DENVER -- "I'll be in your dream if you'll be in mine" -- Bob Dylan
Shrieking eco-hooligans, dubbed "Morons on Bikes" by one irate resident, furiously pedaled into downtown Denver last night, protesting Big Oil by riding in convention traffic without using proper hand signals. They had a dream.
A former Democratic presidential front-runner delivered a rousing, inspiring speech, then immediately followed it up with a mass e-mail asking for money. She, too, had a dream.
A group of young conservatives spent the entire week trying to convince America's top Democrats to vote for McCain. They also had a dream. A dumb dream, but a dream nonetheless.
Today is the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech. (Also probably the 15th or 16th anniversary of the last time a certain VP candidate plagiarized it.)
All week, dream-minded convention speakers referred to "average, ordinary, hardworking Americans," despite the fact that the one thing "average, ordinary, hardworking Americans" don't want to be called is "average, ordinary, hardworking Americans."
Most average, ordinary, hardworking Americans believe they are one lottery ticket away from becoming an old, rich bastard. The kind who can't remember how many houses he has.
The name of America's most popular game show is Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, not Who Wants a Paycheck?
Far from average or ordinary is a local dreamer I met at the Denver Zoo. The steenbok, a tiny antelope, never needs to drink water, instead absorbing moisture from food.
And yet there he was, swigging from a bottle of Obama Water. "Obama inspires change on a personal level," he said. "And I'm not just saying that because I'm the chairman of the Hoofed Animal Caucus."
I was hoping to see Obama live at Invesco Field tonight, but it is almost impossible to get tickets to History. Historic Figures almost always sell out on Ticketmaster.
But I don't need to see him. The Obama vibe is everywhere. It will still be here next week, when fellow Historic Figure Bob Dylan performs.
I am not a Historic Figure, but I am an American history major. As such, I want to thank some above-average, extraordinary, hardworking Americans -- the Denverites. I hope that the rest of the country will learn from them, and constantly ask others if they're all right or if they need anything, and drive total strangers 80 miles to their hotel, and come to their comedy shows even though they only got the flier an hour ago.
I have a dream.
John Marshall is performing stand-up comedy in Breaking Convention, with Scott Blakeman, Jimmy Tingle and Will Durst, Aug. 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 28 at 1 p.m., The Bug Theater, 3654 Navajo Street, Denver, 303-477-5977.