105 Ways to Give a Book

Restore Sanity

It’s been a week? Wow. I need to shake off this pity party, both for myself and well... my Party. Some family issues have been bringing me down, and then that election. It wasn’t unexpected, and yet I’m very disappointed. I see another two years of insanity ahead, and it is not a pretty picture.

When I went to the Rally to Restore Sanity, it was to support sane speech. While much of the news commentary expressed disbelief in that very simple premise, some people got it right. (Thanks, Andrew Sullivan.) If you’re wondering what it was like to be there, well, considering we couldn’t see anything and could only hear small parts, I can say that it was still amazing.

Notice I didn’t say entirely pleasant. It was crowded getting there and finding a place to stand in any semblance of comfort. Bill dropped us off closer to the Mall, with a plan as to where we’d meet up. However, there were so many people that we couldn’t get to that location and the cell phone service was hosed, so there was no way to let Bill know where we were. I tried by text, but he never got them. It was only by some logical deduction and blind luck that he was able to find us an hour into the show. The show which we could neither see nor hear, being that the last screens and speakers were two blocks away.

The kids were patient, but clearly bored. I was worried that I wouldn’t find my husband — or our ride home. It was crowded and uncomfortable.

But it was amazing anyway. Because I saw a crowd of more than 200,000 people who showed up, and sometimes showing up is what needs to be done. And what a crowd! It was the strangest, funniest, oddest thing I’ve ever seen. There were a few witches, in reference to Christine O’Donnell. But there were also several Where’s Waldo? costumes, a few superheroes, an occasional stormtrooper, and the crew of Firefly.

And the signs. Oh, the lovely crazy signs. People carried signs asking for less hyperbole, like “The RANT is Too High!” And satires of familiar signs, like “God Hates FIGS.” (With a biblical citation that is real and discussed. Love it.) There were signs about signs, like “Does This Sign Make my Butt Look Fat?” And signs about everything else: “Obama, Bring Back Arrested Development,” “I Like Turtles,” “Anyone for Scrabble Later?” There are collections of them here, here, here, and here.

The Comedy Central show featured Colbert and Stewart doing their thing. They gave awards to real people for great efforts in sanity and/or fear. They bantered back and forth. There was a huge Colbert puppet. There were some great singers and guest appearances. Like their shows, it was played for laughs with a strong current of real issues. At the end, Jon Stewart gave a wonderful speech that defined the day. It was sincere with spots of appropriate humor. He blasted the fear-mongering, saying, “If we amplify everything, we hear nothing.” He chided the constant focus on our differences as a people, noting how “we work together to get things done every damn day. The only place we don’t is here [the Capitol] or on cable TV.” He took issue with extremism across the political spectrum, saying not being able to distinguish between real racists and Tea Partiers or Juan Williams “is an insult. Not only to those people, but to racists themselves, who have put in the exhausting effort it takes to hate!” If you haven’t seen the speech, please give it a view.

Back on a personal note, it was harder on the kids than I would have wanted, but I’m glad to have been there to make a stand for sanity. With my sadness over this past election, I am more proud than ever of my own sign for the rally. And if nothing else, we have a great family photo for the Christmas newsletter.


Andromeda Jazmon said...

Great sign! Thanks for posting this. I wondered what it was really like. Glad you went!

Stephanie said...

I love the fact that you went to this rally! Is sounds like it was a blast -- and it's encouraging seeing so many somewhat like minded people gathered. A friend of mine went with her son. She was really psyched about Mythbusters being there. :-)

Suzanne Casamento said...

Awesome! So great you went. I watched some of the news coverage. What amazed me was that a lot of the big news networks like CNN and FOC completely ignored the event.

Guess it doesn't feed into their insane plans of massive media manipulation. ;)

Ms. Yingling said...

Man, I wish I had a photo like this for my winter holiday card. It would drive some of my relatives nuts!

Medical Librarian said...

How great to get an inside report from someone actually able to attend. And what a cool experience for your daughters to look back on later, even if they were a little bored during the actual event.

Great signs!

mta said...

I'm jealous you got to attend! Though I certainly didn't waste that day -- I did get to go to the civic haunted house in the local Granite Museum (sic) -- I'm not sure if it was quite the equal of seeing this upsurge of commitment to dialogue.

Though Jon Stewart's show is overtly comedy, it's horrifying to find that he's often the only one talking about the real mechanisms of power in this country today. From everyone else -- Democrat and Republican -- we get easy lines, bytes, and myth.


Jan Markley said...

It's great that you partook in an historic event!