10/31/10- The Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear
When sifting through the scattered memories of yesterday's events, I keep coming back to a question I was confronted with repeatedly in the weeks leading up to the Rally: Why was I going to the Rally? Why were any of us going? What was our reason, our goal, our purpose for gathering on grounds where notable speakers of the past have addressed a restless nation.
I usually gave a short answer. I was there to see Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert put on a show. Or since I live so close to DC, planning a day at the Rally was an easy, fun thing to do. But like I said, that was only the short version.
I was there because I wanted to participate in a once in a lifetime event. I was there because I wanted to show support for civil discourse in american politics and in public too. I was there because after a rough couple of months, I needed some time to let go and just have fun. I was there because I'd be meeting in real life people I'd only talked to online. I was there because it was a chance to interact with people coming from all across the country and the world who I never would have met otherwise. And yes, I was there because two of my favorite comedians were putting on a one time only song and dance show in practically my backyard.
I'd originally planned to write about the Rally in a review structure, going over the highlights and low points in a standard fashion. However, the more I tried to write out what I'd experienced, the more I realized I couldn't do it justice. We all witnessed Stephen spring out of the capsule in some form, whether it was live on TV or streaming online. But to have seen it while sardined in with a throng of former strangers and new friends is a whole other matter entirely. It's difficult to describe the audible resonance of an echoing, 250 k strong cheek pop. It's hard to detail the realization of how incredibly lucky I was to get as close as we were able to. It's tough to talk about how inspirational it was to see how far back people continued to gather, even without adequate screens or sound. And it's honestly impossible for me to put into words how powerful it was to hear Jon address a hushed and humbled sea of people with such a potent and straight from the heart speech.
I walked away from the dusty Mall with what I felt was my own personal moment of zen. And from listening to those that were there, I've got a good feeling others did too. I'm going to let the pictures do the talking for me this time as that's the most reasonable, most sane thing I can do.
Page Branson 2010