Have ‘fear:’ Colbert chats un-politics
Just in time for election season, The Colbert Report‘s Stephen Colbert has pitted himself against best friend and worst enemy, The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart, in a comic battle over fear. The two will hold opposing rallies in Washington D.C. on Oct. 30.
Colbert will host the March to Keep Fear Alive, while Stewart’s event is called the Rally to Restore Sanity.
Stewart’s website describes the rally’s sardonic motives: “America, the Greatest Country God ever gave Man, was built on three bedrock principles: Freedom. Liberty. And Fear — that someone might take our Freedom and Liberty. But now, there are dark, optimistic forces trying to take away our Fear — forces with salt and pepper hair and way more Emmys than they need.
“They want to replace our Fear with reason,” the website said.
Always in character, Colbert facetiously told “The Setonian” that he wants his rally to go down in history as a “generation defining event.”
When asked how his event would be considered successful, Colbert joked, “I’d like to get a lot of cash out of it, but evidently that’s illegal.”
Though he was joking, he does have ambitions to raise a half million dollars for donorschoose.org, a charity of which Colbert is a board member. Also, he said the event will be successful “if Jon Stewart admits he’s scared.”
When asked about Glenn Beck’s rally, “Restoring Honor,” Colbert denied that his event would be also religiously motivated. “I find God to be too soothing and calming,” he said.
“Rationality gets things like the atomic bomb,” Colbert said. “Fearing the atomic bomb is what kept us safe during the Cold War. Our fear of each other is what kept each other at bay.”
Colbert also said that we should get excited about fear. “The flight or fight response was why our ancestors survived and other lines of humanity died out,” he said.
When asked if fear is useful to our country, Colbert said that normally people become complacent and make decisions through reason.
“Fear is ubiquitous and I don’t even know what ubiquitous means,” Colbert said. He refers to fears as a great motivator: “Remember that paper you have due tomorrow morning? The overnight wonder that you’ll write tonight, you got that done in one night because you were afraid of not getting it done.”
The thing Colbert fears most in the world? Regular viewers of The Colbert Report will be less than shocked to learn that that fear is bears, or “godless killing machines.” Colbert one-ups his fear by mentioning “gay, immigrant bears. Canadian bears would be the short way of saying that.”
As to why college students should come to his rally, Colbert says that conservatism is probably a new experience for us. He also entices us by claiming he wants to be in a unitard for most of the rally, declaring himself as a “beefcake putting asses in the seats.”
Colbert also said that we could get people to go to the March to Keep Fear Alive rally by inspiring others to organize caravans or letting people crash, but not strangers. He threatens that they might actually stay afterwards and drink all your beer and eat all your food, “which would be terrifying.”
As members of a university, Colbert had some very specific and relevant advice for us: “All college students should be afraid of graduating. I would slow down my coursework.”
Amanda Berrill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.