Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Welcome, Beck/Stewart/Colbert Nation!

I've written before about the pluses and minuses of living in a premier meeting destination like Washington, D.C., but I'm having problems figuring out whether the trio of "populist outrage" style events coming here over the course of two months is a plus or a minus. Glenn Beck kicked it off with his Restoring Honor rally, held at the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, and Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are following up with their own "dueling" events on Oct. 30 -- Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity and Colbert's March to Keep Fear Alive.

Leaving politics completely out of the equation: It's pretty cool to live somewhere that's identified as a symbolically important place to convene, even if Stewart and Colbert are mostly riffing off Beck for as many laughs as they can get. The flip side is that, depending on who's holding a symbolically important rally here, there's a segment of the population elsewhere that equates D.C. with everything that's wrong with the country. You try not to take that personally, but sometimes it gets to you.

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