Jon Stewart’s Incredible Bullsh*t Speech
From the final episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Three different kinds of bullsh*t.
Bullshit is everywhere. There is very little that you will encounter in life that has not been, in some ways, infused with bullshit. Not all of it bad. Your general, day-to-day, organic free-range bullshit is often necessary. Or at the very least innocuous. “Oh, what a beautiful baby. I’m sure it’ll grow into that head.” That kind of bullshit, in many ways, provides important social-contract fertilizer. It keeps people from making each other cry all day. But then there’s the more pernicious bullshit. Your premeditated, institutional bullshit, designed to obscure and distract. Designed by whom? The bullshitocracy.
It comes in three basic flavors. One, making bad things sound like good things. “Organic”, “All-Natural”. Because “factory-made sugar oatmeal balls” doesn’t sell. Patriot Act. Because “Are You Scared Enough to Let Me Look at All of Your Phone Records Act” doesn’t sell. So whenever something’s been titled “Freedom Family Fairness Health America”, take a good long sniff. Chances are, it’s been manufactured in a facility that may contain traces of bullshit.
Number two. The second way. Hiding the bad things under mountains of bullshit. Complexity. You know, I would love to download Drizzy’s latest Meek Mill diss (everyone promised me that would make sense), but I’m not really interested right now in reading Tolstoy’s iTunes agreement. So I’ll just click agree, even if it grants Apple prima nocte with my spouse. Here’s another one: simply put. Simply put. Banks shouldn’t be able to bet your pension money on red. Bullshitly put, it’s, hey, this, Dodd Frank. Hey, a handful of billionaires can’t buy our elections, right? Of course not. They can only pour unlimited, anonymous cash into a 501( C )( 4 ), otherwise they’d have to 501( C )( 6 ) it, or funnel it openly through a non-campaign coordinated super-PAC… I think they’re asleep now, we can sneak out.
And finally, finally, it’s the bullshit of infinite possibility. These bullshitters cover their unwillingness to act under the guise of unending inquiry. We can’t do anything because we don’t yet know everything. We cannot take action on climate change, until everyone in the world agrees gay-marriage vaccines won’t cause our children to marry goats who are going to come for our guns. Until then, I say teach the controversy.
Now, the good news is this. Bullshitters have gotten pretty lazy, and their work is easily detected. And looking for it is kind of a pleasant way to pass the time, like an “I Spy” of bullshit. So I say to you tonight, friends. The best defense against bullshit is vigilance. So if you smell something… Say something.