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Galifianakis acts as a twisted proxy for an audience both bemused by celebrity culture and bored by its lack of depth. Drill deeper, and you notice he resembles the church’s line of holy fools. These strange saints tell the truth about the nature of God and the narrow way through the appearance of insanity. Acting outside the bounds of what’s socially acceptable—as Galifianakis does early and often—they break a sort of hermetic seal, allowing us to see that holiness and communion with God truly requires being set apart. In their extremes, they reflect back to us sins we take for granted and drive home our need for the divine.
Galifianakis isn’t up to anything holy here, at least not consciously. But in his willingness to mock and be mocked, he skews our perspective just enough to see ourselves—and our love for our neighbors, or lack thereof—from a different angle. In his exaggerated indifference and cartoonishly poor manners, we begin to recognize the contours of our own poisoned discourse. The gap between a Christian practice of conversation and what we’ve settled into appears wide. We might never say the things Galifianakis does aloud, but we speak carelessly. We fail to really listen, biding time until our next turn to talk. Sometimes, in the name of "speaking the truth in love," Christians fall short of both parts of that equation.
Moment - David - Letterman - Galifianakis - Capacity
In a coolly piercing moment, David Letterman diagnoses Galifianakis: “You don’t have the capacity for any sort of empathy or...
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