Saturday, March 20, 2004

Went down to check out the anti-war protests at Hollywood and Highland today. Its only a few blocks away, and since the resulting traffic would have kept me home, I knew the only other option would have been to stay at home and listen to the non-stop drone of police and media choppers all day.

I pretty quick learned that the problem with protests is that they attract the lowest common denominator of people on both sides of an issue. And the worst of these people are always the loudest.

I started by taking pictures of the Bush supporters, the pro-war camp. One woman in their ranks, who enthusiatically waved a flag from the confines of her lawn chair, asked me what side I was on. I said everyone's, not really wanting to get into a full fledged discussion. She held up in her hand and said I wasn't welcome then, and that people who don't pick a side are somehow like people who don't know how to order a pizza. She lost me quick on that assessment.

A little later I bumbed into Melrose Larry Green, who most have a dozen clones since he is everywhere I go in L.A. Larry was being stalked by a woman who kept shouting, "I am a Republican! George Bush is not a Republican!" And by shouting, I mean shouting, getting in Larry's face, and following him wherever he went. He looked to the police, possibly for help, but they didn't seem to care - this was an anti-war rally, and Larry was holding signs that were pro-Bush and pro-war. I felt bad for the guy, but also realized he was possibly relishing the attention - he's a bit of a media whore.

Also saw Ron Kovics again - this time I knew who he was, and he graciously smiled for the camera and flashed me the peace sign.

Among the costumed protesters was a guy wearing a Superman costume with an American flag as a cape. He was another pro-Bush, pro-war guy carrying a picket sign. Halfway through the march I saw him surrounded by some Hispanic protesters, who were bumping into him, and taunting him into a fight. Somehow his sign was ripped from the stick, and he was holding it up to back off the revelers. He got away from the crowd and handed the stick to some cops. In the meantime, one of the Hispanic kids was shouting that Superman was trying to beat them with a stick, and then started announcing that "Superman was an illegal immigrant!"

Not a bad day. Although, when I got home I found out that I can only post ten pictures a day to my Buzznet account. This free blog stuff has its limitations.