Tiny Silver Death Machine: Election Coverage 2008 Part Two

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Tiny Silver Death Machine: Election Coverage 2008 Part Two

Noted author Don DeLillo blogged for The Onion from the Conventions

We've witnessed these spectacles every fourth September, every four years. The volunteers stand handshake-dazed near their supervisors, seeing images of themselves in every direction. Staffers greet each other with comic cries and gestures of sodden collapse. In Denver there were vendors nearby when we ate breakfast. Stretch limos outfitted with powerful communications technology stalled in murderous crosstown traffic. Helicopters shine searchlights down at the buildings, the crowd. Chanted rhymes emerge like a collective tribal memory. Allegations are advanced concerning faked pregnancies. "This is one of those moments." There is a meet-and-greet with the guy from the Doobie Brothers.

A voice from the subconscious: Toyota Corola.

Here in Minneapolis, a woman with a clipboard, frazzled, efficient. She reads from a printout to a group of staffers a change in schedule from the coordinating committee: the station wagons arrive at noon. In the Free Speech Zone, a man dangles from a wire, the famous performance artist from New York. Everywhere, security: badges, metal detectors, small plastic cards with magnetic stripes. Police, silent in riot gear, truncheons like humming, efficient software. Someone says: "So she was technically never the actual Miss Alaska?"

They feel a sense of renewal, of communal recognition. The women, crisp and alert, knowing people's names. Their husbands in little hats shaped like elephant heads, something about them suggesting massive health insurance coverage.