about design services main contact

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rally to Restore Sanity (or Finally!!!)

This weekend, I attended the Rally to Restore Sanity.

Rally 029

In all honesty, I'm brimming with desire to post, but I'm not sure where to begin... The rally was an incredibly positive and unique experience that I consider myself lucky to have been a part of. My husband and I went into it (like many people, possibly including even Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert themselves) not sure what to expect.

We don't have cable, but we used to. And when we did, we were huge fans of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report... I don't even remember how I first heard about the rally, but I do know that I immediately HAD to attend. We bought plane tickets before even seeing Jon's "call to reasonableness" video online.

Rally 002
A wee bit early for full leaf-change.

This was a rather unreasonable act for me and Josh because we almost never splurge on anything or make a decision that quickly. But we did it. I don't know why we were so eager. Was it just an exercise in personal spontaneity (Yep. I know.), or was it a reflection of how completely fed up we are with the loud, obnoxious attention that loud, obnoxious extremists are granted by the media at large?

In the weeks leading up to the rally, it seems like America was wondering the same thing: is the rally just a comedy show for anti-establishment slackers who want to thumb their noses at the immensity of the problems in our country? Or is it a serious political movement and a loud message to the media and government that we're not gonna take it anymore? And when I asked myself what I was hoping to get out of it, I came to realize that what I wanted changed from moment to moment. Finally, I just resigned myself to, "Hey, at least I'll get to breathe the same air as Jon and Stephen, and that's pretty cool."

Rally 001

We got on the plane on Friday and found six other passengers in our immediate vicinity that were headed toward the rally, too! My hopes definitely rose. I mean, honestly, I haven't met many people in Houston whose favorite activity is exploring their own beliefs and encouraging others to do the same. So, yeah, I was thrilled!

We got a better idea of how many ralliers were there while riding the DC Metro, but on Saturday morning a quick peek at the morning news showed the National Mall filling up four hours before the start time. It looked like we weren't the only people who believed in... well, something...

Rally 045
We believe in a lot of different stuff!

We followed the masses to the Mall and found the most distinctive crowd ever. It's incredibly rare to have hundreds of thousands of people in the same area and have them all act right, right? Well, not these folks. I've never seen so many people NOT pushing, NOT shoving, NOT jockeying for position... Most people actually said, "Excuse me" if they had to scoot in front of you to get to where they were going! And we were packed in like sardines. It was like rock concert/subway rush hour proximities. No one smelled bad. I only saw two people smoking (and they were on the outskirts of the main crowd). People even allowed shorter people they didn't know stand in front of them if they couldn't see!
It was astounding!

At one point, there was a large sign that was blocking the view of me and many people around me. The guy behind me shouted, "Hey! Guy with the big sign about bears! Can you lower your sign please?" And he did, and we all shouted "Thank you!" No animosity necessary....

Can it be? Are these my fellow non-extreme 80% of the nation? Are they really out there?

It seems so.

From The Atlantic

In a way, the rally was a failure in terms of "rally excitement" because it was full of people who don't really like to clap along to songs, or shout things back at performers who ask you to shout things during their songs. But, like I said, that's MY kind of people and they're awesome!

There were a handful of people that didn't keep with the spirit of the rally. Some chose to dress as teabags or in general ridiculousness, while others made signs that specifically attacked certain political figures. I wondered if these few individuals were unable or unwilling to understand the point. Maybe it was just a Halloween thing.

Then again, it was the leftist organization MoveOn.org who were the douchebags who brought those annoying beach balls (printed with the website name) and unreasonably bounced those around the crowd. Seriously guys, no one likes those.


Another thing I noticed about the crowd was the diversity... Not just racial and ethnic diversity, but also age. My 20-year old cousin drove down from Massachusetts for the rally (sorry I didn't meet up with you, Becky!), and apparently the very elderly Mexican-American man I sat next to on the subway flew in from Seattle. It was great to see that sanity is not the property of one segment of the population.

The Roots were great, the funniness was funny, and the mood was incredibly positive. There were some stand-out moments for me - like when "America's most reasonable-seeming man", Law and Order's Sam Waterston came out and read a fear poem by Colbert, and when Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) and Ozzy Osbourne had a song battle with their respective types of "trains", only to be settled by the O'Jays and their superior "train".

The signs were the real stars in a way. They covered a large breadth of humor from the silly:

Rally 018

to the satirical:

Rally 019

to the ones so simply true, they make you laugh:

Rally 038

All in all, the rally was a huge success and an essential show of positivity for America, all accomplished while walking the fine line of satire and silliness achieved every weeknight by the Daily Show and the Colbert Report.

Jon Stewart did an amazing job of summing up the goals of the rally himself, so please watch this unedited video of his speech.
It's really wonderful and it echoes my final thoughts of the day.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails