So it's Friday, which means it's time to have a little fun. Right? Noni and I have been busy this week, searching for just the right video. Okay, that's a bit of a lie. Both of us have been busy, and this is a video we found a while ago that seems to fit the moment.
I mean, last week's video featured my husband's band, The Fentons, and it was presented in terms of romance. This week you're going to see the guy I'd dump my husband for in a second. (Sorry dear...)
I think he's brilliant, and not just because he's smart and he can sing and he's a good Catholic boy. I love the way he's playing with irony to get his point across. So much of what's considered humor right now is pretty sophomoric - T&A, potty jokes, angry strings of F-words. Irony is a higher level of humor, and day after day, Colbert just nails it.
Dictionary.com defines irony as "the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning". In Colbert's case, it goes beyond words. It's his persona, his attitude, the deft way he covers his anger with a smiley face. He's been accused of promoting 'ironic rot' by the National Review, and, along with Jon Stewart, of being a symptom of the decaying politic system that defines this country.
In his 2010 Los Angeles Times article, Will Bunch compared Stewart & Colbert to Glen Beck, the pundit they're supposedly lampooning. His assessment shows more similarities than you'd expect, although I doubt the crowds of people who went to see them on the National Mall would agree.
I would offer that this disagreement is a symptom of the real problem with our political system. People of opposing viewpoints don't listen to each other. Consider some research findings published in The International Journal of Press/Politics:
Using data from an experiment (N = 332), we found that
individual-level political ideology significantly predicted perceptions
of Colbert's political ideology.
Additionally, there was no significant difference
between the groups in thinking Colbert was funny, but conservatives were
more likely to report that Colbert only pretends to
be joking and genuinely meant what he said while liberals were more
to report that Colbert used satire and was not
serious when offering political statements.
So he's on both sides? That doesn't bug me at all. I'm glad there's a place liberals and conservatives can find common ground. IMHO, only a united front will fix the things that are wrong with this country, and only real dialogue will get us there. And if we're laughing at the same things, maybe some of that dialogue will happen.
Wow. That went much deeper than I'd expected. Noni's crying in her cocktail over here. In the interest of keeping to the Friday Fun theme, let's make a little hay with one of our major corporation person friends. Here's Mr. Colbert talking about a fave snack...