Is Jon Stewart reading Chogyam Trungpa?

Thursday on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart announced plans for a "Rally to Restore Sanity." Sanity's not a word that gets thrown around much in public discourse, but it's one of Chogyam Trungpa's favorites. “Basic sanity” is his term for what’s often called inherent goodness or Buddha nature. He has a book called “The Sanity We Are Born With.”

Stewart’s not specifically talking about Buddha nature, but he is talking about conduct – right speech, right action. As Ethan said in class the other night, it's about putting the view -- that we all have inherent worth and dignity -- into action.

Here’s Stewart's description:

“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."


Meditation would likely be welcome..
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By the way that was me,

By the way that was me, below, I forgot to log in, again.

I actually already have my hotel reservations... and I'm encouraging as many of my friends as possible to go. I think it's an important political statement.


I respectfully disagree, Ethan. I think it's of immense importance that people of good will show their numbers in force. It's a huge symbolic statement in favor of rationality, and yes, it is crucially important as it is prior to the election. I wish it were, in fact, a bit sooner, as just days before the election it won't have as much impact as it might have had if it were a couple weeks before, but nevertheless this is I think an important symbol. If a lot of people show up for this rally, it will certainly make a statement that there is an alternative politics which is both desirable and possible in this country, that the Tea Party doesn't represent the only group of engaged, passionate voters and citizens.

Symbolism is important in a democracy. We as citizens not only need to cast our own votes, but to persuade others to do so as well. I can't think of many more effective means of doing this than showing up in force on October 30. That's in addition to donating, participating in get out the vote efforts, and participating in engaged political discourse in the public sphere.

Yes I agree

If you do all those things. But this Saturday Oct 30 could also be a day to get out the vote in one's local area, no?

 March seems slightly snarky (in a goodnatured way), and I'm not sure if they are actually endorsing anything or anyone. There are some great candidates running, and it'd be a shame if they weren't helped because all of the comedically inclined slightly progressive folks spent the day at this march instead (unless they are going to use it as a platform to REALLY get out the vote for sane and reasonable candidates, and name those candidates specifically).

I'm not sure

how much good last-minute campaigning does. I'll know by then who I plan to vote for, and I'd just as soon not be part of the nastiness that'll be rampant that weekend. You've got a sane and reasonable candidate you want to work for. the statewide offices here are contests between the very rich and the special interests.

I'd rather be part of a rally for rationality and let the answering machine get the calls. I have not, however, made a decision about actual attendance.


Jon Stewart doesn't want to

Jon Stewart doesn't want to be seen as only pushing one side --- he has always been a strong advocate of the "reasonable center", but at this point in history that reasonable center is clearly almost all in the Democratic Party, and everyone in the world knows this, and that's the position he regularly takes on the Daily Show. His biggest target is Fox News and Glenn Beck. When I saw the Beck rally I thought those of us who oppose this kind of hysterical paranoid politics should also be coming out in force, making a demonstration of our shared political will. If we don't bother to come out, who will? When will it happen?

This is a long game, not only for this November but for the history of the country. The Tea Party started small and they've got the headlines because they're the only ones organizing. Those of us who oppose that sort of narrow-minded extremism I believe should also be showing our faces in a large way. Political demonstration, not just this one, I believe are one of the most impressive ways we can demonstrate our presence to the rest of the country. I want to help energize people of like mind to get excited again about politics, to come out in numbers. And again I really think that quiet get out the vote efforts, etc., aren't going to be enough to change the dynamic in November. We have to get off our asses, in my view, and march, demonstrate, make our presence known.

So yes, when I heard about Jon Stewart's rally, I am all in. I really hope as many people as possible show up. I can't imagine a better way to spend that crucial Saturday before the election, myself.

Meditating at the Rally to Restore Sanity

I am considering attending and meditating....anyone else?

Not so sure

That Sanity is a branded term by Trungpa Rinpoche. Also, while I appreciate the reasonable tone of this immensely, it certainly feels like October 30 is actually a date of immense significance (before the election) and that perhaps time is better spent on voting than attended a quasi-caricature march in reaction to a polarizing demagogue.

I didn't say it was.

But it's certainly associated with him. 
Going to a rally on Saturday does not preclude me from voting on Tuesday in any way. Maybe it saves me from receiving a dozen robocalls and from waving at candidates standing on the highway overpass. I won't be engaged in campaigning, and no campaigning that's done that day will change my vote.
Yeah, it's snarky on the outside. If it weren't it could be organized by Garrison Keillor, Lutheran church basement potluck and olde-time-y entertainment included. I like that Jon Stewart is angry in the service of right conduct/right words/etc. I like that there is passion for civility. I think it's an important statement to make.
Somebody standing up for decency? for rationality? for not twisting your opponent's words and background? Those are all things I support. And maybe the idea of standing up for it right before the election is good timing. Maybe it will make people think about whether their candidates' words match their actions -- and whether those words or actions truly represent what they want.

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