A Satire Less Subtle

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A couple of centuries ago playwright John Gay caused somewhat of an uproar with his Beggar’s Opera, a thinly-veiled satire about the social inequities of the time.

Fast-forward to last Saturday night, where Stephen Colbert‘s star-making turn was to publicly criticize the President of the United States and the assembled White House Press Corps to their faces on live television.

It was a gutsy move and a relentless attack on American Government and media, and if there was ever a reason to learn how to use BitTorrent, this is it.

I watched my copy of the video as soon as it finished downloading, and what struck me most was that it seemed equal parts comedy and activism—I guess when society moves so far to the right we bleeding-heart liberal-types have to move as far in the other direction.

There are already reports that big media is turning a blind eye to Colbert’s performance—it certainly wasn’t anywhere on my local news station. Maybe this is the future of comedy, to take a cue from terrorism and hit people where they live with the ugly truth.

And with that, I give you this

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5 Responses to “A Satire Less Subtle”

  1. If you’re BitTorrent-tarded (I’m talking to you, Al Howell!) you can watch the videos and leave your kudos here:

    http://thankyoustephencolbert.org/wordpress/

  2. Chris says:

    I watched it today and all I have to say is… Brilliant. Colbert has nerve like no other man. Just wondering if you caught the similar function they have hear in Canada (I forget what it’s called). But for the first time it was televised and I saw something I never thought I could imagine. Brian Mulroney said something funny. It was pre-taped and the basics are as follows.

    Wide shot of Mulroney in an office.
    Shot closes in.
    Mulroney speaks.
    “Ladies and gentlemen, Peter Newman go f#(k yourself”
    (I’m paraphrasing the dialog)

    It was brilliant and surprising, the point is I think to some degree politicians have a sense of humor and I think they know what people think of them some of the time. I’m sure Bush has seen the Colbert Report and I’m sure he’s laughed at it too.

  3. Mainstream media’s latest take on Colbert? “He wasn’t funny.”

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2006/05/03/correspondents/

    Or in other words, “the truth hurts.”

  4. Here’s a telling gallery of reaction shots from George Dubya:

    http://journals.democraticunderground.com/EarlG/52

    Enjoy!

  5. And we’re done—apparently C-SPAN has asked that the video be pulled from popular sharing sites:

    http://www.wired.com/news/wireservice/0,70849-0.html