Jon Stewart ended his remarkable sixteen years on television with one final series of incisive comments to his viewers. I haven't found an "official" transcript of the video, so here is my best effort in that regard (boldface, formatting, and links added by me):
Bullshit is everywhere.TYWKIWDBI embeds this image in selected posts for that purpose -
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. 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 he'll grow into that head."
That kind of bullshit in many ways provides important social contract fertilizer that 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 bullshit talkers.
Comes in three basic flavors: One - making bad things sound like good things.
"Organic all-natural cupcakes." Because "factory-made sugar oatmeal balls" doesn't sell.Number Two, the second way - hiding the bad things under mountains of bullshit.
"Patriot Act," because "Are You Scared Enough To Let Me Look At All Your Phone Records Act," doesn't sell.
Whenever something's been titled Freedom, Fairness, Family, Health, and America, take a good long sniff. Chances are it's been manufactured in a facility that may contain traces of bullshit.
Complexity - you know, "I would love to download Drizzy's latest Meek Mill diss." (Everyone promised me that that made 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 noctae with my spouse."And finally, finally, it's The Bullshit of Infinite Possibility.
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 501c4 if 50% is devoted to issue education; otherwise they'd have to 501c6 it or funnel it openly through a non-campaign-coordinating superpac with a quarter... I think they're asleep now. We can sneak out."
These bullshitters cover their unwillingness to act under the guise of unending inquiry.Now, the good news is this: bullshitters have gotten pretty lazy, and their work is easily detected.
"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."
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.