Thursday, May 18, 2006

A Noble Spirit Embiggens the Smallest Blogger

Y'know, it's nice when you wake up in the morning and find that you and Stephen Colbert (and/or his writers) are on the same page—only when he plays Guilt By Association, it's funny. Courtesy Media Matters, from the May 15 Colbert Report (I don't have cable, and I swear I did not see or hear about this before posting yesterday):
COLBERT: Anyway, I didn't have anything to do, so I wound up reading the 17-page letter Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wrote to President Bush. I know what you are thinking, yes, reading other people's mail is a federal crime, especially when it is reprinted in the liberal press, but something changed my mind. This trenchant analysis of the letter by John Gibson of Fox News. Take a look.

GIBSON [video clip]: That nutjob running Iran, President -- let's see if I can pronounce it -- Ahmadinejad, sent President Bush a letter, and if it weren't postmarked Tehran, it may have been mistaken for a crank letter from an angry leftist in L.A. or Boulder [Colorado] or Cambridge, Massachusetts. WMD lie, says the Iranian president: Democrat talking point. Human rights abuses in Gitmo: another Democrat talking point. The gap between haves and have-nots: the Iranian president and the Dems in lockstep on that one too.

COLBERT: I couldn't agree more. That letter sounds like it was written by Howard Dean, proofread by Nancy Pelosi, spell-checked by Janeane Garofalo, and then stuffed into an envelope by Alec Baldwin. Oh, and a quick apology to my viewers. Earlier, when I mentioned the Iranian president, I neglected to note the difficulty of pronouncing his name. I assure you, I will not pronounce it correctly again. Anyway, John Gibson and I aren't the only ones who noticed how much the Democrats sound like president -- oh boy, let's see if I can get this right -- Achmen-in-nin-nin-jihad. It's tough. Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard pointed it out. So did Daniel Henninger over at the Wall Street Journal and, of course, Rush Limbaugh. Man, that guy is back at the top of his game now that he is off the goofballs.

And I got to tell you, when I read President -- oh, Lord help me, help me get my mouth around this crazy name -- Aman-olly-olly-oxen-free-ninijad-iad -- something like that. When I read the letter myself, I found even more Democratic talking points. Listen to this: "All governments have a duty to protect the lives, properties, and good standing of their citizens." Democratic talking point. "We also believe that Jesus Christ, praise be upon him, was one of the great prophets of the almighty." Democratic talking point. "The killing of innocents is deplorable and appalling in any part of the world." Democratic talking point.

Democrats, when are you going to learn that when an evil dictator like Achmen-inin-Michael-Mooreijad starts using your talking points, you've got to disagree with them? If he says there is too great a gap between rich and poor, you say there's not enough of a gap. If he says there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, you point out that sand is a weapon of mass destruction when used properly. You could sort of toss it in someone's eyes during a knife fight. Works.

You see, if someone is sufficiently evil, everything about them and what they believe is wrong, whether or not it's right. That's why I'm not a vegetarian. Because Hitler was a vegetarian -- and I'm sorry, I'm not a fan of Hitler. I know that's going to disappoint a lot of Democrats. And for that matter, you know what, speaking of Mother's Day, why are we celebrating mothers at all? Because it just occurred to me: Stalin had a mother. Shame on you, mommies.

Wow. Learn from a master. He belittles Gibson's sleazy insinuations about "Democrat talking points" by absurdly imagining a whole team of prominent lefties, each with a progressively (pardon the pun) simpler job to do, working on the letter (a nice example of descending incongruity); he belittles the formulaic right-wing trope of mocking Ahmadinejad's name (it's foreign! it's got a lot of syllables! it's funny!) by parodying it and thereby revealing its shallowness; he belittles their whole guilt-by-association game by pulling other associations out of Ahmadinejad's letter in such a way as to reduce the whole sleazy game to absurdity; finally, he hits the pitch right out of the park by making some truly insane associations of his own. All in a few tight, economical paragraphs that, in best creative fashion, leave much of the cognitive work to the listener—so they participate, in their way, in the process of making meaning. We are all embiggened by Colbert's cromulent belittling.

"Mr. Colbert, the Brotherhood of Belarusian John Cleese Impersonators salutes you."


go here:
A Simpsons fan too? You're my new hero!
Benvenuto!, Calabaza.

Longtime, D.
Dang, I was gonna make the Hitler vegetarian analogy yesterday but thought it too "easy," but in Colbert's hands it works beautifully!
Comedy is hard, but artists like Colbert make it look easy. . . .
Woah... now them is hats.
Colbert is brilliant. The only thing that scares me about his schtick is that it just may be too smart for a lot of people. Too many Americans just don't get subtlety, nuance or irony at all.
Um... Gen? What you were saying about too many Americans not understanding subtlety, nuance, or irony? Yep.

Categorical Aperitif
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