Video montage of signs at the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

Boing Boing pal Eddie Codel says,

I was in DC this weekend for Stewart & Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. The signs people made were amazingly creative and hilarious so I made a video montage of them.
[Video Link]


  1. Some of them were pretty funny, but I’m not sure how they (or the rally in general) would affect my vote. Though I guess that wasn’t the goal of the rally anyway, so… ?

    1. I don’t think it’s a sound policy in general to expect a sign (or even a rally) to affect your vote.

  2. The modern spectacle, as the theorist Guy Debord pointed out, is a potent tool for pacification and depoliticization. It is a “permanent opium war” which stupefies its viewers and disconnects them from the forces that control their lives. The spectacle diverts anger toward phantoms and away from the perpetrators of exploitation and injustice. It manufactures feelings of euphoria. It allows participants to confuse the spectacle itself with political action.
    The celebrities from Comedy Central and the trash talk show hosts on Fox are in the same business. They are entertainers. They provide the empty, emotionally laden material that propels endless chatter back and forth on supposed left- and right-wing television programs. It is a national Punch and Judy show. But don’t be fooled. It is not politics. It is entertainment. It is spectacle. All national debate on the airwaves is driven by the same empty gossip, the same absurd trivia, the same celebrity meltdowns and the same ridiculous posturing. It is presented with a different spin. But none of it is about ideas or truth. None of it is about being informed. It caters to emotions. It makes us confuse how we are made to feel with knowledge. And in the end, for those who serve up this drivel, the game is about money in the form of ratings and advertising.  Beck, Colbert and Stewart all serve the same masters. And it is not us.

    1. “It caters to emotions.”

      A human perceive the world via feelings. And the brief form of the feelings are emotions.

      Everything caters to emotions.

      “Beck, Colbert and Stewart all serve the same masters.”

      Everybody’s serving somebody. Even top guys claim to serve the God (or their own greed, or mania of power).

      If I had to pick, rather than a guy who desperately tries to make an argument (Beck), I’d rather go with a sincere guy (Stewart) or a frank liar (Colbert).

    2. (#6): I could see that, given that TDS and CR are derived from the joke of Fox News. But they have a fundamental difference in highlighting ambiguity in Fox’s reasoning. Or shaming networks for something typical of a news organization, often while blatantly shaming themselves.

      And sometimes the information density for an episode is low. Sometimes numbers are left out. But TDS does this in a second-hand-perspective that shows information is missing or misrepresented. It’s genius in that it both keeps attention, and enhances the curiosity for a report (which would otherwise garner no attention).

      I wouldn’t put TDS/CR on the same level as Glenn Beck until they have a solo-subscription to their show, and start filling the commercials with advertisements for gold.

      Get an account, so I can have a conversation with the same person.

  3. My favorite was the PotA costumed people with the “Humans Can Be Domesticated” signs.

    Talk about evidence of time travel! And this video isn’t even blurry.

    1. Yep read it yesterday, I wasn’t mean enough to post it myself, but the Ames piece touches on a lot of what bothers me about all this.

      1. I just read the even longer version on eXiledonline. God, it was windy.

        Kinda strange, methinks, to lay such a ponderous poundage of blame at the doorstep of Generation X’s “fear of appearing lame.” I see lots and lots of reasons for the global sitch that makes us wanna stay in bed on Mondays and despair of positive change on Election Tuesdays.

        But a desperate need for hipness on the part of Gen X? That’s what brings us to this sorry pass? That’s why Gen X voted for Obama, and that’s what explains the rise of libertarianism? And that’s why everyone-who-was-anyone showed up on the Mall on Saturday?

        That’s a new foolishness to me.

        1. It evokes the kid at high school who just got bettered by a snappy one liner and has no comeback. Standing there with jaw agape he curses intellectuals then slinks off to develop an interest in military paraphenalia and quiet lonerness.

          1. Funny,
            You seem to be the only one here who’s making ‘hot headed’ angry responses. Anyway, good for you. Maybe you’re getting it.

    2. Yes. Stewart’s call for moderation and calm, culminating in a good humoured, peaceful rally, attended by tens of thousands, sure has pissed off a lot of hot headed fuck wits, who don’t want any middle ground encroaching on their turf.

      1. While i don’t agree with all that he says (specially the gen X BS), i think that he has a point in saying that politics has been reduced in self indulgent smart ass one liners.

        I don’t think that making a comedian the non plus ultra in moderation is a good sign. Comedians should be bashing all sides equally, that’s satire. Moderation is not comedy material.

        Also the second point i think he makes, and i agree, is that people who care enough will eventually win. Crazy ideas or not. Specially if the most that liberals can muster is pedobear and internet memes that leak into the AFK world.

    3. This is what I got from that article:
      1) John Stewart is a clown.
      2) The message is hollow and not nearly liberal enough.
      3) American liberals are only so because it’s not as dumb as right-wing.

      And I could understand the first point, seeing as he only has criticisms for those not romanticized by death ( , ). The second point I might see, but he de-legitimizes himself for making any statement on the rally, by writing a disclaimer – “And that was it for me — I was outta there.” at the end of the second paragraph. And the rest of the article seems to be a hammer on Jon Stewart for being a comedian, and “liberals”. “Liberals”, who were at the rally and weren’t hardcore enough; even though the rally was advertised for those who were sick of both extremes being overrepresented in the media. Then again, this guy idolizes Russian gangsters, because they aren’t fakes like American liberals ( ). So maybe his opinion doesn’t really mean much in terms of criticisms and praise.

    4. OK I read it. Sheesh, what a whiny buzz-kill. . .Yes, people went to a rally and they weren’t as mad as he thinks they should be. . .sooooo? ?

      And the rhetoric. . .”In the depths of America’s Decline. . .etc” >< Things are just. not. that. bad. (yet) So let people have their fun while they may: these are still good times lest we forget. Yes, many people are unhappy. Yes, coming to terms with the new normal is proving very difficult for many, many Americans. Yet, this rally proves that things aren't as bad as all that (actually, it proves folks like to get out and party. . .) But the death-knell of Liberalism? Please... However if it makes my fellow 'Xer' feel better: when things really DO get bad: The Great Declines true nadir; when the climate ruins croplands and the masses are finally broke and starving, when cable TV and shitty fast-food don't placate enough, when we paper our tent walls with $100's and eat our own babies for breakfast: THEN the signs will lose their pithy and ironic tone. . .thank goodness!

  4. Refudiate insanity is awesome.

    Re domestication: government already views you as livestock.

    Censored lolcat, nice.

  5. My political movement haz better signs than ur political movement!

    (Rally was awesome, watched it on TV. Serious.)

  6. Anyone who even needs to question whether Colbert or Stewart are ‘bashing all sides equally’ clearly are

    a. an teabagger or

    b. are ignorant

    c. both of the above

  7. Video must have been taken pretty early in the morning — by the time we got there (around 10:30 AM) the Mall was considerably more packed.

    My sign just said “VOTE FOR SANITY NOV 2” — which I did this morning, and hope everyone reading this in the U.S. will do too.

    Overall, the crowd I saw at the rally was moderate-liberal. Most people seemed to be there as a stand against the teabaggers and Glenn Beck.

    I disagreed with some of Stewart’s closing speech. I don’t think you actually have to have committed genocide to be racist, for example. But the overall message — that the media and some politicians are trying to sell us fear and hatred, and we should reject it — was something that needs to be heard.

    I do think there’s a danger of drawing false equivalences. There’s a danger of concluding that liberals should compromise with conservative extremists, otherwise we’re being rude; or concluding that calling extremism what it is, is just as bad as calling Obama a socialist commie fascist. It’s pretty clear that one side is selling a lot more fear and hatred than the other side, and Stewart & Colbert did not call that out. I wish they had.

    However, most people at the rally didn’t really need to hear it stated. We knew we were there to tell Beck, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, and company to shut it. And because one side is doing most of the shouting, when 250,000 people come to DC to say “Stop shouting,” it’s pretty clear who they’re against.

    So anyway. That’s my take, from attending the rally.

    1. I shot it throughout the day. Yes, the Mall was densely packed all the way to 7th street. Most of this is from west of there, where people were more spaced out and I could more easily move around.

Comments are closed.