Colbert II

I found something tonight that confirmed my thoughts in an earlier entry.

Of the 221 comments placed on this YouTube video, easily 200+ either regarded Colbert’s performance with awe and admiration or insulted Tucker Carlson for daring to consider Colbert’s act unfunny. This is just additional proof to me regarding Mr. Gnade’s key statement that Colbert “did not speak truth to power; he spoke satirically solely to secure his fan base.” It’s a shame that many of Colbert’s fans have had the joke played on them.

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The Colbert Flak

Many people, especially my fellow bloggers, know what Stephen Colbert did at the 2006 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. What a lot don’t realize is that it really was not anything spectacular.

This man here has it exactly right.

I am not going to go over what he said; you can read the article, as it’s right there. I just want it to be known that I agree with this person completely.

Jon Stewart Newsflash

The guy actually made a funny joke yesterday! Odd, when he deviates from his usual standard fare (Bush), the jokes become better.

Anyway, the joke was about the illegal immigration demonstrators singing the United States national anthem in Spanish. Stewart continued to point out that in fact there are 3 more verses that are not sung, and then began to quote from them.

In the middle, he suddenly stopped, and said that it would sound better in Spanish.

Then the funny line came,

“Because the immigrants are willing to sing the verses that other Americans are not willing to sing,” which was a nice satire.

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Surprised that I put in a new entry? Sorry about the lack of updates. Exams are going on right now (I’ve got one in 2-1/2 hours) and it’s been a busy time. Come summer (tomorrow perhaps!), I’ll have more time to write more substantial entries.

So in sum: No, I have not fallen off the face of the earth.

I just discovered a funny show.

Yesterday, for the first time ever, I watched The Colbert Report (pronounce reh-pore). That show is funny.

It comes on at 11:30 PM on weekdays here, immediately following The Daily Show. When you compare Stephen Colbert to Jon Stewart, you get, in my opinion, a far funnier person. Stewart is quite predictable nowadays–take a couple shots at Bush, interview someone (usually incorporating a shot at Bush), have someone else do a segment, and then hand it off to Colbert. You can throw in a 3rd shot at Bush for good measure.

According to Wikipedia, Colbert’s show was pitched in the following manner: “Stephen Colbert parodies The O’Reilly Factor.” This manifests itself most clearly in “The Word” which is clearly based on O’Reilly’s “Talking Points.” This is by far the funniest segment of the show, as Colbert makes ridiculous (and ridiculously funny) statements with even funnier statements shown at the side.

As it may be clear to you if you look at the bottom of the screen, I am conservative. Both Colbert and Stewart mock conservatives far more often than liberals, and both are Democrats. But I like Colbert; I don’t like Stewart. Colbert’s mockery comes mostly with his style. Stewart’s comes with what he is actually saying. Thus it is far easier to swallow Colbert’s humor. Plus I have no problem with someone mocking Bill O’Reilly.

If it came on a bit earlier, I might become a devoted follower of The Colbert Report. As it is, I’ll catch it when I can.

Song in Advertising

It needs to stop.

You’ve probably seen the ad for Applebee’s with the “Gilligan’s Island” ripoff. You’ve probably seen the ad for Doublemint.

Don’t they just piss you off? They piss me off.

When’s the last time you’ve seen a good commercial that focused on singing a song? I can’t point to one. Good commercials are funny; songs are not funny. They are annoying.

Advertisers need to learn from Geico’s old routine in which the punch line was always “I just saved a bunch of money on car insurance by switching to Geico.” They need to learn from Burger King’s trick of randomly showing the King make a play in the NFL.

The best ads are unexpected jokes. The worst are songs…. and McDonald’s.

Mr. Rogers in a Blood Stained Sweater

Internet Phenomena: Chances are damn good you know of at least one.

You know the name Gary Brolsma? He’s the guy who made the crappy lip sync of the Romanian pop song “Dragostea Din Tei.”

How about Ghyslain Raza? You know, the Star Wars kid.

Homestar Runner. Badger Badger Badger.

They’re everywhere.

One of them caught my mind recently, and it’s where you will hear the line in the title: “The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny,” in which countless popular figures, from the historical (Abraham Lincoln) to the current (Jackie Chan) to the fictional (Batman) to the non-human (Godzilla), appear. As you might have guessed, Mr. Rogers wins.

Why do I write about this? Well, it just might be the most original of these phenomena. Look at the Wikipedia article at the top of the page, you’ll find categorizations of such phenomena. Obviously jokes about celebrities are none too original – Chuck Norris jokes in particular get quite tiresome. (And in a related note, Chuck Norris appears but does not win in “Ultimate Showdown.”) The list of non celebrities rely on other people’s work.

Well, I won’t actually go through it. You can read it yourself. But the ability exhibited by Lemon Demon and AltF4 to create a song, incorporate tons of popular figures in a catchy tune, and make it funny is quite an accomplishment.

At least, it’s more of an accomplishment than dancing wildly to a song you didn’t even write.

V for Vendetta

Spoiler Warning: Some events in the film are given away here.

On its opening night, I viewed the blockbuster film “V for Vendetta” starring Hugo Weaving (insomuch as you can have a star whose face is never seen) and Natalie Portman.

It’s plot was good. It’s acting was pretty good. It’s message was . . .

That depends. Those who criticized the film cried out that it could lead to another McVeigh by promoting terrorism. And surely seeing Big Ben blow up while Tchaikovsky is blasting might seem like a promotion of terrorism. Many of these critics seemed to believe that the movie overplayed the foul deeds of the facist British government in order to create sentiment for Weaving and his cause.

I personally liked the movie, for its developed plot and solid acting. And, in a not so small detail, I disagreed with the critics who saw the film as portraying Weaving’s character, V, as a good guy. There are no good guys in this film. You could argue that V is more evil than High Chancellor Sutler, the facist dictator of Britain. V has no problem whatsoever in the murder of people, a characteristic we assume (but are never directly shown) he shares with the British government. There’s a kicker. The part of the movie that leads me to my conclusion about the nature of V. Evil.

Natalie Portman plays V’s ally, Evey. As a fugitive, she hangs out in her Uncle Gordon’s home. The government comes to kill Gordon, who had mocked Sutler on his TV show. Evey is captured. She is tortured. They ask her for information about V. She won’t give it. She is tortured some more. Finally, they give her one last chance to give information and get off free. She doesn’t.

And she gets off anyway.

It wasn’t the government who captured her. It wasn’t the government who tortured her.

It was V.

V is a bad guy.

V decides it’s up to him to kill the top government officials before he blows up Parliament with a train filled with explosives. In a gruesomely violent scene, he kills the guys, but in the process, is fatally wounded himself. He allows Evey to make the decision whether or not to blow up Parliament. She does.

Evey is a bad guy. (Or naive, as she buys rather easily into the opinion of a person who tortured her.)

Chief Investigator Finch (portrayed very well by Irishman Stephen Rea) allows Evey to blow up Parliament instead of arresting her.

His nature is more ambiguous, as he never completely trusts another major character in the story.

The government is filled with bad guys.

Damn it, everybody’s a bad guy.

And maybe that’s the message.