Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

John Stewart. Stephen Colbert. Two of the greatest comedians/political commentators of our generation. Together on the National Mall. Who wouldn't want to be there for that?

Well, okay, probably the entire staff over at Fox News. But besides them, everybody wanted to go.

The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear is basically the combination of two separate events: John Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity and Stephen Colbert's March to Keep Fear Alive (Methinks Colbert got robbed when it came to naming the combined event).

I don't want to get all political and say anything that would give me a case of foot-in-mouth disease and/or anger my live-in diplomat, so I leave it to you to follow the links above and learn whatever your heart desires about this event and what it says about the current state of US Politics.

Was it a political rally? No. Well, maybe. But it might have just been comedy. Except that lots of people were holding political signs. Only they were comedic. I think?

All I can say is that, regardless of your political views, listening to these two is a good time. Though it helps if you're a liberal.

Anyway, we had been looking forward to this for a while, and I had wanted to arrive early in the day. I'm a planner. If I'm merely on time, then I'm late. So when TJ suggested that we leave at 11am for a rally scheduled to start at 12pm, I pretty much knew we were screwed. I give you Exhibit A.

Anyone that thought we were getting on that train, or any train following closely behind it, was bananas. Hah! See the gorilla? I'm funny. So anyway, with a modicum of difficulty (it's quite possible that I knocked a granny to the pavement), I flagged down a cab and off we went to DC.

Had I known these guys were going,
I would have just set up a carpool.

Which brings us to Exhibit B. This was our vantage point. A fair distance away from the video screen. And this photo is set at maximum zoom. We were a lot farther back than this image might have you believe. Beyond that? Another video screen. And beyond that screen, another. Beyond that, I think, one would have been able to see Stewart and Colbert in the flesh. Or maybe another screen.

We had managed to arrive on time, and stayed for about an hour and a half. But then I had to pee. And neither of us do so well in large crowds. So ultimately, not being able to hear or see much anyway, we opted for burgers at the Hard Rock Cafe instead. As it turns out, that's when the true magnitude of the day revealed itself to us.

The rally hadn't just taken over the Metro and the National Mall. It had spilled over into the entire District of Columbia. This photo was taken several blocks away from the rally, two hours before the rally ended. This herd isn't even walking toward the rally. They're just...there. Every street in the area looked like this, despite the Mall itself being filled to capacity.

I'm proud to have been witness to such a gathering. Whether they came for laughter, fear, or sanity, the point is that they showed up. And that's amazing. I've never seen so many people in one place, and doubt I will again. Crowd estimates were close to 220,000.

Which would explain that 45 minute wait for a table at the HRC.

1 comment:

  1. At least you made it to the rally. I was stuck home with sick kids and Chris woosed out before he got there. Great photos. They really capture the insanity of it all.