Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mr. Colbert Goes To Washington

Every time that I think it isn't possible for Congress to disappoint me any more than they already have, they turn right around and do something that just zaps my ol' WTL (Will To Live) right out of me. And while I'm a big fan of comedy, I don't know that I necessarily need it on the floor of some sort of House subcommittee hearing on immigration today in the form of Stephen Colbert.

That's right. Stephen Colbert. For reasons that are completely unclear to me, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-umbass) from California, who is the chairwoman of this subcommittee, invited Colbert to testify as some sort of "expert witness" about all of the migrant farm workers and their plights. Or something like that. As I've previously stated, none of this makes any sense to me. But that doesn't mean it wasn't funny.

I guess that Colbert spent a day in the fields with some migrant workers and picked his share of fruits and/or vegetables. That's what makes him an expert? A day? I've done plenty of things for A day. It hardly make me feel like an expert. And usually, it just makes me glad that the day is over and I don't have to do it any more.

I guess that Rep. Lofgren doesn't quite get that Mr. Colbert plays a character on TV. Oh, sure, it's him and all, but he's in character. See, TV isn't always real! I'm serious. Not always real. Granted, the times when it is real, we most often wish that it wasn't (ie, Kate Gosselin). I'll give you that. But it's not like this is the first time that a fictional character has testified before Congress. Oh, no! There was one other. Would you care to guess who it was? Of course you wouldn't. You're not going to want to know, either, when I tell you that it was Elmo. Oh, for cryin' out loud.

It appeared as if even Mr. Colbert was confuddled as to why he was there and, according to The Huffington Post, said that he was happy and honored to be there, " share his "vast experience" of working on a farm for one day, and hopes his fame will get this show bumped up to "C-SPAN ONE"." That's pretty funny. I'd be laughing harder if it wasn't before freaking Congress, but it's a good bit.

And several more good bits followed that one. Sadly, some of the good bits were from the representatives themselves. And they would have been funnier if I wasn't so irritated that they were asking stupidly amusing questions at a Congressional hearing. Questions like those from a one Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, who asked Colbert if the work on the farm was hard? Answer: "It's certainly harder than this." He then asked if it was harder for Colbert to do his comedy show? Answer: "Much harder than punditry." Are you serious, Mr. Smith? That question reinforces my belief that a large number of representatives are completely out of touch. Has this man never worked on a farm? Has he never seen farm work being done? Do we need to show him an episode of "Green Acres"?

For some reason, a one Judy Chu (D-umbass, CA) compared Colbert's appearance " that time Loretta Swit testified before Congress about "crush videos"." I don't know that comparing Stephen Colbert to Loretta Swit in any capacity is a good comparison. Yes, I'm sure that there are lots of celebrities that have testified before Congress (for some reason). I get that. But I don't think that Loretta Swit and her "crush videos" crusade has a lot in common with Stephen Colbert joking that even though the day he worked in the fields he was a corn packer, that he "...understands it is a term for a "gay Iowan, and meant no offense"." Yeah, they're clearly different. (I'd like to know how all of that "crush video" testimony given by Ms. Swit (in 1999, by the way) turned out as far as Congress goes. What did they do about it? Anything? Anything? Anyone? Hello? Oh, I see. Nothing, eh? Moving along!)

Some of his best lines seemed lost on the representatives. Barely getting them to crack their stone-faced gazes was this zinger: "This is America. I don't want a tomato picked by a Mexican. I want it picked by an American, then sliced by a Guatemalan, then served by a Venezuelan, in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian." Does Congress know what a Brazilian is? Of course they do! I'm sure that they require that most of their potential pages have one as a prerequisite to an internship.

I think my personal favorite was this one: "I’m not a fan of the government doing anything. But I’ve got to ask: Why isn’t the government doing anything? Maybe this Add Jobs Bill would help. I don’t know. Like most members of Congress, I haven’t read it.” Excellent point, Mr. Colbert. I, too, would prefer that the government stay out of most matters. But when there are matters that it seems like they should get involved in, they don't seem to exactly be Johnny on the spot. Granted, Mr. Colbert and I have different opinions on these migrant workers (mine being that if they're here illegally, they need to go), but it doesn't change the fact that no one is doing anything other than having pointless hearings with a bunch of people that haven't read the very bill that they're talking about.

Is it November yet? How many of these yo-yos need to go? I'm guessing anyone who considers a It's a head scratcher all right.person with one day of "experience" to be an "expert" who is worthy of testifying before Congress. Why don't these damn representatives go out and work a day in the damn fields themselves if they want to know what it's like? I don't know what in the world that would actually do, but then again, I don't know what in the world Stephen Colbert was doing testifying before Congress, so it probably couldn't hurt.

We are so doomed. And screwed. We're so scroomed.

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Edge said...

My favorite quote from Colbert was the following:

"I was picking beans out there for a day and I realized two things: picking beans is hard, mainly because all of the beans are at ground level. C'mon people, we put a man on the moon and we can't make the Earth waist-high?"

Mare said...

Hey, Edge.

I hadn't heard that one! Awesome is what that is!

~ Mare

Scott Jacobs said...

His dig about how he didn't know exactly what was in the bill because he, like congress, hadn't read it, was the only funny line that I heard...