It was a big weekend here in Indy. First, it was absolutely gorgeous both days. 80 Saturday, 85 yesterday. Low humidity. Nary a cloud in the sky. Second, there were many, many things going on downtown. There was the Taste of Indiana, which we took in yesterday. A local version of Taste of Chicago on a much smaller scale, we were able to sample some pretty good beef brisket (no where near the league of Smokin’ Jim Epps, of course), some mediocre Mongolian food, and some extremely tasty ice cream. All while staring at the ugly edifice known as the NCAA Hall of Champions. Really, it’s an unattractive building on the outside. I’m not just saying that out of continuing bitterness for my employment experiences with them or their jilting of KC. We didn’t go in, basically because we were feeling cheap and didn’t want to pay the admission charge. Props to them for having Final Four shirts available outside, though.
As part of the Taste of Indiana, a duck race was held in the canal (an extension of the canal that was outside our wedding building). I love rubber ducks. Too much Sesame Street when I was a kid probably, or maybe along with Jayhawks and penguins, I have some kind of weird bird fetish. Regardless, I was pretty fired up to see thousands of rubber ducks floating in the water, more so than many of the thousands of toddlers that were in attendance. Little bastards couldn’t stay focused on the ducks. I’m sad to say that no one in Indianapolis knows how to put on a proper duck race. After 20 minutes of watching them slowly pour the ducks into the water, and then just let them sit there, and well after most three year olds had lost interest, I bitterly turned my back on the poor ducks and walked away. I admit I had to wipe tears from my eyes. A five-year-old standing by me, with a bright yellow duck call hanging around his neck summed things up better than I ever could, “These ducks suck.”
That was only half the excitement in town, though. Adjacent to the ToI, there was a massive Harley Davidson convention. Thousands of Harleys parked next to each other, with thousands of people admiring them. Harley admirers fascinate me. They park all their bikes next to each other, then just walk and stare. Seems weird to me. This was one of many regional shows that are leading up to next week’s 100th anniversary celebration in Milwaukee. From the Indy Star, get a load of who’s performing in Milwaukee:
Kansas, .38 Special, Peter Frampton, Poison, the Doobie Brothers, Joan Jett, Eddie Money, Billy Idol, REO Speedwagon, Styx, and Steppenwolf, among others. I don’t really know what to say about that, but I would love to be in Milwaukee just for the concerts to take notes while people watching.
The really big event of the weekend was the National Socialist Movement’s White Unity Rally downtown. Don’t think I didn’t get excited when I heard racists were coming all the way from Minnesota to protest in our fair city! Sadly, the event was largely a bust, with only 50 members of the group speaking to about 25 supporters, all while being heckled by 75 protesters. The Indy police took great pains to keep the differing sides apart, which lead to a pro-diversity rally a few blocks away. According to the Star, there were about 800 people at the pro-diversity gathering, causing organizers to talk about having an annual event.
The Nazi event was prompted by the rise in the Hispanic population in Indiana over the past few years. Nazi sympathizers tore a Mexican flag, spit on it, and then threw it to the ground. Yeah, that will show them! Reading that, I wished I could have played the role of Fletch and stood behind them, “Hey, let’s get the Guatemalans and Hondurans too! El Salvadorians are next!” That really would have thrown them off, I bet. (One wonders how many of those people would absolutely freak if you treated an American flag the same way.) The leader of the event said that the Spanish-speaking horde is attempting to force its language and culture on America. I never realized that margaritas and salsa were tools of the Spanish speaking vanguard that’s over-running this great nation. Given the fact Kansas City has much better Mexican food than Indianapolis, I fear for the future of my friends back there. It may be too late to save you! From this day forward, I shall order my sizzling chicken and vegetable strips under the name “fuh-jee-tas” and ask for extra “tor-till-yas” so I’m not party to this desecration of our fair country.
Some other observations:
I love Nazis for lots of reasons. First, I’m a huge proponent of freedom of speech. I think even racist, ignorant, lowlifes are protected by the Constitution so long as they stop short of calling for physical violence towards specific targets. There’s pretty much no one in our society as universally disdained as Nazis, so I think they’re the perfect example for why freedom of speech is a great thing. Second, by them sharing their repulsive views in public, it helps us realize who the real enemy is. All too often, especially in economically troubled times, it becomes easy to blame those that are different for the ills of society. Nazis remind us that’s not the case. It can be the people who look exactly like us who are the bigger problem. Finally, Nazis are just funny. Sadly, there are far too many racially motivated acts of violence in this country each year. But the majority of modern Nazis are so frustrated by their own inadequacies that they need to parade around in military regalia and present an image of anger in an attempt to regain their identity. As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing funnier than a white man blaming all his troubles on people of color while standing behind the legacy of Adolph Hitler. There’s a ton of irony there these people miss.
The leader of the event’s last name is Schoep. I bet whenever his family came over, the first generation was never oppressed because it took them awhile to pick up the language, they ate odd foods, or they kept to themselves in a small community of people from their homeland. Lord knows we’ve never persecuted the Irish, the Italians, the Germans, the Catholics, the Jews, and any other ethno-religious group from Europe because they were different when they arrived.
Activists of the left crack me up too. Also in the Star was a story about how several groups that took part in the pro-diversity rally were arguing about whether they should continue the event in the future, and what the best way to do so would be. Some of these people were pissed at each other. People, the opponent is ten blocks away. Let’s not lose focus here.
We were diverted several times by roadblocks as we attempted to get to the ToI. There were far more police standing around doing nothing than protesters. Our tax dollars at work!
I wonder what the bill was for the TV station that kept their helicopter hovering about all the activity for hours was. Probably not worth the pictures they got.
I did notice it’s harder and harder to order a grande decaf mocha at Starbucks without using the remnants of Spanish I still have. Maybe these Nazis are onto something…
Really, I could write about the Nazis all day. It’s fun stuff, and makes me feel like no matter what my flaws are, I’ve got things pretty together. I’m at page three in Word, so time to cut the notes off for now.