Thursday, May 11, 2006

I Smiled at His Words. I Laughed at the Response.

If it weren't at night, I would go out to the book shed, perched on the sloped and ready-to-slide verge of our wedge of the Oakland Bumps -- for we are not high enough to merit the appellation (French pronunciation, please) of hill -- and dig out one of my old grad-school textbooks that describes the psychology and philosophy of humor. Bereft of my underpinnings, I can only say that I can't quite figure out what those who thought Stephen Colbert was rude and/or unfunny as he twitted the president and his court wanted him to do.

He was there defending his brand, which is Bush knocking, both rude and transparently unkind though heretofore done at a distance. He was certainly less ironic, more sarcastic, less *hungry* for laughs. Did they expect him to damage his career by softening his brand by cozying up to Bush and the attendant journalists?

Champagne bubbles and diarrhea pools in the gutter. A thing must be itself or what is it? (Okay, by no stretch of the metaphor is Colbert either Champagne or excrement. He's more like really good French toast. But we are blogging here, people. Not nobody shouting, "Rewrite!")

That he changed minds is unlikely. That he wounded his listeners is even less so. That he satisfied the expectations of the majority of those who watch his show regularly -- the howl of the wind sweeping across the Bloggerian Steppes speaks for itself. I know this is a small point but still. Colbert's business is his *business.* He took care of it. He preserved his brand.

Bush's brand is Iraq. No one expects him to dilute it. More fool they if they do.

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