Let me say publicly that DonBoy’s answer exudes a combination of intuitive genius and confidence that make me think DonBoy is going to do big things in his life. -- Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics blog)
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
After-the-fact DNC Blogging, Monday 7/26, Part 2:  In which I Get Amazingly Close to Good Stuff, and Learn What the Lighters Are For
Finally, we find "that room we were supposed to get to", which is close to the convention floor.  This is my cue to try to delete those pictures in my digital camera that didn't come out, in an attempt to save space in the camera.  The result of this operation is that I delete all pictures from the camera.  Since my real job is "Computer Programmer at a Company That Makes Image Processing Chips for Digital Cameras, But Not This Particular Camera", I feel like the world's biggest moron.
And now it's off to the floor, with perfect timing:  as we enter, Ladies and Gentlemen, Al Gore!  Who's great in the way that a politician can be when he's not running for anything.  Without exactly claiming the election was stolen, he jokes that "America’s a land of opportunity, where every little boy and girl has a chance to grow up and win the popular vote"; and says "let’s make sure that this time every vote is counted. Let’s make sure that the Supreme Court does not pick the next president, and that this president is not the one who picks the next Supreme Court."
Back to "that room" for a rest; then back out to the floor.  This time, I go, go, go, up an aisle until I can't get any further.  I find that I'm at the front of the Ohio delegation, and about as far front as it gets; later on, Dennis Kucinich will take his seat two chairs away from where I'm standing and blocking somebody's view (sorry, People of Ohio), and Senate candidate Jerry Springer wanders in and out as well.  In front of me are the sign-language interpreters, who, from the point of view of this hearing writer, have their breakout performance while signing along to a recording of  "Johnny B. Goode" when it's played during the break between some speaker and some other speaker.   Also close enough to touch: George Stephanopoulos, who is not surprisingly short but only because he's specifically known to be short...oh, all right, I was momentarily surprised.  He spends many, many minutes complaining to his unseen controllers that his headset isn't working.
Next up:  Jimmy Carter, the man for whom I cast my first Presidential vote.  He's a little weak of voice, but still I love 'im.  At this point I realize that I can see the teleprompter from where I'm standing, too, and I start following from that.  It's like closed captioning with cause and effect reversed.
More non-headliner time...sorry, all you fine elected officials, but I forget.  Around this time the DNC starts passing out tiny lighters; you squeeze them and they emit a pinpoint of light.  I don't know yet what this is for.
10PM: All networks are now with us.  Remarks by a woman -- a Muslim woman -- who lost family on 9/11.  Well, that's a little overly-clever a choice, I think.  She finishes; a young violinist appears, whose name (given later) I don't recall, but he's very Jewish.  And this Jewish violinist, in memory of the deaths of this Muslim woman's family and all the others, plays...Amazing Grace.
I roll my eyes.
The lights are low.
I realize that the room is full of the pinpricks of light from the squeezable lighters.  They're like candles.
I find my lighter, hold it high, and squeeze it.

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