One of the most cringe-worthy things to watch is when really smart people – philosophers, scientists, deep thinkers – try their hand at comedy. It’s so uncomfortable, so unnatural, so painful, their attempts often become fodder for actual comedians.
What’s strange is that those same comedians don’t seem to recognize that the exact same spectacle takes place when they try their hand at deep thinking. It’s not that they aren’t entitled to having or sharing their own opinions, of course. It’s the bizarre and inexplicable perception they seem to harbor that their late-night soliloquys represent profound truths that inspire the masses rather than blundering non-sequiturs and clumsy analogies that annoy the masses.
Take Jimmy Kimmel’s recent effort to become our national conscience on healthcare and guns – an effort that disappeared fairly rapidly after his silence regarding Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assaults and the surfacing of videos where Kimmel encouraged females on the street to grab his crotch.
After having set himself up as one with moral authority, Kimmel’s defense for those embarrassing realities of a lifelong comedian was that he’s just a comedian. It was the old Daily Show Jon Stewart strategy: pretend to be a serious commentator on the news of the day, then when you’re exposed as a fraud, retreat behind the comedy clown mask.
And now, it’s uber-liberal Stephen Colbert’s turn:
Stephen Colbert got serious at the beginning of Monday night’s Late Show broadcast to talk about the recent massacre in Sutherland Springs, Texas in which 26 people were killed. Colbert reminded the audience that the largest mass shooting in American history was a little more than a month ago, and frustratingly little has been done to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again…
Colbert urged against hopelessness and pointed out that not doing anything to affect change isn’t just morally wrong—it’s also unnatural. “Five thousand years ago if your village had a tiger coming into it every day and was eating people, you wouldn’t do nothing. You would move the village, you would build a fence, or you would kill the tiger,” he said. “You wouldn’t say, well, I guess, y’know, someone’s going to get eaten every day because the price of liberty is: tigers.”
Of course this intellectual vapidity earned rousing applause from a studio audience of people whose brains were engaged to analyze the depth crotch-grabbing videos. Anyone watching with even a modicum of rational thinking quickly realized how Colbert was setting his anti-gun side up for intellectual obliteration. After all, if your village had a tiger coming into it every day to eat people, Stephen is right – “you wouldn’t do nothing.” What would you do?
Charles C.W. Cooke answered the obvious:
You’d shoot it.
Well, that’s what a rational person would do. Just like a rational person would acknowledge that the only thing that caused the evil monster who shot up the Texas church to drop his gun and run was another citizen with a gun. It wasn’t a sign that said, “No tigers allowed in this village.”
Again, this is why the left should wisely use late-night comedians as their joke tellers who effectively mock the appearance, speech patterns, and mannerisms of conservatives regularly. But they should never turn the duties and responsibilities of articulating the intellectual rationale of their ideological positions over to men whose critical thinking skills are pretty much confined to the inner workings of the whoopee cushion.