Thanks for the sanity
I spent the better part of my midday watching the live stream of the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. I did so in my living room in my pajamas while I ate halloween candy and knit a baby blanket for my niece. It made me feel good and happy and best of all, hopeful.
Over the past decade I’ve come to rely on The Daily Show and now the Colbert Report as well for a four-times-a-week-excepting-vacation-weeks set of touchstones, and as I watched the rally I realized that sanity really is what it’s about. Humor, yes, because god knows we always need it, but above all the two fake news shows are a grounding rod to the insane mental bobsled race that is our national politics and national media. Most days the healthiest way to get news for me is to glance at a well-rounded twitter stream of headlines, catch some NPR in the car or while I make dinner, and leaven the mess with some Comedy Central webstreaming while I use the eliptical or unwind in a chair with a heating pad on my upper shoudlers, whichever the day calls for. I find myself more stressed out when they take breaks, but I’ve realized too how much they teach me by taking those breaks. That maybe the national conversation will continue if I don’t pay constant attention. That the Chilean miners will either get out or stay stuck and die regardless of whether or not I bear witness. That suspicious packages on UPS airplanes from Yemen is indeed serious, but I could turn off the live reporting of who knew what when and how and what eighteen pundits think about it and talk to my kid about her school day instead, trusting that the internet will provide a condensed summary later. And that no matter what the package was or wasn’t, I still can’t do anyting about it. If in some way that package affects me, I’ll probably learn that eventually too. That sometimes I too could use a vacation from the news, both the real and the fake.
Jon Stewart thanked the crowd at the mall for coming to the rally, that their mere presence was what he needed, that he got it, and thanks. To The Daily Show and the Colbert Report, to the hosts of the shows, the producers, the writers, the cameramen, the stage crew, the fake news reporters, the sound guy, the people who fill coffee pots and scrub toilets and write paychecks and anything else to do with these two shows: thank you too. Thanks for being fake news and fake punditry. Thanks for making us laugh. Thanks for making us think. Thanks for having really good webstreaming and for finally putting some variety in the commercials. Thanks for your hard work and your not so hard work. Thanks for your wit and your keen eyes.
Thanks for being seriously funny. And thank you, thank you always, for the sanity.