Friday, October 29, 2010

Rally to Restore Sanity, March to Keep Fear Alive

Hawaii is lovely and all, but right now I wish I was still living in Maryland. Why? Because if I was still in Maryland, I would go in to Washington, D.C. this Saturday for Jon Stewart's and Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and March to Keep Fear Alive (respectively). Granted, it won't be nearly as historic an event as when I went in for Obama's inauguration, but it might be more fun (funny, at least). And definitely not as cold.

Since college I have enjoyed The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, but I didn't watch it regularly until early fall 2008, in the midst of the economic crash and the presidential election. There was certainly a lot of material for the writers to use at the time. As the economy went to crap, they gave us ways to laugh at it all. And they kept us in good humor about the sometimes bewildering election. I watched every episode from then until I left Maryland in summer 2009, when my life got considerably busier (I went back to school). Anyway, I consider myself a fan. I still watch their shows now and then, when I'm looking for a quick show to give me a good laugh.

A quick word about the "fake news" issue. I guess there have been polls saying that a significant percentage of young people call The Daily Show their primary news source, which has a lot of judgmental old people shaking their heads. Yes, they make things up in their news reports, but it's always a riff off of a true news story (unlike, say, The Onion, which by the way is also hilarious), and the viewer is never in doubt which part of the story is true and which part is fake. So you get a little information on a true current story, then a good laugh. Nothing wrong with that. I read "real" news online, but The Daily Show, and to a certain extent the Colbert Report as well, isn't a bad complement to the real news. Stewart and Colbert are both funny and smart, and, conveniently, for the most part they share my view on political issues. Their commentaries on current news are sharp, hilarious, and can be comforting, even therapeutic (Example: as Glenn Beck gains more followers, more attention, and more inexplicable power, it feels awfully good to laugh at his oblivious hypocrisy). By pointing out the insanities of our political system, the media, and the people grabbing all the attention, these comedy shows grant us a measure of sanity.

I hope they get a great turnout for their rally. The country could use a little sanity. I'll certainly be tuning in as they stream it live online. Tune in on Saturday, October 30, noon-3pm EDT.

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