A comedy of errors
By Paul Moomjean 11/29/2012
Growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, I watched a lot of sitcoms. Whether it was network television or reruns on Nick at Night, watching sitcoms taught me more about life than life did, sometimes. Taxi. Three’s Company. Cheers. Night Court. Seinfeld. Each of these sitcoms presented my youthful mind a template or framework on how the world worked, including the sexual misunderstanding, the “he said, she said” motif and the over usage of the catch phrase.
Sometimes, growing up, I’d see the same patterns play out, and I’d realize that my life had officially become a sitcom. While I might still be able to argue my current existence is like a bad episode of Seinfeld (I’m George), the real sitcom playing out in real life has America running the gauntlet of abusive governmental powers, the Gen. David Petraeus sex scandal and the ridiculousness of Black Friday.
So allow me to play out the last few weeks, but insert a laugh track, just as real sitcoms do, so we can all enjoy the comedy together.
The expression goes, “Life imitates art.” Or is it “Art imitates life”? Either way, watching our nation’s leaders in a post-election world has been comical at best. If it isn’t watching Mitt Romney getting caught again blaming the 47 percent for losing the election (insert laugh track), it’s twice-elected Barack Obama and Susan Rice playing “he said, she said” concerning the Benghazi mess.
Recently, while circuiting around the Sunday talk shows, Rice was asked about the Sept.11 Benghazi situation, to which she lost no time at all in blaming everyone else:
“When discussing the attacks against our facilities in Benghazi, I relied solely and squarely on the information provided to me by the intelligence community. I made clear that the information was preliminary and that our investigations would give us the definitive answers,” Rice told the reporter. “Everyone, particularly the intelligence community, has worked in good faith to provide the best assessment based on the information available.”
So let me get this straight. George W. Bush blames the intelligence and he’s a war criminal. Obama and Ambassador Susan Rice use the same source and they get a pass by the left and by the mainstream media? (Insert laugh track)
Meanwhile, our CIA and FBI are having a “he said, she said” moment to accompany the sexual misunderstanding concerning the love triangle of Gen. Petraeus, the sexpot socialite and the author (insert laugh track.) … Oh, and the other general and the spouses of those involved. … And the latest testimony throwing President Obama under the bus. … And the … Oh, forget about it (insert laugh track). Petraeus claimed that the White House covered up the terrorist attacks in an attempt not to anger the enemy. Either way, the laugh track is blowing up as I write.
Do not forget there is the catch phrase on every sitcom. Blossom had “Whoa!” The Simpsons has “Doh!” And our current culture has “the fiscal cliff” (insert laugh track).
Where this fiscal cliff is and why we’re driving there is unclear, but it appears to be happening; and Ben Bernanke’s newest addition to cultural language has caused us to just laugh about the road (or lack thereof) ahead (insert laugh track).
In all reality, our nation, just a few weeks after re-electing President Obama, has become a three-ring circus, more so than ever. The subplot “B stories” have been just as ridiculous. If it wasn’t Karl Rove having a meltdown on Fox News during election night, it was the numerous examples of bad behavior during this year’s Black Friday. We are better than this. Or at least I’d like to think so.
As an English major in college I learned that the main difference between a comedy and a tragedy is that a comedy has a happy ending and a tragedy has a sad ending. Considering how each of these scenarios is playing out, I think I can eliminate the laugh track now.
Based on those guidelines, I’d say we really aren’t in a situational comedy after all (insert audience sighs).
William Shakespeare once wrote, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”
And we are the suffering audience.