WHOOSE CASH? OUR CASH
So Bart, Matt and I headed up to Sotheby’s Auction house for the Defend Johnny Cash rally. At first it looked as if it was gonna be a washout but Bart and I started singing along with the other early arrivals and after the 4th version of I walk the Line squatters, gawkers, record store clerks, punks, hippies, professional protesters all started streaming in. Before I knew it the protesters were congregating on all the corners quicker than the police could build up the Free Speech Zones.
A little history: Johnny Cash was a lot of things including drug addict, father, band leader, folk singer, Christian, arsonist, good husband, loyal friend, and the list goes on, but partisan he was not. He never, even during the polarized 1960's when it was so easy to be in the silent/moral majority, declared anything other than compassion and justice to his fellow man and women. He sang with Bob Dylan, played to prisons, spoke frankly about the Vietnam War, and professed his faith with the conviction of a believer. I am sure he had friendships and loyalties across the political spectrum and could be painted conservative on some issues, but he no doubt had the progressive heart that has been the real American quality that has outshone our flaws.
The Tennessee delegation was hosting a party at Sotheby’s where later in September some of his stuff will be auctioned. This was nothing more than a sneak peek at the goods by greedy republicans. Another case, like so much of this ghoulish convention, seeks to use the voiceless dead to tell their tales. Maybe it kinda stupid to take a stand at this kind of event, except that music inspires people and the RNC so willingly co-opts Americana icons and heartland culture, it felt good to show up and declare one for "our side."
And when you see "their side" like Bart, Matt and I did in their WASPY clothes and hairdos I feel the cultural divide than makes defending Johnny Cash a righteous act. There has been some discussion on Listmaker about what good demonstrations do, and by and large it was a lot of yelling and emotion, but damn it it did feel good to scream myself into a wicked headache and get something out and have an audience for it. We booed the delegates and chanted and sang and basically ruined their party. There was like a revolving door as the tennesseans arrived, realized the bad vibe from the smelly crowd and began getting back on the class based rides out of there (Limos/Black SUVS/Sedans/town cars/cabs and lastly buses) The party lasted about and hour and a quarter, mostly with time taken up by lining up rides out. For most of the time Matt, Bart and I were right up front against the metal gates with 4 rows of helmeted cops stared us down. Look for us in the news and on the web.
HIGLIGHTS AND CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS:
Jello Biafra: The ex Dead Kennedy singer and professional rabble-rouser was in the crowd long enough to do 3 interviews and split. He really has gotten pudgy and grey.
Alphonse D'mato: Former New York senator. I tried to start an ALLLLLLPHONNNSE chant but maybe that was a little to pre-911 for this bunch.
Fred Thompson: Former actor and Tenn Republican Senator who has recently returned to acting by joining the cast of Law & Order. My heckle for him was: HOLLYWOOD ELITIST, HOLLYWOOD ELITIST.
George Allen: Former Virginia Governor (I was served him mini beef Wellington puffs at a VA republican function in Richmond during my days as a banquet temp) and current VA Senator. He also is the son of former Redskins coach George Allen SR. and brother of Tampa Bay Bucs GM Bruce Allen. Not to original, but I yelled "Fuck You George Allen, your no George senior!!!!!" It got a good response from him as he genuinely enjoyed being recognized.
Paul Tagliabue: NFL Commissioner. Not sure why he was there and he got there way late, maybe he was their on other business, but I still let him have it. Best heckle: "Paul Tagliabue? Is nothing sacred!!!” Not great but I love football.......
I also think I saw former Mass Governor and loser to Kerry in Mass Senate race William Weld. But I didn’t get to see Bill Frisk or former Tenn Gov Lamar Alexander. I actually walked Lamar's daughter down the aisle in a friends wedding. He also has been a luke warm supporter of gay rights due to my friends Mom's socialite politicking. I would have given him a pass.
SOME NON-CELEBRITY HECKLES I LANDED:
Someone get that junior event planner an apple martini (she was in major damage control as the we were making her job a nightmare. She cracked a smile on that one.)
Oh my god, look at that hair! Somewhere in Iraq a soldier is missing his helmet (This was some HUGE HAIR on this broad. She is looked like she was going to cry...)
How can a self respecting Sigma Chi leave an open bar early. (This was to some gaggle of twentysomethings who stayed for like 2 minutes)
Matt Army got a great chant of TROPHY WIFE AND A FAT HUSBAND...that was very popular with us and even got some stone faced cops to crack gas faces.
RNC GO HOME
WELCOME TO NY NOW GET THE FUCK OUT
HEY HEY HOO THE GOP HAS GOT TO GO
WHOOSE CASH? OUR CASH!
SHAME SHAME SHAME
YOUR UGLY AND MEAN THE GOP IS GOING DOWN IN A RING OF FIRE
you get the point
whats on tomorrow’s schedule?
Yours in visceral release,