If the #ReasonRally failed, why were so many people happy to have attended?

As expected, Thunderf00t has a new video crowing about the failure of the Reason Rally. But I’ve been reading the stuff put out by people who attended.

Trav Mamone thought it was great.

Matt Facciani had a grand time.

Adam Lee got a charge out of it.

Some guy named Ed Brayton made a series of videos about it.

I’m beginning to wish I’d gone — everyone is making the point that the reason for the Reason Rally was more than just making a big mob scene, but getting together as a community for a day. That sounds like a success to me.

As for the haters, Adam Lee has a smart comment on that.

The usual sneering bigots asserted that the rally’s anti-harassment policy must have kept people away, a claim with the same plausibility as a Bible-thumper blaming gay rights for earthquakes.


  1. johnhattan says

    I think I can summarize RR 2016 with a single sentence. . .

    “Bill Nye The Science Guy was the opening act for Wu-Tang Clan.”

    If you think that’s awesomely weird, you would have loved RR 2016. If you think that’s just dumb, you would have hated RR 2016.

  2. Saad says

    The usual sneering bigots asserted that the rally’s anti-harassment policy must have kept people

    They’re openly saying they want to harass people.

    These dudebro shitbags need to have Mitchell & Webb’s “Are we the baddies” skit on loop on a 60-inch flat screen in their safe spaces… er… I mean mancaves.

  3. rietpluim says

    The usual sneering bigots asserted that the rally’s anti-harassment policy must have kept people away

    Obviously, it kept the sneering bigots away.

  4. Lofty says

    Sneering bigots are important, doncha know. Without their constant noise how would you know they exist?

  5. says

    Best I can figure out about why it supposedly failed: Giggly Phil and his legion of angry sweaty trilby babies weren’t allowed to go there and sexually harass anyone.

    Obviously this means that the world needs more failures.

  6. Rhett Rothberg says

    Easy fix. Don’t hold it in June when the DC weather is shitty. I live nearby and passed because it was way too humid. Hold it in early may or in the fall. No one wants to sweat it out on the mall in the summer. Dumb move…

  7. Amphiox says

    Keeping away the types of people who would stay away because of the existence of an anti-harassment policy is a feature, not a bug.

  8. johnhodges says

    I actually reserved a hotel room for three nights, drove six hours each way, and on the day I stayed in the hotel room and read a book, rather than go stand in the heat for hours to hear speeches I’ve heard before. My only contribution to the cause would have been to make the crowd a tiny bit larger, impressing no one. I have enjoyed past rallies I have attended, but this time the physical ordeal in prospect drained my enthusiasm. Perhaps I am getting too old for this sort of thing.

  9. Jeremy Shaffer says

    As I said over on Adam Lee’s post about RR 2016, and the criticisms of same:

    There’s something of an “own goal” quality to indictments that anti-harassment policies are keeping people away from events like RR.

  10. Matt Harrison says

    Is it sexist that 4 out of 4 responses you’re linking to are written by males?

  11. paganeng says

    We live across the river in Alexandria and attended from around 1:00 until 4:00. I agree with the person above who opined that the fall or early spring would have been a better choice. It was very hot and humid.
    I have been thinking about another point lately. My wife and I have been atheists most of our adult lives. We are recovering southern baptists. I my case I was raised in the 50s and early 60s in in deep south Mississippi. She was raised in the 50s and 60s in deep south Alabama. I think that religious people need constant reinforcing and gather in groups for fellowship and validation much more than atheists. IMHO, atheists usually don’t need the constant reaffirmation of the religious. Therefore, we are much less inclined to attend large meetings of the like minded. So the small attendance figures do not worry me.
    That being said, I did enjoy the speakers and the Fab Four were great entertainment. Some of the homemade signs were very clever and funny. I also got a chance to speak with Bryce Blankenagel of the Naked Mormonism (http://nakedmormonismpodcast.com/index.html) podcast which was enjoyable. He is a very nice young man and funny.
    We are also planning to attend the Women in Secularism conference this fall in Crystal City which is a 3 stop Metro ride from our condo. It will be inside and we will stay all day. Also the hotel bar is quite nice and the martinis are well made. So if you are interested, the creature comforts and much more appealing than those found on the Mall. http://womeninsecularism.org

  12. WILLIAM says

    Oh, come on! It wasn’t that hot!. And there was plenty of shade in that area.

    If you are only going to have outdoor rallies where you can guarantee perfect weather, better have them all in San Diego.

    I think the primary reason attendance was disappointing was a poor job of publicity. I live in the DC area, and the only reason I knew about it was that I follow some rather obscure atheist blogs and podcasts. I saw nothing in any local media – not even the local alternative weekly City Paper. I mentioned it to several people, and they had no idea it was going on.

    However, I really think the rally was being staged more for streaming and You Tube than for actual in-person attendance. That’s the way the world is going. The days of massive demonstrations in Washington seem to be over – I can’t really remember one since the anti-Iraq war demo in 2005.