May 6, 2011
This Guy Really Makes me Appreciate Jon Stewart
Stephen Colbert's lame take (but I repeat myself) on Atlas Shrugged, Part 1.
UPDATE: Stewart, hell, this guy makes me appreicate Ellsworth Toohey.
UPDATE II: They have lashed out at Colbert once or twice today. @Atlas Shrugged The Movie
Atlas Shrugged is currently #1, #2, AND #4 at Amazon - guess Colbert was right about no one being interested. If only we could get a hold of that pesky #3 spot too.
'Atlas Shrugged' QOTD
Posted by John Kranz at May 6, 2011 12:32 PM
This strikes me as exactly why I dislike and distrust Comedy News.
I'm a strange choice for the defender of Ayn Rand's honor 'round here, but even her detractors generally admit a certain seriousness. Her book sales and the depth of her following bespeak a certain "there there."
Colbert's got a gag to complete. Rand fans are blaming studio and distribution bias in Hollywood and not the out-of-mainstream elements in Rand's philosophy or storyline. It's a fair cop to a point. But Colbert's fan base, for all their claims of sophistication, can not be trusted to know who the hell she is or to trust the cartoonish view of her work that allows the gag to work.
So, Colbert spends 40 seconds "explaining" Rand to his audience. There are a lot of thinkers with whom I disagree violently and I cannot think of many who deserve to be dismissed in a 40 second caricature. Hegel deserves a more nuanced view (and got hundreds of pages in Popper's "The Open Society and its Enemies"), Mises and Hayek give careful consideration to clarifying the ideas of Karl Marx before they contradict. Christopher Hitchens and Arundhati Roy have made Marx's case in the Nation.
But Colbert viewers don't have the patience for all that. The jokes have to come bang, bang, bang. Actually, a full minute was devoted to explaining Rand, but 20 seconds was spent on "explaining" with the greeting card to grandma.
Now a bunch of the smartest people in the world are all convinced that they understand the philosophy of Ayn Rand. You learn soooo much watching Colbert and discussing it with your really really smart friends on Facebook.