Ladies and gentlemen, this month as we celebrate the beginning of another television season, I would like to be able to talk about what a glorious time this is. I would like to be able to say that no one finds Sarah Palin jokes funny anymore, that Conan O’Brien is aging poorly, that people have finally realized that “Lost” is a completely pointless show. I would like to speak of peace in our time- of Fox buying Viacom and shutting it down, of a primetime lineup devoid of vicious reality show banshees, of Keith Olbermann and Glenn Beck becoming the best of pals. These would be truly appropriate things to see on television this fall.
Eight years of President George Bush’s unbridled wisdom should have given this Nation peace of heart and mind. But this is not such a period– for this is a time of “Colbertism.” This is a time when all America is split into two vast, increasingly hostile camps- those sycophantic masses who have bought into Stephen Colbert’s doublespeak and those of us with common sense.
You can see it, feel it, hear it from our military bases in South Carolina, to the college dorm rooms where our overeducated children are experimenting with awkward sex and marijuana cigarettes, right over into the very hearts of our gated suburbs where mothers weep as they write yet another check to fund their ungrateful twenty-somethings.
The one encouraging thing is that the “mad moment” has not yet arrived when Colbert reaches primetime network television, setting civilization about the final task of destroying itself. There is still hope for a world without Colbert if we finally decide that no longer can we safely blind our eyes and close our ears to that goofy face and that painful voice which gurgles like some teen struggling with puberty.
The great difference between our fantastic Republican values and Colbertism is not political. It is moral. For Stephen Colbert’s followers want nothing more than to sleep through the afternoon, eat chips and have government-subsidized yoga classes. They want to wear those awful Wriststrong bracelets, made from recycled toxic waste containers, unaware that they’re secreting funding the tv host’s monthlong deluxe Martha’s Vineyard vacations. They want to live out their days in slightly monogamous relationships so rutted in wounded silences and passive-aggressive drinking that they never seem to warrant a cheap Catholic wedding and all those silver balloons.
The real, basic difference, however, lies in the religion of cynical materialism… invented by Amy Sedaris, preached feverishly by Jon Stewart and carried to unimaginable extremes by Stephen Colbert. This religion of cynical materialism, if the liberal half of the world triumphs– and well it may, gentlemen– this religion of cynical materialism will more deeply wound and damage mankind than any conceivable Jay Leno show or socialist health care plan.
Today we are engaged in a final, all-out battle between Stephen Colbertisitic materialism and rightwing sanity. The unemployed champions of Colbertism have selected this as the time, and ladies and gentlemen, the chips are down– they are truly down.
Five years ago, Stephen Colbert was a dimwitted, banana-eating sidekick on a mediocre variety show. Today, he commands millions to stay up past an appropriate bedtime. This indicates the tempo of Colbertism’s victories and conservatism’s defeats in the war for our Nation’s soul. As one outstanding contemporary theologian wrote recently, “Stephen Colbert represents one of the most dangerous trends in America next to Islamic terrorism today. He is slipping a deadly tonic of anarchy and immorality to our children. His nightly show is like an Al Qaeda training camp, indoctrinating fragile minds into a fanatical hatred of American values.”
The reason we find ourselves impotent and poorly positioned is not because Stephen Colbert has asked his raunchy Irish cousins to invade our shores… but rather because of the traitorous actions of those who have been treated so well by this Nation. It has not been the less fortunate, or members of minority groups, for they do not fall into the show’s demographic, but rather those who have had all the benefits that the wealthiest Nation in America has had to offer… the finest women, the finest educations, the best moms and dads whose phone calls they send right to voicemail.
I have here in my hand a list of 205 screennames made known to me on the Colbert Nation’s forums… A list of screennames of people who have somehow infiltrated the American workforce and found employment, whether through dumb luck or family connections is not yet known. These people are actively engaged in spreading Colbertism among the righteous and salaried citizens of this Nation.
As you know, many members of Congress have openly declared their loyalty to Colbert and his lazy, immoral youths on the “Everybody Loves a District” segment of The Colbert Report. This is the most abominable of all crimes– being a traitor to the retirees who voted you politicians into office– high treason.
Stephen Colbert has sparked the bong that is stoning America. The liberal heebie jeebies that our children are suffering from will only subside when this whole sorry mess of twisted, warped late night talkers are swept from the national scene so that we may have a new birth of honesty and decency in American television.
(* This is a transcript of a speech given at the Dyersburg Elk’s Club and was originally published on Christwire in 2009.)