Well, here at Smartbomb we ragged on the Republicans for being completely boring and white bread, despite the choreography that displayed every Republican of color in the entire country during the recent Philadelphia confab. So now we must give the Democrats equal time. OK, they’re boring, too, if not quite so white bread.
But at least old war horses Jesse Jackson and Teddy Kennedy got people’s blood up. Say what you will about Pat Buchanan, but he did relieve the boredom of Republican conventions past. Without him, the Republicans’ most exciting speaker was … let’s see … there must have been one …
It seems that black Democrats and others of color aren’t exactly jumping for joy at Al Gore’s choice for veep, that Lieberman dude from Connecticut. Old Joe has voted against affirmative action and has favored school vouchers. That would be like Dubya selecting a running mate who espoused freedom of choice and equal rights for gay people.
As for Al Gore, well, whaddya gonna say? Polls show that two out of three white men don’t trust Gore. They like Dubya. Maybe it’s because the little Bush owned a baseball team. Go figure.
From a local perspective, the strangest thing about these national political conventions is that Salt Lake City news organizations send reporters to cover them, as though we aren’t getting enough from the networks. KTVX, for example, sent crack political ace Chris Vanocur to Los Angeles. There, he interviewed Peter Jennings. Huh? One news guy interviewing another news guy? Maybe Chris is just trying to get a job at the network. Good luck, Chris.
Across town, the “Shadow Convention” was taking place. There, people were actually discussing real issues, rather than pandering to a dwindling TV audience. And our boy Rocky Anderson was one of the stars.
The mayor was invited to address the Shadow Convention after his move to kill the DARE anti-drug program in schools made national news. When the Rock took the podium, he let out a stem-winding diatribe against the federal War On Drugs, unmasking it as a war manufactured for political gain. It is, he said to a standing ovation, “a war that history will forever condemn as poorly conceived, and pathetically, yet brutally, executed.”
But Rocky wasn’t the only local star in L.A. last week. Sean Diener, the first person arrested in Philly, was again first to be handcuffed by police. Just like last month, the executive director of the Utah Animal Rights Coalition was arrested while dumping a truckload—four tons—of manure outside the convention hall. His message to Al Gore: Meat stinks and should be taxed.
So there you have it, the two most exciting guys at the Democratic National Convention were from good ol’ SLC. One was heralded for dumping a load of shit, and the other for making a bold statement—or vice versa, depending on how you look at it.