Tharin Gartrell was got first, high on meth — nazi crank white trash drug of choice — driving erratically in a van, containing rifles, ammo, wigs, and more nazi crank. Gartrell resisted bravely for minutes while in a cell but then coughed up the whole “plot” involving two of his white supremacist friends, who were arrested 4.30am on Monday morning, one of them — a Mr Adolph — trying to evade escape by jumping from a sixth floor hotel window.

Police have since been trying to play down the idea that it was a plot, suggesting instead that it was a lunatic neo-nazi cranked up fantasy, even though the rifles in the van had threaded barrels, allowing for the use of silencers.

The whole thing was fully laid out in a press conference late Monday during and after Michelle Obama’s speech. Your correspondent missed it because he was too busy trying to chat up Daryl Hannah.

Today, at the Convention, we had the usual roll-call of three-minute speakers talking about how their great grandfather had worked in a slurry pit 29 hours a day and the American dream was validated by the fact that said great grandchild was standing here today — but not everyone has been so lucky. One of her/his constituents came to them recently with their child born with feet where his eyes should be. Or something. Their health plan won’t cover that, and they have had to sell their teeth. Barack Obama will change all that — no one else understands the problems of foot-eye childr…

The Darryl Hannah thing? Oh well, if you’re really interested … for some reason she was at some 10pm thing about urban farms, a sort of late night green discussion which sorts out the truly hardcore wonk from the priss. Why she is interested in urban farms god knows but there she was with 12 greenish dweebs and a few tired journos and bloggers, downgearing on the free beer. Dressed simply in a black sort of shift, accessorised only by her husband, a man a full two feet shorter than her, who appeared to have sewn his hand to the small of her back, she glowing like a quasar, moved through the crowd to the bar where I was slumped.

There has only ever been one use for the line I used then — and that was a party at an advertising agency some years ago, with an undersea theme, which featured among other things, several starving actresses dressed as mermaids, seated in giant papier mache clams.

For every male who hit puberty around the time of Splash, I said “didn’t you play that mermaid in that movie — I remember you seated in a giant shell or something. I suppose a shuck’s out of the question?”

In my defence I don’t think she heard me above the TV noise — some assassination plot thing, I wasn’t paying attention — and if she did, I don’t think it registered, because as the Q and A had established, she was out to a vegan lunch, dude.

“Aren’t urban farms a bit bourgeois?” she was asked.

“I think we really have to re-appropriate terms like that,” she twinkled.

Ah sweet early 80s. Bring me my skateboard, and my Juke magazine, I fade into a Smash Hits fold out reverie. After that I got thrown out of the Slate party twice and went to a Republican “happy hour for Hillary” at in a downtown bar, at which a couple of particularly gruesome GOP boys were dressed as the former first lady. Any excuse for a drag act …

Yeah, anyway, next day it was all down to business. The protest of the day was a 9-11 truthers rally, god help us, with half the anarchists who’d been in yesterday’s perfectly proper Guantanamo protest joining in, suggesting that one section of the US far left is effectively mirroring the same mythical religious politics of the dominant right culture here. In a world of bewildering meaningless complexity after all, the seduction that one single idea could explain it all.

And in the auditorium the roll call of sob stories, with the saving exception of midget firebrand Dennis Kucinich, who gave a firey “wake up America” speech which had the crowd roaring to their feet. And towards the end of the evening Mark Warner ex-Virginia governor gave a pretty good long-range account of rebuilding America after the Bush wrecking crew has been turfed out.

But really we’re all waiting for Hillary who’s on in about an hour, and whose speech I will be liveblogging at about the same moment this issue hits the inboxes.

Unless Darryl drifts back through. Or someone such. In a city become a carnivale, all the rules are suspended, the cats look at the kings, nazi crank boys dream dark dreams, and Caliban may make his play for Persephone.

Peter Fray

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