That’s what frustrates me so much about “Last Week Tonight”: its lack of follow-through. Oliver’s video essays are made with so much sustained wit, verve and insight that they almost incite viewers to action…almost. Instead, in just about every case, these impassioned arguments stop short of providing a productive outlet for the justifiable outrage that viewers are made to feel.
-Khoi Vinh, “What to Do After You’ve Watched John Oliver”, Subtraction.com
I feel the exact same way as Khoi on this subject. I wanted to link to his article specifically because it was so poignantly relevant to me; after watching the NCAA coverage on Last Week Tonight, I seriously thought about not watching the NCAA basketball games that would complete the tournament. I ended up watching those games, but the fact that I felt moved to do something by Oliver’s coverage but had no idea what to do seemed… wrong.
Cue the Edward Snowden interview and I am left wanting yet again for an outlet to channel my sudden angst. Thankfully, and unlike many of Oliver’s shows, the Snowden interview had such a large impact on the public perception that a number of websites and blogs have covered what to do next, which is exactly the types of information I want to be known for sharing on this site.
Daring Fireball’s John Gruber linked to this site to help fight section 215 of the Patriot Act from being renewed and a number of people have linked to this site, eloquently entitled “Can They See My Dick?”, which links to a number of resources to help people understand why the government has direct access to their personal sexting images. From that site:
As John Oliver so eloquently explained to Edward Snowden during his interview of him for his Last Week Tonight episode on Government Surveillance, the ability of the government to see people’s dick pictures is the most visible line in the sand for people when it comes to surveillance overreach.
The fact that “dick pictures” are the thing with which people take the most issue is disconcerting and unfortunate, but it still gets the point across. The government currently has carte blanche to dig into our personal information with very little oversight or explanation. We should all be working to curb that enthusiasm.
There is no better reason to not do something
There is no better reason to try
There is no better reason to fight
Against tyranny and strife
Removal is often the goal
Removal is often the challenge
Removal is often not enough
To completely fix what hangs in the balance
But it can bring about great change
But it can bring light
But it can bring great joys
In the darkness of the night
And so I live with friction
And so I live with what is hard
And so I live with what I love
But I stay upon my guard