Sunday, May 28, 2017

'Be a Clown': A peppy Cole Porter song serves to explain (?) recent Republican spin to redefine humor

Inspired by Dahlia Lithwick's column in Slate, titled "Constitutional Crisis in Comedy," I revived "Be a Clown" to comment on the strange attempt to make Republican gaffes and embarrassments acceptable as humor.

The text:
We'll remember forever
When it first occurred to the GOP
Bad utterances can turn (if you're clever)
Into retrospective comedy.

Be a clown, be a clown,
And they can't put you down
When you keep making gaffes
Tell them it was all just for laughs.

When the Donald said to Comey:
Lay off Flynn — he's my homey,
It was just a witticism taking the air
Delivered with the president's usual flair —
Only lying media could find obstruction there!
Be a clown, be a clown, be a clown!

And when Trump said the gun-rights folk
Might deal with Clinton, that was a joke;
And when he teased that Nikki Haley might have to go,
They were rolling on the floor, though Nikki was slow
To understand the firing threat was just a bon mot:
He's a clown, he's a clown, he's a clown!

Be a clown, be a clown,
All the world loves a clown:
When you keep making gaffes
Tell them all it was just for laughs.
While his foes are wrapped in gloom
Trump's snapping towels in the locker room;
And when last summer at a meeting Speaker Paul Ryan
Said that Russia paid off Trump, he was only tryin'
To prepare for open-mic night, without actually dyin' —
He's a clown, he's a clown, he's a clown.

So do stand-up on the stump!
Be as funny as Donald Trump!
And if reporters dog you about the health-care scam
Don't just scowl and point the finger, like Uncle Sam;
Hit 'em with a punch line, then a body slam!
Be a clown, be a clown, be a clown!