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Posting live from the Bay to Breakers race denouement, one wonders: Where is Roland Barthes when you need him to deconstruct a mass spectacle for you. There were more Huns than I have ever seen in my life. The conquering hoards wore the furry hats with the big horns, and drove a huge Nordic cardboard ship, complete with one barbarian wearing the US colonial flag. Other more Dadaist impulses ran rampant as usual, including lots of alligators on the backs of runners, and the requisite zillions of Elvi. We had our own personal spectacle as my husband stood up to a group ridiculing the French- as they ran the race backwards impersonating the French army. Our local garage band finished their set with an incendiary and somehow uncanny version of “This May be the Last Time.” My favorite signs: “Tastes Great!” and “Pave the Bay!”

- Cheryl Meeker [Sunday, May 18th, 2003]

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