Over the weekend, I used Facebook’s overlay to turn my profile into the French flag. Millions around the world did the same. A couple gasbags went on a soapbox of self-righteousness about the simple gesture, but ultimately, it was an important one of unity — like lowering the flag to half-mast at the post office or the “Je suis Charlie” displays earlier this year. It’s a message that, as world, we’re all brothers who won’t stand for Daesh’s heinous acts of unthinkable evil.
Last night Stephen Colbert went on a tremendous rant about why important, small gestures like changing your Facebook profile to the French flag are important. It’s a united “fuck you” to ISIS a.k.a. Daesh from the citizens of the world that they need to hear. And like his talk show host in arms John Oliver, Colbert delivered it in a way that makes us laugh, concluding with calling Daesh what they really are — “a bunch of pussies.”
Here’s the full transcript, via:
“I wanted to start my show tonight by once again offering our thoughts and prayers to the people of Paris. New York is a city that sadly knows too well the horror the French experienced on Friday. And we also know there are no words that can reach the depth of their grief and their shock, but we stand with the people of France as a friend, and an ally, and offer a hope that there is a way through the unspeakable tragedy.
“And also let’s take the opportunity to thank France for what they’ve done for us,” he continued. “They’ve given the United States so much over the years: aid to General Washington in our fight for independence; key intelligence on how to put potatoes in boiling oil; my favorite way of kissing; half the continent at a bargain price (no take-backs, guys!); and most of all, France gave America our enduring symbol of freedom,” before throwing to a photo of the Statue of Liberty.
“Because we have used that freedom to make foam versions of it for drunk people to wear on New Year’s Eve. And today, in a tribute to its mother country, Lady Liberty offered ISIS a fitting gesture.” [Cut to a photo of the Statue of Liberty giving the middle finger.] “Long may it wave.
“In fact, all over the world this weekend, there were displays of support of the French. The Sydney Opera House. Rio’s Christ the Redeemer. And the Paris Las Vegas hotel dimmed their Eiffel Tower lights. Now, some might say these gestures don’t actually do anything, but I disagree. People are trying to find any way they can to show support, however small, to the people of France. For instance, Twitter was deluged with statements of support, from the hashtag #PrayForParis to messages like ‘In support of what is happening in Paris, my wife and I are watching Ratatouille.’ And ‘Watching Ratatouille to honor all the citizens of Paris.’ Is that wrong? No. Is Ratatouille a French film? No. Is it a valid expression? Absolutely.
“Because watching a cartoon Parisian rat make soup is certainly as valid as anything I will say tonight, I promise you that. So, to everybody, if it makes you feel a connection to the people of Paris, go drink a bottle of Bordeaux. Eat a croissant at Au Bon Pain. Slap on a beret and smoke a cigarette like this. Go eat some french fries, which I am now calling freedom fries in honor of the French people. Because anything that is an attempt at human connection in the world right now is positive.
“We asked ourselves, ‘Is tonight an appropriate time for Acro Cats?’ And then we asked a bigger question: ‘Is there ever an appropriate time for Acro Cats?’ No, there is not. So we said, ‘Absolutely, let’s have them on.’ Because I’ll tell you what, I don’t think ISIS would like Acro Cats. I don’t. They’re cute and they’re silly, two things ISIS hates. In fact, the only thing they have in common is that they’re a bunch of pussies.”