Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sanity

I had planned to attend the Rally for Sanity and/or Fear in Washington DC yesterday but chose to do some other personal things instead. However, I did watch some of it on C-SPAN and I wish I had gone.

Jon Stewart, the organizer and star of the show, is a comedian by profession and this rally was partly a spoof on rallies. But taken as a whole, this event came much closer than most to representing the majority of Americans and their beliefs.

Most of us live in the middle, we don’t always agree but we do compromise and our whole government and way of life is based on diverse people getting along.

I’m not going to attempt to describe the whole thing here. Just let me share some highlights:

- No accurate crowd estimate is available, but those who speculate on such things seem to think the crowd size of this rally was at least as large the Beck rally a few months back. One survey says it was twice as big.

- A wide range of famous people appeared on stage during the rally, including Sheryl Crow, The O’Jays, Sam Waterston, Yusuf Islam (a.k.a. Cat Stevens), Ozzy Osbourne, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Tony Bennett.

- It seemed to some that this was a left leaning rally but I think it was more about balance and reality. One example to back that up: Stewart singled out left-wing media for equating Tea Party supporters with racists and right-wing media for equating Muslims and terrorists. Neither of those connections is true. You know that, right?

- The rally was cloaked in comedy and music but it ended in a mostly serious 12-minute summary from Jon Stewart. It is one of the best speeches I’ve heard in years. I urge you to watch the whole thing (below), but if you’re pressed for time, skip ahead to the last 4 minutes. It is worth the effort.



And to end this post on a light note, here are some of the messages seen on hand-made signs at the rally:

- Does this sign make my butt look big?
- Sanity Is A Pre-Existing Condition
- I can see America From My Back Yard
- Make Awkward Sexual Advances, Not War
- I Came Here Illegally. I Went 5 mph Over the Speed Limit On I-95
- Free Hugs from a Militant Atheist with a Gay Agenda.
- He's Black, Get Over It
- This Sign Contains Correct Grammar and Spelling
- Speak Softly And Carry a Bibliography of Statistics
- Minorities: They are Not So Scary When You Get to Know A Few
- We The People, Not We the Corporations
- I love America. Even Though We Get It Wrong Sometimes, It's Still a Nice Place To Raise a Family.

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