October 30, 2010

At the Restore Sanity rally

Some info gleaned from news reports and photos of today's Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert Restore Sanity and/or Fear rally.

"Restore Sanity" signs

Atheists for masturbation. Obama is not the devil, I am. If it's any consolation, I'm going to hell.

Our government doesn't suck. Eat, pray, vote. More sanity...less Hannity! Fox News--real comedy.

Hitler is Hitler. Fear gives me a Boehner. There's so much teabagging going on, I almost wish I had a scrotum.

Anger is not a policy. Compromise! (if that's okay with you). Raise my taxes (please).

Things are pretty OK. Don't panic. Use your inside voice. No head stomping.

Seen at the rally

The Devil. Witches. Three Mexican amigos. Gay Muslims. Ozzy Osborne and the former Cat Stevens. A pretend (?) Indian.

With his light skin, beard, and what looks like multiple layers of robes or skirts below the waist, I'd guess this Indian is fake rather than real. But at least he used some sort of authentic headpiece and unusual costume. In other words, he's not blatantly stereotypical.

Reactions to the rally

Jon Stewart’s Brilliant Attack on the MediaThe coverage of the rally I’ve seen so far tends toward the dismissive, as does its play on the home pages of The New York Times and Washington Post. “Nonpartisan bits, musical entertainment and gentle ribbing of the purported enemies of incivility,” is the Post’s view of it. Cute. Unimportant. A trifle. Pay no heed to its criticism of us; it’s just a joke, after all. Ex-Postie Howie Kurtz was surprised at the size of the event. He underestimated. I didn’t. He called it “shtick” and “weak” at that. His was an entertainment review. That’s how The Times saw it, as “part circus, part satire, part holiday parade.” You know how those kids love a parade with clowns, yet.

Well, judged as entertainment, Kurtz isn’t entirely wrong. Except it wasn’t entertainment. The event used entertainment to be something else, to make a different point. At least The Times’ wunderkind, Brian Stelter, got a blogging chance to call it was it was: media criticism. But sadly, the media don’t even realize they were being criticized, not really.
And from Stewart himself:

Stewart Closes Rally With Biting Critique of Media

Read the speech that made the Rally to Restore Sanity much more than a live variety show

By James Burnett
Unfortunately, one of our main tools in delineating the two broke. The country's 24-hour politico pundit panic conflict-onator did not cause our problems, but its existence makes solving them that much harder. The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems and illuminate problems heretofore unseen, or it can use its magnifying glass to light ants on fire, and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden, unexpected dangerous-flaming-ant epidemic. If we amplify everything, we hear nothing.

There are terrorists and racists and Stalinists and theocrats, but those are titles that must be earned. You must have the resume. Not being able to distinguish between real racists and tea partiers, or real bigots and Juan Williams and Rich Sanchez is an insult--not only to those people, but to the racists themselves, who have put forth the exhausting effort it takes to hate. Just as the inability to distinguish between terrorists and Muslims makes us less safe, not more.
Comment:  This would be the same media that has attacked and stereotyped Indians for a few centuries. I bet the same kind of fearmongering went on then too:

  • Beware the Indians = beware the Muslims
  • Savage attack = terrorist attack
  • They're out to destroy us = they're out to destroy us
  • They're barbaric and evil = they're barbaric and evil

  • I left out other fearmongering campaigns such as beware the immigrants or beware the Commies. But they're all basically the same thing. We're good, they're bad. God is on our side. The ends justify the means. Be a victor or be a victim. Etc.

    For more on the Glenn Beck rally that inspired this rally, see Native Pastor at Beck Rally and Conservative Rallies = White Self-Pity. For more on the underlying issues, see Terrorists Oppose Foreign Occupation and Muslims Killed Thousands, Christians Didn't?!


    Johnny White Man said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    Rob said...

    After I deleted his personal attacks, Johnny White Man aka Geno the cowardly commenter said...

    This was an excellent rally, regardless of how you percieved it. Because the sole point of it all, had absolutely nothing to do with "Indians" per se. It was show of unity. Its something you "FEAR".

    May the scary savage haunt you in your dreams.

    Rob said...

    Let's ignore your ignorant spelling mistakes and obvious cowardice for the moment. So you're in favor of unity? What, you think Indians should assimilate into the mainstream and disappear? Because that's what proponents of "unity" usually mean.

    While you're touting assimilation, I'm in favor of Indians maintaining their unique identities while participating fully in the mainstream. You're a stupid idiot so you don't understand that. Despite almost 9,000 blog postings making the same point over and over.