Letters From the Editor

Notes From Protests Around New York

 I’m guessing most of the kids wearing Palestinian scarves will probably enjoy a comfortable, good night’s sleep once the RNC’s over, without facing tanks in the morning.

Why can’t the protesters wear more interesting costumes? Isn’t there something the Republicans hate more than dirty hippies? Why not dress like Hillary Clinton? For an effective message, I’d like to see a parade of Ann Coulter look-alikes telling the Republican delegates they need to convert to Christianity—i.e., the religion reported to value compassion and love for those less fortunate than yourself. Then again, greed’s not only good, it’s a lot more marketable than sacrifice.

 One nice thing about the protesters: You can tell which ones are tourists right off the bat. No matter how many anti-Bush pins are attached, the fanny packs give them away.

 “Unlearn Your Gender Expectations” isn’t the clearest message for a picket sign.

 It’s unclear which people in the protest crowds are press and which are protesters. A random sampling at Union Square this afternoon gave me a 50/50 split, but maybe it’s because Sony has apparently sponsored the protests. Everyone has a video camera, and every second’s worth recording. I feel for the protest film editors, back in the yurts drinking Red Bull.

 Amateur drummers should be deployed to the nests of our enemies.

 Turns out protesters like sex too. A large crowd of men with signs turned noticeably quieter when a pretty blond in a mini-skirt and red heels walked by. With her sunglasses, she was the perfect image of New York hot: oblivious to the stares, but quite aware her legs could power a small country.

When she was gone the men went back to yelling about Bush.

 Two big guys carrying pro-Bush signs were dumb enough to stand in the middle of an open plaza. In 20 minutes they were surrounded by a crowd 50-people deep. If they’d been smarter, they would have stood on the edge of the sidewalk so a quick dash to the subway could have saved their hides from a few hundred seething liberals. Then again, they were Bush supporters…

 Like the majority of cops keeping an eye on the events, the majority of protesters are remarkably polite. I was excuse-me’d more times in an hour than I get in a single year in New York. Still more proof the streets belong to the tourists.

biopic

Rosecrans Baldwin co-founded TMN with publisher Andrew Womack in 1999. He is the author of three books, including his latest novel The Last Kid Left (NPR’s Best Books of the Year). His nonfiction appears in a variety of magazines, mostly GQ. More information can be found at rosecransbaldwin.com. More by Rosecrans Baldwin

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