Comic sanity

Here is something we might find a bit intriguing: a sort-of-political rally in Washington DC organised by two satirists working on comedy shows, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. The rally yesterday, which attracted somewhere between 60,000 (estimated by the authorities) and 6 billion (early ‘estimate’ by Stephen Colbert). The rally was, somewhat strangely, billed as a ‘Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear’, partly a satirical reference to rightwing commentator Glen Beck’s ‘Rally to Restore Honor’ in Washington last month.

Apart from the humour and satire, a key message of the organisers was a call to stop political ‘shouting and insults’ and a ‘call to civility’. There is probably a worthwhile message in that for the rest of us outside America also.

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4 Comments on “Comic sanity”

  1. anna notaro Says:

    Jon Stewart’s ‘Daily Show’ ( is rather popular in the UK (cable channel More 4)and represents one of the most interesting media phenomena of late. While it is the symptom of a serious problem, the inability of political classes to speak especially to young generations and the obtuseness of main stream media, on the other it is a healthy reminder that (political) satire still has a role to play in ‘restoring our sanity’ while bringing a smile to our faces 🙂

  2. copernicus Says:

    I am not sure whether politicians and particularly their spin doctors take any notice of this rally. In US, negative TV adverts on political opponents has become an art in itself, and just about any innuendo that shows a political opponent in a bad light is a fair game. This disease has spread to Britain, and recently to Australia, albeit the OfCom in Britain which regulates the TV adverts ensures that these adverts do not cross the line of acceptability. There are good political satire shows in British TV like “Bremner, Bird and Fortune”.

    But these days, politics is adversarial.
    The Labour Party in Britain which when in government was accusing Conservatives as pure tribalists, and not able to work with other parties, now in opposition, ridicules the coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Their accusation now is that the Conservatives are still tribalists and that the Liberal Democrats sold their souls and are in coalition with a party which does not share its ideology! So it appears that there is also leftwing tribalism!

  3. wendymr Says:

    Actually, estimates today are around 215,000 (CBS and friends of mine who were there), which is almost three times the Beck rally (around 87,000). I haven’t had a chance to watch any of the footage yet, but eyewitness reports and photographs of the many and varied signs carried at the march illustrate very real frustration with the polarisation of politics in the US, especially the level of hate stemming from Tea Partiers and their political bedmates.

    It would be nice to think that yesterday’s rally would turn into a genuine movement to combat the Tea Partiers – but I’m not holding my breath just yet.

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