Dave Barry

Dave Barry: The DJ has the Democrats spinning

The big thrill of Day Two of the Democratic convention was provided by former President Bill Clinton, who brought the crowd to its feet with a stirring nomination speech for Barack Obama, and then, in the evening's climactic moment, tossed his hotel keycard to a lucky delegate.

Bill was preceded by a parade of speakers whose remarks stressed the big recurring theme of this convention, which is that Barack Obama and the Democrats want to move America forward into the future by fixing this pesky inherited economy with a specific and practical plan to be revealed at a later date, so that every American — be it a woman, or a minority group, or a person of gender — will have an equal opportunity to have the American dream that Americans deserve here in America; as opposed to Mitt Romney and the Republicans, who want to move the nation backward in a giant Republican time machine to 1959, when wealthy fat-cat Republicans roamed the land with impunity, smoking cigars and beating the poor with golf clubs.

In keeping with their image as the forward-looking Party of Hipness, the Democrats have an official DJ for their convention. His name is "DJ Cassidy," and he has an official website (www.djcassidy.com) that pretty much comes right out and admits he is the greatest entertainer in human history. His official biography states that he is "the iconic deejay in music, fashion, media, and nightlife," and notes that his "respect, demand, and talent are unparalleled." It further states that his "personal celebrity client list" includes, in addition to President Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Tommy Hilfiger, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Kim Kardashian, Anna Wintour, somebody named "Swizz Beatz," and Hugh Hefner.

Speaking of white guys who are almost dead: I realize I am about to sound like a cranky old geezer with a streamer of drool cascading down onto his Sansabelt slacks, but: What is the deal with celebrity DJs? I mean, they're playing records, right? Why is that a big artistic achievement? How, exactly, is it different from operating a car radio? Here's a song! Now I'm pushing the radio button and… Whoa! Here's another song! Talk about unparalleled talent!

When I was a young person and mastodon herds roamed North America, we had record players at parties, but the person operating the record player was not a celebrity: It was a short hairless dweeb who stood in the corner and set the needle down on a 45 r.p.m. record such as "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" by Paul Anka, then watched, alone and ignored in the corner, as the more popular boys, the ones who had somehow achieved puberty, danced with their arms around actual live girls.

I know what I'm talking about here, because I WAS that short hairless dweeb. I always walked home from parties alone, and because my family was poor, Republicans would beat me with golf clubs. But that is not my point. I have totally forgotten my point. Also somebody has been drooling on my slacks.

Getting back to the Democratic convention: A big issue here is weather. It has been raining a lot, so street vendors are making a killing selling $3 ponchos made from cheap plastic. The streets of Charlotte are filled with people wearing essentially garbage bags, making it harder to distinguish between the delegates and random street lunatics, not that there is always a huge difference. The president was supposed to deliver his big speech Thursday night in a football stadium, but now, because of the threat of rain, they are moving it to a safer location: Tampa.

No, it will be in the same place where they held the first two nights of the convention; this means a lot of people who had tickets for the stadium speech are now being informed that they will not get in. I would hate to be the person who has to tell Joe Biden.