I love that Jon Stewart is parlaying his celebrity into political action. I think a rally to counter Beck’s and Palin’s is long overdue and I think Stewart, from what I know, is as good of a leader as any.
I’m less thrilled about the name.
You could even say I’m angry.
The implicit message behind the “Rally to Restore Sanity” is that individuals influencing America’s current political climate are “insane.” Crazy. Wacko. It’s Stewart pointing at a picture of Beck and circling an index finger around his ear. And it pisses me off.
You know, the internet is a great place. I’ve been addicted to it since 1995 and it’s a habit I never want to quit. Hell, it’s the only vice that I’ll refuse to quit ever (I will gladly give up drinking and smoking to have children when the time comes). Well, okay, I won’t ever give up the internet and I won’t ever give up my habit of eating in bed.
Anyway … this irritates me. Click the title to read the whole article, it’s very short, but as a woman with chronic depression (and autophobia, but that’s not a big deal), I don’t give a shit what this rally is called. I’m not offended. And I don’t really appreciate this whole “I’m gonna be offended for you!” movement. Know why I’m not offended? Because I know I’m not crazy. Normal people don’t even use that word to describe people with mental illnesses anymore. Know why? Because pretty much everyone has had a mental disorder at some point or another. Stress. Depression. Anxiety.
You know what is crazy? The hate-mongering, race baiting and fear-mongering going on in this country right now. The fact that certain people are willingly exploiting the darker side of other people, encouraging that hatred and violence, and profiting from it. And really, there is no other word for it than crazy. There is no mental illness that does that (at least that I know about - I will admit I’m still in school and still learning). Crazy has changed meanings throughout the years, just as gay and faggot have. That’s what happens with languages (as a budding linguist I can tell you that much for sure).
So no, I don’t think this rally is poorly named. I think it’s spot on, because I do feel like parts of our nation are losing our sanity over this. I certainly feel like my grip on reality is slipping when I see fellow countrymen screaming at handicapped people, telling them they deserve to be crippled and dropped from their health insurance and bankrupted by medical bills. When I see the “no, we’re not racist, we’re the open-minded, kind-hearted people” Tea Party beat counter protesters in the street. When I realize that a quarter of Americans (or more) genuinely believe that our President isn’t a US citizen. So yes, this is restoring sanity. I’m not offended; in fact, I welcome it with open arms. If I can make any of these rallies, you best believe I will be there. Because what’s happening in this country is mass hysteria, and I won’t just let it happen.
Choose your battles in the war on mental health discrimination. Bashing a public gathering that wants to balance the scales and neutralize some of the hate in this country doesn’t do anyone any good. If you want to make a positive difference, take on the insurance companies who deny people because they have ever suffered from anxiety or depression - and really, who hasn’t? Take on those multi-billion dollar corporations that add to the mental stresses and disorders by treating people as subhuman and look down on them for ever having had a chemical imbalance, a death in the family, a bad year, or a traumatic experience that triggered an illness. They’re the ones you should be calling out.