Hard Times, Not End Times

My colleague Ari Stillman composed this essay comparing the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear to a “secular religious event.” Stillman draws an interesting parallel wherein Stephen Colbert represents the typical “Fox News Christian-American” and the Jewish Jon Stewart serves as the secularized voice of reason. Stewart became the voice for the minorities of the US, especially Muslims, gays, illegal immigrants – anyone who shares, like the Jews, a history of very public and systematic persecution. As Colbert bowed to Stewart’s arguments, Stillman writes that America underwent a symbolic “conversion experience” – a conversion from unjustifiable racial/sexual/political paranoia to “common sense.”

What does it mean that Comedy Central houses “America’s most trusted news anchor”? Or that an astounding number of Americans lack “common sense?” Is this conversion even possible outside of the parameters of the Rally?

Be kind, America. Everyone is fighting a hard battle.