Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mountaintop Removal: Humor and Sincerity

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c

Coal Comfort - Margaret Palmer

Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor

You know we live in a strange media moment when we can claim this as significant progress in the argument against Mountaintop Removal: Steven Colbert's faux-news program ironizing the issue for seven minutes.
...besides, most of the stream poisoning happens in Appalachia, and the only people it affects are the one remaining group that everybody still feels comfortable making fun of: hillbillies.
This is an segment that will cut pretty close to bone for a lot of rural and Appalachian viewers, myself included (our family farm is bordered on three sides by strip pits). Colbert, as is often the case, wields a brand of humor that is brilliant in the way it ventriloquizes official talking points. It's a sort of post-modern rendering of Don Blankenship's arguments we highlighted earlier in Appalshop's Mine War on Blackberry Creek.

For further exploration, the I Love Mountains organization offers a tremendous amount of information for citizens to educate themselves on the issue and take action in their own local communities across the country. It is a wonderfully designed site with a host of videos and widgets--and even educational resources for the classroom. Here's the most recent of the many videos on endangered mountains the organization has produced: