- The dog ate it.
- The shark ate the dog that ate it.
- Zombie John McCain ate it.
It’s that time of year again, and— wait, what year is this? Really? Is he still President?
Well, since we seem to be stuck in this Timeline for the duration, why not enjoy some Bread & Circuses & Hoops & Armageddon &—
Are you sure he’s still President?
Nancy’s not gonna help us out of this one, and Beto’s busy prancing on every tabletop in the room, so we might as well endure the Stinque Braquet, hosted as ever by Braquet Dowager Mellbell.
The world should be reacting in horror.
It is not.
Not all of it.
And that’s the problem.
Years ago, back when we were in grad school, studying Kant and Descartes and Aristotle and Plato, a friend of ours had an interesting remark:
A philosophy of comedy needs to be funny.
What was interesting about his remark, besides its cleverness, was what he was getting at: The essence of something needs to be what it is. If you’re getting at the essence of comedy, what it’s about, how it works — which is what you do in philosophy, and why philosophers get laid so hard — your understanding of it needs to be funny itself. Which is the classic problem with explaining a joke: There are the ingredients, but where’s the soufflé?
We’ve been thinking a lot about Blazing Saddles lately. We’ve been thinking a lot about it for the past ten years, actually, in different ways at different times.
What first started bringing it to mind, was, well, the obvious: The Sheriff is near. The Sheriff was Barack Obama, and you couldn’t help playing it out from there. (Okay, and Biden is Gene Wilder, and Madeleine Kahn is — maybe we should just keep that one to ourself.)
And if that’s the reason Blazing Saddles came to mind, it should have stopped coming to mind two years ago, with Sheriff Barack and Joe driving off into the sunset in a Secret Service limo.
But it didn’t go away. It keeps coming back.
Selections from the indictment of Roger Stone on charges of perjury, obstruction, and witness tampering. HPSCI is the House intelligence committee. Person 2 is Randy Credico, a former WBAI radio host whose talk show was canceled in November 2017 because of his “internet bullying”. Organization 1 is WikiLeaks.
Stone had testified — lied — that Credico was his connection to Julian Assange, and he was leaning on Credico to back his story. Credico wasn’t agreeing.
On or about October 19, 2017, STONE sent Person 2 an excerpt of his letter to HPSCI that identified Person 2 as his “intermediary” to Organization 1. STONE urged Person 2, if asked by HPSCI, to falsely confirm what STONE had previously testified to, including that it was Person 2 who provided STONE with the basis for STONE’s early August 2016 statements about contact with Organization 1. Person 2 repeatedly told STONE that his testimony was false and told him to correct his testimony to HPSCI. STONE did not do so. STONE then engaged in a prolonged effort to prevent Person 2 from contradicting STONE’s false statements to HPSCI.