New York Magazine

  The Convention Kicker: Dispatches from the convention center, the parties, and the protests. New York Magazine blogs the RNC.  
  George and the Jungle: The Republicans are leaving New Yorkers with unexpected emotion: envy.  

  Intelligencer: Why Ben Bradlee's birthday bash left Barbara Walters peeved.

  Meet the Press: How Hustler, High Times, US Weekly, and YM are covering the convention.

  Talking Points: The convention proved, in the memorable words of the Bush twins, just how “unhip” the Republicans are.  

  The Big Question: If Bush's presidency ended today, what would it be?  

  Protexting: How are activists monitoring civil disobedience by cell phone? A sampling of the reports.  

  Write Your Own Acceptance Speech in 8 Easy Steps: Former presidental speechwriters explain.

  The Survival Guide  
Commuter Shortcuts  
Convention Calendar  
Political Arts Guide  
GOP Bar Buzz  

Liberal Arts
A guide to politically inclined artistic offerings.

Bush League
Works voicing strong criticism of the current administration, including a six-minute sound piece by Bjørn Melhus, who crafts a catchy synth-pop tune by layering snippets of Rummy’s press conferences over a Kraftwerk- style backing track. Other artists include Melanie Baker, Christoph Draeger, and Guy Richards Smit.
Roebling Hall
, 390 Wythe St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 718-599-5352. Through 9/6.

The Forbidden Pictures: A Political Tableau
Larry Fink’s photographic series shows a George Bush look-alike engaged in a variety of Dionysian activities.
powerHouse Gallery
, 68 Charlton St., 212-604-9074, ext. 100. Through 9/4.

International Fringe Festival
The year’s oddest and leftiest independent theater packed into two weeks. Highlights will include Rome, by Herman Daniel Farrell III—about two couples who fought it out during the 2000 Florida debacle and meet again on 9/11—and How to Save the World and Find True Love . . . in 90 Minutes, a musical in which a U.N. tour guide falls in love, by Random House editor-in-chief Jonathan Karp.
various venues
, see our coverage. Through 8/29.

If Elected: Campaigning for the Presidency
In an election year that’s seen the marketing of John Kerry flip-flops (the footwear, that is) and a pair of underpants bearing the slogan MY BUSH WOULD MAKE A BETTER PRESIDENT, those I LIKE IKE buttons look more restrained and straightforward than ever. The buttons are on display, along with coffee mugs, kerchiefs, and all manner of partisan ephemera from Washington to W., in If Elected: Campaigning for the Presidency at the New-York Historical Society, open right up until November 3.—Karen Rosenberg
New-York Historical Society
, 2 W. 77th St.; 212-873-3400. Through 11/3.

Howl! Festival
Billed as a “countercultural county fair,” this down-and-dirty riot of East Village bohemianism has 1,500 artists and a terrific slate of political films and performances by downtown artists like Stephin Merritt, Karen Finley, and Carl Hancock Rux. (And a minimum—fingers crossed— of speechifying.)
various venues
, see our coverage. 8/17-8/24.

I'm Gonna Kill the President!: A Federal Offense
Hieronymous Bang, the pseudonymous creator of a play called “I’m Gonna Kill the President!”: A Federal Offense—which reprises last fall’s Brooklyn run in an East Village theater this month—won’t reveal his real name or the venue (the audience is asked to gather on a local street corner, whence it will be escorted to the show). But he will say this: “It’s very funny, greatly influenced by the work of the Muppets and the Yippies, and everyone should come expecting a laugh riot in every sense of the word.” Plotwise, there’s a revolutionary who kidnaps potus and resists the temptations of a literal puppet government and bourgeois society at large (as represented by a body-snatching sleeping bag). The show’s growing popularity in light of the coming Republican convention means “we are expecting to be sabotaged by the right wing,” says Bang, who has a Southern twang and a penchant for simple declarative statements. “They’re conspiring on the blogs as we speak.” —Boris Kachka
Meet nightly at 9:30pm at south sidewalk, 10th St. between Aves. A and B., 212-802-7446. 8/17-9/4.

WAR! Protest in America 1965-2004 & Memorials of War
This year’s Whitney Biennial was widely criticized for, among other things, not being political enough—cloaking antiwar sentiment in myth, fantasy, and generational nostalgia. As if to respond, the museum is mounting two shows that rival even the Kerry campaign’s trove of Vietnam imagery, just as the first Republican delegates file into the city. WAR! Protest in America 1965–2004, a film series curated by Chrissie Iles and artist Sam Durant (whose wobbly drawings of sixties protest scenes polarized Biennial critics), combines the anonymous documentaries of Third World Newsreel with experimental films by Stan Brakhage, Carolee Schneemann, and others. It also features two films about the war in Iraq: Julie Talen’s Sixty Cameras Against the War, and Brigitte Cornand’s Not in Our Name (a series of interviews with artists on the eve of the conflict, including the leading voice in Vietnam-era protest art, painter Leon Golub, who died on August 8). Meanwhile, Memorials of War mines the Whitney’s holdings for work that grapples with Vietnam and its legacy: Ed Kienholz’s sand-and-straw-filled soldier’s uniform, Robert Morris’s lithograph series War Memorials, and a blurry Memory Rendering of Kent State Shootings by Vik Muniz, among others. Both shows should serve as rallying points for activists old and young—the Whitney’s real intergenerational conversation. —Karen Rosenberg
Whitney Museum of American Art
, 945 Madison Ave., at 75th St.; 212-570-3676. War! Protest is America is on view from 8/26-10/24. Memorials of War is on view from 8/19-11/28.

Guantánamo: Honor-Bound to Defend Freedom
Is the theater scene about to have its own Fahrenheit 9/11? “I wouldn’t be so bold,” says Victoria Brittain, a veteran London journalist who conducted interviews for Guantánamo: Honor-Bound to Defend Freedom, which begins previews at 45 Bleecker on August 20. “If it has the same kind of impact that it had here, we would be very happy.” The project, conceived by director Nicolas Kent, transferred from his Tricycle Theatre to the West End after glowing reviews and packed houses. It consists of a series of reenacted interviews (co-starring Kathleen Chalfant in the New York production), wherein family members, officials, and British detainees tell of being jailed and harrassed under inhumane conditions on evidence that ranged from flimsy to absent. Kent may have a history of turning government documents into political theater, but Guantánamo is a far cry from Michael Moore–style agitprop. For one thing, Brittain and fellow interviewer Gillian Slovo didn’t have to pick and choose among detainees to find those falsely accused. “We took the families who were immediately available,” says Brittain. “We were completely gobsmacked at the fact that with every family we saw, it was quite clear that nobody had anything to do with Al Qaeda. It was just one cock-up after another.” Soliloquies are plainspoken and addressed to the audience; the drama comes from the stories. “Almost every interview,” says Brittain, “we would come out and say, That could be a play by itself.” —Boris Kachka
45 Bleecker Street Theater
, 212-307-4100. Begins previews 8/20 for a 8/26 opening.

Masterpieces of American Jewelry
The city will be decked with thousands of flags next week, but none more spectacular than this Cartier brooch in Masterpieces of American Jewelry at the American Folk Art Museum. Bursting with bands of diamonds, rubies, and sapphires set in platinum, the 1927 piece should put a twinkle in the eye of Tucker Carlson. —Karen Rosenberg
American Folk Art Museum
, 45 W. 53rd St.; 212-265-1040. 8/20-1/23/05.

Works by Critical Art Ensemble, Leon Golub, Jon Kessler, and others; the gallery also hosts a variety of protest-related activities during convention week.
Van Brunt
, 819 Washington St., 212-243-8572. 8/24-9/18.

The Right Stuff
Sample humor: “Now they’re calling illegal aliens undocumented workers. Soon they’ll be calling burglars unwelcome houseguests.”
Laugh Factory
, 669 Eighth Ave., 818-207-2997. 8/26-9/2.

Imagine Festival of Arts, Issues & Ideas
A multi-genre romp featuring the liberal intellectual-entertainment complex (Lewis Lapham, Alec Baldwin, Eve Ensler) plus a few unusual suspects, like eye-patched rapper Slick Rick.
Margaret Cho, recently uninvited to a prominent gay-and-lesbian rally during the DNC (owing to fears that she might pull a Whoopi), kicks off the festival with her world tour, “State of Emergency,” at the Apollo on 8/28.
For the Freedom of Expression National Monument, architect Laurie Hawkinson will help construct a gigantic red megaphone in the financial district’s Foley Square, onto which any New Yorker may “step up and speak up.” (8/17-11/13.)
Marisa Tomei plays the lead in a staged reading of Sophocles’ Elektra, to be followed by “a discussion on violence, retribution, and compassion.” 8/30, 6:30 p.m.
Sketch in the City,” an evening at the Art Students League combining dancing with life-drawing from nude models, as a rejoinder to the Justice Department’s draping of suggestive statues. 8/28.
Architectural walking tour of “Abraham Lincoln’s New York” including “Haughwout Store . . . which Mary Todd Lincoln favored for the purchase of White House china.” 8/28, 3 p.m.; 8/30, 6 p.m.
Spike Lee’s “We Was Robbed,” about the 2000 Florida election. 8/28.
Photographs by Iraqi Civilians, 2004.” (8/30-9/2)
Robert Altman’s “Secret Honor,” a cinematic riff on the Watergate scandal. 8/29.
American Oligopoly
, in Washington Square Park, allows participants to join in an interactive theatrical “game” played on a gigantic Monopoly board. (8/28-8/29)
Acclaimed storytelling collective The Moth hosts a story slam at the Bitter End. 8/30.
Patriot Acts—Patriots Gone Wild has Taylor Mac, the Dazzle Dancers, and others lampooning the administration’s obsession with patriotism. 9/1.
In perhaps the most ambitious (or at least masochistic) festival happening, artist Marshall Weber performs NYC Odyssey and The Iliad,” a marathon reading of Homer’s epics while riding the Staten Island Ferry, which is expected to take two days. 8/31.
various venues
, see 8/28-9/2.

Thalia Follies
E. L. Doctorow, Calvin Trillin, Jane Wagner, and friends try out their own version of the Capitol Steps in the political shtick of Thalia Follies, running every night of the convention.
Symphony Space
, 2537 Broadway, 212-864-1414. 8/30-9/2.

A Demonstration in Words
Grace Paley, Sonia Sanchez, Carl Hancock Rux, Katha Pollitt, Marie Ponsot, Cornelius Eady, Eileen Myles, and others read to protest the Republican National Convention.
• St. Mark's Church, Second Ave. at 10th St.; 212-674-6377. 9/1.

Dan Bern, John Nichols, Joe Garden, et al.
Local musician Bern reads from his debut novel, Quitting Science, and performs tracks off his new anti-Bush album, My Country II. He's joined by Nichols, reading from his book Dick: The Man Who Is President, along with Garden and Randy Ostrow, reading their satire Citizen You!: Helping Government Help Itself, written with Nichols.
• Housing Works, 126 Crosby St.; 212-334-3324. 9/2.

My Life in Politics
For his latest project, My Life in Politics, Tim Davis traveled the country looking for banal traces of activism: a stack of files in a Planned Parenthood office; a camcorder capturing a mock protest at a communist summer camp; a mural linking the civil-rights movement with the quest for a perfect taco (pictured, One People . . . , 2002). It’s a clever update of Walker Evans’s American Photographs, a search for the political center that takes him to the cultural margins.
• Bohen Foundation, 415 West 13th St., 212-414-4575. 9/11-11/5.

Liberty Fair
Ross Bleckner, painting faces? Will Cotton, decorating cookies? Matthew Barney, roasting a pig in the back of his pickup truck? The art world goes down-home for Downtown for Democracy (pictured, Guy Richards Smit’s poster Kerry Victorious, 2004), turning a gallery-laden stretch of West 22nd Street into the Liberty Fair. Bring the young’uns to this wholesome block party; at Friedrich Petzel’s “Kid Convention,” a day of arts and crafts culminating in a mock election, they’ll even be old enough to vote.
• 22nd St. between Tenth and Eleventh aves. 9/12.

8/20: Documentary Uncovered: The War on Iraq opens
8/21 to 9/4: “The Experimental Party Disinformation Center” at Luxe Gallery
8/24 to 9/3: “Peace Signs: The Anti-War Movement Illustrated” at Chisholm Gallery
8/25: Deborah Harry and pals perform in support of gay marriage at Central Park’s “Summer of Love Concert” THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED
8/27 to 9/11: “The Unconvention” theater festival, featuring Hillary and Monica
8/27: Bush’s Brain, a documentary about Karl Rove, opens
8/29 to 9/12: “A More Perfect Union,” a protest-poster show organized by Downtown for Democracy, at Max Fish.
The Dazzle Dancers present “Fahrenheit 5-6-7-8!” at Fez.

Published on August 19, 2004.