Sunday, July 25, 2004

Sunday, parts one and two

Sunday morning, seven AM.

Yesterday was actually quite busy after I got out of the internet café. The Boston Social Forum, i.e. Commie-fest ‘04™ was particularly so. What a freak show! We had practically every flavor of Marxist there is, from the Orthodox Commies of the Official Communist Party to half a dozen versions of Trotskyites to Pro-Palestinian bigots to the Fidel fan club. It’s quite amazing, really. I didn’t actually get to any of the speeches or workshops, but talking to people in the hallways and at the informational tables, which included some sane people like the ACLU and Nation magazine [which actually made a profit this year for the first time in over a century [!]

The one thing that I missed which I wished I had actually seen was at one workshop where Michael Lerner, editor of touchie-feelie "Tikkun" magazine, was heckled by an antijewish activist from Buffalo, NY and called a racist for his insistence that the Jewish population of Israel be permitted to remain there. I discovered this by listening into a argument by the person in question and a couple of others. The terms "racist" and "genocide" came out of her mouth with reckless abandon and the other two gave as good as they got, although one of them was an anarchist. When I tried to ask a question of two, I was told to shut up.

That happens a lot at these things.

You could tell a fanatic when a person at one of these tables tells you: "I’m not here to debate." Then what the hell are they there for, then?…Okay, to sell pamphlets and buttons, but I was told the same thing by people setting up for a workshop for crissake.

There weren’t only ultra-leftie whackoes selling paper products, there was street theater, two. A guy in a mountain goat suit fighting some guys dressed as mountaineers and people claiming to be bees protesting free trade in Central America. That was kind of fun, and there were several people there who were indeed quite sane. I guess they had no where else to flog their causes.

One group there I didn’t expect to see was the Kucinich campaign. The vegan congressman from Ohio was actually in the room, and I argued with one of his delegates [the con’s parties and such hadn’t started yet so there wasn’t anywhere to go yet], that they should vote for the guy on the first and only ballot. This is a TV show after all and a bit of scattered voting here and there would liven things up. But that may or may not happen.

But the afternoon began to fade into evening there was other things to do. The official media welcoming party at the Boston Convention Center was approaching!!!

This is the reason I spent four hours on the bus for. Food glorious food! Allegedly from the best restaurants in town. Great!

The Boston Convention Center is in South Boston, which isn’t actually south, but east, just across the bridge from the South station. It’s a bit of a walk, actually, and I would have taken the free shuttle bus if I could have found the damn thing. Regardless, when I got there, I was mightily impressed. The place is huge. In the front there was a red carpet where local celebrates would enter from rented limousines. Inside, Circ de Solel was doing wheelies one ropes suspended from the ceiling. It was all very nice but it was difficult to see when one is looking for the buffets, of which there were about half a dozen. That’s why we were there after all.

We begin with a salad, then we return for another round then another, going from tacos to roast beef to steamed mussels with smoked onion grits, followed by oriental chicken with brown rice, washed down with a beer, with a short rest and conversation, we go for the her crushed pork loins with potato al gratin and follow that with Cavoletti Pomadoro before going back to get more roast beef.

All this before we discover the wonder of the chocolate fountain [yeah, that’s Exactly what it was]. My stomach was quite distended, I decided to finally head home.

In our next episode we’ll go on a quest to find the Copley hotel, where we get our credentials, and go back to Commie-Fest™, where we will hear a speech by Peter Camajo, Ralph Nader’s Trotskyite running-mate…

11:30 AM

It wasn’t much of a quest, after all. I was surprised how easy it was to get everything I needed. The big news is that I’ve got a pass to the VIP food lounge, the most valuable thing in the entire convention. I got one in 1992 and there was free food and drink all day and all night. What could be better than that? Now to find free wireless internet.


I found a hotspot! Next update this afternoon, when I'll talk about Camajo and the protests on the common

No comments: