Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jon Stewart's Wise Monologue About the Tucson Tragedy

I've been struggling to figure out how to absorb the shootings that happened in Tucson, and have been inclined to blame people with different political values than mine whose commentary is nasty and violent, until I listened to Jon Stewart's monologue on Monday's Daily Show.

I transcribed an excerpt of it myself to share with you, so please forgive any errors.  You can also watch the whole monologue on Comedy Central, and I've embedded the video at the bottom of this post too.
 "Did the toxic political environment cause this? . . . We live in a complex eco-system of influences and motivations, and I wouldn't blame our political rhetoric any more than I would blame heavy metal music for Columbine.
And by the way, that is coming from somebody who truly hates our political environment.  It is toxic.  It is unproductive, but to say that, that that is what has caused this, or that the people in that are responsible for this, I just don't think you can do. 
Boy would that be nice, boy would it be nice to be able to draw a straight line of causation from this horror to something tangible.  Because then we could convince ourselves that if we just stop this, the horrors will end.  You know, to have the feeling, however fleeting, that this type of event can be prevented forever.  But it's hard not to feel like it can't.  You cannot outsmart crazy. You don't know what a troubled mind will get caught on.  Crazy always seems to find a way.  It always has.
Which is not to suggest that resistance is futile. It sounded pretty dark what I just said there, now that I reconsider it in my own head: "Crazy people rule us all." I don't think that's true, and I do think it's important for us to watch our rhetoric.  I do think it's a worthwhile goal not to conflate our political opponents with enemies.
If for no other reason, than to draw a better distinction between the manifestos of paranoid mad men and what passes for acceptable political and pundit speak. It would be really nice if the ramblings of crazy people didn't in any way resemble how we talk to each other on TV.  Let's at least make troubled individuals easier to spot.
Again, to see good people like this hurt, it is so grievous, and it causes me such sadness, but again, I refuse to give into that feeling of despair.  There is light in this situation.
I urge everyone, read up about those who were hurt, or killed in this shooting.  You will be comforted by just how much anonymous goodness there really is in the world.  You read about these people and you realize that, that people that you don't even know, that you have never even met, are leading lives of real dignity and goodness, and you hear about crazy, but it is rarer than you think."
Thanks, Jon Stewart, for always making my day a little bit brighter.   If I had a Have Fun, Do Good award, I'd give it to you!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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  1. Britt, thanks for passing this on. Funny how the wisest pundit out there is actually a comedian. Or maybe not so funny.

  2. Glad you liked it (: He really does seem like one of the few sane voices out there these days.


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