DNC Photo Essay Part 2: Less Merch, More Protests


As I said, things livened up a bit after my first photoventure. Whereas the 16th Street Mall was dominated by shoddy souvenirs on Monday, as the week wore on people grew less interested in spending money on things and more interested in expressing their opinions in creative and silly ways. So let's take another photographic stroll down the mall, shall we? Yes, we shall.

Okay, so this is kind of a hybrid merch-protest operation. They're selling an anti-Bush book based on a song by the band Shivaree.

I have to say, I don't see the logical connection here, other than the fact that ICE raids, war, and torture are all things that the Bush administration likes to do. And these folks have cleverly tapped in to the marketing power of nudity.

I now wonder if he can see through that mask or if the guy behind him is spotting for him, like that part in Rabbit Hill.

The world continues to not be able to wait.

Here's a woman wearing a patch whose sentiments I heartily endorse. And dig that belt! It's like cheap Final Fantasy armor!

Crowd shot that somehow managed to not capture a single Obama T-shirt, despite the fact that 80% of people on the mall this week were sporting some sort of Probama gear. Go figure.

Some surly ATF dudes guarding a very important alley. I think the guy on the left is saying "Let's kick this guy's ass." It's not clear who the guy on the right is talking to but I'm pretty sure that's not an ATF shirt he's wearing.

I got to this spot just in time for a protest march. I think they were chanting "Global warming, no more warring," again linking two completely unrelated causes. I guess it's efficiency? I don't know, they didn't consult me first.

More mad protesting action. I think those are Atreides flags.

The marchers had a police escort whose main job appeared to be yelling at people to get out of the way of the police escort.

The Pep Boys are watching you!

You may think this guy is trying to be a patriotic cowboy, or that he wanted to be able to walk around during the DNC without having his face plastered on some lame blog, but it turns out he doesn't have a jaw. Eats apple sauce through a hole in his neck. It's tragic, really.

The "Make Out Not War" patch is somehow less compelling this time around. This is my second DNC photo with a small, portable dog looking off to the right.

I don't have anything snarky to say about this nice lady. But check out the goofy idiot behind her.

Wait, I thought the whole thing was that young women were pro-Obama and older women were pro-Hillary, and the older women were all mad because the younger women don't understand what women have had to go through to get this far. Are these girls being ironic? Or have the media somehow oversimplified things at me? Could XX Factor be wrong? How can this be?

McCain and Obama flip-flops. Thank you, 2004 Presidential Election, for making it totally unacceptable for politicians to change their minds about things. Stubborn inflexibility is the hallmark of a true leader! Join me or die!

You'd think at some point I would have lost my fascination with the riot cops, but no. They still scare the hell out of me.


People were really bringing the crazy this week. Again, the connection between a liberal political awakening, Oprah, and a free car seems manifestly tenuous.

Because I am a married man, I won't voice my opinion as to whether that button is being worn descriptively or normatively.

The road leading to the convention. The little green illegible sign points the way to Invesco Field. Exciting!

This van had pictures of aborted fetuses and "This was not MLK's dream" on one side, and a bunch of anti-gay biblical stuff on the other side. I like how he tried to squeeze the E in after mispelling "Hussein" but didn't realize he had also messed up on "Barack."

I like the idea of someone walking into this gallery and saying, "You know what I'd really like is a really large picture of Barack Ob- Hey! The Cat in the Hat!"

Another idiotic tie-in. "The Patriot Pen"? Really?

Here's a shot from my office window. The round, flying saucer-looking thing at the far right is the roof of the Pepsi Center. Invesco field is the clam-shaped stadium in the distance. In the foreground you can see the barricades blocking off Auraria Parkway, a major road that was closed all week.

The big news yesterday was the large protest march that started out as a Rage Against the Machine Concert at the Denver Coliseum. I'm not sure what all went down other than what I could see from my office. But here's what I saw. This is an intersection of the 16th Street Mall that was temporarily blocked off to make way for the protesters, who haven't arrived yet.

Once word got out that the protesters planned on convening at this intersection (the barricaded intersection from above), a crowd started gathering and (you guessed it) riot cops got ready for some beat-down duty. You can see the riot squad in formation off to the right, and a second squad lined up on the grass behind the umbrellas.

The marchers stopped here for a while for reasons that remain unclear.

Then they hung a right toward the rendezvous point...

...and were diverted! The police somehow cajoled them into redirecting their march toward the empty University of Colorado campus, where that kind of garbage belongs. At the top of the photo you can see the lights of the police motorcycles leading the crowd.

This is mainly just showing off the digital zoom function on my camera. 27 floors up and a mile away and I can readily tell that these folks are trying to convince the Democrats not to attack Iran. Mission accomplished, fellas.

After things stabilized there was some kind of press conference, and I decided to head on home.

On the way I saw this enormous dog.

And these patriotic ladies.

With enormous fake missile penises. That's all I have to say about that.

Here's the woman with the "turd vs. paper bag" sign referenced in my previous blog post. When I tried to take her picture she dodged and apologized for being in my way, not realizing that I was trying to take her picture.

Poppycock! Bill Bennett said this would bring down crime rates!

Took me all damn day to get a shot of these folks. They were driving laps up and down the Mall and it was a damn chore to get the whole matzo ball into the frame.

Don't these children realize that they'll get killed by terrorists at three in the morning if Obama is elected? What have their parents done to them? And no, I didn't give them any money, either.

Gay little balloon on the train ride home.

This morning Dr. M came into the city with me so she could experience the Mall Madness first-hand. This is lovely Larimer Street, with a bunch of flags that I mostly don't recognize.

Two great things that go great together.

American flag made of wine corks and sparkling wine corks. Notice I didn't say "champagne corks," because making an American flag out of french wine corks would be blasphemy punishable by banishment.

I really like this for some reason.

Loaded and rich.

Why indeed? Certainly not for my skills as a photographer. The editor in me notices (1) the lack of "ly" after "righteous" and (2) the adjusted kerning in "HEAVEN" for emphasis. Good show, severe-looking black-suit-wearing religious guy!

As I type this, Obama is giving his acceptance speech, and tomorrow the city of Denver will plod through a hazy post-convention hangover as the delegates and other attendees return to their homes and the nation turns its attention to St. Paul and McCain's VP pick. Next week, no doubt, the Mall will return to the hands of vagrants and (pissy, as it turns out) street performers, picked-over Democratic merch will be marked down, and we'll all get on with our simple mountain-folk lives. But I'll always have the missile penis ladies.


Another excellent photo essay. Makes me feel like I was there, too!

I loved both parts of the Photo Essay!
Neck-hole-guy... Classic.

I enjoyed this photo set as much as the previous one. Makes me appreciate what I'm missing.

I should point out that before far-right wackos were trying to fix misspellings on signs by inserting tiny letters (re: HUSSeIN) I was doing the same with an ill-fated SQUeLCH sign.

I feel cheated. I thought I was reading first-edition, breaking news photo coverage when I log into Facebook. Now I just find that it's rehashed material that's in your blog (or vice versa). This is like tuning into your favorite TV show during the summer and 30 seconds into it you realize that the plot seems vaguely familiar... and then you realize it's an episode from two years ago. Well, don't worry, I usually am too lazy to switch the channel so I wind up watching the sit-com... your blog is still entertaining the second time around.

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This page contains a single entry by hb published on August 28, 2008 7:46 PM.

Obama as Schroedinger's Cat was the previous entry in this blog.

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