Canned Demo’

There is a noisy island of demon­stra­tion in city square, with a small fringe of bored police. This blob of human­ity fills just enough space to fit the view­ing angle of a TV cam­era lens. I can see it 100 metres away, too far to read the plac­ards but you can bet they are mass pro­duced any­way. Pre­dictably, nobody gives the demon­stra­tion a sec­ond glance, but there is some­thing oddly irri­tat­ing about it. Sud­denly it strikes me. The chant­ing itself is pre-recorded and on a tape loop like the canned laugh­ter of a failed com­edy show. This is the sort of thing you’d think gov­ern­ments would stage to prove that they allow true democ­racy. Wow, what­ever their cause, these peo­ple are losers. Maybe the demon­stra­tors are just going through a bio­log­i­cal phase, like the teen girls who want bad-boy boyfriends, the the bad-boy boyfriends with their painted on designer sav­agery, quak­ing inside.

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