Monday, November 1, 2010

I spend a lot of time alone. I work all day, for the most part, alone. I make the drive back and forth alone. Now that I am put out of the big house (divorced), I spend a number of evenings and mornings alone. I spend a lot of time in my head. I get my news, when I can swallow it, like the rest of us. It’s mostly ugly. For long stretches it is unbearably bleak. The local news is hopelessly lost in murder and violence. And the big dogs of the networks are so far gone in the digestive tracks of
corporate America that I can’t hardly stand to watch the charade. There are glimmers of hope. Democracy Now with Amy Goodman is a saving grace. Bill Moyers when he was on. Some of the stuff that trickles through via the internet and alternative media. There is good stuff out there, it’s just hard to come by, and it seems so obscure and insignificant that it is sometimes hard just because it is so overlooked. So un-impactful. These days I look forward to a form of news that strikes me, though it is categorized as comedy, as the most authentic news we have. The Daily Show and Colbert Report. They make me laugh. But they do a lot more than that for me. They make me feel like I am not completely alone. Not alone in the little nags of disbelief, in the head shaking when the news is so absurd, In the frame of reference where you see such blatant ridiculousness covered and no one seems to be calling the obvious. Then in the evening, Stewart and Colbert nail it. And they do it so damn well, and I laugh out loud. And I feel better, even with the obscenity and repulsiveness of what they are showing. I feel better that they see it too. Thank God they see it too. And others must be seeing it or they wouldn’t be on the air. I am so grateful to them. The montages that pull together the stuff you know you have seen, but cant reference. And they smack it, boom. It’s fantastic.

So I am watching, out of the corner of my sight, unable to look direct, at all the insanity. The Tea Party Rallies, the Palin noise, the stupid and the frightening stuff going on. Going on, seemingly unstoppably. Seemingly inevitably, like a slow plunge into disastrous dilapidation. And it seems so inevitable. When the buzz of a Stewart/Colbert rally started, I thought to myself, if that comes up, I am going. And it did come up, and within minutes I had learned how to use the internet to book a flight and pushed all the necessary buttons. Boom. Absolutely. I did not have to come up with a good reason, or convince myself it was an appropriate thing to do. It was as certain and un-questioned a decision as I have ever made. Today. Two days after the rally. It is as clearly a non-regrettable decision as if I had decided to pull a child from in front of a bus. Of course. What else would you do?

That I was going was never in question. What was in question was whether anyone else would go. Would it be a pitiful and embarrassingly ill attended debachel? Or would it turn out well. The standard, I am ashamed to admit, was whether we could out populate the hideous Glenn Beck rally. If we could match it, ok. If we were less, that would be such a disgrace for my sense of sensible. Who knows what is left then. It’s like at what point do I give up completely and resign myself to the most grotesque of political times. Thankfully, that was not the case. Estimates seem to be saying we killed the numbers of the Beck Rally. Thank you America. Thank you good people of America. You have no Idea. Well maybe you do. They are talking about 215 thousand at the Sanity Rally vs. 87 or 89 thousand at Becks. Being there and seeing what I saw, I am hard pressed to believe 215 thousand is accurate. It is good enough a number, though, to feel fantastic about. And I do. I feel fantastic. I felt fantastic when we arrived in DC on Friday and went to the mall and saw the preparations, and the people there, and the smiles. I felt fantastic when, on Saturday morning, we went to get on the metro and couldn’t because it was packed like a sardine can. I felt fantastic when we got there two hours early and we could not get within two blocks of the stage. I felt fantastic as the throngs of people pressed and compacted and coalesced into the most beautiful see of humanity I can ever hope to witness. I felt fantastic as I watched people climbing on top of the porta potties to see. As the kids climbing the trees, as the waves of sounds and cheers and joy went up. The spontaneous joy. The cumulative bliss of a mass of souls realizing all together, that they are not so crazy. Not so alone. Not so terminally unique. I felt fantastic when I had to leave our place in the crowd and literally wedged myself out body by body. I felt fantastic to when I got to the intersection of the mall and Seventh street and, looking north, perpendicular to the mall, I could not see the end to the pack of bodies of people who could not get near the mall. My bliss was complete. I needed no more. And for me, what I saw and felt, and heard, was a balm and a healing. A joy and an encouragement. A beauty and a grace. I am so thankful for everyone that came. I am so thankful I decided to go.

1 comment:

Linda Pendleton said...

Good for you, Randy! No, you are not alone at all, as you now know. There are many of us who see what is happening in this country as ridiculous, crazy, and harmful. It is the Palins, Beck, Limbaughs, (not to forget the Bush administration who got us into this mess) who have made it so by their inciteful and harmful actions. I read a good blog today of fiction author, Barry Eisler, attorney, former CIA agent. You might like to read it.