Thank you Jon

Aug 2015

“The best defense against bullshit is vigilance. So if you smell something, say something.” — Jon Stewart

On Thursday, Comedy Central bid its final farewell to comedian Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. For 16 years, Jon scrutinized media, politicians, scandals, tragedies, and various controversies, using humor as his medium to give Americans a second lens into the world we live in today.

I was not there to watch The Daily Show in the very beginning. I was not there to witness many of Jon’s greatest moments where he completely demolished biased news stations. I dropped in to watch some of his highlights online from time to time. In those moments, he, with his vein-popping, eye-bulging commentaries, completely captured my attention, and spoke with a witty eloquence that left me in awe.

His show is not one of those serial dramas you have to follow from the beginning; it’s not Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones; he does not require you to sacrifice hours, days, even weeks to catch up with the plot.

< 30 minutes.

All it takes is less than 30 minutes of your time, and Jon can give you a side of the current events you may never have thought about (or even heard about) before.

There’s a quote from The Newsroom (a news/political drama series created by Aaron Sorkin), that illustrates the importance of staying informed:

“Nothing is more important to a democracy than a well-informed electorate.”

Electorate = residents, citizens, students, parents, seniors, and anyone who cares about the future of this country. Some of us may not have the ability to vote, but that should not limit us in trying to become better informed. When the day comes for me to be able to vote in this country, I want to be informed. It does not start in the future; it starts now.

The Newsroom is full of incredible observations. One that stood out to me in particular is the idea of a Greater Fool. In economics, the Greater Fool Theory states that the price of an object is not determined by its intrinsic value, but by irrational beliefs and expectations of market participants. For all of us to profit, we need a greater fool, someone who buys long and sells short. Most of us try our entire lives not to be the greater fool. Therefore, A greater fool is someone who has the perfect mixture of self-assurance and ego in believing that they can succeed where others have failed.

Jon Stewart is a greater fool.

He is a greater fool because he is tired of the media making severe mistakes and not taking consequences, tired of politicians rejecting issues with ridiculously flawed arguments, and tired of news stations misinforming the public. What is he trying to prove in going against this narrative? What is his return?

A better informed electorate. (and of course, some entertainment).

To quote another character from The Newsroom, Sloan Sabbith (economist anchor), who always say what we need to hear:

“This whole country was made by greater fools.”

Thank you, Jon Stewart, for teaching me the art of smelling BS. Thank you for showing me the importance of being an informed individual. Thank you for being the greater fool.

I want to be a greater fool too.

Jon Stewart’s BS Speech from his final Daily Show on August 6, 2015.