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07/25/2004 Archived Entry: "Prison photos/ruminations on the eve of the Democrats convention"
ON THE EVE OF THE DEMS CONVENTION can you identify the location of each of these four photos? (Hint: Only one is of the Boston "free-speech zone.")
BTW, why do they still hold the conventions anymore, when there's nothing to be decided there? Is it 1) because the conventions are huge fundraisers with guaranteed global media coverage or 2) they don't dare stop play-acting their way through meaningless conventions because people might notice that the political process is a fraud?
I remember my mom -- a huge political junkie -- glued to our TV set for days though the conventions every four years. Back then there was something to be glued about. There was actual suspense. Actual wheeling and dealing. Actual doubt about who'd be the nominee. Geez, in those pre-PC days, there were even smoke-filled rooms. I was bored with the conventions of course. What kid wouldn't be? But on election night I loved being awakened by mom in the early morning hours to learn who won. And I remember the year she awoke all us kids after midnight so we could watch unfolding coverage of Bobby Kennedy's shooting and death. A couple of months earlier, I had shaken Bobby's hand at a rally. It was not quite the thrill of having seen brother John during his pre-election campaign (and to this day I'm amazed at how different JFK looked in person than in photos). But if you weren't there when the Kennedys were fresh and new, you can't quite grasp the excitement of them. (And you may be better off for acquiring cynicism earlier than the 60s generation did.)
The Chicago convention of 1968 was the first one I watched with serious interest -- more for what was going on in the streets than on the convention floor (although the creative chaos spilled onto the floor, too). Mayor Richard Daley's brutality toward the protestors was shocking and outrageous. But at least the protests happened. The protestors were seen and heard.
Now ... no need for police brutality. Just lock all the protestors behind barbed wire before they have a chance to express contrary opinions. Close down all the main streets. Conduct random searches of bus riders and train commuters. Have soldiers, instead of mere local cops, patroling the streets. (All of which says governments don't have Clue One as to how to stop the actual terrorists they claim to be after, but have many Clues as to how to run a police state and keep the populace properly cowed to live in one.) Progress. The brute Richard Daley has become the new role model in America and has been surpassed by his disciples.
Posted by Claire @ 05:57 PM CST