Saturday, 4 September 2004

Now if we had these instead of bandhs

Dave Barry on one of the protests in New York, home of the Republican convention.
This media crowd -- which, you will be surprised to learn, was overwhelmingly male -- formed a semicircle around the protesters, keeping a respectful distance and behaving with the decorum and almost reverent solemnity of guys who know that, if they don't mess it up, women will show them their panties.

Also on hand were some Wall Street workers who had paused on their way home to be part of this important protest. I stood near two guys in suits who were inching their way forward to the front of the crowd when one of them grabbed the other's arm and said, ''Jesus, there's a camera straight across.'' The two of them quickly melted back into the crowd, apparently not wishing for their spouses to see them on the evening news. (``Working late, Frank? IS THAT WHAT YOU CALL WORKING LATE?'')

Finally, after much respectful media anticipation, the protesters began chanting a chant that I cannot repeat in the newspaper except to say that it utilized wordplay involving the president's last name. Then a spokesperson read a statement, which I couldn't hear, although her tone sounded very sincere. Then the protesters flashed their panties, and chanted "THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!" The press corps, performing its vital First Amendment role of keeping you, the public, informed on the issues, took 174 billion close-up photographs of the various panties. Then the protesters chanted several more chants, the most printable being "THE PANTY LINE'S BEEN DRAWN; WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?"

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