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Doo Dah Does Democracy

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Columbus, Ohio’s whacky Doo Dah Parade is the Left’s answer to Red White & Boom, the official celebration of our independence. Doo Dah set a record this year for lasting 65 minutes, marching past thousands who brought their chairs to the sidewalks.

Local media whines that Doo Dah has become too politicized, as if our independence is so assured, while Congress supports torture, spying on citizens, resource wars and the expansion of executive power. Silly media. We all have to be silly for Doo Dah, so political messages are imparted with humor.

There are some rules, though. Any self-promoting politician must wear a ridiculous hat, on pain of arrest by the Doo Dah Police who drive around in tiny, tiny, black-and-white striped vehicles. Paraders must wear costumes and no one can be completely naked (altho a few push this envelope to the technical limits of compliance).

To impart the need to protect all Earth’s species, a truck promoted a faux organization, PALE: Protect All Life’s Extinctions. Each crew member dressed as an extinct species, cajoling us to “double the Do Do population” and provide habitat for dinosaurs.

Recognizing the lack of distinction between corporate-sponsored Dems and Repubs, Columbus’ Rocky Horror Picture Show cast reminded us that “Rocky Goes Both Ways: Dem and Repub”. A “Flush Bush” sign hung from a car that mocked his Godzilla grab for imperial power. Other signs showed the Constitution and Declaration of Independence being shredded.

One float addressed the recent theft of personal identifying information from a State database. A man stood on top throwing sheets of paper onto the crowd which symbolically contained personal info.  Really makes you want to support a statewide voter registration database, hmm?

Marj Creech and Kal Palnicki revived the Hand Count Paper Ballots float, urging officials to toss those scientifically discredited computerized voting systems.

I marched in the lead group – tuneless musicians. Truly, tho, only rarely did the brass section hit a false note. We performed New Orleans’ style, acknowledging the death of a local musician’s pub, Little Brothers. To maintain the silliness requirement, at one point, we marched backward, singing Dah Doo, Dah Doo. The lead organizer, scantily clad Jim Maneri, twirled a broom.

Perfect weather held until the last float crossed the finish line. A downpour of great intensity then drenched us, ending the life of my 12-year-old bongo. In perfect irony, on its last day, it was played to the funeral march, When the Saints Go Marching In.

Maybe next year, we’ll celebrate the demise of the Bush junta, the end of resource wars, a new reign of citizen-run paper ballot elections, and the restoration of the U.S. Constitution. Now, that would be difficult to make silly.

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In 2004, Rady Ananda joined the growing community of citizen journalists. Initially focused on elections, she investigated the 2004 Ohio election, organizing, training and leading several forays into counties to photograph the 2004 ballots. She officially served at three recounts, including the 2004 recount. She also organized and led the team that audited Franklin County Ohio's 2006 election, proving the number of voter signatures did not match official results. Her work appears in three books.

Her blogs also address religious, gender, sexual and racial equality, as well as environmental issues; and are sprinkled with book and film reviews on various topics. She spent most of her working life as a researcher or investigator for private lawyers, and five years as an editor.

She graduated from The Ohio State University's School of Agriculture in December 2003 with a B.S. in Natural Resources.

All material offered here is the property of Rady Ananda, copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Permission is granted to repost, with proper attribution including the original link.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." Tell the truth anyway.

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