The World’s Fair 2008

David Sirota

When you fly into New York's LaGuardia Airport, you fly over the old World's Fair site at Flushing Meadows. Whenever I see it, I'm always struck by how they constructed a bunch of buildings and that huge globe sculpture all for the fair, which was a one-time, temporary event. It reminds me of what Denver looks like right now with the Democratic convention blanketing the city. Millions of dollars have been spent to construct all sorts of elaborate sets, buildings and tents. As just one example, check out the picture I snapped at dawn this morning - it's a photo of a building right next to the Pepsi Center that CNN took over. All of this, for an event that lasts just 4 days. It is as if political conventions have become the modern-day World's Fair. I'm not sure that's a good thing or a bad thing. There's certainly an upside - conventions generate a huge amount of money for the host city and stir up interest in the political system. Then again, they have become giant television shows, with no real drama other than that which the media (tries to) create. And when you consider the budget cuts to social services and education in a state like Colorado, the thought of all this money coming into Denver to pay for garish parties is more than a bit nauseating.

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David Sirota is an awardwinning investigative journalist and an In These Times senior editor. He served as speech writer for Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign. Follow him on Twitter @davidsirota.
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