Inactivism: Can You Spot the Call Here?
This is the full text of Jon Stewart’s call for people to attend his Rally to Restore Sanity:
“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
Who among us has not wanted to open their window and shout that at the top of their lungs?
Because we’re looking for those people. We’re looking for the people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn’t be the only ones that get heard; and 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.
Are you one of those people? Excellent. Then we’d like you to join us in Washington, DC on October 30 — a date of no significance whatsoever — at the Daily Show’s “Rally to Restore Sanity.”
Ours is a rally for the people who’ve been too busy to go to rallies, who actually have lives and families and jobs (or are looking for jobs) — not so much the Silent Majority as the Busy Majority. If we had to sum up the political view of our participants in a single sentence… we couldn’t. That’s sort of the point.
Think of our event as Woodstock, but with the nudity and drugs replaced by respectful disagreement; the Million Man March, only a lot smaller, and a bit less of a sausage fest; or the Gathering of the Juggalos, but instead of throwing our feces at Tila Tequila, we’ll be actively *not* throwing our feces at Tila Tequila. Join us in the shadow of the Washington Monument. And bring your indoor voice. Or don’t. If you’d rather stay home, go to work, or drive your kids to soccer practice… Actually, please come anyway. Ask the sitter if she can stay a few extra hours, just this once. We’ll make it worth your while.
When I first read Jon Stewart’s call to the Mall, I just couldn’t figure out what this Rally to Restore Sanity was being held for. I concluded that it wasn’t for anything. But that’s not quite right. Actually, Jon Stewart’s rally is for nothing. Don’t raise your voice, and if you can manage not to speak at all, that’s great. Get the vicarious thrill of what looks like a protest, but don’t actually protest anything. Celebrate your decision that you’re too busy to do anything to change things for the better. Don’t worry about ideas, except the idea that anybody who protests anything must not have a life or a family or a job.
This event is a celebration of inactivism, of stupid happy couch potatoism.
That’s just the way that the rally’s sponsor, corporate media giant Viacom, wants you to remain.