Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Absurdity in Congress

I like Jon Stewart of The Daily Show; not enough to watch the show regularly, but I watch it once in a while. I do not like Steven Colbert of The Colbert Report, and I never watch him at all. Jon Stewart does satire, which is usually funny but becomes tiresome rather quickly. Colbert does sarcasm, which is almost never even slightly amusing.

Yes, I sometimes use sarcasm in this column. I do not intend it to be funny, but rather to express the fact that I am royally pissed off.

For Steven Colbert to use a Congressional hearing as a platform for his “comedy” routine is arrogant, rude, and totally inappropriate. Colbert is a performer, and a star performer at that, so his ego is without limit and his sole purpose in life is self aggrandizement, so is hardly reasonable to expect him to decline such an invitation. That a Congresswoman would issue such an invitation, and that the members of the committee would sit and listen to his performance is bizarre beyond comprehension.

It has been noted that similar acts have been presented before, but that is beside the point. People have screamed obscenities in church more than once, too, but that does not make it proper behavior.

Colbert went to the fields to explore the nature of the work and he had testimony to make that, it turns out, was valid and powerful. It would have served him well to make that testimony. Using the halls of Congress as a stage for his performance was, at best, in poor taste.

A point which seems to have been missed by all forms of the media is that his invitation to perform at this “hearing” actually reveals the true nature of the Congressional hearing process. Hearings are supposedly held for the purpose of discovering facts and, hopefully, truth but that is a sham and a farce. They are in actuality stagecraft, and a nothing more than a platform for the members of Congress and their invitees to perform.

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