Got up early this morning because that’s what I do: I get up early. However, unlike most Saturdays on this Saturday I had someplace to be: The Rally to Restore Sanity, LA Edition. Whoo hoo! I had my sign ready and everything, and had MacArthur Park loaded into my phone GPS. I was set! Nothing could ruin this day. Oh yeah, except that it was raining. Well, I was up early so hopefully it would clear by the time it started. Left my place at 6:30 for the 9:00 start, got some grub and hit the road.
Got there at about 7:45 so of course I got good parking, before they cordoned off the spaces right by the park for the rally workers. Place was pretty empty, there were the workers and a few early idiots like myself. The rain had stopped and the sky cleared a bit so it was looking good.
As I was there so early and the pickings at that time were slim, I got interviewed. For what, I don’t know, but one dude had a camera and the other had a mike, and the guy with the mike wanted to talk to me. I agreed. If you see it out there, let me know! Or not, I may not want to see how fat I look on video.
Attendance was pretty spare until about 8:45, when was had about 200 people there. Once the rally started at 9 the place started filling up quickly. By the end of the rally I’d guess there were about 600 people there, but my crowd-guessing skills are out of practice. Here’s a pic of how it looks from a different area at the end:
Yes, I realize that looks like about 200 people but it isn’t the full crowd and I’m not a photojournalist. Both rallies took a little while to gather steam and it wasn’t until about 9:30 that the park was fairly packed and people were getting into it. There were quite a few signs, and amazing very few of them were smug. One that had to belong to somebody driving a Prius said “My political views are too sophisticated to fit on a sign.” Well, bully for you, hotshot. There was another guy who constantly made the rounds with his sign that said “Die Old Ideas Die.” Sigh. He also had a knit hat, to up the douche level.
Most people with signs seemed to be going my route, which was to try to be clever and witty (be sure to mentally pronounce the hard “t” when you read that). Here’s me with my sign:
The flip side said “WHAT HAS TWO THUMBS AND LOVES SIGNS?” Quite a few people took pics of me and my sign, or just my sign, and about a dozen people told me it was their favorite. LIKE A BOSS! Here are a few of the signs I liked…
For the record, I don’t like the Sarah Palin poster; I just wanted to show the reddit poster next to it. The redditors were out in force, I bumped into at least 15 of them.
The crowd was, as expected, fairly young and very diverse. People there seemed to be having a good time and enjoying the DC rally, which was being broadcast on a projection screen for all (who were seated in front of the trees) to enjoy. There were a few mohawks in the crowd, one that looked like the dude did it himself without a mirror.
There weren’t many entrepenuers there but there was one enterprising dude selling buttons. I liked him in an only slight gay sorta way. He was working the crowd, dancing and selling his buttons ($4 each or 4 for $10) and going back to wherever his stash was to get more and sell them. He reluctantly posed for a photo:
Now, about the rally itself. I enjoyed it even though it did drag in places. Mythbuster guys were OK to start it off and then it meandered a bit. The crowd interviews were sorta meh but the stuff with Jon and Stephen picked it up. Loved the Roots playing with John Legend, could have done without Kid Rock – look, we had a redneck up here! Yusef (curiously missing the “Islam” at the end) was kinda boring but then the interplay with Ozzy – who sounds horrible – was a bit of fun. The montages of Colbert’s fear were well-done, with quick bursts of panic from all (but mostly Fox news, yes) of the news channels.
The rally went fairly quickly and then it was time to wrap it up. Jon closed it out with a speech that was, for me, the highlight of the rally. I think he nailed it with what the rally was about – essentially, to take the rhetoric down a notch and realize we’re all just about the same. The key quote for me was, and I’m paraphrasing: “These are bad times. The aren’t the end times.” Easy points, yes, but it played to the crowd and they and I enjoyed it. He brought it all home.
The final result: yes, there was a lot of frivolity, but what’s wrong with that? Politics is serious but you can still have a laugh. If you don’t that shit will tear you up. The mood was kept light and I’m sure most people there had a good time and were glad they went, myself included. I got what I was looking for.
But wait, there’s more. Bonus content, if you will. After the DC rally shut down there were events scheduled for the LA rally. I was undecided on staying but my mind got made up quickly. The first guest was a comedian who start talking about how the election of Obama represented change and we can’t let THEM take that away, and he’s done a lot of good and blah blah fucking blah. I stuck around for 10 minutes of it and that was all I could take. If you watched the main rally you know that Obama was barely mentioned if at all and politics were almost entirely absent. Of course that was by design and that was what made it fun for me. I didn’t go to the rally to hear cheerleading for Obama. I decided to pack it in right there and make the drive back home. I didn’t want to lose my good buzz.
And speaking of good buzz: to close this out, a pic of a guy there who was obviously in favor of prop 19:
More bonus: Jon’s speech at the end of the rally: