Sunday, October 31, 2010

Opting Out of the Noise Machine

Oh, we had a grand time Restoring Sanity yesterday in Washington, D.C.!

Even if we couldn't see the main stage or hear very well from our perch on the sun-drenched steps of the National Gallery of Art....

It was swell simply to be in the crowd of so many people who apparently agree with Jon Stewart's concern that our political discourse has gotten way out of hand. Actually, what Stewart said at the end of the Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear is that Americans might want to turn off the Noise Machines (that would be your cable TV political programs, and by extension, the blogs and talk radio programming too), as the invective and whatnot in these venues tends to poison your soul.

Or, as Stewart put it, the Conflictinator is not our friend.

Well, that is not exactly a revolutionary idea (although I do relish Stewart's new word, "Conflictinator:" it perfectly encapsulates the endless stream of hot air and manufactured conflict that swirls around us at a stronger and faster pace by the second.) Yet, frankly, I detected skosh of hypocropiety in Stewart's closing speech, if I may say so.

I mean, think of it: Stewart, Colbert and the rest of the merry band of Comedy Central Political Satirists create as much heat as any political pundit currently befouling our TV machines nationwide. Same time, though, Stewart and Colbert deserve props for at least attempting to bring a measure of LIGHT along with the heat. And that is valuable indeed during these tense, dark times.

All in all, it was a good day; I am glad that I was there.

Now, how long will this warm glow last?

Photos: Amy Alexander

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