Battle Circus – a New Zealand based band who has been playing in the US recently, decided to make a side trip to Washington DC for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.” The Laugh Button asked them to document their travels for us, here’s their report.
On our way into Washington, D.C. we posted a tweet about going to the rally and got some replies pretty quickly including one which was of particular interest to us.
J. Spooner said “@battlecircus Where is the line between real life and show biz? #rallytorestoresanity is a TV SHOW YOU KOOK.”
We saw this and thought about it for a while. Was this person angry about the rally? or was he making a point through sarcasm?
If it was the latter then it was a little loose. Sure, the whole point of the rally was to address the need for separating television and the broader media from our reality so in that respect J. Spooner’s tweet embodied the fundamental message of the rally and perhaps he was exercising an impartial balance by lumping the rally itself into the same pile as the rest of the media with his second part of his stance? If it was the former and he was just angry about the rally then his argument was still good just perhaps slightly misdirected.
We got more responses from people either encouraging us to speak more politically or warning us against it (despite that this turns out to be one of if not the most middle of the road non-political rallies in the history of the United States) but either way we pressed on towards DC determined to see for ourselves how things would turn out. Being fairly new to the country we really had no idea how Americans would react to such a cause.
Fast forward a bit and after navigating through an insanely over-burdened subway system, we get out onto the street and begin to appreciate the magnitude of what we are walking into. This is going to be huge. For a while it is smooth sailing but then we hit more crowd; a large herd of rallyers making its way to the green pastures of the mall. Washington’s ‘Mother Drum Ship’ is beside us keeping the mass in rhythm, A giant fish-like alien and many other costumes remove all of the bi-partisan stigmas the capitol may have come with and instead we find ourselves in a Mardi Gras-like procession finding its way to the heart of the thing.
If you were sitting at home watching this get televised you would have heard everything that got said, every musical satire in all of its complexity and nice view of the whole production, but if you were there, chances are you didn’t – as was the case for us; there were just too many people, more than anyone could have imagined. Everyone was in high spirits and if you couldn’t find your way to a good vantage point you were still content to sit on top of a portable toilet or climb a tree or a sign post just to get a glimpse and then rejoin the mulling crowd which had apparent no agenda apart from simply being there and being together for a cause which no one really felt the need to express in any direct fashion. It seemed simple, we were all there because we wanted to be and that seems an important first step in any kind of constructive logical communication for any purpose, and if that is the reason for this rally then the rally was a success.
360 degree from the top of a portapotty: