- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The whole world is watching, the whole world is watching, the whole world is watching.

It was? Really? Honest? Funny. The anti-America, anti-Bush, anti-capitalism chant-a-long last weekend provided a momentary break from the buttoned-down tedium of our city. It was not unlike going to the zoo to stare at all the exotic creatures.

There must be something about being a professional protester that leads to bad hair days. Perhaps bad hair gives a professional protester an air of authenticity. But here is the problem: Would you trust the geopolitical opinions of someone whose hair appears to be a toxic waste site? Try to shower once a week. That is all we usually ask of visitors to our city. Our hotels even provide soap and shampoo.

By the way, what was up with the serial piercing? If you have so many holes in your body that you appear to be on the verge of springing a leak, you should be meeting with a mental health professional instead of the Metropolitan Police Department. One other note: Heavy eyeliner went out with Boy George.

There were some stargazing moments.

Joan Baez remains on the comeback trail following her rebirth in Crawford, Texas. There she was, singing in the shadow of the Washington Monument and reveling in this nostalgic trip back to the ‘60s, the period in American history that just won’t go away until the puffy-faced flower children shuffle off to their retirement homes.

Curiously enough, Jessica Lange, who used to be an actress, left Halliburton out of her state-of-the-union address to the crowd. President Martin Sheen stayed behind in Los Angeles to tend to a mini-rally there.

Alas, there was no sign of Sean Penn, Hollywood’s former emissary to Saddam Hussein. The Ridgemont High graduate perhaps was still recovering from his harrowing rescue mission in New Orleans.

Cindy Sheehan made “news,” of course, when, smiling, she was arrested in front of the White House in a ritualistic ceremony that drew shouts of cheers and praise intended to restore her flickering celebrity flame.

All in all, the “Back to the Future” affair was mostly tame, despite the screeds and mindless sloganeering. Biting your lip around the fringe element was the toughest assignment. Two incredibly earnest souls condemned President Bush for being out of earshot of their insights, for he was holed up in Colorado to monitor Hurricane Rita at the time. He was too engaged with this hurricane in their mind, although not engaged enough with Hurricane Katrina.

This contradictory position seemed positively understandable to the parties nodding in agreement between bites of nourishment, and this commentary lasted a small eternity for all to hear, just spoiling the ambiance of the eatery and an otherwise perfectly enjoyable fall day in the city.

They are gone now until next time, and we can celebrate the peace their departure brings to the city. That is another of their contradictions. For such a peace-loving bunch, they are loudmouths, noise polluters. They are the uninvited know-it-alls who show up to your house and then tell you how it is, all the while flashing the peace sign.

Perhaps we should try this the next time we have an urge to be a boor around others. Just flash the peace sign. There must be absolution in that symbol. You can say the darnedest things but earn a free pass with the peace sign.

So, OK. Peace be with you, you twits, as you aid and abet the terrorists.

We heard your message. Boy, we heard it. Over and over.

He is a liar, and his pants are on fire, which was the level of their unpersuasive rhetoric.

One day of it was entertaining, and gawking was permitted. After that, we were counting the hours to the end. It is nice to have our city back.


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