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  STORIES FROM THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION.  
   
   
     
 

LOVE HIM, HATE HIM -- YOU SIMPLY CAN'T IGNORE HIM THIS TIME. -- Will Leitch
George W. Bush is the guy, isn't he? I'm watching him on television right now and it is amazing to me that this man is able to inspire such violent emotions -- pro and con. I am from a generation that, frankly, has never given a shit. We are paralyzed with indecision and uncertainty, we are growing too old too fast, we don't understand it, it's all creeping up on us, we didn't know the shit we thought didn't matter really did, you know? We tried to pretend this shit didn't affect us. We were so wrong. We tried to hide. We tried to put off the future. We failed. We failed big time. MORE

WEEK IN CRAIG: PROTESTER ROLLS HER WAY RIGHT INTO SLAMMER. -- Amy Blair
I decided to bust out my brand-spanking new rollerblades and went careening into a group of about 30 cops in riot gear on duty in midtown along the West Side Highway, screaming all the way "I can't stop, I can't stop!" Had I thought of it ahead of time, I could have carried a ripped-up American flag, and then I totally would have gotten handcuffed and might have even made the cover of the New York Post with some kind of super catchy headline like "Protester Rollerblades Her Way Right Into The Slammer!" MORE

NOW IT'S TIME TO SAY GOODBYE, TO ALL OUR COMPANY... -- Kristen French, Frank Smith & Audrey Ference
With the convention finally behind us, The Black Table has taken a moment to reflect on all the things we've learned about the politics and protesting and policework. After that moment passed, we promptly went to the airport to suckerpunch and rob unsuspecting delegates who had the rosy glow of those who never, not even for a second, had a single real New York experience over the last four days. After blazing a trail of carnage through LaGuardia and J.F.K., we promptly returned home to sort through whatever pictures we hadn't run yet. Here they are. MORE

THE VIEW FROM THE FLOOR. -- Jason Reich
The stage is big. Real big. It's hard to tell from the cable news coverage, but a runway extends about 30 feet in front of the podium, terminating in a circular stairway that looks kind of like a flattened, many-tiered wedding cake. Another podium hidden in the top stair raises up so the more prominent speakers can address the crowd from a thrust stage. The whole thing looks more suitable for a fashion show or Busby Berkeley production number than for a speech about terrorism. But what is a national political convention if not a week-long production number? MORE

DUDE WHERE'S MY PEN? CRASHING THE REPUBLICAN'S PARTY. -- Rachel Sklar, Greg Paulos & Anastasia Liapis
10:54: Joe Pantoliano steps on to the red carpet, looking dapper in a trendy newsboy cap and tinted glasses. Microphones are thrust in his face and he starts to talk. 10:57: Rachel discovers that she has lost her pen in the cab. Anastasia only has cigarettes, tampons and lip gloss. Greg has one pen and one puny notepad. BEST REPORTERS EVER! 10:59: Joe Pantoliano is still talking. MORE

EVERY NIGHT SHE JUST CAN'T STOP, I SAID NEW YORK CITY COPS... NEW YORK CITY COPS... -- Rachel Williams
The initial salvo of protest that welcomed the Republicans was like a cuddly basket of puppies, with the cops making smoochy woochy faces and patting political dissenters on the heads. But like a basket of animals that constantly needs to be fed and walked and played with, the cops became annoyed with the endless prospect of wrangling thousands and thousands of people holding wooden signs. As of Thursday, the protests got a bit more heated and more than 1,000 people have been arrested. Granted, we didn't take pictures of policemen in RoboCop mode, but we did take pictures of New York's Finest doing other policey things. MORE

THE AXIS OF EVE WANTS TO LICK BUSH & OTHER DOUBLE ENTENDRES. -- Rachel Kramer Bussel, photos by Kristen French
The crowd of mostly young women looked like their own kind of army as they shook their booties, cheering and smiling and simply showing off their coordinated attire, largely meant to speak for itself. Lois Weaver, a Manhattan resident who sported a sign saying "More Fucking, Less Fighting" (as well as "Fuck Bush" panties, a boa, and heart designs over her bare breasts) was happy to strip down, proudly proclaiming this the first protest where she had the chance to take her clothes off for peace. MORE

A TIMELINE OF UNCONVENTIONAL MOMENTS IN U.S. HISTORY. -- Tom Zoellner
What really is unique in this era of stage-managed conventions is the obsessive search for the "defining moment" -- the crack in the façade, the moment when one of the actors forgets his lines and has to improvise. Goofs, missteps, flashes of anger, unscripted embarrassments -- all of these qualify as the prized "defining moments" that have the power to turn elections and influence world history. Here is the Black Table's list of Defining Moments in Convention History. MORE

SCENES FROM THE FOX NEWS SHUT UP A-THON. -- Rachel Sklar
On Tuesday, about 1,000 protesters gathered outside the Fox Studios on Sixth Avenue to hold the “Fox News Shut Up A-Thon.” Like a Mardi Gras for anarchists, they came in silly costumes, yelled at suit-wearing passersby and took turns beating up a three-foot tall effigy of Bill O'Reilly. Police in riot gear were on hand to control the crowd, making the occasional arrest, and we were on hand with our digital camera making the occasional picture. MORE

THE SECRET SERVICE VIOLATED MY CIVIL RIGHT TO TAKE BORING PICTURES FOR A FEW MINUTES. -- Audrey Ference
The afternoon started off so innocent. I was peacefully getting shots of people standing around, my imaginary press pass dangling non-existantly from my neck, looking for anything that might resemble excitement. While trying to figure out how to get a giant security gate to look superimposed on a tacky, Madison Square Garden-sized poster of the Statue of Liberty (that's fucking art, dude), a guy in a bright orange vest with "Secret Service" written on it (shh, it's a secret) starts yelling... MORE

MISTER PRESIDENT: THE THIRD-PARTY CANDIDATE YOU CAN PET. -- Christy Goldfeder
BT: Mister President, you have the perfect name for the job. But what qualifications do you have to lead our nation? Mr. P: When I walk into a room, it's pretty clear who's the top dog. And even though I have not held an elected office, I believe Americans want someone who's not afraid to go after what they believe in with an iron will and determination. I always say, a treat in the hand is as good as two in my mouth. But you don't have to take my word for it. Ask any squirrel in the East Village. MORE

THE BLACK LIST: CHAOS! MAYHEM! HUGS IN THE STREETS! -- The Black Table
"We got a tip that one of these guys had a weapon in their backpacks," the cop said. "We're gonna search the backpacks, and if they don't have a weapon, they're free to go." They didn't have any weapons -- or weed, for that matter -- so they were dispatched and sent on their way. We know this is the type of good behavior that we're supposed to be smiling at … but I dunno. It was all so … nice. We kind of wanted a little rowdiness, you know? If just to run away from it, like little girls. 10 reviews this week. MORE

WATER + T-SHIRTS + GIRLS = BEST PROTEST EVER? -- Greg Paulos
Orlando Fonseca came to the Anti-Bush wet T-shirt contest with dreams of mammary activism. But he, like this reporter, was frustrated by the lack of turn-out. "I just wanted to watch large-breasted women get wet," said Mr. Fonseca, 28, of the failed protest. But not all was lost: "I got to go to the Museum of Sex -- which wasn't all that after all the hype -- and I got to sign up at Toys in Babeland for a class on how to master the ability to entertain the g-spot -- not that I need the skills." MORE

THEY'RE HERE! THEY'RE WEIRD! GET USED TO IT! -- Frank Smith & Audrey Ference
Don't stop 'til you get enough.
And we simply cannot get enough amusing photos from that little protest on Sunday. In today's installment, we turn our cameras on photographers, protest fashion choices and the role that Cubism has played in costume design during this year's convention. MORE

INCOMING! AUGUST 30, 2004. -- A.D. Amorosi
Does welcome-wagoning Mayor Michael Bloomberg really think the convivial cartoons and the egregious congeniality pasted onto its NYCVisit.com's site and its discount-saving Peaceful Political Activists plan will help detract from the seething hatred that people of sense, color, and soul feel for the RNC? Let's head straight to our first night out with the Republicans and their speakers. They're heading for you. And they aren't veering.

WELCOME TO NEW YORK CITY, PLEASE GO HOME NOW. -- Ross Tucker& Sandra Barron Protesters are funny. This was a rather obvious takeaway from Sunday's big welcoming party for the R.N.C. that was held all over New York City. We also learned that free speech and the F-bomb go hand-in-hand, that some people mistakenly believe pachouli can mask overwhelming body odor, and that paper mache dragons are voting Democratic this year. We were in the streets taking photos on Sunday. Here's a look at what we saw. MORE

SAY HELLO TO MY L'IL FRIENDLY ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. -- Whitney Pastorek
Blah blah blah, it's a big trend, people have left town because of the Republican National Convention. As for the people who are staying? When they're not rubbing the belly of the disturbingly overweight bomb-sniffing dog named Magic that our building management has place in our lobby for the next few days, they're discussing how hellish our life is going to be and how, exactly, they can jimmy open the windows so they can drop shit on people from the 28th floor. Apparently there is some sort of fine for doing that.

BUSH MAKES 'EM SO SICK, THEY CAN'T HELP BUT UKE. -- Ross Tucker
Tom Harker is one of the rabble-rousers the NY tabloids have been warning people about, an outsider coming to New York for the sole purpose of causing trouble during the RNC. Like any good cleric, shaman, mullah, self-proclaimed prophet -- take your pick -- he's organized a group of like-minded evil-doers to meet here and join him in his cause. He flew in last Friday, easily getting his weapon of choice through airport security. After all, people often underestimate the power of the ukulele, but not Harker. MORE

MOVE ON, NEXT TO NOTHING TO SEE HERE. -- Angela Leroux Lindsey
Just one block and four days away from the Republican National Convention, the grassroots political organization MoveON PAC hosted its first major event Tuesday at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Intent on rallying support for Presidential hopeful John Kerry, MoveOn members emphasized that 10 weeks separate now and November 2nd; thousands of Democrats gathered to motivate a movement that could possibly affect the election. Of course, no political event would be complete without a little Hollywood infusion. MORE

WHOSE STREETS? UH, LIKE, OUR STREETS! -- Frank Smith
You do have to hand it to Mayor Bloomberg for thinking out of the proverbial box, albeit with good nature of an out-of-touch parent. The Peaceful Political Activists visitors program offers a variety of discounts for restaurants, hotels, plays and shopping to keep the protestors distracted from the convention, or at the very least provide them with such a delightful holiday in the Big Apple that they'll come back to protest again. Here's a look at what they're giving you to chant in unison with strangers. MORE

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Click here to read The Black Table's coverage from the Democratic National Convention.