them speak before, and as it turns out there was a reason for that. What an embarrassment- it sounded like an MTV award-show presenter-skit spread out to ten minutes, and filled with jokes that the conventional-hall audience didn’t get.

Still, it was sort of funny when George Bush Sr. and Barbara took out handwritten signs, especially after four days of looking at similar signs that read “Impeach Bush,” and stuff like that. As for Mrs. Bush, the best I can say of her is that she gave a conversational speech that didn’t lapse into mysterious languages like Teresa’s did.

- That’s it for Day 2; considering how little I’ve enjoyed the two days of convention speakers who I do like, that doesn’t bode well for nights 3 and 4.

Posted by Stephen Silver at September 1, 2004 01:05 AM

Hey Steve, you want more on the Malkin-Matthew war - check out her blog. She expresses relief that he wasn't injured in the attack but of course uses the op to take another swipe at him.

Posted by: zoey at September 1, 2004 09:45 AM

Sounds like a typical day in NYC...

Posted by: John B. at September 1, 2004 11:49 AM
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