Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert: environmental activist

Article: Stephen Colbert: environmental activist

If you haven’t heard of the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative before, no worries… neither had I (and I watch out for these things). But, while most of us have been watching for news of climate change legislation out of Washington (that’s still hung up), President Obama launched this effort “…to promote and support innovative community-level efforts to conserve outdoor spaces and to reconnect Americans to the outdoors” back in April. There have been listening sessions around the country all Summer long. And now, the deadline for a report from the the Secretaries of the Interior and of Agriculture, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is coming due (on November 15th).

FOUR LIONS: can terrorism ever be safe for comedy?

Article: FOUR LIONS: can terrorism ever be safe for comedy?

FOUR LIONS, a comedy about terrorism at the Sundance Film Festival 2010

FOUR LIONS, a pitch-black farce that begins with jihadi-video bloopers, raises some obvious questions. Are jokes about suicide bombers in poor taste? Is it too soon to be finding the hilarity in extreme radicalism? Can terrorism ever be safe for comedy? But if FOUR LIONS proves anything, it’s that “safety” and “taste” are irrelevant concepts for a comedy about such a deadly serious subject; whatever larger meaning we might glean from the film comes from the inherent danger of the project and from the discomfort it provokes.