Do you think Steven Colbert knows how much damage his program is causing America?
From: The Word: LetThem Buy Cake (S.9 : Ep. 34)
“Freedom isn’t free, so it’s logical that freedom of speech costs money. If you think about it, we wouldn’t have a budget problem if we’d been charging protestors all along. The government could have made a bundle off those hippies in Vietnam.”
I understand, and you, dear reader, understand, that Colbert is using the time-honored literary technique of satire.
History doesn’t record satire well. Sarcasm doesn’t cross language barriers cleanly. And Jonathan Swift never suggested the Irish really eat their babies. Or did he?
The point is that by producing hateful rhetoric, even though it’s well intended hateful rhetoric aimed to illustrate the logical end of the hateful rhetoric offered by the American political machine, is still hateful rhetoric.
If, like me, you believe that words have power, you will appreciate that hateful rhetoric with another aim is still hateful rhetoric. And if you don’t care about hokum like powerful words, then perhaps the sociologist in you will recognize that prolonged exposure to Colbert’s ratcheted-up level of hateful rhetoric only makes the real hateful rhetoric seem less hateful and easier to tolerate.
I recognize the potential for rampant hypocrisy in my desire for Colbert to stop doing his Colbert thing; I understand that hateful rhetoric is a freedom that my beloved freedom of speech protects.
But I do believe, dear friend, that the world would be better if Colbert retired the Colbert act, and delivered his otherwise reasonable message to the hate-spewing masses via a strait-forward method. Every day he goes on spewing hateful rhetoric, even ironically, is another day too many.
There is enough hateful rhetoric in the world. Lets deal with that at face-value. Fighting fire with fire only surrounds the rest of us in a fire fight.
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