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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Post-toastie



BOSTON--This could well be the last AddieStan post of the evening. Though your blogstress did manage to get herself into the Fleet Center tonight in an extralegal manner (which involved, literally, a credential being passed through a fence), it seems that a good chunk of the press filing center is being turned over to the press corps that travels with Kerry.



This is my fourth national political convention, and I've never seen this done. The candidate's traveling press corps is composed of reporters who work for the well-heeled outfits that have their own workrooms here.



But considering the fact that, at least according to the DNC, your blogstress has no business being here at all, one supposes she should be grateful for the printed texts of speeches, the internet access enjoyed thus far, and the company of journalists.

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Kerry's speech



BOSTON--Well, they've just passed out excerpts from the text of Kerry's acceptance speech. I wish I could say that it looks like a knock-out, but if these are any indication, we can expect the same sort of buzz-word loaded stuff we hear on the campaign trail. Here's the acceptance part:



So tonight, in the city where America's freedom began, only a few blocks from where the sons and daughters of liberty gave birth to our nation--here tonight, on behalf of a new birth of freedom--on behalf of the middle class who deserve a champion, and those struggling to join it who deserve a fair shot --for the brave mmen and women in uniform who risk their lives every day and the families who pray for their return--for all those who believe that our best days are ahead of us--for all of you--with great faith in the American people, I accept your nomination for President of the United States.

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More than out



BOSTON--After a week of nary a queer word from the convention podium, tonight is sounding like gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered night, at least until the networks tune in during primetime.



Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank just gave a real rip-roaring speech, in which he took to task his colleagues in the House who set aside the nation's business--funding homeland security and countless other vital national programs--to take up the unconscionable federal marriage amendment to the Constitution. The GOP amendemtn effort becomes especially cynical when you add in the fact that the Republicans knew they couldn't win the three-quarters victory they needed in the Senate, but they wasted the people's time on it anyway in order to have a flag to wave before their charming base.



Buzz is that Barney Frank may go for Kerry's vacated Senate seat should the latter Massachusettan (dig that word!) wind up in the White House. Said Frank to a gathering of gay Democratic delegates earlier today: "I'll get back to you on that."

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The tyranny of the post



BOSTON--The swell thing about blogging is that you can do whatever you want, with no pesky editor telling you that your ideas are cockamamie.



The frustrating thing about blogging is that all the decisions are up to you, and there's no pesky editor there to tell you when your ideas really are cockamamie, or when your prose has run off the rails.



In an environment such as this convention, the pressure to post is extremely high.
Blogs are, after all, said to be the running commentary on this event. Combine the tyranny of the post with the tedium of relentless self-promotion (tune up those violins) and what was always a narcissistic medium becomes a cult of one--one's own personality that is, or at the very least, of the persona in which one blogs.



Exhausted from e-mailing each little gem from her blog to tout le monde, sick of her self-consciously arch blogstress persona, unsure that there was really anything left to say about this confab, Addie actually went out today to do some reporting (go figure), and has hence fallen down on her blogger duties of perpetual musing.


And so, we have this post about not much of anything, which has been constructed for the purpose of having posted.

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