Zombie: The Democratic Convention Giant Puppet Parade

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(Cross-posted at Pajamas Media.)


On Tuesday, a group called The Backbone Campaign sponsored a parade they call “Procession to the Future,” but which is better known in journalistic circles as Giant Puppets!


Here’s a secret about parades: the best scenes are usually in the staging area, not the parade itself.


One of several symbolic figures: individual real women throughout history are used to personify various positive attributes. And who, in the long history of humankind, was chosen to exemplify Truth? Why, it’s left-wing talk show host Amy Goodman!


They were having quite a struggle inflating the Statue of Liberty.


She was never quite able to achieve full erection.


You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!


This sad, overheated polar bear is here to remind us about global warming.


Amy Goodman was not the only symbolic figure. Justice, for example, is represented by Rosa Parks dressed up in what looks like a Harriet Tubman costume.


Ralph Nader’s 2000 running mate Winona LaDuke is Respect.


Sadako Sasaki, the Hiroshima victim who folded a thousand origami cranes, is Peace — while that irrepressible Amy Goodman pulls a prank on a Code Pink member.


Because commercial radio stations say things we don’t like!


In a nod to Americana, they had a gigantic Declaration of Independence.


Members of the public had been invited to sign it with messages of their own.


Finally the parade began for real. The Backbone Campaign’s logo is a human spine on an American flag, meant to “embolden citizens and elected officials to stand up for progressive values.”


Ah, the chain gang of war criminals: Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, George Bush, and Donald Rumsfeld. Progressive values!


Señor Coffee Cup is a real enigma. Is he supposed to be a migrant farm worker? And is the one defining attribute of farm workers that they carry around giant coffee cups?


Bees! The people carrying them were chanting, “Keep the bees alive! Keep the bees alive!”


Here’s — um…Donna Shalala (???) — promoting nationalized healthcare.


Sometimes it seemed the sign-carriers went out of their way to wear the most inappropriate clothing. Here, for example, is a man with Soviet Union shirt who was part of a group carrying signs that demanded “Universal Human Rights” and “Dismantle Empire.” Excuse me, sir: Are you trying to look like a fool?


And then there was the woman who showed her support for “Separation of Church and State” by wearing a kaffiyeh.


Take a moment to soak in the whole scene.


My favorite puppet without any doubt was the polar bear, because the people inside actually somehow managed to make it walk like a bear.










Watch out — here comes the national bullet train. Coast to coast at high speeds! The most environmental idea ever.


One way to pass the time at the parade was to play “Identify That Giant Head.” This one had me stumped. Edwin Meese?


Awwww: Finally — something cute!


Mother Vegetable was a crowd favorite.


For once, the song is actually true: He really does have the whole world in his hands.


And a droopy Lady Liberty towered over them all. Sort of.

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