Thursday, July 29, 2004

Some random thoughts from the Boston convention

I'm on the treo so forgive the typos, lack of paragraphs and the lack of any structure to these posts. Instead of any attempt at eloquence I'll aim for sharing some scribbled impressions in an attempt to give you a feel for the DNC. The police have swarmed the city. City police seem nice. Some state police are nice. The state police dressed all in black without visible badge numbers or any identification at all seem mean. A twin row of six of them refused to make eye contact as they passed by. As if following orders, each in turn looked to the ground as we passed each other. With random bag checks on the subway and visible snipers near the convention center it has the smell of a police state. Inside it has the feel of an endless meeting with no real purpose. If it's a show it is a numbingly boring one. I was given credentials tonight (thanks MF) so had access to seats. They are general admission and they did fill up. I left after 30 minutes. 5 hours of speeches to get to John Edwards is just too much for me. The crowds, the heat, the sensory overload is exhausting. I found that I had to go walk around alone. That's when I walked by Sarah Jessica Parker wearing some hip John 04 John black T-shirt. Sightings are a big part of the convention. I feel that if I knew the faces of every mayor and legislator in the nation I'd be able to recognize half the crowd. About 70 percent of the crowd are suits and almost everyone has a bit of that self-important air about them. For some people this is a real trade show and they are doing business this week. That professionalism contrasts with the guys hawking Dem T-shirts and credit cards (free donkey shirt if you apply now). Al Sharpton's entourage includes a kid with an identical perm. Very few Members of Congress have a bodyguard which does contribute to the egalitarian spirit. It's only egalitarian if you're in, outside the free speech zone is a fenced-in cage with netting on the top. It's interesting to see the mix of people. But it's also a boring subject matter and four days to pump up John Kerry feels way too long.

UPDATE: In the comments section, Christina Erickson of JKTees solved the riddle of where those hip John 04 John shirts came from: her company. If you have been looking for the shirts, go to to buy one. And tell them DJW sent you.

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