Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear
National Mall, 30 October 2010


Arrived on the Mall around 9:30 - was this far back but plenty of space still within the area of the original permit if you didn’t mind crowding in.

As you can see, still have a view of the stage this early, with music playing over the speakers and the jumbotrons showing slides (at the moment, some form of multiple choice quiz).

More than enough space for blankets, chairs, and people just hanging out. Barricades down the centre of the Mall for crowd control. “Intelligence Is Not Elitist”

I found Waldo!

Looking behind me, down the Mall, tons of space at probably around 10.

Filling in a little more. “Health Care Reform Ate My Baby” - I hadn’t realised before that health care reform was Australian *g*.

Looking toward the Air and Space Museum, the crowds are definitely filling in.

And the other direction - the building in the background is the East Wing of the National Gallery. “I Hate You Because . . . ooh, donuts!”

“I Hate You doesn’t separate us from the animals”

At left, “Sponsered by Bud Light”. At right, “Just Be Decent to People”.

“Legalize Gay Pot”

Crowds are filling in more before everything really gets going. “Hide Yo Wife and Kids”

Things had definitely started by the time this guy squeezed in. “District of Plutocracy”

I got hoisted up to get a picture of the stage with people on it - it, uhm, sort of worked? That’s totally The Roots and maybe Jon Stewart? And more of Tina. You’ve seen a lot of Tina in these. “My name is Tina and I’m a money-backed puppet.”

More signs: “I Think, Therefore I’m Here” and “Just keep F...ing That Chicken, Jon!” (In years to come, this meme, from a local news broadcast, will have been entirely forgotten and everyone will go WTF?)

The Mythbusters lead us in the wave!

The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear could very easily have become what it’s critics expected - hipster America wearing irony on its sleeve. But even from my very limited viewpoint (I came down early and earned that space, dammit! Wasn’t gonna wander around and let slackers take it from me!), the age range was significant, and to me, that was the best marker of success. We are the people who took Jon Stewart at his word; we are the busy majority that ordinarily doesn’t come out for rallies. For my generation, I suspect it requires too much belief. It isn’t that most of us are apathetic; it’s that we’re cynical. I’m on the border of Gen X and the Millenials, and we’ve been promised certain things for years - namely, that the Baby Boomers were going to retire any minute now and therefore there would be jobs for us. Gen X keeps not getting the promotions; the Millenials keep not getting into the lower level positions because Gen X is still there. Universities are expanding but also cutting back, leaving PhDs to work at Starbucks. And that’s not laziness, because you work your ass off at Starbucks during morning rush. Sure, we’re annoyed. But we’re not angry. Anger doesn’t get you anywhere, and it makes your throat hurt. Cynicism and comedy are necessary to us because you either laugh or you cry. So let Glenn Beck and his minions weep over the most ridiculous stuff ever (Coke commercial? Really? It wasn’t even the best Coke commercial!); science says laughing is good for you.

And I still love my black Hawaiian president!


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