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Friday, November 5, 2010

Channeling Jon Stewart

"You Go. Then I Go. You Go," etc.

OK, so Jon Stewart delivered his version in front of more people, at last weekend's "March to Restore Sanity" in Washington, D.C.

But I served up my metaphor first:

It would sure seem that traffic lights are one of the quintessential government functions. When they're in the right place and in working order -- they promote civility, and increase general well-being, respect for authority, etc.

--Ross Kaplan, "Traffic Light as Metaphor," (Sept. 16, 2010)

The post then goes on to note, however, that when a traffic light doesn't work, instead of serving as a device for balancing competing rights and promoting respect for authority -- it actually undermines those things, and encourages go-'rounds (literally).

Now, here are Jon Stewart's closing words at last week's rally, introduced with a video clip of cars merging before entering the Lincoln Tunnel in New Jersey:

"These cars -- that’s a school teacher who thinks taxes are too high…there’s a mom with two kids who can’t think about anything else...another car, the lady’s in the NRA. She loves Oprah…An investment banker, gay, also likes Oprah…a Latino carpenter…a fundamentalist vacuum salesman…a Mormon Jay Z fan…But this is us. Everyone of the cars that you see is filled with individuals of strong belief and principles they hold dear -- often principles and beliefs in direct opposition to their fellow travelers.

And yet these millions of cars must somehow find a way to squeeze one by one into a mile-long, 30-foot wide tunnel carved underneath a mighty river…And they do it. Concession by concession. You go. Then I’ll go. You go, then I’ll go. You go, then I’ll go -- oh my god, is that an NRA sticker on your car, an Obama sticker on your car? Well, that’s OK. You go and then I’ll go…"

--Jon Stewart, "Rally to Restore Sanity" (Oct. 30, 2010).


While I can't match's Stewart's imagery (or humor), I feel compelled to point out that, while traffic lights are more prosaic (and less dramatic) than tunnels -- they're also not as dark.

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