The DNC celebrity fest, from a distance

This week, more reminders that police and the major parties have mastered the trick of keeping protesters at a distance from national conventions without making mass arrests that might result in bad publicity.

That’s why this year’s DNC is at the Wells Fargo Center, one of several sports venues on Philly’s southern fringe, far removed from any actual street life. You can see for miles down there, but all you can see are parking lots, ballparks and arenas.

Hardcore Bernie loyalists, Jill Stein supporters and other protesters are permitted to march down Broad Street and gather in FDR Park, to the west of Wells Fargo Center, in the unrelenting July heat, but fences prevent them from getting anywhere near the center itself.

In fact, they can do little more than march past one another chanting slogans — preaching to the choir, as it were — with the knowledge they will be herded into police vans and face federal charges if they do anything cops deem disruptive.

Philly is my hometown. I’ve biked to the convention scene several times to join the protesters, but the setting raises an age-old question: If thousands of protesters chant in a place where no one else can hear them, do they really make a sound?

Inside the convention center rich celebrities, one after another, have taken the stage to tell us commoners why we should vote for Hillary, who in the past has taken exactly the wrong stand on many issues important to progressives.

Paul Simon sang and so did Alicia Keys. Meryl Streep’s speech was a testimonial for Hillary. And so on. The message of the event is that Democrats must unite in order to make sure Donald Trump is defeated. A good message, but why all the celebrity kitsch?

On Monday, former Bernie supporter Sarah Silverman went so far as to admonish nay-sayers in the building. She said, “To the Bernie-or-bust people, you’re being ridiculous.”

To which I would have replied, “To me, Sarah, the fact that you can scold Bernie die-hards on national TV, just because you’re a celebrity, is ridiculous. Your presumption that you can influence my vote, just because you’re a celebrity, is insulting. Vote for whomever you prefer. Meanwhile, please shut the fuck up.”

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Who has Hillary’s back? SLAYER!

Slayer @ Hellfest 2016, Clisson | 19/06/2015

Clinton Gets A Heavy Metal Celebrity Endorsement, While Trump Gets Body Slammed Kerry King, the guitarist and main songwriter from everyone’s favorite thrash metal band, Slayer, has a few things to say about this year’s election. Even though the big, bald bundle of metal riffs admits to Rolling Stone magazine that he isn’t an expert on… Continue Reading →

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So sick of guns. Just sick of them.

I am so glad the Dems are going toe to toe with the NRA this year. When Erica Smegielski, daughter of the slain Sandy Hook principal, looked around the hall and said she wanted to be home watching the DNC on TV with her mother, that she would give up every day she had left for one more day with her mother — well, I about lost it. Because every damn day, someone in my city gets shot and killed, and it’s time we stopped it.

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Last night’s highlights

Uncle Joe just killed it:

“We lead not by the example of our power but by the power of our example.”

A real billionaire lets Trump have it:

Now, we’ve heard a lot of talk in this campaign about needing a leader who understands business. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve built a business, and I didn’t start it with a million-dollar check from my father.”

Tim Kaine rocked the house:

“When he says, ‘Believe me,’ do you believe him?”

And President Obama closed out the evening:

“And that’s why I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman more qualified – not me, not Bill – than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America.”

And then they hugged. The end.

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