There were a lot of people at John Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity. While tweeting from the sardined crowds, I estimated “a fuckload.” Later reports approximated some 200, 000 bodies, people who came out – according to the Rally’s website – to show that they “think shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn’t be the only ones that get heard; and who believe that the only time it’s appropriate to draw a Hitler mustache on someone is when that person is actually Hitler. Or Charlie Chaplin in certain roles.”
I took a bus to D.C. at 5 a.m. and barely made it past the edges of the National Mall. Sandwiched on the outskirts between a man dressed as Hitler if Hitler were a bear (representing The Rally to Restore Fear, perhaps?) and a food stand, I couldn’t move in or out. My fro smelled like woodsmoke and grease for the rest of the night.
In John Stewart’s closing notes, he said:
“The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems bringing them into focus, illuminating issues heretofore unseen or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden, unexpected dangerous, flaming ant epidemic.”
He said this, and I didn’t hear him over the masses of cheering people. The soundsystem, like the government, had failed to reach those on the outskirts. Thus, I was unaware that the blame was being shifted to me, the media. I continued to cheer with people three times my age who had trekked out from California and Indiana and Texas. I continued to restore my personal sanity.
And I guess that’s what it was all about in the end. Migrating for post-rally whiskey, strangers connected over our lack of anger. I just wish Stewart had shifted less blame on the media, which is unbalanced an extremist in parts, but not as a whole.
He also could have used the word “vote.”
“Vote” would have been a very good word for him to use.