October 30, 2004

Halloween politics in Madison.

Madison -- as I just overheard in the beauty salon -- was voted by some publication or other as the best place to be for Halloween. The first email I opened up on returning home was this:
My wife and I were out on State street last night for the Friday night warm-up to Halloween. There were 2-3 million cops deployed to keep things under control and quite a few good costumes, my favorite was Lt. Dangle from Reno 911 in the tiny shorts and cool rays. The interesting thing was the large number of positive reactions I got to a Bush Cheney sticker on my jacket. Easily more than a dozen people said something along the lines of “Bush Cheney, right on man!” including two young gentlemen in flight suits with prominent packages. The other thing that struck me was the lack negative comments. Earlier in the day a patchouli-smelling scraggly little fella told me “You are a selfish SOB!” and I got a Nazi salute and Zieg Heil from another but all night long it was Bush supporters happy to see someone showing the flag in Moscow of the Midwest.
Maybe the big get-out-the-vote effort here in Madison will help Bush or at least not hurt him as much as the Soros-money-wielding folks are hoping. But keep in mind the big Halloween doings here draw in people from well outside of Madison.

UPDATE: This is from the local paper's report on the Halloween excitement:
At about 9 p.m. the crowds quickly went from thin to thick, as a parade of costumed revelers flooded the top three blocks of Madison's storied downtown walkway. Judging from Friday's crowd, fairies are in this year, as are pimps, police officers and firefighters.

Scattered throughout the crowd were more provocative costumes, including a shocking number of young women who took advantage of the warm weather to dress in as little as possible, and young men who arrived in identical, store-bought giant penises.

"It's a lot of fun," said one phallic tower, Ryan (he would not provide his last name), a 19-year-old UW-La Crosse student. "I looked for the costume that would make the most people laugh."

The crowd was heavy on out-of-towners who arrived for the celebration, which came under the national spotlight during the violence of the past two years. All of those interviewed Friday deplored the past rioting, but all were looking for excitement.

Tim Masarik, 19, of Milwaukee, came to visit friends with two others, and at about 9 p.m. he was parading down the street dressed in royal red with a urinal hanging on his torso. He was a royal flush.

"I know it's going to pick up," he said. "I have faith."

He was right. Just after 10 p.m., the crowd became too big for the sidewalks and began taking over the street. ...

One of [the people openly drinking alcohol], a man who would give his name only as Justin and said he was 21, was among many people dressed as cows with protruding udders. Although he hadn't been arrested yet, the UW-Whitewater student stood out as he drunkenly hauled what was literally a bucket full of beer down the street.

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