Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Rally To Restore Sanity - It Was Insane!

We woke up early on Saturday morning ready to get on the road, after some coffee at least. Liz drove us (me, my cousin Javan, his wife Karen, and Liz's boyfriend Pablo) to her friend's apartment in the Dupont Circle area of D.C. After getting a bit lost, my iPad map had us back on track. We left the car at the apartment, picked up a handful more people, and left for our long walk to the National Mall. It's a 4 to 5 mile walk, but was good to get to know our new friends and see a bit of D.C. at the same time. My legs weren't so happy the next day though. Once we hit about 7th street at Constitution we got separated from the rest of the pack. Javan, Karen and I stuck together and headed up the Mall toward the Capitol Building to find an area to stand. The crowd was spectacular. Roads around the Mall were closed off to cars for blocks and there was an absolute sea of people. We slowly worked our way up the Mall and found a relatively good spot to stand where we could see one of the Jumbotrons and could hear pretty well. We were right by the Smithsonian and it was cool to see the number of people watching from the steps of the museum, or on the roofs of other buildings. We saw some cool signs, watched a few guys climb trees (with people chanting "yes you can, yes you can!" as they climbed), and waited for the show to start.

I won't detail every moment of the rally, you can watch the entire thing on Comedy Central, but I will give you a few highlights. Doing the wave as commanded by the Mythbusters was pretty cool. We were all just lemmings at that point, doing whatever ridiculous thing they said. The music was great (The Roots, Sheryl Crow, The O'Jays, Cat Stevens, Ozzy Osbourne, and Tony Bennett). The Ozzy/Cat Stevens bit was particularly funny. Then came the moment we had all been waiting for, Jon Stewart came on stage. The crowd went absolutely wild, but in a very civilized way. Then Stephen Colbert made his appearance via an underground elevator a la the Chilean miners. It was spectacular. From then on we watched in awe as those two went through their bits, as we listened to a poem from Sam Waterston, and other great guests too (like Anderson Cooper's tight black T-shirt). And just like that the rally was over. Looking back, the most amazing part of the entire rally was how civilized everyone was. In a crowd of 250,000 - 300,000 people (or 75 angry, stoned, drunk, white guys if you listen to Fox news) you would expect to have some bad behavior. However, from everything I could see, everyone was pretty well behaved. People were polite, I heard lots of "pardon me" and "could you move your sign please? Thanks!". If someone started to irritate me (like the woman trying to push an enormous stroller through the packed crowd) I remembered why we were all there and it's not sane to be a jerk. I am so glad that I get to say I was there. It was a once in a lifetime experience.

Our view, with awesome signage

Countdown to Sanity

Me and Karen

I also saw "God Hates Figs"

View of the stage

This lady saw me trying to take a picture of her sign and made sure people were not in my way.  Sanity.

The steps of the Smithsonian

The stage up close

Javan and Karen

A rally sign referencing NPR, perfect.

Next up: A Post Rally Tour Of Our Nation's Capitol.

1 comments to blog for:

christiane said...

That's so cool you got to see the Roots! How appropriate!