Bash Compactor: Hang Like A Donkey

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Tired of keeping up with the presidential campaign alone in my apartment, I headed over to the Living Liberally NYC Convention Watch Party at The Tank on Lafayette Street. Promoting “progressive action through social interaction,” Living Liberally has dedicated the full week to social events based around the Democratic National Convention and another around the Republican.

“People just want to be around other people and see what everyone’s reactions are. This is just like a giant pep rally,” said Katrina Baker, the group’s director.

Serious effort was made to re-create the experience of sitting around watching CNN with politically inclined, slightly intoxicated chums. Both weeks end with acceptance-speech drinking games and are punctuated with comical peanut-gallery commentary. For every smiley couple or small group of people engaged in lively discourse, there were one or two individuals obsessively watching the scrolling news crawl or reading the newspaper. I couldn’t decide what camp I should belong to.

Meanwhile, when the Republican convention rolls around, Baker said that it would most likely still be bleeding hearts populating her events. “I think that liberals are attending either way, but it’s more amusing to watch the Republicans because everyone talks over them. People have a higher tolerance for everyone shouting out comments during the Republican speeches.” Isn’t she shooting herself in the foot a bit, I asked. After all, it it’s rumored that those buttoned-up GOP types are wildcats when the lights go out.

“In 2004 we throw an event called ‘Sleeping with the Enemy,’ where we invited the young Republicans to come. There was a lot of mixing, alcohol tends to help that,” she said. “But I don’t believe that for a minute. Though I converted a Republican myself, so the idea doesn’t bother me too much.”

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