Thursday, September 29, 2005

Bolt Man and Lady Love

San Francisco is home to the hippie movement (actually Berkeley), though protests here are *always* crazy. Windows are smashed, people run amok, policemen would rather be working in Montana or Jaunpur, and Danny Glover is the only celebrity guest. Like the one this Sunday, which resembled a Baby Einstein get-together.

On the way home after a cuppa joe, I was blockaded by a bunch of antiwar protestors. Curious, I spoke to one protestor, a young man with a pierced tongue. I wanted to ask him how he ate with the bolt in his mouth, instead this question popped up:

"Whats up?" I asked.

"A war is going on. That's why we are protesting," said the bright young man, a little confused and a little excited, not knowing whether I was a friend or foe. He looked at his female companion for approval, and she smiled back. They were in love.

"So why do you smash windows and stop public transport from operating?" I asked Bolt Man.

"A war is going on, it is not business as usual," he said in a higher tone, raising his hand, pointing east, in the direction of Moscow. He looked a millennium version of Lenin. Bolt Man looked at Lady Love again, who nodded in approval, proud of her boyfriend's profoundness.

"But it's Sunday, my friend, and no businesses will be open," I told him.

Bolt Man was dumbfounded. "No wonder, I've been here for six hours and haven't found a single window to smash," he said, looking at lady love in disappointment. "The police have been giving us a hard time," he exclaimed, veering his head to lady love for her approval. My head went in the same direction.

But Lady Love's attention was elsewhere. She was looking at a convoy of policemen on motorcycles. "Ohh, they look so cute when they ride those Harleys and wear sunglasses," she squealed in delight.


The commentary is partly fictitious of couse, a light-hearted crack at the protesters who always create a ruckus in San Francisco. I respect what the protesters stand for; it however it is not justifiable to stop ambulances from going through in the name of civil disobedience, as has happened in the past.

The good part? Activism is well and alive in San Francisco. People have freedom of speech, which is a hallmark of a true democracy. Kudos to the people who came out and raised their voices for and against the war.

For me, the protests are fun to watch. I can't protest out of professional courtesy, but walking through the protest is a welcome change from the usually boring and mundane days on the streets. Lady Love and Bolt Man will remain two icons who personify protests - both are confused, yet have a genuine heart -- they were just unsure of how to put a message of peace across.


Anonymous Downunder said...

In Oz, Australian protesters throw marbles under the hooves of police horses to break their legs...

They are protesting about animal rights.

How smart.

I've never met a smart protester, maybe we should fly over there. If such a thing exists.

1:13 AM  
Blogger the One said...

But one wonders sometimes, you know .. do they really care, or is it more about the finally-did-something-worthwhile feeling?

2:03 AM  
Blogger venus said...

usually these protesters are politicians' puppets, and guy with pierced tounge gets sense of achivement for contributing to a cause, it's a perfect symbiosis system!

8:16 AM  
Blogger Khakra said...

A, you won't find anything here. Even if you try to fly out here, there'll be a protest as to why you flied biz class at govt. expense, and light pole may be destroyed!

tze one, a lot of them who came cared. a lot seemingly came to network with other protestors.. and there are some protest junkies. though some really meant what they said. SFO is such a city -- antiwar to the core.

v, that's one thing i'm still trying to understand.. *how* do these lobbyists work??

3:54 PM  

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