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Zombie: The Democratic Convention Giant Puppet Parade

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(Cross-posted at Pajamas Media.)

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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!

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

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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!

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

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She was never quite able to achieve full erection.

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.”

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

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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?

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

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

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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?

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

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Take a moment to soak in the whole scene.

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

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Amy!

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Winona!

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Rosa/Harriet!

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Sadako!

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

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

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Awwww: Finally — something cute!

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Mother Vegetable was a crowd favorite.

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

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

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 Frank says:

I never took a shit on stage, and the closest I ever came to eating shit anywhere was at a Holiday Inn buffet in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 1973. -- From The Real Frank Zappa book.