October 14, 2007


I Am an Op-Ed Columnist (And So Can You!) (STEPHEN COLBERT, 10/14/07, NY Times)

Surprised to see my byline here, aren’t you? I would be too, if I read The New York Times. But I don’t. So I’ll just have to take your word that this was published. Frankly, I prefer emoticons to the written word, and if you disagree :(

I’d like to thank Maureen Dowd for permitting/begging me to write her column today. As I type this, she’s watching from an overstuffed divan, petting her prize Abyssinian and sipping a Dirty Cosmotinijito. Which reminds me: Before I get started, I have to take care of one other bit of business:

Bad things are happening in countries you shouldn’t have to think about. It’s all George Bush’s fault, the vice president is Satan, and God is gay.

There. Now I’ve written Frank Rich’s column too.

Here's a funny review of Mr. Colbert's book, where it doesn't actually matter whether the reviewer gets the joke or not, because Colbert himself doesn't: Colbert's topics of truthiness range far: The satirist's unfocused rantings are full of hyperbole, bluster and verve. (David Cotner, October 13, 2007, LA Times)
Colbert holds forth on sports, the family, old people, animals, higher education, sex and homosexuals. Clearly it was an epic 72 hours over which he stressed and obsessed over these touchstones of the modern American experience; although this cursory overview of what's on Colbert's mind indicates as much focus as a headless chicken, his passion for denouncing the evil in America -- and how he's right to condemn everyone for destroying his dreams -- is stauncher than staunch.

He rails against "Pat the Bunny," details his first job writing the police blotter for the Dorchester County Pennysaver in South Carolina, takes a cue from the Chinese by proposing construction of a 2,000-mile wall at the U.S. border to keep out immigrants and thanks Chevron (with Techron) for sponsoring his chapter on sports. He thinks that our God is an awesome God not only because he reigns from Heaven above but also because cats can walk on water too. In Colbert's world, all deities from Anubis to Zeus evolved into Jesus -- including Caveman Jesus.

Flowcharts to determine gayness, a sexual compatibility quiz in which respondents must match themselves to the right troika of Supreme Court member/tree/dessert topping -- these many extensions of his self-aggrandized folderol reach out like a squid's tentacles across a sea of Stephen Colbert. With tiny red rejoinders -- a cross between a Greek chorus of common sense and Sergio Aragonés' "Mad Marginals" cartoons -- cavorting in the margins, he builds a Winchester Cathedral of pomp and circumstance. Or, at the very least, a Winchester Mystery House of relentless banging away at evil liberal ghosts.

Colbert is that annoying whine that appears in the ear at inopportune times, just when one wishes for peace and quiet the most (11:30 p.m./10:30 Central) -- and with this latest broadside in the war against sin and people not like himself, he proves that he is to journalism what Jack Chick tracts are to theology: damning hyperbole, scathing bluster of the most evangelical sort, and infinitely more "YAAAAH!" than the competition.

And, right on cue, Frank Rich chimes in with today's obligatory Nazi reference, The ‘Good Germans’ Among Us (FRANK RICH, 10/14/07, NY Times)

Our humanity has been compromised by those who use Gestapo tactics in our war. The longer we stand idly by while they do so, the more we resemble those “good Germans” who professed ignorance of their own Gestapo.

Oughtn't he at least refer to "good Americans," who stood by while FDR rounded up the Nisei?

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 14, 2007 8:22 AM
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