Thursday, July 21, 1988
THE MIAMI HERALD
ON TO YOUR BOX IN PROTEST ZONE
BARRY Herald Columnist
at the Democratic National Convention, we had a very exciting
rally by a group called People With Boxes On Their Heads.
This is an organization that I founded the other day after
witnessing an event at the Official Designated Protest Zone.
What happened was, a young woman wandered by holding a pet
rat, and within a matter of minutes she was surrounded by
-- really -- FIVE camera crews. Taking pictures of a rat.
So I thought, OK, it's
time to find out just how desperate we are here in the news
media. I enlisted Bob Morris and Erik Lacitas, who are also
newspaper columnists and who therefore, like myself, do not
have even a tiny shred of human dignity, and we went out to
the Protest Zone and put cardboard boxes on our heads. It
took seven seconds for the first newspaper photographer to
take our picture. Within minutes -- I am not making any of
this up -- we were surrounded by TV people, radio people and
various other media people wishing to conduct interviews,
which generally went like this:
MEDIA PERSON: Who are you?
DEMONSTRATOR: We're an organization called People With Boxes
On Their Heads.
MEDIA PERSON: Why do you wear boxes on your heads?
DEMONSTRATOR: Basically because that's the name of our organization.
People With Boxes On Their Heads.
ANOTHER DEMONSTRATOR (helpfully): It's an organization of
people who have boxes on their heads.
And so on. We gave several dozen interviews and were photographed
hundreds of times. I don't know how many interviews got broadcast,
but our pictures were in at least two Georgia newspapers and
The Baltimore Sun, and a nice write-up about the rally went
out nationwide on the Associated Press wire. You might have
seen it, if you've been reading any of the news reports emanating
from this convention. Which I doubt.
* * *
Meanwhile, tonight's the night we've been waiting for, the
night when the Democrats climax their historically unified
and news-free convention by presenting their 1988 ticket,
running under the proud slogan: "Dukakis and Bentsen:
They're Dull, But They're Not Total Wienerheads."
This is of course a subtle dig at Vice President George Bush,
who will win the Republican nomination next month thanks largely
to his overwhelming popularity among the nation's humor columnists.
The Democrats think their ticket is going to look very impressive
next to Bush. Of course you could argue that a small tub of
generic margarine would look impressive next to Bush, but
that would be quibbling. The Democrats really do seem to be
in an especially strong position, inasmuch as they have an
extremely well-balanced ticket, consisting of Michael Dukakis,
a short Democrat; and Lloyd Bentsen, a tall Republican. "I'm
not even going to vote for us, " Bentsen recently announced,
in a move calculated to solidify his appeal to conservative
The Democrats also have been very careful to avoid past mistakes
in the wording of this year's platform, which as a public
service we will now present here in its entirety.
1. There is NOTHING in this platform about raising taxes.
2. Not a single WORD.
3. So everybody should just FORGET about us raising taxes.
4. For NOW.
This platform reflects the Democrats' powerful recurring bedwetting
nightmares of the 1984 convention, when Walter Mondale, acting
on the advice of shrewd campaign strategists from the planet
Zargon, kicked off his campaign by informing American voters,
in that inspirational voice of his that seems to emanate from
deep within a major nasal passage, that if they would put
their trust in him, he would by golly jack up their taxes.
By following this strategy, he was able to sweep triumphantly
to victory in Minnesota, home of the world's largest Endangered
But so far this time, the Democrats have been extremely careful
not to alarm the voters by taking any positions on anything,
and the campaign prognosis appears to be very good, unless
God forbid something should happen to George Bush.
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