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CONVENTION 2000 / THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION

Politics, American Style

August 16, 2000

What is it that drives someone to these lengths? It's nuts, right, to shave your head and strip down to Speedos to go to a Wisconsin football game in winter? So why is it cool to dress up in a stifling pig suit to be arrested in the muggy heat of a Los Angeles summer to upset delegates at the Democratic convention? Passion for a point, apparently, whether it's a sharp or dull one. Or maybe a case of PAMD (Pay-Attention-to-Me Deficit). Or perhaps just for the frolic, for there is a core of whimsy in much of the acting out. Why else would someone tread the steamy downtown sidewalks in a black suit, vest and stovepipe hat just to make people stare at a Lincoln look-alike? Or soak the back of his head in sweat with a rubber mask of a president? Or dress as Uncle Sam or the Statue of Liberty? They call it street theater, but it's playing on the convention floor as well. It must be one of the reasons American politics is incomprehensible to foreigners.

CONVENTION 2000 / THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION For the Record
Los Angeles Times Friday August 18, 2000 Home Edition Special Section Part U Page 3 National Desk 1 inches; 18 words Type of Material: Correction
Photo caption--A photo caption in the Aug. 16 convention section contained an obscenity in Spanish. We apologize for any offense.

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