Upside down and backwards

The Report is halfway through a two-week break and I’m killing the last hour or so before a three-day weekend reading some of my favorite blogs. Here’s my favorite Q&A from the Publishers Weekly interview with Stephen on his upcoming book, I Am America (and So Can You):

PW: What about the rumor that if you read I Am America backwards it’s the unreleased last book of the Left Behind series?

SC: Backwards and upside down. And you have to be able to speak Aramaic.

Guess I better work on my Aramaic before October…. Details on the books can be found through the link in the sidebar. The audiobook also promises to be more than worth the money if Wigfield is any indication.

Our heat wave has finally broken, rendering thought possible again, and with the long weekend I may start working on the next courses for Colbert University. Watch for some clips from the work in progress next week.

“Oh yeah, the wrist.”

Religion clips on the Report have been a bit scanty in the past month, but now Stephen asks God how to find meaning in his broken wrist as he gets ready for the cast to come off.

For anyone who’s missed the saga, the cast with its collection of celebrity signatures is being auctioned off to benefit the Yellow Ribbon Fund. A friend’s son was at Walter Reed last November, so this hits home with me as I’m sure it does with so many.

Several times this summer we got glimpses of Stephen’s willingness to use his celebrity status to benefit others—his Americone Dream Fund, helping with a fundraiser for the families of the Charleston Nine firefighters while he was on vacation, and now the Yellow Ribbon Fund, reminding us that beneath “Stephen’s” solipcism is a true concern for others.

St. Stephen of Hungary

Today, August 16, is the feast of St. Stephen of Hungary, and our Stephen has a long-running association with this country. Just a year ago, he was courting votes from the Colbert Nation to have a bridge in Hungary named after him. Here’s the clip where he talks about St. Stephen in his salute to “the country that may name a bridge after me.”

And here’s the clip of then Hungarian ambassador to the US congratulating him on being the top vote-getter in the online poll, with another mention of the saint.

(A bit of trivia: the photo that I’ve been using at the top of the blog is actually taken from this segment. The jacket is Stephen’s Hungarian ceremonial dress. So appropriate somehow.)

185px-sztjobb.jpgI also found this photo of a relic of the saint, and it somehow seemed to resonate with Stephen’s broken wrist. If I were better with Photoshop, I would have added a Wrist Strong bracelet, which just may have been sacrilegious. Although the red and white lacing sort of gives that impression. 070706ststephen.jpgThis icon, from the Fark.com contest, I believe is the other Stephen, but I add it here for my buddy Deacon Greg, who has a further reflection on the feast.

Finally, let’s close our celebration of the saint’s feast with these words of advice he gave to his son, St. Emeric (Courtesy of the Catholic Forum):

My beloved son, delight of my heart, hope of your posterity, I pray, I command, that at every time and in everything, strengthened by your devotion to me, you may show favor not only to relations and kin, or to the most eminent, be they leaders or rich men or neighbors or fellow-countrymen, but also to foreigners and to all who come to you. By fulfilling your duty in this way you will reach the highest state of happiness. Be merciful to all who are suffering violence, keeping always in your heart the example of the Lord who said, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” Be patient with everyone, not only with the powerful, but also with the weak.

Finally be strong lest prosperity lift you up to much or adversity cast you down. Be humble in this life, that God may raise you up in the next. Be truly moderate and do not punish or condemn anyone immoderately. Be gentle so that you may never oppose justice. Be honorable so that you may never voluntarily bring disgrace upon anyone. Be chaste so that you may avoid all the foulness of lust like the pangs of death.

All these virtues I have noted above make up the royal crown, and without them no one is fit to rule here on earth or attain to the heavenly kingdom.

St. Stephen, pray for us.

Wrist Strong

We here at Catholic Colbert have been in the midst of a heat wave but I’m back on track now. We’ve got a big feast coming up this week, but in the meantime, following Stephen’s request from Thursday night’s show, I offer this:

benedictsays2.jpg

And here’s the clip from the show for those who missed it (and for anyone who did see the show, any ideas on why the clip got clipped?). I always have a favorite line and from this one it’s “This really gets a person thinking. Thinking about his wrist, which is so important in today’s culture of my having a broken wrist.” Stephen’s been at his solipsistic best this week.

Again with the red Prada shoes!

From Thursday’s show, Benedict earned a tip of the hat from Stephen for his ability to accessorize. (And a hat tip of my own to The Deacon’s Bench for being quicker off the mark than Catholic Colbert with this clip! But he is, after all, Stephen’s new deacon friend.)

Friends in high places

Friend-of-the-blog Deacon Greg got to meet Stephen today. Head on over to The Deacon’s Bench for a peek at the picture. And stay long enough to read some of Greg’s fine posts. It’s one of my favorite blogs.

Last night’s show was a rerun from last Wednesday, but we should have new material tonight. Here’s hoping!

Baptized Democrat

Stephen’s interview with Kathleen Kennedy Townsend about her book, Failing America’s Faithful: How Today’s Churches Are Mixing God with Politics and Losing Their Way, Catholic families, the Our Father and the gospel message. I got the feeling that Stephen was getting caught up in listening and then “Stephen” remembered that he needed to say something. Interesting to watch the turns in the conversation.