Saturday, October 16, 2010

What are the Colbert/Stewart Rallies?

Bloggers, pundits and others are trying to get their heads around the (newly re-named) Rally to Restore Sanity and or Fear. Is it straight comedy? A useless gathering of apathy and cynicism? A desperate leftwing plot to .....well I don't know. People are even more clueless about the impact, if any, on anything.

From following the development of these events I can safely say no one knows, as it is an entirely organic happening. It is a true wildcard, maybe even -going out on a limb here- possibly a black swan event.Or it could be nothing at all, though the fact that there will be satellite rallies even at the Everest Base Camp makes me think that isn't the case.

It fits no ones narrative, which is what makes it great.  The current political dynamic in America is still defined by the late 60's and the reaction to it.  Political institutions and the media have artificially kept this dynamic going well past it shelf-life.  Dynamic is actually no longer appropriate, since it is a static, inflexible paradigm and our perceived political/cultural  paralysis is the result of trying to shoe-horn everything into it. Everything event needs to fit a narrative, which the fearful (of all persuasions) need so they believe that they can control the future.

Along comes this thing which resists the shoehorn, angering those who need the narrative to simplify a complex time of change. In the end, no one (even Stewart and Colbert) knows  what it all means. I have no idea and neither does anyone else, especially the writers of the narrative. Hence the anger. In some ways it is the ultimate GenX (which Colbert and Stewart truly belong to) ironic, disrespectful and subversive finger to the boomers' self-centeredness and self importance.

The greatest thing about it is the uncertainty, the reminder that the future is not yet written. Maybe that will be the only result, a reminder that no one can predetermine events and our narratives are really so much BS.

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