Up, down. Up, down. Billboards, signs, graffitti and even jumbotrons with opposition messages have become part of the spectacle soon to take place in the Twin Cities. The Daily Show and many other entities have an early and looming presence here as my hometown, St. Paul, plays "host" to the RNC whose convention runs Sept. 1-4.
The Union of Concerned Scientists had anti-nuke billboards up at the Minneapolis and Denver airports to greet conventioneers but Clear Channel, with whom UCS had contracted for the displays, caved to pressure from Northwest Airlines (official RNC airline) which called the billboards "scary." The Minneapolis ad was also called "anti-McCain" by NWA.
I agree that nuclear proliferation is very scary. About as scary as censorship of any truth that doesn't mesh with the party line. The UCS ad reads: "When only one nuclear bomb could destroy a city like Minneapolis...We don't need 6,000." Well dah. The Republicans and the Democrats know that. A seven-year-old knows that. But the adults in charge don't want their ears sullied by facts.
The closer the convention gets, the more I tend to agree with Eric Stoner, one of the co-founders of the RNC Flight Crew, a group organizing a mass exodus of citizens prior to the convention. As Stoner told Minneapolis writer Rich Broderick:
“Essentially, the Republican National Convention – like the Democratic National Convention – is nothing more than an empty spectacle, a perfect reflection of the empty spectacle of a consumer culture that has commodified every aspect of life, including politics,” Stoner claims. “Nothing of note, or even of minor news value, is going to occur at the Xcel Center during that time.”
(Thanks to Brian at east-lake.net who posted the Daily Show billboard shot.)