Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Thoughts on the Rally to Restore Sanity

I've seen a lot of people thinking this rally was just a bunch of young folk with nothing better to do gathering together to watch a funny-man perform a skit with some musical interludes. Just because it wasn't a rally against the war, or in favor of LGBT rights, or workers rights, or some other specific cause doesn't make it a rally about nothing.

Jon summed it up in his closing speech. Jon speaks about it on TDS every night. Every skit and all the songs performed addressed it in one way or another. The media has a role in a functioning democracy. And when all the media does is point fingers and preach fear, the media is not doing that job.

There's a quote by Carter G. Woodson from "The Mis-education of the Negro", "When you control a man's mind, you need not worry what he'll do". This addresses a line of thinking that was prevalent in his time that the educated Blacks didn't have a responsibility to give back to their communities. That same quote applies today.

What Jon Stewart's rally was about isn't just one particular issue. It isn't about GOTV, or endorsing the democratic party or progressive issues. IMO, its bigger than all that. Because if we're not thinking, if we're just going to repeat what we've heard, and if the media both promotes and encourages this type of action, then the very foundation of our democracy is questionable.

If, instead of enlightening people's viewpoints on interactions between Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Buddhists, all the media does is say that each group should just fear the others, then it makes it very hard for any agreement to be reached.

If instead of discussing gender equality issues, homosexuality issues, workers rights issues, etc., the media is just a source of propaganda, then the truth has little chance of seeing the light.

In my opinion, the rally was all about this message. And it was delivered to a smart crowd who understands whats at stake, not just in the election, but with the corporations getting rulings like the recent supreme court ruling that they can buy all the ad time they want, or with corporations finding ways to ship jobs overseas, or with wall street finding ways to take greater gambles with their money, all that and more.

To sum this up as a rally to promote couch potato do nothingism sponsored by a corporate giant with a friendly face plastered on front is a very narrow an IMO naive viewpoint.
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