Saturday, March 19, 2005

All these worlds that usually don't mix, weather, music, and politics.

Just back from today's anti-war rally and march here in Austin--it was low-key compared with the fiery and angry and much larger events right before the war, but heartening in its mere occurrence. We marched thru the middle of the 6th street South by Southwest music carnival (if you don't know what this is, it takes too long to explain), whose attendees, tho for the most part seeming befuddled, as befits hardcore music people blinking in the unaccustomed sunlight of early afternoon as they came out of their dark and noisy venues to gawk, maybe wondering if we were an especially large and musically impaired band (not a handicap in Austin), sometimes recognized something not connected with SXSW was going past and in actual approval extended two fingers, palms towards us, as we went by with our banners and effigies and placards and drums and chants. No hostile onlookers whatsoever, that I noticed. An Austin touch, someone along the parade route opened up a big cooler and started handing out cans of beer to the marchers, till he ran out. I think we pulled in some of the music crowd in our wake, because we ended up with a lot more people than we started with, maybe a thousand at the end. There, at the plaza in front of the new Austin city hall which looks like a giant UFO has crashed and the twisted and angular wreckage colonized for office space, we had speeches and then singer songwriters performing their own stuff, all earnest and upbeat.
I left at that point, because it looked like rain--getting home just in time for a massive hail storm to batter the roof of my house, with golf ball sized hail. At least it didn't break the skylight. But I suppose Monday morning I need to call the insurance adjuster about roof damage--the joys of homeownership.

Parade view of large Bush effigy, with storm gathering:
Bush effigy, Austin anti-war parade 3/19/2005

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