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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Stephen Colbert: It Gets Better

Posted by on Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 7:30 AM


Comments (26) RSS

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Wow, quite a different body language than I normally see in clips of him. Good for him. The autotranscript was a little surreal, but I got the gist of most of it. Though I'm not quite sure what the actual word he was using that kept getting transcribed as "police"?

Kudos, Mr Colbert!
Posted by BEG!/browneyedgirl65 on July 20, 2011 at 8:20 AM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 3
Not the best IGB video out there, but still kinda interesting. I've been wondering what he'd do ever since he promised to do an IGB. His entire comedy schtick is pretending to be a conservative douchebag. So does he do something funny? Can you successfully do a funny IGB video in the pretend-voice of a conservative? Does he do it straight, and not be funny? Can he connect or relate if he's not doing his Colbert persona?
Posted by Reverse Polarity on July 20, 2011 at 8:27 AM · Report this
@2 Ms. BEG, I have a massive head crush on Mr Colbert so I've taken the liberty of transcribing this clip (badly of course. I'm still rubbish at this). Any excuse to listen to him talk sense over and over again (swoon). I've cut out the um's and ah's - he does a lot of that:

"Hi. This is Stephen Colbert, I have a message for any gay and lesbian teens out there - and OK, I'm being told - also bisexual and transgendered. Really, anyone who's being picked on.

It sucks. I agree. When I was in 7th grade I remember being picked on all the time and I got called 'queer' a lot and it was just sort of the word that got thrown as a weapon when I was a kid, and this was the most hurtful thing that the bullies could think of calling you. And you know, I didn't like it.

And one day I had this revelation, because a friend of mine named Pat who also got picked on by the bullies was called a queer by one of the bullies - a big jock - and Pat, instead of sort of flinching or running away, turned around and said 'yeah, I am a queer. Kiss me' and the bully said [confused tone] 'what are you talking about?' and he said 'I'm a queer. You called me a queer. Kiss me, I'll prove it' and the bully didn't know what to say and he just turned around and walked away quietly.

And I was stunned!! I couldn't believe the magic that Pat had just worked. He had somehow figured out that if you don't give power to the words that people throw at you to hurt you, they don't hurt you anymore and you actually have power over those people and that's a lesson that I'm grateful to him for, for my entire life.

So, if you can, realize that the things that people say about you don't really matter. It's who you are. And the older you get, the more you'll understand that. Because it gets better. People get nicer too".

Posted by Rubbish_Transcriber on July 20, 2011 at 8:29 AM · Report this
Totally worth the wait. No brand logos, no swelling music, no heartstring-tugging. Just direct, personal and sweet.
Posted by gloomy gus on July 20, 2011 at 8:32 AM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 6
Yeah, that was kind of awesome. I keep thinking it doesn't matter if I do an IGB Project video; have any other Sloggers done one?

I dunno if people actually get nicer or we weather it better, but this video made me smile. Yay Stephen!

Dan, I command you to walk away from the computer/iPhone. You & Terry should be busy ogling hot Hawaiian surfers.
Posted by Eva Hopkins on July 20, 2011 at 8:42 AM · Report this
AmyC 7
so weird to see him out of character. a very simple and direct video. good job.
Posted by AmyC on July 20, 2011 at 8:47 AM · Report this
despicable me 8
Love it!

Dan and Terry, order a Tropical Itch while you are in Hawaii. You might want to be close to your hotel and not have to drive because I guarantee you you will have a problem even walking after one of those.

Have a great time! Aloha!
Posted by despicable me on July 20, 2011 at 8:48 AM · Report this
@4, I was just about to type up a transcript but I see you've beaten me to it.

Good for Stephen! I'm glad to see he came through on his promise to Dan and the IGBP.
Posted by moosefan on July 20, 2011 at 8:49 AM · Report this
@9 Indeed, I am a greyhound out of the starting gate when it comes to Colbert. I'm sure you'll beat me to it when Dan posts the next video about moose though.
Posted by Rubbish_Transcriber on July 20, 2011 at 9:00 AM · Report this
JulietEcho 11
Fantastic video. Colbert really hit some good points, and I was happy that he did it out of character.
Posted by JulietEcho on July 20, 2011 at 9:06 AM · Report this
Nice video. Was a lot more personal than many of the other celebrity endorsements.
Posted by Jamie in Pittsburgh on July 20, 2011 at 9:15 AM · Report this
Sir Vic 13
His point about command of language is awesome. Taunts are only effective if the words are perceived to be hurtful. Since communication is a receiver phenomenon, it is the receiver's definition of a word that creates the true effect. The more context and examples one has, the greater their ability to create their own positive definitions.
It gets better when you see more examples of it actually being better.
Posted by Sir Vic on July 20, 2011 at 9:28 AM · Report this
@2 as it happens, "police" is the transcription of "bullies".
Posted by Lynx on July 20, 2011 at 9:53 AM · Report this
Cory 15
That's one of the better IGB videos I've seen... Love this guy.
Posted by Cory on July 20, 2011 at 9:56 AM · Report this
rob! 16
(falls down laughing as @14 hits home)
Posted by rob! on July 20, 2011 at 9:58 AM · Report this
BEG 17
Yeah... reading Rubbish (not!) Transcript's post, I started laughing when I realized "police" in the autotranscript had to be "bullies". Very, very apt. And, erm, autotranscript has a LONG way to go... o.O
Posted by BEG!/browneyedgirl65 on July 20, 2011 at 10:36 AM · Report this
I discovered the transformative power of "own the insult" around that time myself. I was called "weird" a lot. And I was, and so were my friends: the geeks, the smart kids, the ones who watched Monty Python and quoted Hitchhiker's Guide and didn't care about wearing designer jeans (this was the Jordache decade). So when the pretty girls sneered at me, "You're weird," I answered "Yes, I am!" with a big proud grin.

They really never knew what to do with that. "No, really, you're weird!" they'd insist. "Yep!" I'd agree. "I'm weird."

I won't say it stopped all the bullying... or very much of it, in fact... but it helped boost my self-esteem a little. They can't insult you with something you're not ashamed to be.
Posted by Action Kate on July 20, 2011 at 10:43 AM · Report this
Alas, sometimes bullies move from throwing insults to throwing fists, especially when mentally stymied. I'd use Colbert's weapon with care.
Posted by mran on July 20, 2011 at 11:20 AM · Report this
tammy 20
i have no shame in my love for colbert. none at all.
Posted by tammy on July 20, 2011 at 12:44 PM · Report this
Yay! He DID it!

Ahem. I learned his lesson about language a long time ago, but I liked the story about Pat.
Posted by Rondie on July 20, 2011 at 1:35 PM · Report this
Nicely played, Colbert. I like the way you move.

@6 Yes, people really do, as a rule, get nicer. Those middle school/junior high years are the worst--no age group is more cruel and insecure. All those hormones combine with still-immature brains to create a fixation on in-group and out-group status, particularly as it pertains to sexuality.

As Marcuth Bachmann, Michelle's huthband would thay, the little bathtardth are barbarianth that mutht be dithiplined.

Posted by Functional Atheist on July 20, 2011 at 1:42 PM · Report this
When I was in high school there was a guy who always muttered faggot under his breath as I walked by. One day I flipped out and wrestled him to the ground and started choking him. I got suspended from school for a week for fighting, but I never heard another peep from that douchebag. I guess if you can't own the insult, a violent response can work, too.
Posted by Ivan on July 20, 2011 at 2:11 PM · Report this
nocutename 24
A great video: perfect in its no-frills delivery and a wonderful message. It's not just about not letting the words have the power to hurt you; if it were, you could do the old "sticks and stones" line, and that's still mighty effective. But what it is really about is embracing as a complement or with pride the very label that's meant to be most insulting. That can't be a "lesson" that is "taught," but has to come from within.

Action Kate, I hear you on the "weird" front. I have always embraced and enhanced my weirdness. (Maybe it started as a coping strategy for being rejected by the mainstream, but it grew to be a genuine point of pride.) When I was a teen (back in the Cretaceous Era), my dad and I were talking. He was telling me about what had drawn him to my mother when they first dated. He said, "you and I kind of work at being weird sometimes; we try to be weird." I agreed. Then he added, "but your mother is just naturally weird without trying--that's just how she is. That's what I first liked about her." It made me realize that someday, someone might actually like me for the thing about me that others didn't understand but that I cultivated. That was a huge ray of hope to cling to.
Posted by nocutename on July 20, 2011 at 2:35 PM · Report this
nocutename 25
whooops! I meant "compliment," not complement" up in #24.
Posted by nocutename on July 20, 2011 at 3:39 PM · Report this
queerness 26
he's lucky his friend wasn't shot and the killer let off because his friend had been "acting sexually aggressive"
Posted by queerness on July 21, 2011 at 10:14 AM · Report this
Lance Thrustwell 27
There's no magic bullet, but in certain contexts, Colbert's advice is spot-on. Own the label if it isn't derogatory by definition - even "faggot" can be owned and worn with pride (although, qua South Park, perhaps that means "biker" now).

I was called a derogatory nickname in high school by a small group of bullies, and I never figured out a response. I unfortunately couldn't "own" it because it was an arbitrary, animal nickname instead of a human identity, so Stephen's advice wouldn't have worked there. But again, in other contexts, it would. All hail Colbert!
Posted by Lance Thrustwell on July 21, 2011 at 11:07 AM · Report this

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