Monday, June 8, 2009

Mission Accomplished!

Photo: AP
Stephen Colbert, the first comedian/journalist (Comedianalist? Journamedian? Isn't it time we created a word for people like him and Jon Stewart?) to ever tape a broadcast show in Iraq, just shaved his head to support the troops.

It would seem like an odd non-sequitur, until you realize it is Stephen Colbert, the man who once lobbied to have a section of the International Space Station named after him, has his own species of spider, and ran for President (albeit briefly) in his home state. The four shows he has taped in the domed marble hall at Saddam Hussein's former Al Faw Palace in Kuwait, will air Monday through Thursday this week at 11:30 p.m. EDT.

Stephen is a consummate satirist in an age where people seem to have missed what satire truly should and was intended to be: a humorous but sharp and pointed look at ourselves. He's not just entertaining the troops (though he certainly is doing that); he's there to remind us of what we seem to have forgotten: the 6-year war is still going on, even though no one seems to be talking about it anymore. Many of the troops in Iraq now have been deployed there multiple times, and many of those will be deployed to Afghanistan once the defensive escalates there. The war is far from over, but we have swept it under the blanket of failing banks, falling housing prices and fat-cat CEO's bonuses. Colbert twists his poking jibes at us for this, trying to remind us with funny skits and interviews that we started this, and we can't forget about the men and women over there that are still trying to end it.

"Operation Iraqi Stephen: Going Commando" is a must-watch: it will be hilarious and slightly barbed, as Colbert always is. And when he comes home, he will remind us of the troops again every night, as we watch his hair grow back in.

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