Friday, October 26, 2007

A Page from the Dangerfield Playbook

This makes perfect sense. The strumpet proposes a new model for literary prizes and Stephen Colbert immediately takes advantage of it. Evidence: his book I Am America (And So Can You!) has just taken the first coveted Stephen T. Colbert Award for Literary Excellence. Somebody's slapped a silver seal announcing this honor right on the book jacket, so it looks like the Newbery Medal or something:

I wouldn't want to claim that Colbert reads this blog, although that would have an air of truthiness. But what is clear is that ideas of this order cannot be contained in the poetic blogosphere and so loft like pixie dust over circus tents and television studios alike, finally taking purchase in the brains of well-intentioned, poorly informed, high-status idiots* like Colbert.

What's even lovelier is that apparently the book contains a raft of silver stickers like the one on the cover, so that each of us may win the Colbert Award in turn.

Who said prizes are for children? Stickers may be for children but surely these beauties should be kept out of their hands at least till they are older and have developed the requisite level of narcissism.

When we launched the conversation that became The Dangerfield Conundrum: A Roundtable on Humor and Poetry on the same day as The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, it seemed like a happy oddity but obviously it was a signal that larger forces were at work, and only poets who are content with their station can afford to ignore them.

* Colbert's own description of his character.


Brent Cunningham said...

Looking closely at the photo, I believe that the book did not win the Stephen T. Colbert Award for Literary Excellence but rather the Stephen T. Colbert Award for THE Literary Excellence.

Two very different awards there...



Skye said...

Stephen Colbert for President!

Rachel Loden said...

Brent, you're right of course -- and of the two, I know which one I'm angling for.

Actually I noticed that infelicity and decided (with my usual delicacy) to skip over it.

A choice you did not make, unfortunately, plunging Stephen into the dangerously measured barbiturate vibe of our syntax-addiction. Not that he would give a fig.

Stephen doesn't read books, as we all know: he feels them.