John Oliver: The Key to getting Millenials to give a Shit

Thea Baldwin

One thing I have noticed about my generation is, when it comes to politics, we are full of indifference. I believe a lot of this is because today’s problems are not only depressing, but also incredibly confusing. To make matters worse, today’s politicians are just a dimension away from being cartoon villains, and our government seems only a little bit better than completely fucked.

HBO’s Last Week Tonight, I believe, is the show Millennials need in order to start caring about our country’s problems. It breaks down complicated issues and remains fairly bipartisan, so that, unless you believe your party can do no wrong, you can usually get behind what he is saying. In short, Oliver takes the good things from the Comedy Central news shows (The Daily ShowThe Colbert Report), but fixes a lot of the problems. John Oliver doesn’t spend time railing against the stupidity of news panels or political parties, but instead attacks who and what he believes is responsible for the problem at hand.

He also covers ongoing stories that are fairly ignored in the mainstream media because they have been proclaimed, “too heavy,” or, “ too dull,” to report on extensively.

Things like:

How fucked up the death penalty is. How fucked up our prisons are. How fucked up the system keeping track of our nuclear warheads is. How fucked up our nutritional supplement regulations are. How fucked up our food label regulations are.

 You might wonder, “Wow, that’s some heavy shit. How does a comic even begin to make it funny?” That is the genius behind the show. Oliver’s rants never come off as angry. He presents the information and acts just as astounded as the audience at how almost comically horrible the problem is. He throws in humorous comparisons to the problems such as comparing the United States to a t-rex, and that the nuclear weapons are the t-rex arms, “They are essentially useless, and you are plenty scary enough without them.”

While sharply criticizing dictators and monarchies, he also makes fun of them in the most humanizing way possible. He illuminated the tyrannical dictator of Syria as this weird dude who was supposed to be an ophthalmologist and listens to pop songs like, “Sexy And I Know It” and, “I’m Too Sexy.”

Because John Oliver focuses on the ignored current events that aren’t going away any time soon, anyone, even someone who is over politics, can learn a lot from this show and get a good laugh in at the same time. And I promise it is absolutely hysterical. There has yet to be an episode that I have not laughed my ass off throughout the entire episode.

So, my fellow Millennials, let’s ditch that irritating stereotype we have of being an uninformed and indifferent generation, and start giving a shit. John Oliver won’t, of course, provide all the answers, but it’s a damn good place to start. 


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