Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I've actually been in a real riot

Michelle Malkin needs to buy herself a clue. Here's a quick video that seems to capture the flavor of the demonstrations held in Denver while the DNC holds its lovefest:


Yes, I have seen a real riot in action. Let's flash back in time to 1988. Yes, kids, that was 20 years ago. I and a friend were at a concert that included a number of great acts, including Living Color, Public Enemy, and the headliners, Fishbone. Most of the gig was great, but in the middle of Public Enemy's set, a full-blown riot broke out. At first, there merely seemed to be more activity in the pit than there had been. Given my ties to the punk scene, I initially thought that moshing at a rap gig was a bit odd, but why not? It became obvious that there was definitely something other than moshing going on when the pit began to clear, save for a bunch of young men (well, about my age at the time) brandishing fists and knives. Thankfully there were no guns, and no one got killed. Needless to say, my friend and I cleared out of the pit until the vibe was a lot more chill.

Somehow, a bunch of folks marching and shouting slogans doesn't quite seem like the same thing as a riot. Then again, not only are we in the midst of our quadrennial political psychodrama, but we're in the midst of a decade in which the American Zeitgeist can best be characterized as paranoid (or at the least, much more paranoid than usual) - so much so that a bunch of people - some of whom may well have been wearing "Free Mumia" t-shirts - peacefully protesting the DNC's own complicity in our nation's warmongering are characterized as rioting. Oh yes, up is down, black is white, and the sun rises in the west and sets in the east.

There is some serious weirdness afoot, but it's not to be found in the streets outside the DNC schmoozefest. Rather, it's best to look at the professional weirdos who are so desperate for outrage that they can't rest until they can find a terrorist on every street corner.

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