The Dumbdown

« May 2006 »

Many of you have probably spent the past week and a half wondering why You Are Dumb Dot Net hasn't addressed Stephen Colbert at the White House Correstpondent's Dinner. And I'll tell you. Because for the most part, the last thing the Internet needed for the last fucking week and a half is one more snarky commentator sounding off on Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondent's Dinner.

However, the stupidity has been accumulating gradually, and I believe we've finally hit a point where I can add something to the debate. And in homage* to the subject matter, I'll count them off in a pastiche* of one of his own bits*. Ladies and gentlemen, here comes the DUMBDOWN.

NUMBER FIVE: The Lefty Blogosphere

Guys, I love you like you were my own mentally-challenged, but still adorable, nephew. But come on. Lay off. No, the story didn't get covered. Yes, the routine was a fucking hoot. Yes, Stephen Colbert is awesome. No, he is not Lenny Bruce reincarnated, sent to save us from Republicanism. The coverage of the coverage of the lack of coverage is all well and good, but I'd have to take off my socks to count the number of more important things you wonks could have been talking about after day two. I really enjoyed Colbert's bit, but after the fortieth fawning essay on speaking truth to power, I'm ready to gag.


Showing a firm grasp of neither genies nor bottles, C-Span is trying to stop video hosting sites from posting clips of the show... a week and a half after it aired and spread across the Net like nerd kudzu. Why? Because they're selling the dinner on DVD, and have made an exclusive deal with Google Video to carry the whole shebang.

I know C-Span is used to the glacial pace of the Senate, but not only is the cat out of the bag, but both the cat and the bag have evolved into entirely new life forms by now. What next, C-Span? Trying to trademark "all your base are belong to us"? When they say information wants to be free, they mean like fifty greased pigs in a mall want to be free. Just wait another ten minutes or so, then nobody will care about the video anymore and it'll be like the rest of C-Span's programming.


Poor Richard Cohen. He wrote a very stupid article about how Colbert wasn't funny. For the Washington Post, by the way - widely known as the nation's premier comedy experts. Anyway, the article got passed around the net, and Cohen got a few thousand nasty e-mails about it. Cue collective shock and horror, I know. It's only the way the Internet has worked since the day Al Gore thought it up. All that's changed is the scale, and not by enough to elicit sympathy for Cohen.

Which is the part, I think, that really bugs Cohen, because next he penned a whiny plea for sympathy, talking about how a "digital lynch mob" targeted him with what he called "bucket of raw, untreated and disease-laden verbal sewage". Not only that, to Cohen, the e-mails were "the functional equivalent of rocks once so furiously hurled during antiwar demonstrations".

You fucking baby. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but e-mails can be deleted. If you're that bothered by random strangers despising your opinion, quit writing for a newspaper and go to work someplace safer and less bruising. Something in, say, marshmallow tensile strength quality control. Clock in at 8, gently squeeze marshmallows for eight hours, and go home, never once fearing that someone on the Internet will write you a nastygram.


And the number one stupidity facing America? GEORGE W. BUSH. Oh, sure, I know his only real connection to the Colbert incident was that he was there silently fuming for the full 20 minutes, but come on. The guy said the other day that his greatest moment as president was catching a big perch on his ranch.

Which means one of two things. First, that the man has developed a capacity for introspection that borders on the supernatural, and has come to the realization that nothing he has done for the country in five years has as much value as a dead rotting fish. Or second, that the country is being led by a man stupid enough to answer "I CAUGHT A FISH ONCE" in that situation, and that it's taken five years for two thirds of you to realize it.

And either way, that's gotta top any list.