Mistakes were made

New York City meets Munich

Hut two three four

August 30th, 2004 · No Comments · Uncategorized

The mildest summer in years decided to get seriously unmild just in time for the protest march. I suppose I should be happy it didn’t rain.

My aching arches and slightly sunburned nose are testament to the three hours spent in the name of dissent and democracy. The worst part was standing for almost an hour the crush near the front of the march, waiting for it start. Note to self: the next march I go to, I won’t be early.

I didn’t go with a sign or a witty shirt. I mostly went to be counted, and because I had to do something. I suggested to Conny View definition in a new window that she go topless and put on some body paint about “Boobies against Bush,” but that got shot down. Offers to personally apply sunscreen didn’t get me anywhere either.

I didn’t have a drum to bang, or a horn to blow, though in hindsight, perhaps I could have snagged one of Leo’s squeaky toys, mostly because I just like making that noise, and Conny won’t let me do it very often in the apartment, saying something or other about “headaches”. But for a good political cause, I could have gone wild.

The protesters I saw ran the gamut, but realize in New York City, “gamut” covers a wide spectrum. Let me just say there’s a vast diversity of people who really, really don’t like George W. Bush, and aren’t much concerned about hurting his feelings in expressing their dislike. I don’t want to give the wrong impression, though. While there were some kooky types marching, they were just anchoring one end of a pretty mainstream curve.

The most radical part of the experience was the weather. The cops, while out in simply ridiculous force (including leasing the Fuji blimp, which currently is the Fuji/NYPD blimp), were pleasant, professional and happy to be earning the overtime.

The ugliest thing I encountered were two or three extreme fundamentalists raging on about their usual bugaboo: those evil homos. They were spitting venom, bible verses and support for W at the marchers from the sidewalks, protected by a handful of clearly uncomfortable cops, who kept things from turning nasty by keeping the marchers marching and not wasting breath on these Neanderthals.

Here is a tip: people who get bent out of shape about the idea of what consenting adults may be doing in the privacy of their bedrooms have issues with sexuality that need to be addressed. It is as simple as that. So if homosexuality freaks you out, put the placard down and go see a counselor.

I don’t know if it will do much, but I’m proud to say I was part of the “biggest display of dissent at a political convention in U.S. history.” And like most New Yorkers, I want to do my part to welcome the GOP:

Mr. Isaacson, a delegate to the Republican National Convention from Alaska, had never been in a yellow cab before. He had never been to New York City… The cab got caught in traffic on the Avenue of the Americas. Mr. Isaacson peered out the window at the police barricades. “So what’s the parade for?” he asked.

It wasn’t a parade, he was told, it was a protest march. A couple of hundred thousand people had just gone down the avenue in a protest against the war in Iraq, the Republican convention and the presence of delegates like him.

On the way to lunch, Mr. Isaacson and his daughter stopped to have their picture taken with a Statue of Liberty mime. They stood with the mime, looking happy for the camera.

Then someone informed the mime they were Republicans – and slowly, even as the camera clicked, the mime unfurled the middle digit of his right hand.

That’s my town.

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