Well, it has been 2 months since I posted. Crap.
Things have been just sort of the usual day in day out stuff during the last two months. Except for the trip I took to Washington, D.C. for the Daily Show's Rally to Restore Sanity
. Which was EPIC. I know that word gets bandied around a lot these days, but this is one of the few, true instances where it is totally applicable. Just me and 225,000 other people chilling out on the National Mall in support of rationality, reason, and sanity. The only thing that wasn't superb was the hour I spent Friday night around 7pm driving in Downtown D.C. traffic. It was dark, bumper to bumper traffic, tons of out-of-towners (including me), roundabouts *shudder*, buses and taxis cutting in and out from everywhere.
The weather was perfect, mid to low 60's, light breeze. Mother Nature, who can pull some radical shit when she feels like it, decided to support sanity, too.
This shot is facing east. The next one is west. They give you a bit of an idea of what being in the middle of a 200k+ crowd looks like. I will also say that this was largest gathering of people I've ever been in AND the mellowest. Everybody was super cool and friendly. People made space for each other and switched spots so no one was blocking anyone and were in general super awesome about everything.
It was also an incredibly diverse crowd. Plenty of young people, but others too. There was a couple behind me in their 60's from the "reddest community ever" in the Smokey Mountains who were asking people for little mini-interviews to record to show folks back home. There was a guy and his wife from Minnesota. A family with a couple young kids (probably 9-12). And not just a variety of ages, but races, religions, and political affiliations (even a few brave republicans), too. Everybody was just mingling and having a good time.
Speaking of having a good time, there were tons of special guests. Including The Mythbusters! They came and nerded it up with some "experiments" using the "largest sample size ever." The coolest one was when they had everybody jump up & down at the same time and had actual seismologists w/seismographs record the shock wave (not very much, but still cool).
Speaking of nerding it up. R2-D2!
There were a shit-ton of other guests. I forget them all but a few were: Ozzy, Kat Stevens, Jeff Tweedy & Mavis Staples, Sam Waterson (who read Colbert's Poem, hilarious!), Don Nevello "Father Guido Sarducci", Tony Bennet who sang "America the Beautiful", and a zillion more.
I also really loved the song Colbert and Stewart sang "The Greatest, Strongest Country in the World." It was a wonderful bit of comedy. And kudos to Jon Stewart for singing in front of tens of thousands of people when you know you're not the greatest. Colbert might not have any shame when he's in character, so I think nothing fazes him. And Stewart's "keynote" speech was really, really good. That doesn't do it justice of course, suffice to say it was eloquent, sincere, funny, and to the point, all at once.
Then there were the signs! A snapped photos of a few of my favorites.
"Blessed are the Cheese-makers"
A Life of Brian shout-out, woot!
Not pictured, but awesome:
"The Civil War was an inside job"
"Hyperbole is literally
"Muslims killed Dumbledore"
"Donde esta el bano?"
"That's what she said"
"Down with this sort of thing"
A giant Mario invincibility star
"You found me!" held up by a girl dressed as Waldo
And here's one more. One of the best ones I saw all day. It made me laugh, and I knew I had to get a photo to show you guys, especially Mark. ;)
After the Rally I spent the rest of the day wandering up and down the Mall. The museums were thronged (and close to closing), so I chose to take in the outdoor stuff instead.
The Smithsonian's Sculpture Garden was cool. I particularly like this geometric sculpture (and it was huge!). It has a sort of Escher-esque feel to me.
The Washington Monument. Didn't go up inside, you have to get up pretty early in the morning to get tickets for that. Still, check out my sweet photog skillz (namely, being in the right place at the right time...).
Even after the Rally finished up, most of the people were still hanging out on the Mall. I've been to touristy places before, but this was the coolest because all the Rally people were so mellow and laid back. It was like a get-together in somebody's backyard, a 100k person get together in the country's sweet-ass back yard.
The Lincoln Memorial was the
place to be. All the cool kids go there and hang out, just chilling on the steps.
If there was only one thing I could take away from this, it would be the incredible sense of camaraderie that was present that day. Well, the whole weekend really. Driving in and out of D.C. on the interstate fellow Rally-goers would honk and wave to each other (perfect strangers) when they saw each others' signs. I really wish we could experience more of that camaraderie in our daily lives. I don't think it's a conscious thing that we don't, just that we're all so busy with our lives. We get caught up in our tv shows, facebook, all of our gadgets, trying to make ends meet, trying to get ahead in life, trying to do right by our kids and spouses, that our lives become like bubbles. We're so focused on our own, tiny sphere of influence that we just don't have the time to bond with other people in any kind of significant way. For example, I barely know any of my neighbors. When I was kid we knew all of our neighbors and most of the people up and down the street. It's nice when we can get our bubbles together, join them up, and make something of the moment.
This is another one of those moments where I'm not sure if my metaphors are brilliant or retarded. I like to think retardedly brilliant, so now I present:
Random bridge over the Potomac, from the rear of the Lincoln Memorial.
Say hello to my gigantic marble friend.
I like that they actually refer to the memorial as a "temple." There is definitely a sense of reverence there.
The Vietnam Memorial.
Nothing will impress upon you the sheer number of soldiers who lost their lives in that war like seeing all of the names chiseled, in none too large a font, on that immense stretch of black stone.
Now THAT is a signature.
(Oh, Herbie Hancock, you silly thing.)
Then, to top off this most perfect of days, the evening decided to be really pretty.
My last photo came out perfect. So I won't ruin it with a caption. Laters.
Labels: Epic, March to Keep Fear Alive, National Mall, Rally to Restore Sanity, Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, the Colbert Report, the Daily Show, Washington D.C.