Okay so there are two or three of you who read this regularly. You, and a bunch of bot handlers maybe if they get bored and check their logs. But you, bot handlers, you need to read this too. All of you. Even the people who come poking around here looking for the fic talk I don’t do much.
Because you will spend your life, if you are lucky, treasuring such remarks as these. You will mourn the passing of those who shared them with you–whether they die or forget you; whether they close up like clams or obliterate the wisdom they worked so hard for with some mindless fug lifted from someone else’s agenda.
But these are written down. This guy interviewed someone who said them and wrote them down for us. Go read them.
On New Year’s, long after midnight, my dad brought out his Johnny Carson DVDs and started showing us clips. We were exhausted. It was almost 3AM. But he kept going. Never whole shows, just bits and pieces…things he remembered and could find. I stayed awake because I see him so rarely it would be unfair to sleep, to beg off. New Year’s, anyway, makes me sad. Even happily married, it marks a passage of time, and there are too many ailing people in my life for that not to hurt. So I stayed up. Some of the guests I knew, some I very much did not. There was no pattern to the clips he sought–this person, that person, this bit. The change in sets, outfits, lighting, over the years. When at last we all tottered off to bed I lay away looking at the ceiling thinking that Dad’s memory was the pattern. His loyalty was the latchkey. Carson was the keeper of his past and here, at last, technology had delivered his past to him in a way he could call up an access at will. By participating in the viewing of Carson’s show over decades, my dad had tied memories to it that he could regain, watching it again. “During this one your mother…” “My dad always loved this guy…” “I saw this on a base in…” That. He gets that back.
I’m saying this because if we are to have a keeper–if anyone can wrangle our divergent views and experiences into a space to which we will want to return, when we are old and trying to connect with our sad daughters on rainy New Year’s dawns–I want it to be Stephen Colbert. Anyone who is willing to strip themselves bare for the good of people they will never ever meet like that gets my vote for trying to draw the scattered staticky blips of our lifetimes into a sort of linear progression that it makes sense to look back at. To mourn, yes, but also to laugh. At 3AM on New Year’s my dad was laughing so hard tears ran down his face. He was laughing.