Live from DNC: Zombie at a Giant Puppet Parade!
Crossposted at Little Green Footballs
August 28, 10:00 pm PST
...and boy, do I regret it.
He got a lot of fist bumps from the passing crowd -- but no tickets. Would you give up your ticket to the Second Coming?
I tried to find the beginning of the line -- a line which seemed to have no beginning or end. I made the mistake at first of trying to go toward the entrance. Foolish me. Notice how the line seems to emerge from the stadium. I was told this was actually the middle of the line. So I tried my best to work my way backwards.
Back, back I went, for a quarter mile, a half a mile...and even after all that it kept winding and looping back upon itself over and over.
In each parking area, the line zigzagged in labyrinthine meanders, intended to handle to most amount of people in the space available.
It just kept going, and going...
...and going and going. The term "Kafka-esque" is overused, but boy, was it ever appropriate here.
Finally, I found myself back out on the city streets on the other side of the stadium, where it stretched for block after block...and here, I finally found the end of the line. A policemen keeping watch told me that the expected wait time at that point was over two and a half hours.
I heard a slight flurry of activity in the distance and went to investigate. Turns out a rumor was flying that they had opened an additional entrance on a lesser-used side of Invesco Field. People were pointing, but hesitated -- should they give up their precious place in line on the basis of a rumor?
But when a very official-looking man announced that it was indeed true, everyone within earshot scrambled overland toward the new entrance at top speed, as if someone had reported finding gold nuggets in a nearby river.
Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you: parking spaces in prime spots near the stadium were going for $80 apiece.
It was not a fluke. There were several signs like this, and some for $60 a little further out.
Were there protesters? Yes -- a tiny few. Some communists tried to convert stalwart Democrats in one portion of the line, with little success.
World Can't Wait joined in, acting like cult members as usual.
As I reported earlier, I saw the members of the crazy Fred "God Hates Fags" Phelps church walking by across the street at one point, but I was unable to follow them at that moment, and when I searched for them frantically later, I could find neither hide nor hair of them. Strange.
These two people were the only independent protesters I saw.
This security guard gave me a free bottle of water, and then murmured, "Are you for McCain?" I gave a noncommittal "possibly" sort of shrug, but that was enough to inspire him to open his vest.
Around the other back side of the stadium, I discovered what I think must have been the "VIP entrance" where all the politicos arrived.
As I was leaving to come file this report, my bus passed several heavily guarded convoys like this one headed back up toward that secret entrance: the bus barely visible on the left of the photo appeared to be filled with congressmen or some other high-status guests.
And that's what the view was like outside Invesco Field on the night of Obama's acceptance speech.
August 28, 08:00 pm PST
Here are some quick photos from outside Invesco Field on Thursday evening. I'll be adding to this post minute-by-minute with more images and captions. Keep refreshing for updates!
No single photo can convey the impossibly long extent of the line. According to police I spoke to, it was nearly two miles long at one point. It zigzagged crazily back and forth from one end of Invesco's vast series of parking lots to the other -- and then continued out onto the city streets. This is just 1% of the line; imagine this same scene extending to the horizon.
August 28, 04:35 pm PST
Live-blogging from Invesco Field. Walked all the way here with 1000 potheads on the marijuana march. The scene out here is crazy; endless lines six abreast stretching for miles from every stadium entrance. Obama frenzy is palpable in the air.
Oooh -- the Fred Phelps crazies just went by, carrying “God hates fags” signs. There they go.
Parking spaces are $80 each near the stadium. I saw several seniors close to fainting in the heat ...
MSM members are all around in this A&W place across from Invesco, buying sodas to keep from passing out, and calling in their stories. No way I’m getting in to see The Sermon on the 50-yard line -- it’s booked solid. The MSM guy next to me just told his editor that traffic is backed up five miles around the stadium.
Aug. 28, 07:56 am PST
On Tuesday, a group called The Backbone Campaign sponsored a parade they call "Procession to the Future," but which is better known in journalistic circles as Giant Puppets!
Here's a secret about parades: the best scenes are usually in the staging area, not the parade itself.
One of several symbolic figures: individual real women throughout history are used to personify various positive attributes. And who, in the long history of humankind, was chosen to exemplify Truth? Why, it's left-wing talk show host Amy Goodman!
They were having quite a struggle inflating the Statue of Liberty.
She was never quite able to achieve full erection.
You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!
This sad, overheated polar bear is here to remind us about global warming.
Amy Goodman was not the only symbolic figure. Justice, for example, is represented by Rosa Parks dressed up in what looks like a Harriet Tubman costume.
Ralph Nader's 2000 running mate Winona LaDuke is Respect.
Sadako Sasaki, the Hiroshima vitim who folded a thousand origami cranes, is Peace -- while that irrepressible Amy Goodman pulls a prank on a Code Pink member.
Because commercial radio stations say things we don't like!
In a nod to Americana, they had a gigantic Declaration of Independence.
Members of the public had been invited to sign it with messages of their own.
Finally the parade began for real. The Backbone Campaign's logo is a human spine on an American flag, meant to "embolden citizens and elected officials to stand up for progressive values."
Ah, the chain gang of war criminals: Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, George Bush, and Donald Rumsfeld. Progressive values!
Señor Coffee Cup is a real enigma. Is he supposed to be a migrant farm worker? And is the one defining attribute of farm workers that they carry around giant coffee cups?
Bees! The people carrying them were chanting, "Keep the bees alive! Keep the bees alive!"
Here's -- um...Donna Shalala (???) -- promoting nationalized healthcare.
Sometimes it seemed the sign-carriers went out of their way to wear the most inappropriate clothing. Here, for example, is a man with Soviet Union shirt who was part of a group carrying signs that demanded "Universal Human Rights" and "Dismantle Empire." Excuse me, sir: Are you trying to look like a fool?
And then there was the woman who showed her support for "Separation of Church and State" by wearing a kaffiyeh.
Take a moment to soak in the whole scene.
My favorite puppet without any doubt was the polar bear, because the people inside actually somehow managed to make it walk like a bear.
Watch out -- here comes the national bullet train. Coast to coast at high speeds! The most environmental idea ever.
One way to pass the time at the parade was to play "Identify That Giant Head." This one had me stumped. Edwin Meese?
Awwww: Finally -- something cute!
Mother Vegetable was a crowd favorite.
For once, the song is actually true: He really does have the whole world in his hands.
And a droopy Lady Liberty towered over them all. Sort of.