The good folks at the Democratic National Convention, ever mindful of the fundamental importance of equity and fairness in all endeavors—just kidding this place is a buzzing hive of status anxiety and barriers to entry based on a byzantine credentialing system!—generously allow the hoi polloi to wander the sacred floor of the convention space and rub shoulders with the delegates, but only for an hour at a time. Here's what it looks like AT THE CENTER OF HISTORY.
I guess we'll start with the hotel. Ours is a shithole. A $250-a-night mildewy rathole for truckers and prostitutes on a decimated strip mall. Charlotte is the armpit of the south, a glorified half-dead exurb with some tall buildings planted in the middle. There are skeezy-looking tattoo shops everywhere, and none of the stores are open past midnight.
Imagine, if you will, the following scene tonight, during Mitt Romney's address to the Republican National Convention: the lights go out. The ominous sound of bells rings through the convention center. A spotlight appears in the center of the stage, where a puff of smoke barely conceals the sudden appearance of a single, silhouetted figure. On the floor, convention goers strain their necks, stand up, shading their eyes — is it? — can it be? Onstage, Romney is nodding his head to a barely perceptible drumbeat.
To watch America's most treasured political theater play out firsthand is to come to understand that this is not about real things that happen in the world outside of television boxes and the mouths of anointed leaders. This is a mass indulgence of the faithful in the collective ecstasy of their faith. As an act of cognitive dissonance, the speeches of the Republican convention were breathtaking in their boldness.
The Tennessee-based Tea Party Nation, a group which even some Tea Party warriors consider a bit "scammy," was forced to cancel its National Tea Party Unity Convention in Las Vegas last year over a lack of demand. But it appears that it may not have canceled promptly enough to avoid paying! So the Las Vegas resort that TPN had booked out is suing the group for hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid bills.
Thousands of furries descend on Pittsburgh this weekend, for the sixth annual Anthrocon, America's foremost convention for "anthropomorphics," commonly known as "furries." Participants are already wandering the streets of Steel City, wearing costumes and carrying puppets, posing for pictures with locals, going to raves, and singing "furraoke" while boozing at local bars.
Dave Matthews, Kanye West, and Sheryl Crow are all performing like monkeys for VIPs in Denver this week. Also expected to be skulking around Denver this week are Ben Affleck, Josh Brolin, Annette Bening, Spike Lee, Anne Hathaway, Susan Sarandon and Charlize Theron, according to AFP. Oh, and Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi are performing before and after Obama's acceptance speech, at that stadium! Soooo many celebrities! Because America loves its celebrities, except that it also despises and resents them. You know how most of America's problems are caused not by the disastrous failure of government over the last like 30 years but by, uh, Tim Robbins? Yes, of course you do! So do Republicans, who learned long ago that the only thing America loved more than obsessively consuming pop culture object is loudly decrying the creators of those objects as unAmerican queers. The fact that Hollyweird (along with the music and television weird-ustries) caters directly and scientifically to every desire of every American demographic does not mean that anyone actually likes famous people, because, obviously, they are misanthropic wealthy blinkered assholes whose lives bear no resemblance to the lives of their audiences. Which is true! They are! Just like politicians and their constituencies! Except no one knows who their Representative is, and everyone knows who Ben Affleck is. He is the Vince Vaughan who isn't funny! And then it gets really odd, because even someone like Bruce Springsteen-who is unreservedly beloved by basically all white people older than 30-suddenly becomes a loathed example of garish flashy wealth when he sings a song for a Democrat. But, you may say, if you actually like Bruce Springsteen it is patently obvious that he has always sang bleeding heart songs about losers betrayed by their countries! But he also sings about cars which cause the Global Warming, which is a myth except when liberal celebrities have big houses, and then it is real. So. Now Obama has to "stay away" from these famous people, except for the ones singing to him on TV, and also George Clooney has issued a press release announcing that he's never texted Barack Obama. George Clooney, in case you are unfamiliar with him, is basically the single most well-liked man in America, which is why his support for Barack Obama is the kiss of death. Of course, if you are a Republican, you get to have the support of shitty country acts who are massively, hugely, insanely popular across the entire country except in the places where journalists live, so they don't count as "celebrities." Get it? Photoshop: Steve Dressler
It's time for the Democratic National Convention in lovely, boring Denver! Are you psyched? Journalists are! Because they're going to be drunk for a week, thousands of miles from home! Just two of the many venues in which hardworking journalists will be getting their drink on the over the next few days are the bars taken over by the cable news networks. Fox's hip FOX Experience and the down-home CNN Grill. Which one looks more like the worst possible place you could ever get drunk? Let's see!