Posted on November 2, 2010 | By Patty Pino | No Comments
What happens when you and over 250-thousand like-minded people show up in the same place at the same time? You experience lots of interesting, cool, and plan-changing stuff. Here is my wrap up from the “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear”…
I was surprised by so many people of my parent’s age: Call me an ageist or whatever, but I consider Stewart and Colbert representatives of Gen X and Gen Y. When I showed up in DC and was preparing to go the Rally, I was surrounded not just by folks my age and younger, but by baby boomers and people of my parent’s generation. Sure, my mom and dad like John Stewart, but I never considered that they would make the trek to a Rally. So cool that this event inspired sanity-desiring people of all ages to attend.
The Metro turned out to be a bad option: How could we possibly drive into the event, we thought. Too much traffic, no place to park? Let’s park further out of the city and take in the beautiful DC Metro, we planned. Got into the station, waited in line for tickets, waited for train, and it arrives packed like the Japanese Metro at rush hour, but worse.
People almost falling out when the doors open. People are smushed body-to-body-to-body-to-body (like Japan) AND they’re dressed like smurfs and aliens (like Japan) AND they are toting signs-on-sticks instead of yakitori-on-sticks. (OK, the Japanese are too formal to eat on the subway, but I worked the on-a-stick thing in, anyway.)
Via Twitter: Rally for Sanity breaks 19-year Metro Saturday ridership record: http://wldc.us/bR65YC
After a sad attempt to get a cab, we did the old-fashioned thing – we drove in without traffic and found local parking. That which we feared most was the path to our success.
I didn’t really see any of the actual Rally event: That’s right; if you were home and watching on TV or the internet, you had a totally different experience. You saw John Stewart’s moving speech, the Crazy Train/Peace Train/Love Train performances, the matching American Flag sweatsuits. I didn’t.
I, instead, experienced what it was like to be in an immense crowd on the vast Mall in Washington, D.C. All too far away to see the main show, I and my friends rallied within the Rally with thousands of others. The people-watching, the sign-reading, the experiencing of the crowd collective was awesome. It was a beautiful day and we just went with the spirit and great positive feelings of everyone.
Via Internet: Photos of Rally Signs are here.
Technology failed me and many others: Yes, I tried to tweet from my BlackBerry. The network was jammed. My friend tried to get to the live streaming Rally site on her iPhone. The network was jammed. Too many technology-oriented enthusiasts in the same place overloaded everything and made that part of the day really craptacular. We wanted to give and read live updates, yet the cell phone infrastructure failed us.
I would do it again in a heartbeat and would encourage you to do the same: Overall, it was a great experience. Positive, smart people all sanely gathered to share ideas. If there are future events of this type, you need to go. But. why wait for others to organize? I challenge you to do your own gatherings in the spirit of Sanity. Get people together – in person or online – to share information, jokes, ideas, concepts, questions, and conversation. Keep connected, keep informed, and inspire a positive future.
Also, wear a cool t-shirt and random people will take your picture.
p.s. Thanks for following me for the little bit I tweeted, thanks for voting in your respective elections, and stay tuned for more podcasts and ideas on The Slacker Factor. (Send us your ideas and participate, too.)