Colorado earned the title "The Holdout State" at last week's Democratic National Convention, after thirteen Dennis Kucinich delegates decided to stand by their man. And while Marilyn Megenity, maven of the Mercury Cafe, didn't hold back in the Beantown reports she phoned in to Off Limits (excerpted below), she, too, held out in one crucial area: She didn't streak through the Fleet Center, as some speculated she would.
Tuesday, July 27: An omen in the airport yesterday morning. My tarot cards were really good: I drew the emperor, who's a significant card, but also then the empress and the star. We just passed fifty people carrying this balloon that's a spine with things on it like "Health care for everybody" and "Fair trade," things like that, to try to get the Democratic Party to have a spine. When the convention lets off, there's all these parties for folks, thrown by lobbyists, you know. It kind of felt like LoDo on Saturday night at 1 am.
Wednesday, July 28: The police presence is huge, and there's hardly anybody here except for the Democrats. The locals have all stayed out of downtown, and the merchants are really suffering. They're making no money. There are cops everywhere -- everywhere. There are helicopters, dogs, cops dressed in military fatigues and camouflage. They created this free-speech zone that looks like a concentration camp. It's got barbed wire and fences and a roof on it. There's only two little entrances and exits, and nobody from the peace activist community will use it. Everybody's considering it an affront to go into something like that, so the only people who are using it are the anti-choice, anti-Semite homophobes. It's very bizarre to see that kind of protest there. There's one guy who protests who's pro-Bush in a big way. He's got an American flag suit on. They let him protest wherever he wants. But on the streets, he can't carry big signs unless he's got a permit.
Thursday, July 29: The corporate media analysis of the convention is really lame and really right-wing. It's been like speech-o-rama here. I was in the convention last night as a guest of the Kucinich delegation from Colorado, which voted thirteen votes for Kucinich. Al Sharpton rocked the crowd. Jesse Jackson did, too, but really, Al Sharpton was too much. The governor of Michigan, a woman, was really great, and Elizabeth Edwards is just really fantastic, and so is her husband, John Edwards. He's really like a sex symbol. He's articulate; he sticks his tongue out and licks his lips. He's really cute, but he says the right stuff. He's good. In the protest pen, there were godhatesfags.com people, and people with signs saying that 9/11 is a gift from God. The pro-Bush protester was allowed outside the protest pen. All the activists just boycotted it.
The area around the Fleet Center, it's called the armpit of Boston and is usually filthy and full of homeless, drunk derelicts. It was pretty cleaned up. Boston's really nice. Mass transit's fantastic. I wish we had some.
Went to the Women's Caucus. We're 58th of the countries in the world for federal representation of women in government, and the new Iraqi constitution that we're putting in over there will give those women automatic 25 percent representation. I got to be ten feet away from Elizabeth Edwards and Teresa Heinz Kerry the Great. These women are really committed to making the world better for us. They want us all to work hard for democracy this fall.
Went through this airport with my pro-choice, this-is-what-a-feminist-looks-like stuff all over my body. They didn't harass me.
I was just thinking how wonderful it is to be in a group of intelligent people and hear speech after speech after speech of people who are eloquently trashing the fascist Bush regime... It was really fun.
The letter of the law: Attention, greenies. The Colorado Green Party is not kicking you out, asking you to leave or otherwise requesting that the cherished "I" on your voter-registration card be replaced with a "D," or -- gasp -- an "R." Not even if it would mean pushing U.S. Senate candidate Mike Miles ahead of Ken Salazar, his better-funded and better-known Democratic opponent.
In July, a bunch of Boulder Greens sent a letter to the state party's entire membership roster, suggesting that fellow enviros temporarily register as Democrats so that they could vote for Miles in the primary, then return to Independent status. And that had a lot of the Green faithful seeing red. "The party has been trying to send out a letter for a while, but we're Greens -- we have no money," explains party spokeswoman Kirstin Marr. "So the very first piece of mail that Greens get is asking them to leave the party. Not everyone understands this type of nuanced strategy. It's not a bad political strategy from the Democrats' point of view, but it's not good for the Greens. It's a common kind of thing, but it's nothing that the Green Party supports."
Denver District Attorney candidate Mitch Morrissey, one of three Dems running to replace incumbent Bill Ritter, is happily using the same ploy, however. His campaign website includes this "Notice to Unaffiliated (Independent) Voters. You can vote for Mitch on August 10 simply by declaring yourself a Democrat at your polling place."
"We've had more than a hundred people change from Republican to Democrat just to vote for Mitch," says Jason Bane, campaign spokesman. "A lot of them are going to change right back to Republican after the primary, but if they wanted to vote in the DA race, they had to vote in the primary, and they wanted to vote for Mitch."
And they'd have to really want to vote for Mitch, since switching parties for the primary vote means they won't be able to choose between Pete Coors and Bob Schaffer, the Republican senatorial candidates.
What's So Funny?On Sunday, August 8, John Elway will be inducted into the National Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Were this ink and not text, notebook paper and not a computer printout, you would not be able to read further for the tears of pride streaming down my face, blurring the words as I write them. You cannot overstate the importance of this day. What more important figure has come out of Colorado? Zebulon Pike? Cousin-fucker. John Denver? Too many Muppets appearances. Don Cheadle? Badass, but even he did commercials for the NFL praising Johnny E-way. Denver's heroes are few; we've been given one king. Number Seven.
Elway's career played in the background of my childhood like an award-winning soundtrack. I was nine when Super Bowl XXIV reared its ugly head; my friends and I had no idea how to react to such a trouncing. But in the third quarter, en route to his third missed ring in four years, Elway scored the Broncos' only touchdown on a three-yard keeper, showing us exactly what to do: We turned the television off and went outside and played football. (The Broncos lost 55 to 10.) You can't always win, but you can save a little face and move on.
As Elway struggled through an all-star career, through Dan Reeves and Wade Phillips, so, too, did we struggle, through middle school and high school, always confident in our abilities yet longing to prove them to the world. Driving down Colfax Avenue after the Super Bowl win over the Packers my senior year, we did: Elway had brought us home a championship. The following year, as East Coast neophytes danced Dirty Birds in my Denver face, Johnny Elway dove for the end zone in that most brilliant of Super Bowl clips, helicopter-spinning his way into legend and further validating my state, my city and myself.
"As far as I know, the city has nothing planned," replied Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, communications director for Mayor John Hickenlooper, when asked how Denver will commemorate the momentous occasion of Elway's induction into the Hall of Fame. For shame, Hick. You, of all people, a man of the people, should realize the importance of Number Seven to the public. But before you backtrack and declare a John Elway Day, allow me to propose a more fitting celebration: John Elway Year. Here's how it shall unfold:
: August: Stonemasons begin construction of gigantic Elway head carved into side of Mount Evans. Front horse-teeth vertical climb wall opens to public August 15.
: September: Initiation of John Elway's tenure as Commissioner for the Improvement of DPS Football. Number Seven begins thorough examination of area elementary schools, weeding out "men from boys" through series of no-nonsense, grueling, rapid-fire spiral drills.
: October: To celebrate Halloween, streets of Denver flooded with the blood of Oakland Raiders fans.
: November: Senator Elway elected to office on strength of "If God Isn't a Broncos Fan, Why Are Sunsets Orange and Blue?" campaign. Ken Salazar, initially quite congratulatory, later found girlishly weeping beneath banquet table.
: December: By law, all cars purchased this month must be from John Elway dealerships. Dealin' Doug and Rocky driven to countryside, abandoned.
: January: Get Out of Jail Free Month. Police turn heads at any crime committed by Elway for thirty-day period. Anything goes, too, even the Kobe stuff.
: February: Decree from Colorado Chapter of the NAACP officially declares Elway black for Black History Month. Series of pamphlets and videos detail his triumphs over racial adversity, explain how he ushered in modern era of black quarterbacks.
: March: At 12:30 p.m. daily in Civic Center Park, Elway gets three swings with metal baseball bat at different opposing defenders who sacked him during career.
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: April: Easter Sunday Celebration of the Resurrection of Christ passed over in favor of Festival of the Drive.
: May: United States Postal Service awards Elway free postage for all 31 days of May.
: June: Take John Elway to Work Month.
: July: John Elway elevated to sainthood. Displaces Mother Cabrini from Lookout Mountain shrine. By Adam Cayton-Holland