Saturday, October 30, 2010

So now that sanity’s restored, what’s next?

I watched the Jon Stewart rally on C-SPAN, which provided the usual C-SPAN graphics, putting Father Guido Sarducci in quote marks in case we might be fooled, although R2D2 was just identified as R2D2. I skipped over most of the musical numbers, so I kept catching up with the DVR and had to alternate with the French tv series on Carlos the Jackal, which gave my evening a slightly odd vibe.

Signs spotted by me or others: “I didn’t have time to make a better sign.” “Give my false dichotomies or give me death.” “Hitler = Hitler.” “Death to Nobody.” “Look at my ironic hipster sign.” “Having a Sign Makes Me Right.” “I hope today isn’t too windy so my sign doesn’t blow away.” “My Political Views Can't Be Summarized by a Sign.” “Keep it Sane, Stupid [The acrostic of which is kiss].” “I can spell.” And the inevitable marijuana legalization sign as prescribed by law, “Fweedom,” with the “weed” in green. Dude.

In the end, I wasn’t that impressed, because while I support “sanity” in politics, pretty much by definition, I don’t see that as entailing “moderation” in politics, as Jon Stewart seems to. Skepticism is a virtue, but so is enthusiasm and principled activism and Stewart’s largely apolitical notion of politics seems to leave little room for activism and enthusiasm. Or who knows, since his message is mostly about what not to do and very little about how to engage in politics.

I also don’t share his belief that the insanity and violent rhetoric is solely a product of the media and politicians (“If we amplify everything, then we hear nothing”) and that the American people, left to themselves, would be moderate and reasonable and willing to compromise, although I’m sure it would be pretty to think so.

At any rate, we can all agree that Stephen Colbert had the better wardrobe.

(Update: 100 of the best signs – and more in comments – here. H/T to Alert Reader Josh.)

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