Look, Santa Claus came specially from the North Pole to join the UFPJ Rally protesting the Bush administration and the war in Iraq. My heathen beliefs. More pics of the protest chez Youngna.
It's pretty great to see the awesome turnout. Hundreds of thousands. But in that ironic way Life has, that great a number means people are marching for lots of different reasons, protesting different things, and maybe this all can be summed up as anti-Bush or anti-war, but nothing is quite so easy, is it? It's a sort of double-edged thing (well it's not really a sword) -- where at the very core at the same time as the very general, it was just that: Anti-Bush. Anti-War. Those are the bookends or more visually, an eggshell and yolk but no white. (I didn't say it would be good).
What I mean to say is that I confess now that I wish I had participated (I'm useless in everything in life), albeit my claims (true) that I needed a low-key weekend for personal sanity. It is impossible to number the reasons, the questions, the issues into one simple slogan, one hand-painted sign. It's not that the state of the nation, the world, should have taken precedence over my personal sanity, it's that voicing my beliefs and convictions about such should have propelled me into the city. Does that make any sense? I was, in a way, mired in thinking about what use is a rally, what actual effect results, what if it's 'counter-productive' and makes liberals look crazy, what is it good for if the guy next to me is protesting for reasons I don't believe in? Sometimes, you just have to go out and make some noise cuz that middle stuff, the complexity and nuance, that's not what noise is about. And it was time to make noise on August 29th, on the eve of the RNC.
NYT analyzes the protest, making the point that a peaceful rally is the best thing that could have happened, especially in terms of effectiveness: "The protests are anti-Bush, with heavy antiwar overtones, but this is Chicago without the fisticuffs, without the fight, without the bloodshed - so far ... To interpret this politically is hard, but my gut is that large, peaceful protests are not what the Republicans want. The protesters are stealing the story for the first day and drowning out the Republican message. If there's violence, that could all change."
Rod, the closet Republican gay puppet in Avenue Q , on the upcoming RNC. Pretty funny.
And finally, some food for thought:
Democracy overrated? Elitism -- not so bad? Political conventions more like American Idol? Listen to the segment: "Political Parties: Who Needs Them?" (should be the 2nd or 3rd entry down) starring M. Munger on how our current political system of election and our common perception of democracy just doesn't work out. Excerpts:
"I think democracy is overrated. The idea that we will get wisdom from the least common denominator of the population, most of us don't actually believe it. Most of the people who say they believe in democracy actually mean, 'Do what I think,' and they secretly think if everyone were informed, they would agree.
"I would hope that the people we choose for government are better than we are. This idea that someone needs to be a man of the people in order to be a leader, there's a fundamental paradox underlying that. We need someone who is smarter, better, and harder working than I am."
Any thoughts? Yes, you, one of my five readers, go hit that comment box. I want to know what you, my young, excellent, educated peers think.