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A Crowd With Its Own Sense of Satire

On stage now: The Roots. But the more interesting scenes are on the avenues surrounding the Mall, where parades of small spontaneous demonstrations are intermingled with the parade of rallygoers seeking their vantage point.

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Although their peaceful protests of such things as the war in Afghanistan, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and legalizing pot, what is striking about many of the signs is the extent to which they try to adopt the Stewart-Colbert sense of irony. At least this week, everyone’s a late night comedy writer.

Heidi Hotz, 41, an event manager from Silver Spring, Md., stood with her friend Lauren Byrne holding a sign that read, “Elect Aunt Kathy. She is very reasonable.”

Kathy really is Hotz’s aunt. Hotz explained that she recently joined Facebook and tried to send her a Facebook message, but it ended up going to the Rally to Restore Sanity page and all its followers. Before long, Aunt Kathy had many, many messages, and a following of her own.

Hotz said she came out to the rally because, “We would like to take it down a notch. We would like the media to focus on the people who are really involved and not the people who just say ridiculous things.”

She cited Fox News, calling them not a news channel but “entertainment.”

She described herself as a Democrat, and said that the Bush years motivated to go to law school part time.

“I needed to do more than just sit on the couch and rant and rave,” she said.

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