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She may have been blackballed from the DNC festivities after the ridiculous backlash over Whoopi Goldberg's Bush baiting, but Margaret Cho found a welcoming audience at the Apollo Theater on Saturday night for a special Imagine Festival stopover on her State of Emergency tour. Draped in loose-fitting batik (this year's chic alternative to tie-dye) and looking fresh for battle, she treated her loyal following of queers, sluts, and other fed-up freaks to the kind of Swift boat bombardment of Republicans John Kerry studiously avoided in Boston.
"Thank you for not rescinding the invitation," she told her adoring fans. Puzzling over the DNC's change of heart, she proclaimed, "I'm not going to shove yams up my ass," adding, "But this makes me want to . . . and I'm not a Thanksgiving person."
Urging people to attend Sunday's march, she teased those planning to stay home, imagining their excuses: "I know that they destroyed democracy and compromised the constitution, but it's so humid. My hair gets so frizzy."
What bothers her most about the current political climate is the flood of hypocrisy. Take, for instance, the right-wing push to get New Jersey's Jim McGreevey to immediately step down as governor. Cho wonders what's so scary about having a gay American in office: "Oh, he might redecorate the mansion! He might put in track lighting!" Speaking of the Garden State's First Lady, she said, "The woman is a fag hag if ever I saw one. It takes one to know one!"
And don't even get her started on Rush Limbaugh's moralistic posturingthis from a man who's on "Valley of the Dolls drugs," an addict so far gone that Courtney Love would eventually tell him, "I have to work tomorrow."
As for the terror alerts, she wants to know why Laura Bush was sent to New York after the city's threat level was raised to orange: "Apparently she's a bomb-smelling dog and first lady."
Cho has plenty to be pissed off about these days. She's mad at the Republicans for holding their convention in New York ("There are two delegates in town, and they're both scared."). She's angry at fundamentalists for their nonstop political activity ("Shouldn't they be preparing for the Rapture?"). And she's positively livid over the rise of Ann Coulter ("Oh, that's why women shouldn't work").
Turning her attention to the plight of poor Whoopi, who lost a lucrative endorsement gig thanks to her off-color Democratic fundraiser routine, Cho said she can't understand why Slim-Fast is suddenly "so high and mighty." Does a diet drink really require "a patriot for a spokesperson"? It's common sense like this that has not only sharpened her act but made her a perfectly timed comic corrective to the GOP's four-day orgy of spin.