The NEW Illustrated Guide to Mendacity and Folly in the 21st Century.
Posted on | November 1, 2010 | No Comments
Well, it’s not a cartoon, but damn, it’s been so long since I posted anything, I just had to post SOMETHING. First of all, my bronchitis is “mostly” gone. I feel better but my strength isn’t up completely back to where it should be. It will be by the end of the week. Thanks to my well-wishers who expressed good wishes. We won’t mention what I wish for those who wished the opposite
I DID get to the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear on Saturday. Wish I’d done more to publicize it, although the boys certainly did not need MY publicity. The subway (errrr Metro–how gay is that? –Samantha Bee) was incredible. There were lines 20-30 minutes long to buy tickets and then olive oil was spread on the riders to get them all squeezed into the cars. When the doors finally opened at L’Enfant Plaza, it was like projectile vomit as the trains disgorged their charges.
By the time I actually made the rally location–and I admit I was moving slowly due to my energy levels–you literally could not get two blocks from the mall before foot traffic slowed to a shuffle-along. The DC police had wisely shut down several streets. My own uninformed crowd guesstimates said there was at least 150k people there and possibly as high as 300k. I think the TOTAL number of people who came to the Rally was close to the latter, but because of the difficulty getting within site and sound of the stage–and there were video feeds with huge sound systems to relay the proceedings to the further away, BUT THERE WERE THAT MANY PEOPLE THERE–that the back of the crowd was very fluid with people arriving, staying for a while, and then leaving to get a better view ON THE INTERNET. In fact, I couldn’t stay to the end because I couldn’t find a good place to both see and hear what was going on. The CBSNews paid for crowd count said 215,000. That’s a reasonable number for the amount of people who were there at any single moment in time.
It was odd to see how the news media handled it. Although pre-rally shows began at 10 am, and some people had been there since the night before, I could not find any crowd estimates on the cable news stations. It was as if nothing was going to happen. Contrast that with the ballyhoo that characterized Glenn Beck’s revival meetin’. By Sunday, the coverage rapidly evaporated after 6 am–yesterday’s news. DId they get wind of what the main point of the Rally was? That the media, fanning the flames of partisanship, is one of the major contributors to the chasm that is seen between political viewpoints today? As people, we work together everyday despite differences–Jon Stewart likened it to merging into the lanes of a tunnel–a very apt simile for someone in the NY/NJ area. Yet in politics, there is this perception of near civil war, at least the way the news media provides soapboxes to the MOST extreme elements.
Some of my progressive friends have opined that Jon and Stephen STILL missed the point–after all, the most extreme elements are all ON THE RIGHT. That may be so. But the point of the rally wasn’t to point fingers at THEM. It was to point fingers at the people on the sidelines who are busily asking both sides if they need more gasoline to put out the fire. They are no longer informing us. They’re like the reporter in Ace in the Hole/The Big Carnival who prevented the rescue of the man trapped in a cave to prolong the news story. In the movie, the trapped guy died. But now, we’re the people in the cave. Will we have a release like the Chileans? Or do we go down in the interests of real journalism?
Thanks Jon and Stephen. It was a good rally.