not funny

One of Those Moments (… cum Farce)

#DimensionTrump | #WhatTheyVotedFor

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifies to the House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., 13 December 2017. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

To the one, something goes here about unnamed sources; it’s a long question, by now. To the other, though—

For all the morning’s madness, there may have been an underlying logic. Over the weekend, as Brett Kavanaugh’s prospects appeared increasingly imperiled, Trump faced two tactical options, both of them fraught. One was to cut Kavanaugh loose. But he was also looking for ways to dramatically shift the news cycle away from his embattled Supreme Court nominee. According to a source briefed on Trump’s thinking, Trump decided that firing Rosenstein would knock Kavanaugh out of the news, potentially saving his nomination and Republicans’ chances for keeping the Senate. “The strategy was to try and do something really big,” the source said. The leak about Rosenstein’s resignation could have been the result, and it certainly had the desired effect of driving Kavanaugh out of the news for a few hours.

(Sherman)

President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, in Washington, D.C., 24 May 2018. (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP Photo)—this is the Trump administration: What insanity will we be expected to believe, tomorrow? The question is how well a bit like this ages; certes, it makes a powerful headline, but the instinct to disbelieve seems largely reasonable.

And, again, to the other, this is the Trump administration. The idea of a T&A comedy presidency ought to be a really stupid joke. Something, something, Trump administration, right. This really is what they voted for, and no, it’s been more of a tragedy cum farce than any sort of comedy. It really isn’t funny.

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Image notes: Top — Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifies to the House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., 13 December 2017. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)  Right — President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, in Washington, D.C., 24 May 2018. (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

Sherman, Gabe. “‘The Strategy Was to Try and Do Something Really Big’: Trump Wanted to Nuke Rosenstein to Save Kavanaugh’s Bacon”. Vanity Fair. 24 September 2018.

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An Undefined Question

Fight: Mikasa awakens ― Detail of frame from Attack on Titan episode 6, 'The World the Girl Saw: The Struggle for Trost, Part 2'.

Lynsi Burton, for SeattlePI.com:

A 32-year-old man is accused of following a pair of women on Capitol Hill, holding his exposed penis, before knocking one of them unconscious.

Police reports say that Derron Wiggins then tried to run from cops but was caught while appearing to shove cocaine into his mouth.

(more…)

A Very Brief Art Lesson

Detail of 'Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal', by Zach Weiner, 21 January 2015.

Sometimes the problem with pointing out that something isn’t funny is that such a statement simply does not suffice to convey what is actually happening. To wit, Zach Weiner offered up a variation on a classic theme, the guardian angel versus the devil attendant.

And it’s true. This is not as funny as the gag is usually intended. And while one might suggest that it is not as funny as Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal usually is, that might be erroneous.

SMBC, quite often, simply isn’t funny.

But that’s the point.

There’s a grim irony to the chuckle, sure, but the adjective―grim―is sort of the point.

And this is something that art can do.

Irony is not always funny.

But sometimes, the joke seems nearly sublime.

Click the bait. Read the strip. Really, it’s not funny if you’ve ever actually experienced that sort of here and now, or then and there. But it is also of tremendous comfort to many, who might not otherwise be getting the message that they’re not the only one who feels this way.

And that essential communication? Well, it is true that we expect “comics” to be funny. Which is why we laugh at morbid editorial cartoons, or even the punch line this time around.

But comics do, in fact, fall under the paradigm of art, and sometimes artistic communication―even in the humor sector―requires that the art be something other than hilarious.

It’s a good punch line, following a great setup; but it’s not necessarily funny.

Nor are we in any condition right now to expound on the concept of pathos.

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Weiner, Zach. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. 21 January 2015.