My Blog List

Saturday, October 30, 2010

rally to restore sanity and/or fear

When my daughter was born my pediatrician advised me not to buy any "how to raise a baby" book. He said that people write these books to make money, so one day I would read one thing and the next I would read the opposite. "Trust your own judgment," he said, "you know your baby better than anyone."

Now, you're asking, what does this have to do with the rally to restore sanity and/or fear?

It has to do with this thread I saw on Friday in the New York Times imported from the Washington Post, and which I think should be characterized as the biggest heap of doo doo, if one wants to be generous: Just who the hell does Jon Stewart think he is?

This was written mostly before the rally, not after, mind you. Before anyone knew what the game plan was, how things would turn out, what kind of people were going to show up, what type of signs they might carry. So many opinions, so many big words analyzing what's right and what's wrong about this "liberal" spoof, the intervention of comedians in politic, the message, the medium, the merit, what it means for Democrats in the coming elections and so forth. Telling mindless readers like me what to think about Jon Stewart and Colbert with big words and deep analysis encompassing the entire history of the republic: precedents, civic duty, proscenium (huh?), anathema, manufactured controversy and alarmism, political laziness masquerading as ironic detachment, bla bla bla bla bla....

Hey, people, excuse me, hello... I want to think about the rally whatever I want to think... don't feed me what to think... don't shove into my head the entire history of rallies in the Mall, and don't you dare badmouthing Colbert, or else!!

While I was recovering from the overdose of the pundits' verbosity, I heard this line streaming out of my laptop, thanks to CNN live streaming of the rally. It was uttered by the prankster Father Sarducci while he was waiting for god to give him a sign to which religion He ascribes to (not his exact words). After calling various schools of the Jesus persuasion and receiving enthusiastic responses from the crowd, Sarducci named Judaism and Islam and suggested with a heavy Italian accent: "You don't eat pork, we don't eat pork, let's build on that."

What a great idea to solve the conflict. Let's not eat pork together!

Which brought to my mind a piece I saw on the Jerusalem Post recently, where the writer Gil Shefler suggested to bring the rally to restore sanity to Israel. In his own words:

It might not bring peace to the Middle East
but it might help promote just a little humor
and good will in the region, and that in itself
would already be a great start.

There’s only one problem. How does one restore
sanity to a part of the world where it never existed?
I therefore propose calling the gathering in Israel
the Rally to Introduce Sanity.


I think it's a wonderful idea. Colbert and Jon Stewart going to Tel Aviv, 15 years after the assassination of Rabin during a peace rally. Hey, it might work out. Who knows. In the Middle East, where being sane was never an option, maybe the least predictable gesture would get everyone out of orbit. After all, when you have nothing to lose, resorting to humor is so much more humane than suicide bombing and state sponsored bombardment. Don't you think?

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