Stephen Colbert was taking about the CIA Interrogation Report when he said, "unfreeze your heart!" @6:12 in the video.

What does that mean? How can I use that term? Does it mean, 'forget about it"?


"Unfreeze your heart" is actually a phrase from a popular song, and means to stop having a cold heart, i.e. start caring. A cold-hearted person is a person who doesn't care about people, and does not respond to their suffering. The opposite terminology is to have a warm heart, or be a warm-hearted person. Such a person reacts to others' suffering by either offering genuine sympathy or, if possible, relief.

In common speech it would probably be a bit pretentious to say "unfreeze your heart!" As it turns out, Colbert is a pretentious person and an entertainer, so it's OK for him.

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    Agreed. Colbert is a performer, an actor, and a character, so he sets up the scene for the lines he wants to use. If you used that in casual conversation to win someone over, it would not work, since it's not used in the common vernacular. It is a pop reference though.
    – JFA
    Apr 9 '14 at 20:30

A "heart of ice" is a heart that does not care, because it is cold. "Unfreeze your heart" means to stop being cold and uncaring. (Note: this is all based on the traditional idea of the heart as the source of feelings).

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