I was really hoping Colbert would have a little more time before he had to write his first I Can't Make This Funny monologue, but it was not to be. Friday's opener, before the headlines, was Colbert being upset straight to camera about the most recent shooting incident.

My first thought was: Oh my God, Dad is so disappointed in us.

I think that's what Mr. Rogers would have looked like, if he ever got angry on camera. Which is disconcerting, because I've heard Colbert swear pretty creatively. He once capped off an argument over something biblical by crowing, "I teach Sunday school, motherfucker!", a sentence that just gets funnier and funnier the more you think about it.

The monologue is structured unusually. Traditionally, the arc on one of these things goes, 'I'm fucking upset by this, and I know I'm supposed to be funny now, but it's not going to happen until I get this out. What happened was horrible, and somebody needs to figure out how to fucking stop it from happening again.' It's mostly catharsis for the host, usually a point of identification for the audience, and often a backhanded slap against the people who should be responsible for preventing it -- whoever you think they are. Often it's just kind of a sweeping finger-point, and the referent is intentionally left vague. The listener can swap in anyone they think is to blame, and still feel that they're waving their beer angrily at the TV in solidarity.

That is not what he did there.

Most of these monologues express confusion. You can't possibly not know that something has to be done, so how can you possibly not be doing it? Even if you don't agree on what the best course of action is, you should at least be trying to do something. There must be at least some good people out there; how can a good person do nothing?

The assumption that there are good people, that at least some of the good people know who they are, and that good people would feel compelled to do something, underpins the argument. I don't know whether the speakers write from that viewpoint because they want to be (or sound) fair, or because they have faith in humanity, or just because they've never examined that particular axiom past, 'Well, I think I'm a pretty decent guy, and I can't be the only one out there.'

Colbert points out that this postulate is wrong.

You think you are a good person. You think a good person would surely do something about this. You are doing nothing about this. This does not mean that I am wrong about how a good person would act. This means that, regardless of what your ego says, you are not a good person.

Do not pick fights with angry logicians. They are not beholden to social niceties, and they will break right through those fuckers like balsa. You will lose, and it will hurt.

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