Monday, November 1, 2010

Sanity restored?

I thought this piece at WaPo was interesting, because it notes that between 10-11 on Saturday, it was impossible to get on the metro at Virginia Square. I suppose. I got there around 10:30, first jammed train comes and people on board are pushing potential passengers away, shouting "no more space" and "we're being crushed" and so on. Funny, if you're being crushed, the natural response might be to remove yourself from the vicinity of the crushing, but I saw no disembarkments. No problem, though. There'll be another train along in a few minutes.

Except there wasn't. Bizarrely, DC metro kept to it's sleep Saturday schedule, so when the next tin of sardines came along, my wife and I adapted the Japanese model of 'always room for another' and forced our way in, oblivious to the moans and curses of the other trapped passengers. That's life in the big city, folks, quit whining.
But point taken, the point being that there were many more people trying to make it to the Stewart/Colbert rally than actually made it. (quote: "How many of the tens of thousands of people who wanted to take Metro but were not able to do so ever got to the rally is beyond me, but my guess is that the vast majority simply gave up after realizing it was hopeless.") I suppose that if the revolution comes, they'll be the ones with the white flags. It's not like it was impossible to get to a location from which you could simply walk, shudder the thought.
Was it worth the effort? It was fascinating, in it's own way, although I didn't really see that much of it. There was what was euphemistically called a main entry point on 7th Street, but in fact, this was the only entry point. It wasn't apparent on approach, but the staging area was completely barricaded (I don't recall ever seeing this before), so in effect, those lucky enough to be in sight of a Jumbotron, were actually barricaded in. I exited this area well before noon to survey the environs before I realized this. Within a short while, this area would become impossible to approach.
There were far more people outside of the official area than were inside, and since they couldn't see, they settled for the next best thing, being scenery. There was an ocean of signs, many of which were quite clever - America can never be accused of a dearth of irony. It was prelude to Halloween, and it's been quite some time since Hitler enjoyed such popularity. It was Mardis Gras without the booze, and the sweet smell of reefer did not fill the air. Everywhere, people were taking pictures of each other. It was the world's biggest TV party, detached and well behaved.

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