I'll never understand the contortions people will put Rand's work through. Of everything that could be made light in this effort, and serious nature of the book, Colbert chooses to be just another lemming on the "lets all hate on Rand and deliberately misinterpret her message," bandwagon.
Dishonest jokes like this come way too easy for this guy. What a waste it is for someone like Colbert to be the epitome of self hatred. Obviously, he sees way too much of himself in James, and, damnit, he'll get Rand for that.
The problem is these people have adopted the morality of altruism. Inside the paradigm of altruism, there are only 3 kinds of people:
1) the needy (i.e., the poor and the down-trodden) 2) the compassionate givers to the needy (i.e., the givers) 3) the ruthless, cut-throat "aquisitives" (i.e., the takers)
Folks in #1 get a pass for being selfish, because they have so little in the first place. Folks in #2 get a moral medal for being selfless. Folks in #3 are chided for being selfish. There are only two ways to be selfish in that model: by being needy and by being "greedy" (cut-throat acquisitive).
There is no room in that model for a magnanimous man, such as Aristotle talked about. There is no possibility of integrating a John Galt inside of the altruist model. The only thing left to do then, is to mis-categorize a John Galt as some kind of an intellectual savage who thrives on the suffering of others.
It's like these altruists aren't "whole" yet. They don't understand what it means to truly love another person, to truly show benevolence and good will. All they have to go on are these superficial hints of love (the passing of your paycheck to someone else). If you were entirely concrete-bound in your thinking, you would miss out on all the other ways to benefit your own and others' lives. It's as if you had moral blinders on.
In trying to find "love" out in the world, you would only see (you would only look for) the dollar figure on a donation check, or the material objects passed from the rich to the poor. It's a sign of self-stultified or arrested moral development
The last line was funny: "Do it for Ayn Rand and John Aglialoro, because they are not going to do it for you!"
There are several genres of humor including slapstick, puns, situational, observational. Last night, Laurel and I finally got to watch Season 3 Disk 3 of Big Bang Theory. (The waiting list at the library was 24 deep. It's popular in Ann Arbor.) The four guys are physicists. Sheldon gets drunk at an awards banquet that ends with moons and Uranus, but on the way he says, "A neutron walks into a bar and asks how much the drinks are and the bartender says, 'For you: No charge.'"
Jerry Seinfeld presented shows based on situational humor - Kramer sinking a golf ball into a stranded whale - ,but at the end, the stand-up had him "explaining" the show with observational humor - "Did you ever notice..." A man slipping on a banana peel came to the future when Woody Allen in Sleeper has himself and a farmer slipping on a peel big enough to wrap a canoe.
Sarcasm has become common in our culture. Colbert's hyperbole is a subset of that. No matter what, he extrapolates it beyond reason for humor by hyperbole. It does not matter what the subject is. When Bill O'Reilly claimed that God must exist because he (O'Reilly) does not know what causes the tides, Colbert jumped on it and brought Neil Degrasse Typson of the Hayden Plantarium on his show. However, Colbert's clowning was hyperbolic, kowtowing to Tyson for causing the tides himself.
This all comes down to the exchange between Howard Roark and Elseworth Toohey. If it had not been mentioned here, I would never have known about it, because Stephan Colbert means not much to me.
On Big Bang Theory, Sheldon Cooper has an ongoing conflict with Will Wheaton (Wesley Crusher from ST:NG). At one point, Wheaton taps Cooper on the forehead saying, "I have free rental right here."
Colbert reminds me a lot of Gail Wynand in Fountainhead - a media tycoon who sells his integrity for what he thinks is power, and thinks he controls his audience (note the chants of "Stephen! Stephen!" he orchestrates), but in fact is beholden to his audience's statist ideology.
@ Michael: "There are several genres of humor including slapstick, puns, situational, observational."
It seems to me that most humor relies on either overstatement or understatement -- basically, taking reality and normality and pushing it to some extreme. (Edited by Jim Henshaw on 5/06, 10:51pm)
Well, apparently thanks to Colbert, on amazon.com bestsellers ranking for Classic Literature and Fiction, of the four top spots, THREE WERE FOR ATLAS SHRUGGED (on Kindle, paperback and audiobook editions).
I'm with Opinador and Luke and Jim, I think Colbert did something good for "the cause."
Colbert spent more time "reviewing" AS1 than any other movie on the segment. It was almost as if he was highlighting it as the one movie to go out and see among all alternatives. The segment, if nothing else, piqued curiosity. I do not know if I had seen this Colbert segment before Objectivism, if I could prevent forcing myself to see the movie in order to stem the curiosity Colbert would have delivered to my brain:
These characters are selfish ... and they are seflish both boldly and shamelessly???
Oh, I have just got to go out and see this movie -- it's going to be so comical to watch!