Sunday, October 31, 2010
Rally to Restore Sanity
I’m a big fan of both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. I watch their shows whenever they’re on, or as long as I can keep my eyes open. So I was excited about their “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” coming to D.C. Ordinarily, I would stay away from something that promised to be a logistical nightmare: the traffic tie-ups, the lack of parking, the overcrowded Metro, the hordes of people. But when I had the opportunity to join a chartered bus of Fredericksburgers, I decided I couldn’t pass up the adventure.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. There wasn’t much advance publicity about what the show would actually entail. I wasn’t sure if the crowd would be so big that I wouldn’t be able to see or hear much. But as it turns out, I had a fantastic time. The ride up was easy, we were dropped off within a short walk of the mall, and from the outset, the crowd was in good spirits, with plenty of creative signs and funny costumes on display. We maneuvered our way within one Jumbotron of the stage, where we could hear and see perfectly well. And the show was a lot of fun: doing the wave with a couple hundred thousand people, jumping in unison, listening to some good music, and enjoying a solid Stewart/Colbert comedy show. Best of all, everyone around us seemed to be very relaxed, just there to enjoy a good time--no stress, no problems.
I don’t think this rally is going to change the tenor of political discourse in our country (but wouldn’t that be nice?). But I was happy to go and be counted, to enjoy the laughs and the camaraderie of friends and strangers, to meet and chat with some new people, and to enjoy the experience of the peaceable gathering.
In his closing words, Jon sums up the point of the rally very eloquently.
Our bus arrives near the Mall:
Gathering before showtime:
The trees were the perfect perch, even for Santa:
Just a couple of typical rally-goers:
My favorite sign: