Trash & Treasures – Angels in America

There was no way we could pass over the first and biggest work about AIDS — a work of art that’s also damned funny in the midst of the bleakness.

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A Letter to Stephen Colbert

I am without sufficient breath to detail the extent to which my life has been shaped by one Stephen T Colbert, DFA. Though he may never see this document (hence why I have idled toward a 3rd person styling, for ease of reading by the literally dozens of people who pass these pages), I wanted nonetheless to mark the occasion of The Colbert Report’s final week of broadcasting. It’s still my hope to meet the man someday, to shake his hand and (with minimal stammering and tears) impart to him my gratitude and admiration. But for the moment, this eulogy will have to suffice.

When my older brother was a graduate student, he gave me the single most appropriate gift one can give to their junior high aged sibling: a copy of America the Book. Separated by almost two generations, I was constantly in a hurry to be as well informed and sophisticated as I was certain he was. Anything to be included. So I studied that book religiously (including, hot-faced and slightly ill, the senators), and when he was home from the frozen wastelands of North Dakota we would watch The Daily Show. Every time my brother would laugh I’d stare harder at the screen, trying to will satirical knowledge into my mind. This is how I began getting into arguments with other 9th graders about the justifiability of the Iraq War. There was an addictive quality to knowing things, and eventually I watched even when my brother wasn’t home.

Election night, in the middle of a bit involving romantically shared pizza and a gunshot. That’s when I found Stephen Colbert.

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