Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sanity and Discourse

I may not agree with everything Jon Stewart said yesterday at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, but it was free, it was fun and it was close to my house. And, as regular readers of this blog know, I'm a big fan of civil discourse.

Stewart's closing remarks were addressed to a domestic audience, but I think some of his advice could be applied to international discourse as well--specifically his recognition of the importance of working together, even when our views are different, and his conviction that it can be done: "...we know, instinctively, as a people, that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light, we have to work together. And the truth is there will always be darkness, and sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes, it's just New Jersey."

And while Stewart directed most of his ire at the toxic media sources that dish up fear and hyperbole, I think he could have been a little harder on his audience. Because civil discourse isn't quite enough. We need to be able to listen--with discernment and patience and respect--and that's something most people struggle with on a daily basis.

But I don't want to get too deep here. It's a weekend after all, and I've got plenty of thesis left to write. So I'll close here with some of my favorite photos from the rally. Enjoy!

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