Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Land of Alternate Feed (or One Saturday Afternoon in DC, as Seen from a TV in Mass.)

Before a crowd of somewhere between 100,000 and 10,000,000,000, in the shadow of the nation's capital, there was a plea for a toning down of the rhetoric. After Stephen Colbert had risen from beneath the earth and melted back into it, after Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Yusuf (formerly known as Lew Alcindor and Cat Stevens) had shown us the non-scary faces of Islam, after we watched the love train coming down the tracks, after all the nonsense and the noise, there stood Jon Stewart showing us images of many cars trying to cram into a tunnel. He explained that each car had its own passengers, each one with his or her own story and his or her own concerns. Yet, order prevailed because of civility and alternate feed. Sure, there was an occasional jerk who tried to cut the line from the outside, but even that person was forgiven for his trespasses. Our country 'tis of thee, sweet land of you and then me, me and then you.

For all the Democrats, and the one of two Republicans who were in the crowd, 234 years after the nation was formed, they had been witness to one of the most moving moments in the history of this great nation. Or maybe, a few hours of comedy central, live and in the fresh air. Either way, from my spot on the couch, it looked like a day of fun in the sun. In this season of political posturing and economic upheaval, fun is something we need almost as much as alternate feed.

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