Friday, August 29, 2008

Dispatch 4

Dispatch 4
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
David Levi Strauss

Being inside Mile High stadium tonight was a very different experience than being in the Pepsi Center last night. The machine did move, lock, stock, and confetti, but was entirely transformed. Since the main substantive difference between the two was the addition of 50,000 Regular People (civilians) into the mix, I can only attribute the change to them. The music was better, the dancing was much, much better, and the security was more laidback. When I plowed into a black woman guard at a checkpoint with my camera bag, she turned and said, "Oh, my new bump brother," and made me give her a fist-bump before she'd let me pass.

Three moments stand out. The first occurred at 5:30 pm, when took the stage to do "Yes We Can," and the crowd (some of whom had walked hours to get here) came together around it and became a unified force. The second came when the film about Barack Obama's life was shown, and the by-then capacity crowd of 75,000 fell absolutely silent. And the third came halfway through Obama's speech, when he said of the last eight years of American politics, "We are better than this. Enough!" and the crowd pushed out the walls.

At those three points, the machine became irrelevant.

Filed in early morning hours on Friday, August 29, 2008, following the final night of the convention.


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