Monday, 13 June 2011

I AM AMERICA (AND SO CAN YOU!) by Stephen Colbert

I AM AMERICA continues my unexpectedly in-depth exploration of books written by American television comedians.

“I have so many opinions,” Colbert tells us in his introduction, “ that I have overwhelmed my ability to document myself.” Thus this book, which purports to be a series of essays expounding his views on major issues in American life.

It's a very fun, if silly and forgettable little book.

On the Elderly:
Make no bones about it, old people are tough. Many of them grew up having to scrap for every penny. They made shoes out of newspaper and twine, and subsisted on a thin stew of newspaper and twine. Sometimes they had to go without shoes and stew altogether so that there would be enough newspaper and twine to treat the baby's Scarlet Fever.

On Religion:
Some are put off by the labyrinthine structure of Catholic dogma, but many of its rituals are quite beautiful, and not just when edited together as a tense, poetic counterpoint to brutal violence in Mafia films.
Here's an easy way to figure out if you're in a cult: if you're wondering whether you're in a cult, the answer is yes.

On Science:
Reality has a well-known liberal bias. And who can you depend on to kowtow to reality like it's the only game in town? Scientists. They do it religiously. With their fanatical devotion, scientists are no better than cult members – only difference is that they put their blind faith in empirical observation instead of in a drifter who marries 14 year-olds and declares himself the reincarnation of Ramses II.

So, funny and stupid. Because I like to bring you the best in blog accuracy, I often Wikipedia authors before I blog them. I know: what extensive research! Anyway, as a rather sad side point, I learn that Stephen Colbert lost his father and two of his brothers in a plane crash when he was ten. Poor man. It's an unsettling thing, because one doesn't think of him as a real person, but as a television character.

If you read this blog regularly you will be able to figure out without too much trouble that this is one of my night books – books I read when I can't sleep. I'm finding not sleeping frees up an incredible amount of time. I should probably stop wasting it reading silly books and get focused on world domination.

Blog Trivia! Stephen Colbert got his big TV break with Amy Sedaris, the sister of David Sedaris, who I read in bed a lot too. My night books are all connected. I am sure this is a sign! Possibly a sign that comedians tend to work together.


  1. I am often excited about the different genre of books you read. I have read a similar review somewhere although I am not sure I would go in for this or perhaps, I may consider it for a night read...hehehe.

  2. Yes, I am not sure what i would think of this book if i was fully awake! I suspect I would think it was dumb. But 3am standards are low . .

  3. From what I'd heard previously of this book I had thought it sounded interesting, but from the quotes you provide I'm not sure. Thanks for the review.

  4. Yes, I am not sure it is really interesting so much as a fun way to pass a few hours!