Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rally to Restore Sanity

I spent Friday flying during a terror alert. For some reason or other, it was the easiest and most pleasant pair of flights I've had in years. Limo to the airport (I splashed out), two hours waiting for a flight while I watched OMG TERROR WE'RE DOOMED ARREST ALL THE BROWN PEOPLE reports on the airport monitors, then whisked on to planes where I was able to consume $56 of vodka due to the ease with which credit card transactions now go down on flights. No food - food seems to be verboten on flights these days. I asked for some at some point and was offered a cookie or potato chips for some large number of dollars. These aren't actually food in my book, so I just drank the equivalent in vodka instead.

I was on my way to the Million Moderate March in Washington. I got into Dulles at midnight thirty (as advertised) and snored until about 9 am. We got up and headed slowly for the Springfield Metro station and realized, all of a sudden, that this thing was big and we were in for a special day.

The crowds at the Metro were out of the door. It literally took 40 minutes to buy a ticket. And this is way out in Springfield. Getting out of the Metro again at L'Enfant was like trying to evacuate a facility. It took more than thirty minutes to get from the platform to the bottom of the (non functional as usual) escalators and start making phone calls. Most of which got dropped due the sheer number of cellular callers in the area. Despite all this, we did manage to meet up with our third person, and walked into The National Mall.

Which was like walking into a free festival. There were hundreds of thousands of people there. Professional estimates seem to center around 215,000. That's the size of one to two days of the really big festivals in the West. Think New Year's Eve in Times Square or Trafalgar Square. Packed with no room to move. We couldn't actually see the stage, or even the Jumbotrons, from where we were further down The Mall. Apparently they'd set up for 60K rather than 215K, so we were well out the viewing area. But it didn't really matter that we couldn't see the official stuff. The rally goers were such fun, with their costumes and clever signs, that the thrill of the day was being with other like-minded people, not watching Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

Ozzy and Yusuf Islam and the O'Jays dueled (trieled?) Peace Train and Crazy Train and Love Train. Colbert argued to Keep Fear Alive. Jon Stewart argued (mildly and sensibly) for moderation. Good times (and funnel cakes with sugar and whipped cream) were had by all.

On a serious note: I'm all for moderation, in the sense of not screaming at opponents, or lying to support my cause, or spinning wildly to make my side look good. In that I supported the march and Jon Stewart and enjoyed the day. But I want to point out that I'm not for 'moderation' in the sense of compromise. Republicans have succeeded in bringing the Overton Window far enough over that to be a 'moderate' is to be a patsy.

Happy well-fed squirrel on the National Mall

1 comment:

KaliDurga said...

Very nice squirrel shot. I'm glad it stopped for conversation so you could snap a pick.


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