Fuck With The Goat, You Get The Horns...
In comedy writing and performance, there is a shop term for a classic “joke” construction called “The Trifecta”. You've seen it a million times, and it has a few different ways of playing out. It's often worked in repartee between two performers and consists of the “funny” man asking the “straight” man a question, Straight man responds with a “straight” answer, setting up the funnyman to close the bit with a snappy repartee “button”. Or if worked to perfection by three comedians alá The Three Stooges, it can go “Moe says 'X'—relatively tame. Larry says 'Y'—off kilter, quizzical or just a touch off-beat. And Curly hits it out of the park with a hilarious non-sequitir, or goofball remark that spoofs Moe's and Larry's. Boom!
Mad magazine used the old “Boomp-boomp. Boomp-boomp. Ba-doomp-boomp variation for the “reaction” trifecta—“X” happens, Character 1 says “A” in response—maybe funny, but not all-out gust-busting. Character 2 says “B” as a reaction, upping the funny ante a touch. And Character 3 deadpans the ironic, nutty, knee-slappin' “C”. Boom, again!
Why this Comedy 201 nuts and bolts breakdown? Because in the last four days or so, we've seen a wonderful and comedically instructive “The Trifecta” play itself out in grand, and hilarious scale in rightwingpunditland.
Let's set the joke up, shall we?
A.) You get an attention, and book sales-starved (as well as solid food-starved) Ann Coulter making the vampiric rounds to suck the life out of any show she appears on with her cadaverous presence—and to pimp her latest hate-by-numbers screed for people who can't read, but may need something heavy to throw at a victim, just in case a public lynching (hope, hope, hope) ever takes place in town again. She blows the bookers, (they tell their doctors that the gashes are from hopping razor-wire fences) she makes her rounds, and ends up on Donny Deutsch's CNBC program where she does the interview-show equivalent of coming to your dinner party, slapping your significant other with a used condom from her purse, and then pooping a steaming centerpiece onto the buffet table.
She basically called Deutsch's Jewish faith a half-assed, stepping-stone, play-religion and that those practicing it are somehow less than her, in that they have yet to reach the “perfected”(!) state of grace she has in her faith—which contrary to popular belief is not The-Holy-Church-of-Skanky-Tramps-Who-Wear-The-Dress-They-Blew-A-Rich-Russian-Mobster-In-Last-Night-To-Appearances-The-Next-Day, but rather, Christianity. Did it to his face. Pissed him off. Defended that shit and tried to laugh it off, even as he dissed the hell of of her in the segment's bumper outro:
Host Donny Deutsch asked Coulter what her ideal picture of America looked like and she recalled the 2004 Republican convention in New York City.
"People were happy. They're Christian. They're tolerant. They defend America," she said.
Deutsch asked, "It would be better if we were all Christian?" Coulter replied "yes," and reitereated her declaration again later in the interview, although she denied wanting to wipe all Jews off the map. "We just want Jews to be perfected, as they say," Coulter said.
DEUTSCH: Wow, you didn't really say that, did you?
COULTER: Yes. That is what Christianity is. We believe the Old Testament, but ours is more like Federal Express. You have to obey laws. We know we're all sinners --
DEUTSCH: In my old days, I would have argued -- when you say something absurd like that, there's no --
COULTER: What's absurd?
DEUTSCH: Jews are going to be perfected. I'm going to go off and try to perfect myself --
COULTER: Well, that's what the New Testament says.
DEUTSCH: Ann Coulter, author of If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans, and if Ann Coulter had any brains, she would not say Jews need to be perfected. I'm offended by that personally. And we'll have more Big Idea when we come back.
Now, you're all pretty much aware of her statements I'm sure. She's as reliably batshit as the feces/sweat/vienna sausage-smelling guy at the bus station who picks at his face and eats the dead skin, going “Mmmmmm!”. But ultimately, this is just the set-up for a joke that doubles back on her buddies on the right like an acid-coated boomerang. Coulter, having said wild shit before about 9-11 widows, championing domestic terrorism and tossing around homophobic slurs as if they were her neck-whipped, peroxided mane has pretty much gotten away with it—but she'd never slammed Jewish folks before—at least not publicly. And before you could say “Why is this night different from all other nights?”, it was on. The unreformed cocktail-party skank had fucked with the wrong lobby at last and peeped the shitstorm coming down on her—and instead of her usual “fuck you, I'm right” defiance, she hemmed and hawed, and tried to mumbo-jumbo her way out of the offense. (And just where the fuck was that sanctimonious prick Joe Lieberman on this? Hmmmmm? Yeah, I thought so.) But the damage had been done. Granted, she had a few defenders out there (waaaaaay out there, actually) in the guise of the helium-voiced Terry Jeffrey and the head-kicked scriptcha-spinstah LaShawn Barber, but for the most part, what she said was so confidently stupid that few of the bigwigs came to her aid.
Here we enter section A-2 of the Trifecta's set-up, where after the initial verbal bed-shit, she evidently ran around looking for fresh sheets and some show to go on where she could “clarify herself”. And evidently, the pickins' were slim as the show she wound up having to go on to do this was MSNBC's “Tucker”, which has lower ratings than “Small Wonder” reruns dubbed in Xhosa “click” language. That's how rough her shit was. But, ever the enterprising twit, she figured “Hey, as this is going down the shitter for me anyway, the only thing I can do is distract attention from it. Maybe a flat-out, hit-and-run lie at the end of the segment'll do the trick!” And so she did, spewing out a “breaking right now as I come on air” story from the National Enquirer about an alleged, unsubstantiated “affair” between John Edwards and a documentary filmmaker—and then pretty much bolted from her chair with a “Hah!” as they went to commercial. Her work “done”, she crawled back to her crypt and waited for her piss-stained, just-rolled snowball to grow to avalanche proportions. But it didn't. It was pretty clear that she was using the one outlet she'd gotten since dissing Judaism to obfuscate her own recent fuck-up and kneecap the woman who'd embarrassed her a few months before by screwing with her marriage. The fish didn't bite. And pretty soon, a few of her blogospheric backers soiled their tighty-whities over the MSM's treating this like the pubic hair on the soap bar it was, instead of the plutonium spill into an orphanage they wanted it to be. No dice. Now we enter the “Larry Fine” (how apt) segment of “The Trifecta”.
B.) It is my opinion that at some point in the last ten years, hack-ass “journalist” Mickey Kaus got drunk at a party, and went to a back bedroom and fell asleep under a pile of coats. Ann Coulter stumbled into that same bedroom in an alcoholic stupor, drunkenly fell on the coat pile and landed on Mickey—and in her stupor, gave him the world's most disinterested hand-job ever—without checking who was actually under the coat-pile. Ever since that sticky, Cosmo-lubed night, the now-deflowered Kaus has been in absolute love with her—a love that showed itself for true when he sought to defend her from her attackers/spin attention away from her fuck-up by whipping her breathless report of “the affair” into “Seven Days In May”-level high drama, and puffing it so full of air that his pal Drudge would notice and spread it virally...like fucking Herpes. But even Drudge wouldn't bite (next time, cover the story with eggs if you want Drudge to “bite”, Mick) for whatever reason—the nasty burn he got from the Kerry/Alexandra Polier lie, or residual effects of the Sidney Blumenthal suit—who knows? He left Mickey twisting in the wind as the “story” came apart at the seams—and Mickey continuing to passive/aggressively pimp it as an MSM cover-up, then as an example of the double-standard poor conservatives face (“Edwards' denial wasn't robust enough! I smell a rat!”), and then most laughably, as a Clintonian plot to drown Edwards' campaign in the bathtub. Kaus' history as a so-called “democrat” grenade tosser—into his own side's foxhole is well-documented, as is his close alliances with the worst smear-merchants on the right (Instafuckwit...take a bow. Ooops! Popped the snap on your overalls, didja?), but this cover-a-wingnut-friend's-narrow-ass smear was something of a cake-taker. While virtually no one in his camp took the libelous “affair” bait, those on the left threw the spotlight on him, watched him skitter like a roach on his greasy floor of rumor-mongering, and then...
C.) The punch line of “The Trifecta”. Moe and “Larry” set it up, and Curly finally steals the show and gets the laugh at their expense. We—the left side of the blogosphere got to be Curly Howard. For in the effort to teach Kaus a lesson about trafficking in bullshit rumordom, a couple of enterprising souls took it upon themselves literally show Kaus the folly of such stupidity. It started off at Matt Yglesia's place (in comments):
Hey, you know what I hear, Mickey Kaus likes to fuck goats.
Posted by Pritesh | October 14, 2007 5:24 P.M.
Micky Kaus blows goats. I read about it on another internet site and has not been refuted yet. Thus, it is true, and, if anything, underestimates how much Micky likes to blows goats.
Posted by Hank Essay | October 14, 2007 5:29 P.M.
Now, I'm not saying Mickey Kaus engages in sex acts with animals, but his deafening silence on Goatgate really speaks volumes, if you ask me. (Not too wise for someone in his position! -Ed)
Posted by Tractarian | October 14, 2007 5:35 P.M.
And from there, it got really, really b-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-aaaaaaaad... (via Atrios)
According to an anonymous source,Mickey Kaus regularly blows goats. Either he fails to deny this strongly enough, in which case his goat blowing proclivities are assuredly true, or his denials will impugn the integrity of my source which makes him a tremendously bad person. And, of course, a goat blower.
Thanks, Slate, for all you've done for our discourse.
And then you end up the last place on earth you wanna be—on the end of a Sadly, No! humor bayonet. Where you get a screen-grab of Kaus' effectively and PUBLICLY being fed his own entrails...for all to see and enjoy:
(CLICK TO ENLARGE)
Boom! The punch line. Now if you google “Kaus Goats” you get 40,000 hits—all dealing with Mickey's rumored proclivities. Sadly, the Wiki entry has been redacted—probably by some poor goat shamed by being outed. But “The Trifecta” stands proud nonetheless. Coulter wounds herself with one of her twice-yearly mouth-a-rrheas, her wingnut butt-buddy comes to her aid bearing lies and spreading scandal, and now he will forever have attached to himself the punch line...of having sodomized—according to rumor—GOATS.
What's instructive about this, even beyond the obvious humor of it, is the way this got handled. Coulter got slammed on her shit, then when Kaus tried to muddy the waters with vicious lies to help her, nobody cowered. In fact...folks did the worst thing you could do to a self-important little punk-ass like him (much the same way Malkin's being driven batshit right now over her S-CHIP mind-farts)—which is to ridicule him.
Mock them. Mock them. And mock them some fucking more. That really hurts them, in ways down to the core. Not only do you show that the “emperor” has no clothes, but you make damn sure to point out that big pimple on his ass with the squiggly hair growin' out of it.
And just when they think you've stepped back, and let them from under your clawed cat's paw...
You pin 'em a-fucking-gain. :)