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Terror and the City Part II: Bumbershoots and Krytonite, Oh my!
by Bryan Zepp Jamieson
Zepp's Commentaries
August 29, 2004

According to the news, some quarter million protesters are in New York City right now on account of the GOP convention.

Well, that's not really a surprise. A lot of people hate the GOP, which is seen as cold, imperious, contemptuous of ordinary people, and out to steal the country. This may be because many people in the GOP, especially the leadership, are cold, imperious, contemptuous of ordinary people, and out to steal the country. Think of it as a character flaw.

The authorities in New York are in paroxysms of fear and paranoia over all this, and have decided that there is going to be a huge terror attack unless they weld the entire Island of Manhattan shut.

Now, the probability of a terrorist attack on the convention is somewhat problematical. The middle east terrorists don't enter into it. George W is the best thing that ever happened to al Qaida, and the last thing they want to do is kill off George and his buddies. Thanks to George, terrorist cells in the middle east have multiplied ten-fold, bin Laden is as safe as a church, and they have a whole new country to base their operations from -- Iraq. Further, they don't have to struggle against Saddam and the Taliban any more, and their respective followers. In the Moslem middle east, George has truly been a uniter, not a divider.

If middle east terrorists want to strike at America and frighten the American people half to death so they can be sure to elect George for another four years, the terrorists will strike somewhere ELSE; a baseball game in the midwest, maybe, or a county fair in California.

That leaves domestic terrorists. Most of those like George's stands on abortion and gay rights and so on, and so they aren't likely to attack the GOP convention.

The demonstrators themselves? To be sure, there's some that wouldn't shed a single tear if George were to drop dead while giving his acceptance speech. And there's probably going to be some that think busting some windows is going to help the cause. But most are there to express an opinion, not overthrow the state.

The trouble is, in a paranoid and fascistic America, the petty authorities can't tell the difference. Any challenge to their authority is to be met with the most extreme measures possible.

As a result, in the former nation of America, all demonstrators are being frisked. They are being searched for guns and knives, and also large umbrellas. Just where one might put a large umbrella that would require searching I leave to the reader's imagination. I doubt the authorities will give special dispensation to small umbrellas if it happens to be raining, or it's sunny and the protester has fair skin. There shall be no provisions for personal comfort if you oppose der Leader!

What makes all this bizarre beyond reckoning is the fact that the demonstrators are shunted off to twenty blocks from the convention site. That's about six or seven miles, separated by canyon streets and a miasma of traffic.

Ok, with an umbrella, even a large one, your options are limited. Even with ricin on the tip, such as the KGB allegedly used for an assassination in London, you need to get within five miles of your intended victim. Anyone who wants to scream and charge at the president and fifty or sixty heavily armed secret service guards with an umbrella is free to try, but it's a pretty safe bet that he won't pose much of a threat, beyond leaving a puddle of blood on the ground that someone might slip on. Maybe if you're Doctor Ock, you can fashion an umbrella that can toss kryptonite six miles, forgetting briefly that kryptonite not only doesn't exist, and actually has no effect on either Toby McGuire or George W.

Face it, at six miles away, there's nothing anyone can do with an umbrella, even a large one, that is going to make the timid and jumpy George W. flinch.

At Penn station, they're welding the trash cans shut. This is so people won't notice that the president is going through the trash looking for scraps of food, and hit on putting a bomb in one in order to assassinate him.

Armed troops are everywhere in the home of the brave and the land of the free, at least on the island of Manhattan. Thirty seven thousand of them, or so I'm told.

The rumors are lurid. Shadowy and sinister groups are sending thousands of hookers infected with AIDs to troll the conventioners. Coals to Newcastle, of course. If anyone tried bringing AIDs infected hookers into midtown Manhattan, all the local AIDs infected hookers would gang up and kill the intruders. Since there really isn't much difference between an AIDs infected hooker and a lobbyist for a GOP special interest, it would put a lot of campaign contributors at risk for death by round' the world.

Troopers will be on all buses, subway trains, and monitoring other vehicles against car bombs, of course, even though thanks to tank stoppers and oppressive, frightened, paranoid security, only those vehicles equipped with nuclear weapons could have much effect on the convention, and New York State vehicular code forbids nuclear weapons on vehicles as part of the clean air program. No word on what they plan to do about taxi drivers. Surely someone in the secret service has seen that Robert DeNiro film. Maybe they will ban taxis from midtown Manhattan for four days. That should get them lots of votes.

The convention itself features an immense animated CGI flag behind the huge podium, which will remind you unpleasantly of the Nuremberg rally. Watch for Leni Riefenstal's new documentary, "The Triumph of the Ownership Society". And remember Shaffik's words: "But always remember, my friend: when politicians begin demanding patriotism of the people of a country, fascism has arrived."

The GOP convention will feature ghastly fascism and unintentional dark humor, of course, but I suspect the real show is going to be outside the convention.

When you take a frightened, paranoid and rigid authoritarian mind set and use it to control angry, free, and fed up people, interesting things can happen.

And the results will be a lot closer to the real America than all the flag-wavers in Madison Square Garden will manage.

Posted: September 1, 2004


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