Posted by: notdeaddinosaur | October 30, 2010

Sitting on the Couch to Restore Sanity

I wanted to go to Washington today to participate in this, what sounded like a celebration of reason and moderation, but funny as shit. But with DS away for the week (returning this afternoon), twelve-hour workdays trying to get a new EMR up and running, and no one else to take the dog for a meander twice a day, by the time this morning rolled around, the last thing I wanted to do was crawl out of bed before daylight (yet again), drive two-plus hours only to squeeze onto a Metro train packed tightly enough to make a sardine can feel like business class, then wander around the national mall trying to find a jumbotron to figure out what the hell was going on. I was so exhausted that even the prospect of a visit with my colleague, Dr. Kensington, and brunch with this crotchety old guy in his 80s whom I’ve known for years (Happy Anniversary, btw) wasn’t enough to entice me. Much better choice to sleep in, do laundry, run out to the bank, vacuum, and pick up a few things at the grocery before turning on the Comedy channel at noon and settling in for three wonderful hours of entertainment.

By now, much has been written of the event. It is probably viewable in its entirety on tape somewhere. Much has also been made of the signs at the event, many of which were visible on camera. Simple google searches render copious results. Just a few of my faves:

Make Awkward Sexual Advances, Not War

Legalize Marijuana; [smaller] Quick! Before they search my fanny pack

I’m a Radicalized Moderate, and I’m Mad as Heck

The Last Time This Many People Listened to a Jew, Christianity Happened

Confused Senior Citizens for Sanity

The Mad Hatter Called; He Wants his Tea Party Back

Meh

If Your Beliefs Fit on a Sign…Think Harder

I am the Next Generation, Responsible for You in Your Old Age; FEAR ME! [held by a little kid atop his father’s shoulders]

Is This the Line for Justin Bieber Tickets?

Stop Americans from Stealing our Jobs

I’m Mad as Hell, but Mostly in a Passive Aggressive Way

By all accounts, it was a vast, heterogeneous crowd that renews my faith that there really are vast reserves of untapped rationality in this country. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to avoid what appears to be our inexorable slide into a new Dark Age of ignorance and intolerance, mired in poverty from having ransomed our economy to China. Thanks to Stewart and Colbert for the energizing power of reason, peppered liberally with laughter and conservatively with satire. This sign says it well:

We Should Do This More Often

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Responses

  1. Even here on the other side of the world (the Netherlands) the rally was in the news. I like to watch the The Daily Show once in a while; it gives some insight in the mass-hysteria in the American media. Stewart sometimes has truly amazing interviews in his program (e.g. the interview with king Abdullah of Jordan about the Israeli peace process.

    The rally seemed quite nice, but it was too boring to watch for hours. However, I did catch the song where Stewart and Colin sang themselves about the US being the ‘greatest country of them all’ or something like that. Now I keep wondering: are you Americans serious when you chant such lyrics?

    Here in the Netherlands we are far to down to earth for such patriotism. Most Dutch people would shrug their shoulders and argue that we aren’t all that great, and that the weather in the Netherlands isn’t always that nice, and that we would like to have more days off, et cetera.

    So, was this a cynical song, or is chauvinism really such a big thing in the US?

  2. Sounded like a great plan to me, but as Stewart himself noted, some of us “have s$#t to do”.

  3. “If your beliefs fit on a sign, think harder…” was my group’s sign! I’ve been this reading this blog for a while now and I was definitely not expecting to see it here, but it makes me really happy : )

  4. @T4: Stewart & Colbert are comedians so no, the song lyrics were meant neither seriously nor cynically but tongue in cheek, most likely as a way to mock the kind of folks who believe this country’s former greatness has been tarnished by racial equality, immigration, freedom of religion, acceptance of evolution or homosexuality, etc.

  5. Thanks Finn 😉

    I too loved the signs, by the way. “Protest Signs Are An Ineffectual Means Of Communicating My Nuanced Views On A Variety Of Issues That Cannot Be Reduced To A Simple Pithy Slogan”

  6. As everything in my life, I would like to comment with an XKCD reference.

    http://xkcd.com/470/

    I also liked “I doubt this sign will change your opinion” and “Anyone for Sushi later?”

  7. Well, I was there, and it was a lot of fun. We went a few days early to take in the sights and sites, and that might have been the best part. Still, there was something comforting about a quarter million people of good cheer, reasonable opinions, and open minds. For a few hours, anyway.


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