Monday, November 1, 2010

Insane Fear

Rally for Fearful Sanity

“This was not a rally to ridicule people of faith, or people of activism, or look down our noses at the heartland, or passionate argument, or to suggest that times are not difficult and that we have nothing to fear—they are, and we do.

“But we live now in hard times, not end times. And we can have animus, and not be enemies. But unfortunately, one of our main tools in delineating the two broke.

“The country’s 24-hour, political pundit perpetual panic conflictinator did not cause our problems, but its existence makes solving them that much harder. The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems, bringing them into focus, illuminating issues heretofore unseen. Or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire, and then perhaps host a week of shows on the dangerous, unexpected flaming ants epidemic. If we amplify everything, we hear nothing.”
—Jon Stewart, comedian/commentator,
concluding the Stewart/Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear,
Washington Mall, Oct. 30, 2010
video link

Editorial Comment: Comedy in defense of liberty is no vice.

Rally attracts 215,000+, say U.S. Park Service, others. CBS

PeezPix: Mendon Peak in OctoberThe Wellsvilles reflected in Cutler Marsh here in Northern Utah, last week, as winter arrives

JCOM News Note: NPR foreign correspondent ANNE GARRELS comes to Utah State this week for class meetings and to deliver a Morris Media & Society Lecture: “Bearing Witness—One journalist’s take on covering the world.” Garrels comes to USU fresh from several weeks in Russia. When the U.S. “shock and awe” bombing started in Baghdad, Garrels was one of 16 U.S. journalists who stayed to cover the invasion to topple Saddam Hussein. Her 2003 book, Naked in Baghdad, tells that story. Over three decades, Garrels has been in Russia, China, the Middle East and elsewhere in war and peace to bear witness and tell the rest of us what she has seen. JCOM student session Wednesday 11/3, 2:30 p.m. AnSc 303. Public speech Thursday, 11/4, 2-3:15 p.m., USU Performance Hall. Free & open to everyone.

JCOM @ USU is hiring. A search for a new tenure-track faculty member to focus on the teaching of writing. Revolutionary! See job posting at Utah State University HR or email

NOTE: Today’s WORD on Journalism is now on Facebook! Join up and rant daily! And join USU JCOM Alumni & Friends on FB.
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  1. I think his statement, "If we amplify everything, we hear nothing.” is pretty profound. And I love the ant analogy. It's so true though. How much focus do we keep placing on less important things when there are so many other things that need the focus?

  2. Colbert and Stewart should take over... at least we'll laugh while enduring this crappy economy.

    Romina Nedakovic

  3. Information overload? I don't know. I think we need to learn how to tune out things- turn off the TV... err the computer. But I personally like having access to minute details. It can't all be irrelevant information.

    Erica Abbott

  4. Thanks for the great post on your blog, it really gives me an insight on this topic.