The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Everything you needed to know but never learned

Do you like books? Yes? Well, then you should stop reading right now. If you don’t like books, you can continue to read. If you ever wanted to know everything about America’s culture, from their sex life to their immigrants, that knowledge is now available. No, it is not available through history books or the stories your grandfather tells every year on Columbus Day. The culture of the United States is detailed through “I Am America (And So Can You!),” Stephen Colbert’s first book.

Colbert starts off the book with the retelling of his earliest childhood memories-when he thought his parents were leaving him for his babysitter, and when he went to the zoo and saw two rhinos get frisky with each other. From there, he dives right into the nuclear family of America, breaking it down from mating to dysfunctional families to divorce.

For the elderly, Colbert includes a page of stickers to help them remember important parts of the book that they liked. There are blocks of texts in 30-pt font that Colbert wants them to read. For example, “our elders are a precious resource.”

There is a chapter on sex and dating, but Colbert covers his young readers by having a “Sex And Dating Chapter Pledge for Unwed Youth,” to be signed by a parent or guardian. The pledge states that a young unwed adult will not have sex until marriage.

To include the diverse, growing population of America, Colbert has a chapter titled “Homosexuals (Do Not Read By Glowstick Light),” as well as “Immigrants (No Way Jose),” and “Science (Thanks for the Nukes, Now Go Away).”

The homosexual chapter includes an interactive maze to find out if you are gay or not, along with an essay from a reformed homosexual.

“If there’s a bigger contributor to left-wing elitist brainwashing than colleges and universities, I’d like to see it,” says Colbert in his introduction to the chapter on education. Colbert goes to use the Unabomber as an example of what can happen when achieving a degree can be dangerous.

Colbert gets away with exploiting or poking fun at one group of people by having chapters that cover everyone. There is no one that he does not make fun of in “I Am America (And So Can You!).” While Colbert’s TV show is mainly political and current events based, his book covers everyday truths about Americans.

Colbert’s “I Am America (And So Can You!)” is a refreshing, clever look at America’s culture and lifestyle. Though it is 230 pages long, it is filled with bulleted sections, spot color, diagrams, cartoons, mazes and margin notes. Similar to how Colbert gains attention from audiences through his humorous and colorful twist on hard news stories in his TV show on Comedy Central, “The Colbert Report,” his book will likely have the same effect on making a serious topic easy to digest by a wide variety of people. Colbert’s book is like viewing his show through written form. It is an extended and organized version of his comedic show. At the end of reading this book, you can also deem books with “the Stephen T. Colbert Award for The Literary Excellence” with the included page of medallion stickers.

Though it is hard to pull off a comedic tone throughout an entire book without the reader growing tired of it, Colbert uses his same wit in his T.V. show as he does in this book.

Fans of another tongue-in-cheek book on pop culture, “Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs” (Chuck Klosterman), will find “I Am America (And So Can You!)” equally amusing and truthful about Americans. This book focused mainly on music, television, movie and media influences, and how they impacted on the way people act in their real lives. Colbert’s book covers more diverse groups of Americans, however, than Klosterman did in his book, and Colbert’s book has margin-notes, which means that it is automatically better.

Joining the ranks of Hillary, Obama, Dennis Kucinich, and Ron Paul, Colbert has recently announced that he will run for president. Colbert has even beat these other candidates in polls. It is proof that a sharp, comedic approach to serious topics is the best way to get people to listen.

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