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Sanity? A good time, at least.

Gen and I dressed up as Suffragettes and went to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on Saturday, and it was awesome.

(Gen took the pictures, and hasn't put them up yet, but I found some others on Flickr. This one is my fave.)

(Yes, I steampunked my Victorian.)

I made the sashes on Friday, and true to being a costume geek, I flat-felled all the seams, and they ended up taking me about 5 hours.  It was worth it, though, as we got a hugely positive reception at the rally, and tons of people took our picture.

I know the MSM is playing off the rally as a silly stunt (understandably, since their panic-mongering reportage came under attack from Stewart), but it was actually really amazing.  A lot of people (215,000; Beck's rally only pulled in 90,000, for comparison) showed up to voice their support for a more truthful and moderate media, for the moderate voice, for the mainstream voters who really believe in a better future, and don't buy into the lies and hate and hysteria we're being fed by the press (I'm looking at you, Fox, CNN, and cable news networks).

Contrary to the predictions by such Rand apologists as Anne Althouse, there was no violence, no riot, no tear-gassing, and no geese pooping in the reflecting pool.  Unlike the violent rhetoric espoused by the hard right-wing, the atmosphere was really, really positive.  Everyone was polite, there was a general mood of awareness and consideration for everyone.  At one point we were negotiating a gridlock of people (215,000 people in one place gets crowded), and a small child (about 8 years old, I'm guessing) with her mother were right in front of me - the kid was getting a little buffetted, since people weren't seeing her in the press, and I started saying "small kid, coming through!" and people laughed and made way for her.  It was that kind of day.  Thoughtful, responsible, caring.

We got photographed a lot - and interviewed, though I don't think anyone will air our thoughts, since I'm sure we sounded silly.  We ended every interview with "John Stewart rocks!!".  But it was a marvellous, marvellous day.  The weather was incredible, just gorgeous, and perfect for dressing up and enjoying the outdoors.  There were recycling points, so I was even able to recycle my sign before leaving.  In fact, it stayed amazingly un-littered all day, especially at the end, when Stewart asked everyone to pick up their litter and not leave a mess.  I've seen it messier after a regular Saturday.  There were, of course, long lines for everything (and people remained polite, and I didn't see any line jumpers), and I think they really underestimated the number of people who would come, since the official Rally food stands ran out of hot dogs (and everything else).  We ended up getting some really tasty food from a vendor outside the Museum of the American Indian. 

Unfortunately, as much fun as I had, the day broke me.  I crashed around 9:30pm, and didn't even notice when Bob came to bed, and the next day (and today - I'm working from home) was ultra-painful.  I can't believe just walking around and holding a piece of light poster board could hurt me so badly, but it did.  I'm beginning to think that maybe I do have Fibromyalgia, after all.  I'm certainly tired and painful almost all the time, and a gentle day of cruising the Mall shouldn't cause me to lose the next two days.

But I don't care - the point of going to the rally was to show support for reasonable politics, and to show that there are lots of people who are fed up with the media circus we have now.  I wanted to be there, another body to add to the masses, and it was an amazing experience.  The last time I attended a really large demonstration was in the 1970s, in England, when we marched for peace and against nuclear weapons.  The atmosphere was very similar, in fact - happy, but concerned people banding together in peace and empathy, feeling a shared bond and a shared purpose, in a non-violent protest against the status quo.

One of the things I'm very tired of in the media is the false equivalency they try to make between the right and the left - they take every instance of violence on the hard right, and try to find its equal on the left, and they can't, so they draw parallels where none exist.  The extreme right is a party of violence, of cruelty and repression of dissent by force (TW for violence).  The left isn't anything like the right, and all of us in the middle who keep being cast as extreme lefties?  We.  Don't.  Condone.  Violence.

The extremists on the right scare me - it's like they read Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and thought it was a how-to manual.  The really extreme right won't be satisfied until they create a theocracy where dissent is punishable by torture or death, and women and minorities are enslaved again (or refused entry and deported, regardless of citizenship).  They are encouraged by pundits like John Derbyshire, who think women should not be allowed to vote.  They are heartened by politicians who think single women and gays should not be allowed to be teachers.  They want to repeal all the government programs that help poor people, and enshrine the programs that allow the super-rich to get richer, even when they'll be negatively affected by the decisions.  And they're funded by the super-rich, who want the US to be a corporate nation, ruled by business and the "free" market (as long as the market is heavily swayed in their favour, i.e., crony capitalism).  Like I said, they scare me.  And they should not be dominating public discourse.

Saturday was a beautiful thing - a rally for decency, for kindness, for moderation and social justice.

If only we could carry that forward to Tuesday and get all the people who support the same ideals to get out of their chairs and vote.  If you don't vote, you get the government you deserve - or a government that other people have bought off.  Don't let that happen.


( 17 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
Nov. 1st, 2010 06:08 pm (UTC)
That is so awesome that y'all got to go and you look fabulous.

Last article I read put attendance closer to 700K.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 1st, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
Glad I'm not the only one. As a Canadian resident, I keep wondering when we're going to have to start being the last stop on a new Underground Railroad. Le sigh.
Nov. 1st, 2010 06:22 pm (UTC)
LOL! I walked right past you! Saw your sign, and didn't recognize you. I do remember thinking "Wow, that's a really well-made Victorian outfit!"

Nov. 1st, 2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
Hee! Thanks! :)
Nov. 1st, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
Y'all look so cute!
Nov. 1st, 2010 06:38 pm (UTC)
i was trying to comment and my computer geeked out.. sigh

fibro or chronic fatigue.. or adrenal fatigue... or anemia.

adrenal fatigue can be TESTED for easily, so i would rule that one out first.
then anemia. and make sure they test for BOTH kinds, low iron and low absorption (your iron can be high, but if your absorption is minimal it wont help)

talk to a doctor, or an experienced fibro patient, about your symptoms...... i dont feel qualified to judge... but no, that "taint right" and something is wrong.

sigh.. i read a cartoon once
"its lonely here in the middle saying "reasonable discourse as soon as feasible"

i personally hate the terms left and right, since they seem remarkably mutable. no comment on yoru use of them, just that i have heard people called both, depending on who was talking.
Nov. 1st, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
The crowd vibe was amazingly pleasant. I didn't feel unsafe at any point.

SO glad the mall was clean when everyone left :-)
Nov. 1st, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
If I'd been in the DC area I'd have gone. If I'd actually been home in St. Louis for the weekend I'd have gone to the satellite rally here. As it was we watched it on TV in the living room of the retired couple who own the cabin in which we spent the weekend. :)
Nov. 1st, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you for expressing so well what I feel inside but always lacked the words to convey.
Nov. 1st, 2010 09:10 pm (UTC)
I had the feeling you'd be there in some kind of wonderful outfit ;) Several of my LJ buddies east of the Mississippi went, and a couple of my IRL friends in Seattle were part of organizing the Seattle rally.

We have vote by mail, and yes, I already have.
Nov. 1st, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for posting this!
Nov. 1st, 2010 11:46 pm (UTC)
Great outfits and signs. Thanks for posting your eloquent thoughts. I've voted early, and want to see even more folks, especially women, voting.
Nov. 2nd, 2010 12:00 am (UTC)

I couldn't go because of previous commitments, and crowds (even civil ones) trigger my anxiety.
Nov. 2nd, 2010 02:51 am (UTC)
I know it was just a coincidence, but your sashes are the same as the Marinus baldrics. And since I couldn't be there but had wanted to be, that made me grin.

Thank you for going and supporting the moderate middle!
Nov. 2nd, 2010 04:19 am (UTC)
Was going through the top 100 on another site, when I saw that on image #50 I could see part of your friend's sign.
Nov. 4th, 2010 07:59 pm (UTC)
You can see Pinkleader's sign in #50 of the '100 best signs from the rally' that's going around...

Nov. 4th, 2010 08:00 pm (UTC)
Duh...might help if I read what other's post....
( 17 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )

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