ME and Ophelia

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Blogging doctor visits democratic convention

Blogging doctor Nicholas Genes lives and works on the east coast of America. Nick says his big revelation this week is that he has hobnobbed with the literati (but just didn't know it at the time). Back in college, Duncan Black used to date Nick's friend, and hang out. Years later, Black assumed the secret identity of Atrios, the prominent liberal blogger who recently revealed himself this week in Boston. But Nick will always remember him as "Dunkers" ... or on a bad day, "Clunkers" ...

Nick usually writes about medicine, science and a variety of interesting stuff. But little about himself. So it was a treat to read about his visit to Boston, Wednesday evening, to experience the convention - and beer.

He points out there's a lot of social climbing at these events, and says "If you don't have something official dangling from your neck, you're not going to have long conversations with those who do."

There was a man in a furry donkey mask, walking around and shouting into a megaphone: "It has come to my attention that John Kerry has not released his dental records. What is Kerry trying to hide?" And Nick saw a noted historian wearing leather and stripes looking like a rock star (from behind). One of his friends claimed he saw Rudolph Giuliani KBE.

He says LaRouche people were everywhere. One of them was following around rich-looking delegates and telling them their money would be worthless in the new order. Another was wandering around, shouting, "A vote for Kerry is a vote for Edwards."

Of the controversial "free speech zone" (pictured here) more than a block away from the convention site, Nick writes: "the free speech zone really was creepy. Chain link, barbed wire, and the monstrous steel remains of the old central artery gave the area a Big Government feel, back when Big Government meant forced internment."

Of the "cage" he says: "It's a shame that nobody's making use of the cage, though. Think of how compelling and poignant the images would be if there were a lone protester, holding up their sign, in the middle of the cage. When we saw this, it was not so much compelling & poignant, just pathetic. The site was pretty much deserted, so anyone could step up to the podium and heckle the passing delegates. Maybe I'll get a picture up."

Here's hoping Nick posts pictures - and continues to write more about his life, and things like his chatting up of a malpractice trial lawyer :)

PS Wish people wouldn't mention they have a secret when they're unwilling to share it :) In Nick's post he writes about four openers to use in conversation with strangers at a convention. Two of them don't work. The two that do work he says, are, um, going to stay secret...
- - -

What kind of person wants to be a politician anyway?

Blogging pathologist Madhu, who lives in the same part of America as Nick, makes me laugh. Maybe in another life she was a comedian. I find her very funny. Everything she writes makes me titter, chuckle, chortle or smile. Her take on life is unique and subtle. She has a very fine and gentle mind that's always on the ball.

A few days ago, Madhu wrote how she watched some of the Democratic Convention on television, and parts of Edwards' speech. Love this line she wrote: "Nice wife introduced him and cute kids hugged him at the end. In between, he smiled and sparkled and got that misty, far-away look in in eyes, like, look how far I've come, just look! "

While watching the convention, Madhu clicked in and out of a reality TV show called "Amish in the City" that gives five young adults the chance to explore the big city and discover what life is like outside their Amish communities. When one Amish kid tried to show the city kids a toy he had carved out of wood and he was so shy and clueless, she could hardly bear to watch. And she added, "ditto for the convention". Heh :)

Years ago, I spent* six eye opening weeks in York, Pennsylvania. Life there each Sunday had to be seen to be believed. Religion completely overtook the TV and radio stations. Glad the Amish kids TV show is not shown here. I'd find it gut wrenchingly exploitative and sad. And cruel too, pitting opposites against each other for the sake of good ratings. Reminds me of animal cruelty in the olden days when different breeds were thrown together for the amusement of onlookers to wager bets on the outcome.

The BBC has a round-up of voters' views on the Democratic Convention. Here's looking forward to reading what bloggers have to say about the Republican Convention.

* not telling why - it's a secret :)

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 8/01/2004
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