Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear: Colbert, Stewart, and Audience Sober Up
Just because some packages with explosives were (and might still continue) being sent to the United States from Yemen, presumably to travel on planes and cause explosions either in the air or at their alleged destinations, shall we succumb to fear?
Or shall we trust in our intelligence (that is, the CIA and other security vehicles) and stay sane?
First of all, we're being offered a false dichotomy. Given the above incident, a sane person might also become fearful. Given this scenario, one would be insane not to be fearful.
But this blog entry is no word game; it's sort of an op ed about today/s Sanity/Fear rally on the mall in Washington, DC, from someone who was there and not there.
How could that be?
Well, a friend who was visiting wanted to experience the action but had a 4 o'clock train to catch. We arrived early to carve out some real estate for ourselves for the noon event, but such crowds began to pour in all around us that it was clear we'd be close to immobilized until the show was over. It did last more than three hours.
So I told her that if she wanted to keep her first-class spot on the Acela, we'd have to leave our steerage position and go back to my place and watch TV, especially because we couldn't even see the gigantatrons and I was later assured that the acoustics were also bad.
We got a front-row seat on my living-room couch in front of my 22-year-old Philco.
She was happy--she had experienced both the crowds and the heart of the message: Yes, we can live here in peace and remain open to ideas and share space without worrying about political affiliations.
In advance I had called today "the calm before the storm."
There was such hostility from non-Democrats I attempted to communicate with at last week's phonebank, and they all had land lines, so weren't the worst off. The ones really suffering badly from the recession were not reached--I surmised, unless friends had moved in with friends and family with family among those who answered the phones.
There is a storm, acknowledged Stewart, but not an end time. He and Colbert, representing Sanity and Fear, respectively, were surprisingly sober today, especially Stewart-Sanity.
His parting words, though diction was at times jocular, drew few laughs; the entire event spoke even more loudly and clearly that we are one people in our ethnic diversity, all Americans. Our estimated numbers (did Fredda and I count as early departures?) were 250,000. That's 25% of one million and
therefore, if we divide our full population, 300 million, proportionately, we represented 8.33 to the minus-10 percent of it.
First, I would bet, though I haven't come across corroborating statistics, that most present were politically moderate and also bet that most of the material was bland to keep us sane and not evoke any partisan emotions and reactions.