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Yes, I’m Going to the Rally to Restore Sanity

When Jon Stewart made the announcement about his march back in September, Josh and I decided to go down, even though we’re not really marchers.  In fact, the last march I can remember us going to was the Million Mom March back in May of 2000.  When you live in D.C., marches are a dime a dozen.

Why this march and not the other 3 billion marches that have happened in the 10 years since our last march?  Not to mention the 3 billion counter-marches that usually go on daily as well.  Can’t have a march here without a counter-march.

I’m not really sure.  It isn’t the celebrity factor since celebrities bring their causes to our city on a daily basis.  It isn’t that our politics are aligned because frankly, I don’t do political rallies even when I agree on every issue.

So it must be the message.

Because while I don’t believe strongly in a lot of things, I do believe in reasonableness, and, by fuck, we certainly need more of it.  A case in point, a few weeks ago, I wrote a series of posts that said that while I would have loved to have breastfed the twins, I wasn’t medically able because my body produces no prolactin, and while I think breastfeeding is groovy just as I think formula feeding is groovy, what I think does a great deal of damage on a quest to raise breastfeeding rates (which are already at a pretty reasonable 73.9% in terms of trying breastfeeding) is supremacy language.

And while the majority of people responded with a reasonable, “huh, I feel that way too” or a reasonable, “well, I think the breast is best campaign rocks, but you’re entitled to your opinion and I can respect it,” there were also the people who screeched, “Melissa is anti-breastfeeding!”

And the point is that if people can jump from the idea of “the wording of a campaign pisses me off” to Melissa just gave people the idea that breastfeeding is worthless and that she doesn’t support the hard work of breastfeeding … well … then we need this rally.  Because we seem to have forgotten that being pro-something doesn’t make you anti-something else.

And because people are on a hair trigger.  People don’t even read blog posts anymore.  They just skim to see if the person is in agreement with their ideology, and if they’re not, they unleash their displeasure on them.  Twitter is no longer the fun place to discover what someone is considering eating for lunch.  Now I need to wade through people writing inflammatory statements just to upset others.  And equally annoying, 30 calls to action a day for people’s personal problems with a company, organization, or other person.  Shit happens, and now, instead of dealing with it on our own, we instantaneously call forth an angry mob and call that social action.  We’re no longer responding directly to words and ideas and leaving people out of it — we’re skipping their ideas and verbally attacking human beings.

And I’m sure this post will get a few nasty comments too amid all the reasonable ones saying, “yes, I agree that we don’t all need to espouse the same philosophy in order to respect one another.”  Because I think the vast majority of us agree that the people we surround ourselves with don’t need to be replicas of ourselves.  That a nice Jewish socialist girl like me can be good friends with a nice Christian New Age Libertarian.  And I don’t love her despite those characteristics — I love her because of those characteristics.

I’m well aware that there are a lot of reasonable people out there who fit Jon Stewart’s description of the perfect people for this rally: those “who believe that the only time it’s appropriate to draw a Hitler mustache on someone is when that person is actually Hitler. Or Charlie Chaplin in certain roles.”  And I’m sorry if you’re that person yet you don’t live close to D.C. or can’t get down to the rally.

But just as you have accompanied me on a lot of quests over the years, I would like to bring you with me to this one.

So if you would like to be included on the sign I’m bringing to the Mall, which will say “we are reasonable” at the top, please leave a message of support below and I will include your name or blog title (all comments that come in after 9 pm on Friday will be there in spirit since I need time to make the sign).  I will be taking pictures and posting them here (hopefully on Saturday night).

Yes, you can be included on my sign even if you are going yourself. And if no one wants to be included, I’ll still make my sign (changing the “we” to an “I”) and behave reasonably.

Because seriously, is being reasonable that difficult?  Does allowing people their own philosophy, politics, religion, parenting choices, style of dress hurt me?

Remember when you were little and you went to a friend’s house and their mum served something you didn’t like and how the accepted response was, “no, thank you.”  You wouldn’t have dreamed of yelling at them, “well, you’re a hateful human being if you thought to serve me chicken nuggets, bitch.”  Um, can we bring back the “no, thank you?”



1 Tonggu Momma { 10.27.10 at 7:31 am }

“Our Little Tongginator.” We hope to get down there this weekend. I live near DC, too, and I’ve – umm – never been to a march before. But we want to go to this one. Unfortunately, we’ll have out-of-town guests here, who (fortunately) also want to attend, but who will have a boat-load of children in tow. And we are all scared of bringing five children under the age of 10 with us. Not because of the behaviors of the reasonable crowd, but because there will probably be so many reasonable people in attendance, we might lose said children. We may still try anyway.

2 Cortney { 10.27.10 at 7:44 am }

I wish I could be there this weekend, as I feel the level of animosity toward everyone who doesn’t happen to agree with one’s beliefs has gotten completely out of control. But, alas, I have to work and I live 1500 miles away. I will be with you in spirit, though.

3 Kathleen { 10.27.10 at 8:10 am }

Excellent post..I couldn’t agree more. I could give lots of examples..diagrams flow charts etc. to reiterate what you said..but you said it all. Thanks. 🙂
happy ICLW..

4 TwoDogMama { 10.27.10 at 8:24 am }

I totally agree too. I have been reading several blog posts where people have left the blogger hate spewing rants about something that in all honesty is none of their damn business. When I don’t agree with a blogger, I don’t leave a nasty comment. In fact I don’t comment at all. How about bringing back the old adage – “If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all?” Exactly like what you referenced before about the food. Please put my name on your poster. I want sanity and being reasonable restored in this country too.

5 HereWeGoAJen { 10.27.10 at 8:27 am }

Oooh, put me on. If I were going, I’d carry a sign that said “okay, let’s all just calm down here people.” I say that a lot.

6 Anjali { 10.27.10 at 8:36 am }

It’s like we don’t know how to have conversations anymore.

I’d love to be on your sign. Just put me as “She Started It.”

7 loribeth { 10.27.10 at 8:37 am }

I may be across the border, but I’m all for reason & sanity (& also a big Jon Stewart fan), so you may definitely add my name. For all our purported politeness as a nation, we don’ t have enough of it here these days either (our recent local mayoral election here a case in point). Have fun, & I hope there’s a good turnout.

8 Jendeis { 10.27.10 at 8:38 am }

Yay! Please include me on your sign (dying to go, but not able to). Hoping to see you and the sign on TV.

So far, my fave sign slogan is: “I disagree with you, but I’m pretty sure you’re not Hitler.”

9 Katie { 10.27.10 at 8:52 am }

Have an amazing time! I wish I could be there. And I’d love to be included on the sign.

10 Michelle { 10.27.10 at 8:53 am }

My husband I are driving from Florida to attend the rally for all the reasons that you stated above. I love Jon Stewart and can’t wait to see the turn out.

Love the blog.

11 a { 10.27.10 at 9:10 am }

I wish I could go to the rally – and I was wondering if you might go. I don’t even think this rally is political – I think it’s about society and the media gone awry in our quest for constant stimulation. Instead of intellectual stimulation, we opt for emotional stimulation…when the topics should be decided based on facts rather than emotions. (Nothing wrong with emotional stimulation – just needs to be in its proper place. Say, um, in the ALI community?)

Enjoy the rally!

12 Tracey { 10.27.10 at 9:12 am }

Include me! I am so tired of the yelling & nonresponsiveness of the political debate. And I spent the last 10 years working with electeds. Basically, I have had a front seat for the decline…& I am fed up! Reasonableness is what made this country…let’s bring it back!
March on Sister!

13 Kelly in Minneapolis { 10.27.10 at 9:21 am }

I’m a longtime lurker on your site, first comment. Please add my name, and thanks for all you do!

14 Tigger { 10.27.10 at 9:22 am }

ooh! ooh! Me me me! The world is seriously unreasonable and impolite. Thank you for being willing and able to go to this rally – and take us all with you. Please add me – “Tigger’s Infertility Madness” will work, since the whole name is too long.

15 Devon { 10.27.10 at 9:32 am }

I’m glad your going! I’ll have to let my mother in law know that in fact at least one person will be there! She’s a hardcore Catholic Republican and has been telling me that she feels sorry for Jon Stewart because probably no one will show up, she lives in a fox news bubble and that is all she sees or hears. She also believes that anyone who doesn’t agree with her is an idiot.

I on the otherhand really don’t care what people think or believe, and politics is one of my most hated topics.
But my husband will be working the rally-and I am a fan of Jon Stewart-so i’m interested in seeing how it all turns out!

16 My Bumpy Journey { 10.27.10 at 9:32 am }

Well said Mel! I would love to be on your sign, although I would like to be up there by your side even more…um, unfortunately my tickets to the Steelers v Ssaints game are calling my name. 🙂

I think sometimes it is just as simple as ‘Treat others as you would want them to treat you”
It is so simple, yet very very few do it. We all want respect, and to have our points heard. Many of us that have opinions about things don’t mind intellectual sparring. Challenging points of view doesn’t automatically mean you have to be hateful. You can debate with someone, and not have your purpose to attack them personally.
I wish debate was a required high school course- maybe even junior high. This teaches them to argue a point based on FACTS and not just feelings. Assignments in debate can be things the student doesn’t know about- so they have to learn. It may be something they d0n’t totally agree with, but have to debate in its defense.
I think this opens up a person’s eyes. If we could do this at a young age- imagine how prepared they would be for life.

17 Marymac { 10.27.10 at 9:33 am }

I love your blog and wish I could go to the rally! Have a fantastic time and thanks for representing “us”! 🙂 Please add my name to your sign.

18 dana { 10.27.10 at 9:34 am }

I’m taking our family – four kids, minus the dog. Maybe I’ll have a small-world experience and run into you.

19 Geochick { 10.27.10 at 9:34 am }

Me me me!!! I’m so jealous you’re going to the march. If I hadn’t just gotten back from spending wads of money in NYC I’d so be there. Sometimes I wish I could go back to my college bliss when I sort of cared who was president but not really and all my focus was on just passing classes. Now, my stomach churns daily with the vitriol being spewed forth by extremists. Blech.

20 Justine { 10.27.10 at 9:39 am }

Count me in! We need reason AND civility. One’s internal; the other is a chosen behavior.

21 Jennifer { 10.27.10 at 9:46 am }

AMEN!!!!! Let me shout it from the rooftops! AMEN!!!! This was an absolutely AWESOME POST!!!! Thank you for that! I get so tired of peole telling me that because I’m a Democrat that I’m anti-life. I’m a Democrat because their platform more closely aligns with what I feel is important than the Republican platform does.

We’re turned in to a society in our culture where we’re so afraid of someone else who’s different from us – that if their opinions are VALID (not even correct…. just if they’re valid) that must make my point wrong – and my point isn’t wrong so therefore their opinions can’t be valid. UGH! Parents teach kids to be terrified of “the radical homosexual agenda” so there’s kids being bullied… I could go on & on but I won’t. I’ll be in Northwestern WI this weekend so I’d love to have you represent me at the march! Sing it Mel!

22 TheIdleMindOfBeth { 10.27.10 at 9:49 am }

Me Too, me too! “Idle Mind of Beth”

if I could join you, my sign would read “Simma Down Now”!

oh how I miss Cheri Oteri on SNL!

23 Delenn { 10.27.10 at 9:51 am }

Include my name, woman! I seriously considered taking time off to drive down there myself. My husband and I totally agree…and I have bumper stickers on my car to prove it! 🙂 (Including Stewart/Colbert for President)

And yes, I agree that flame wars seem to be igniting all around. I do think it is the times—everyone is angry about where they are and how we got there, but they don’t necessarily know who to lash out to and how to get out of the mess we are in. So the flames. And people of reasonableness get left behind.

Enjoy the Reason!

24 Tara { 10.27.10 at 10:03 am }

“being pro-something doesn’t make you anti-something else” Very well put, Mel!! Please count me in!! Like Justine said above, we need reason AND civility!!

25 Krista { 10.27.10 at 10:07 am }

Count me in! Wish I could go see all these sane people gathered in one place because living where I do, I am surrounded by complete insanity.

26 Christa { 10.27.10 at 10:21 am }

My husband and I really wanted to go to the rally and we could drive there from CT, but the logistics of finding a hotel on rally weekend were just too much for us. So please write Fearlessly Infertile on your sign and we’ll be watching the rally on TV! Have fun!!

27 It is what it is { 10.27.10 at 10:23 am }

As a country, we need to take a chill pill and loosen the f*ck up. So, I am happy that he is doing this rally, I’m happy the Stephen Colbert is joining in, and I beyond happy that so many people I know will be there rooting for sanity amongst the insane (and especially if I can’t be there myself).

You, go, Mel, and give voice and presence for those of us that can only be there in spirit. I hope the turnout is beyond expectations and we can begin to damp down the voice of the extremists.

28 PaleMother { 10.27.10 at 10:35 am }

Oh, yes please . Count me in. I could use a shot of reasonable right about now. The way someone in anaphylaxis could use an epi pen. It’s one of the many things I love about you and your blogging. You are my epi pen, Melissa.

29 Journeywoman { 10.27.10 at 10:43 am }

Please Please add my name to your sign. I LOVE the idea of the March.

30 flmgodog { 10.27.10 at 11:21 am }

Would you add me to your sign to please, Mel? Thanks:)
I went to a taping of the Oprah show the day that she was on Jon Stewart. We all got to have a three second audience pan that was included on his show that night. I must have been under a rock seriously because I hadn’t heard about this rally until then. So glad my eyes have been opened!
With you in spirit!

31 May { 10.27.10 at 11:30 am }

Ooh, ooh!! Me, too! “May ProblemUterus.”

I wish I could go. San Diego to DC ain’t gonna happen.

32 Keiko { 10.27.10 at 11:57 am }

I’m so glad you’re going. My husband and I were considering it, but we couldn’t make it work to get down there right now. And thanks for this post- there is a lot of vitriolic commentary out there right now, midterm election ads or on the blogosphere or otherwise… it feels like a very hateful time right now. Whatever happened to just folks bein’ nice? I mean really now, come on.

If I were going, I’d just hold a sign that’s a still from SNL: “REALLY???!! with Seth & Amy” because that’s basically how I feel about politcal garbage ads and discourse right now. Mama grizzlies? Anti-masturbating witches? The NV senate candidate who can’t tell the difference b/t Asian and Latino students at a campaign event?! The DEMOCRATIC gubinatorial candidate for RI telling Obama he can take his endorsement and shove it? REALLY?!!?!

Gah, it’s downright MADDENING.

I’d love to be on your sign: Keiko Zoll, Infertility Advocate will do, pleases and thank you! Have fun and be safe this weekend – can’t wait to see pics up here when you get back 🙂

33 Lacie { 10.27.10 at 12:12 pm }

Funny Little Pollywogs is with you on this, one-hundred percent!

34 Cece { 10.27.10 at 12:37 pm }

Add me to the list!

35 Michelle { 10.27.10 at 12:54 pm }

Lovin this!!! Sign me up. It requires a conscious effort for many, but compassion and understanding before speaking can actually happen!!!

36 Lori Lavender Luz { 10.27.10 at 1:11 pm }

Smiling hugely. 🙂

Put me down, for sure. Both my old and new blog names. And my message to restore sanity?

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means to We.
Sock it to me. Sock it to me. Sock it to me. Sock it to me. ”

My message of support to you is that I would love nothing more than to march that day beside a nice Jewish socialist girl.

37 meghan { 10.27.10 at 1:38 pm }

I so hope I can go, not sure what the doc will say about a rally in DC this weekend 😉 Please add me to your sign though. I just want to tell people to get over themselves. Everyone right now thinks they are so damn important and that their opinion is the only one that matters…forgetting that old saying that “everyone is entitled to their own opinion”. Have fun and hope I can see you there!

38 luna { 10.27.10 at 1:55 pm }

yes, please.

both let’s get back to the “no, thank you” and add luna to the sign!

39 Southern Gal { 10.27.10 at 2:44 pm }

I am a long-time lurker who would LOVE to be on your sign. Just call me Linda from North Carolina!!!

40 Kristin { 10.27.10 at 2:46 pm }

Add my name please Mel. I’ll be there in spirit.

I can’t remember who said it, but I remember a celeb type referring to us as the United States of the Offended…and, I’ll be damned if that isn’t what we are. Not everything warrants a call to action. Have people forgotten how effective quiet, considerate conversation can be?

41 Shelli { 10.27.10 at 2:50 pm }

Heck, yeah, I’m in. In the words of the infamous Rodney King, “Why can’t we all just get along??”

42 SooSee { 10.27.10 at 3:29 pm }

Add me too!! Wish I could be there! A childhood friend will be there too! And I couldn’t agree more w/ your post and Kristin’s comment!

43 TexasRed { 10.27.10 at 3:41 pm }

Please add me to the sign. I’d love to go, but I’m grounded until the twins arrive now. Definitely agree we need more civility in general these days.

44 aisha { 10.27.10 at 4:08 pm }

I want to go SO BAD. And I too have been surprised that I want to go so badly since there have been a ton of other high profile rallies that I’ve never been tempted to attend- I think its because like you said, this message is important. In the information age of 24/7 connectivity- you’re right our reactions our sense of humanity towards another person has somehwat changed. I’d wage that the cruel things people might have said to you based on the posts you had on breastfeeding would never dream of saying those words to your face- the internet, Fox News, etc etc have turned us into sensational seeking people (not all, but many) and i think a rally to restore sanity is like a drink of water in a hot desert.

I really wish we could go. I have family in the DC area- but prices for tickets were not affordable and the drive is 11+ for us.

Can’t wait to see pictures and hear your take on it.

45 aisha { 10.27.10 at 4:09 pm }

Oh! And include me too!

46 Betty M { 10.27.10 at 4:25 pm }

Well I am an ocean away but this rally is one I would go to if it were Herr so count me in on your sign!

47 liljan98 { 10.27.10 at 4:36 pm }

Oh, I’m in and would love to be added to your sign. We need more sanity everywhere. All around the world in all parts of our lifes. I really wish I could be in Washington this weekend. But I’ll definitely try to follow the events through the wonderful thing called internet 🙂

48 TasIVFer { 10.27.10 at 6:51 pm }

Count me in for a dose of reasonableness too, please! If you think it’s reasonable.

49 Another Dreamer { 10.27.10 at 6:56 pm }

I love this post. I wish I could be there 🙂 You can include me on the sign.

50 gingerandlime { 10.27.10 at 8:21 pm }

Please add me to your sign, Mel! I would be there if I didn’t live so far away…

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