Sunday, November 7, 2010
I apologize to the few of you that actually read me for not blogging in a week, but its been one hell of a disappointing seven days. I made it to the 'Rally To Restore Sanity' last weekend. I found a seat on a van filled with 15 people, some of them Coffee Party friends and some strangers (not all like minded). Two of them were heroin attics and thieves. One was a kid that had no respect. A couple were whiny alcoholics who that this was a party wagon. It was a long 14 hour trip to DC, full of stops for the complaining entitlists, so we were late for breakfast with Annabel Park and other Coffee Party leaders.
As soon as we arrived to DC half of our gang wanted to hop out and catch a ride downtown by way of subway. Luckily Del (the man who put this trip together) wouldn't allow it, because no cellphones worked do to the massive amount of people in DC. Once we finally found a parking garage it was just minutes away from show start. After trying to get everyone together and got the stoners to put their joints out we were ready for action.
The crowd got thicker and thicker as we passed K street and approached the mall. The Coffee Party had it's own tent with chairs and a fence around it, but the closer we got the tighter the crowd, until we were absolutely stuck and couldn't move any further. After a few minutes went by and I realized I was unable to reach into my pockets for a smoke I started to panic. All I could see in all directions was miles of heads! I had to get out so I started to push and squirm my way through until I had some arm space.
It took half a hour but felt like much more. I had an instant headache and nausea from the anxiety. I found the Newsy museum which had a giant screen and speakers playing the rally. Everyone in our group ended up on their own. The show was amazing and worth all the uncomforts of a human swarm. According to CBS News, 215,000 people showed up for the rally on Saturday. By comparison, CBS estimated that 87,000 -- just 40% of the Sanity Rally estimation -- attended Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally in August.
Jon Stewart managed to do something with his Rally to Restore Sanity that hasn’t been done in a long time. He confused the mainstream media to the point of a near collective nervous breakdown. The media couldn’t figure out what this rally was about, and it was only when Stewart explained it to them that they realized that it was about them.
"These are dark times, but they're not the end times," said Stewart, beginning a lengthy monologue in which he expressed his gratitude to the attendees, for lending their "presence," and attempted to explain his intentions on the virtues of reason. He did what he's always done, broadly critiquing the media as an institution that had "broken," that had shone their magnifying glass as a terrorizer of small insects. He decried small-mindedness, generalizations, and smugness. He urged the crowds to stop writing off Tea Partiers as racists, and instead see them as people with perspectives on the world that were informed by very real concerns and hurts and hopes.
The real racists, Stewart reminded the crowd, worked hard, and put the time and effort into being racist.
Somewhere in the middle of Stewart's monologue, he started to at last expand upon the "sanity" theme in a way he couldn't manage with the comedy, pushing a call for something much more meaningful: decency. The metaphor he summoned, oddly enough, was zipper merging! I know: very strange, and very idiosyncratic to a guy who grew up in New Jersey and who now lives in New York City.
And yet, it was affecting, listening to Stewart described one nation, "a little bit late for something they have to do," in rush hour traffic, slowly merging down from many lanes into one, until everyone, with one shared voice, orderly allows cars to filter into the merge. The idea being: we don't know or care about the political passions of the person in the next car...we just make way for one another.
After his inspiring close we started to make our way to the van. I was the first one there so I managed to squeeze my hand into a partially cracked window and pull the door lock. I laid in a seat patiently waiting for arrivals.
Mind you that at this point Ice been up for 36 hours plus. Finally everyone found the garage so we were ready to make our way to the Coffee Party after party. By the time we found the place there was only a hand full of people.
So we loaded the van back up and hit the road. After a couple hours of being on the road and starting our long hike up the mountains we voted for a new driver because Del was all over the road. I was the lucky winner to drive all the way back while everyone else slept. My eyelids felt like fifty pound bags and every fifty feet there was a dead deer on the side of the road with blood painted all over the concrete.
We were way up in the mountains and I was so tired everything I seen was an animal waiting to jump in front of the van. By the time I made it home and got to bed I was up for a total of 54 hours. For a rally about sanity that trip was crazy!
After seeing so many progressive voters come together I had new found hope for the midterm elections. Then Tuesday came and I voted in every candidate I've been following and studying for weeks. But the billions pored in from corporations and foreign investors to fund neocon politicians stole our democracy and the clowns came marching in with their crocodile tears of victory. It could have been worse though I guess. At least most of Palin's posse lost. What gets me is they ran on cutting the deficit and ending stimulus. In his election night remarks, Rep. John Boehner, the leader of the new House Republican majority, promised: “[The Republican agenda] starts with cutting spending instead of increasing it. Reducing the size of government instead of expanding it.” Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made the same pledge.
Then just days after the election Ben Bernanke throws another $600,000,000,000 at Wall Street! Do conservative voters really have that short of a memory? Are they that stupid that they'd just had our country over to corporations as long as they can keep the Mexicans out? I've lost all hope in the civility and sensibility of the American people!
-Dead Press- Journalism that's not sold-out!
Posted by Lenny Wagenknecht