Thursday, July 29, 2004

Lockdown


BOSTON--Your blogstress should have known better. She had, after all, just gotten a call from her colleague, Lou Chibbaro, Jr., staff reporter for the Washington Blade, from the convention floor, who said, "We're in some kind of lockdown here. They won't let me off the floor." She figured he just meant the convention floor, closed for the customary sweep. But no.


Being bad girls, blogstresses occassionally need a smoke, and yours made the fatal error of stepping outside the building to inhale. Delegates were being held back by barriers at the foot of the stairways and escalators, but no cue was taken. It's just crowd control, n'est-ce pas? It was still early, and the candidate wasn't scheduled to begin droning until 10:00.



Upon returning to the building, your intrepid muse was met by phalanxes of police officers or some sort of law enforcement in black hats, as well as regular Boston cops, everywhere, and nobody, not even your blogstress--who had purloined by now an even more impressive credential than the one passed through the gate to her earlier in the evening--was permitted back up. By your cyberscribe's estimation, at least 1,000 credentialed people were turned out of the building because of overcrowding, according to the Boston Fire Department. No amount of whining or cajoling won your blogstress the right to return to the media center, nor did the fabulous, formfitting black spandex and leather outfit that had won her the aforementioned more impressive credential.



In order to avoid being completely thrown out of the building, your vision in black made a sly turn onto radio row, a corridor off the ground-floor entrance to the Fleet Center where the political talk shows had set up shop. Alan Colmes, foil to Sean Hannity on that fair and balanced network, was there, stranded with mere mortals, his show about to start within minutes from a skybox he could not get to.



On radio row, your netette hung about with two very hip members of the North Carolina delegation, Zack Hawkins and former state legislator Sharon Thompson. She told her tale of woe to a radio guy, who said, "See, smoking will kill you."



Also got a whole riff from one Emanuel Gardiner on a documentary he's working on for the founder of Qwest Communications, who also produced a feature called "Fade to Black". Emanuel's film is about the involvement of black youth in this year's election. (More about this in later posts.)



This dispossessed group hung around, gabbing in front of a TV set, when Kerry's traveling press corps--the folks to whom your cybertrix had lost her internet connection earlier in the evening--were whisked by, then stopped in front of an elevator. Sidling up to them, your Webwench almost made into the elevator, with a newly purloined backstage pass, no less, when a sharp-eyed aide gave her the third degree and took away the beautiful, blue backstage tag. Pleading for them to at least let her reunite with her computer in the filing center got your electronic goddess nowhere. (Unfortunately, the aide was a straight girl, the one order of humankind immune to your blogstress's magical charms.)



Some time later, a group of journos were being escorted to the restrooms by men with big guns (no sh*t), so your blogstress decided this was an excellent time to powder her Persian nose. The ruse worked, and she got to walk back with these media folks to their workspace, which turned out to be no closer to the press filing center than she had been before. The area to which she was escorted was a big outdoor tentspace for something called CBS Newspath. Being Princess of the Blogosphere, your écrivaine had no cause to understand what on earth these people were doing, other than watching television on two-screened gadgets that folded up into suitcase-type carriers. So she stole the bottle of water that someone had left beside his computer, and parked herself for the speech, on which she could not concentrate.



Whining eventually paid off with a soft-hearted policeman, who agreed to escortez-t-elle to the press filing center, until the two found themselves foiled by a group of officious-looking people guarding the stairwell. They would not budge.



In front of the stairwell sat two unguarded escalators that would have led to the holy grail that was the third-floor filing center, if only both had not been running downwards. So your blogstress walked up one of them, and paid dearly when she stumbled at the top, banging herself up pretty badly. A kindly young man threw his hand down to her as she was drifting away with the sinking stairs, pulling her up to safety. She now sits before you, noting a wet spot on her spandex-infused pants that is sticking to her knee. One imagines this is something icky, like blood, so one prefers to ignore it. After all, there are parties to hit.



Needless to say, your blogstress has little of merit to say about Kerry's speech, most of which she missed. But for an excellent run-down, check out the comments of her excellent new friend, Patrick Belton of OxBlog.

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