Washington: Theatre of the Absurd


Tying in with Troy’s asteroid-cam post and John Yoo’s comments on “national humiliation” just below, I unleashed some snark about the platinum coin on Forbes today. I apologize for evaporating from Ricochet over the holidays, but the election and its fallout tried my patience, as you may see in my less-than-thrilled response to yet another fantastical bedtime story dreamed up by America’s boldest innovators:

I love that Washington has an appreciation for my favorite form of comedy—the absurd—and I am fully prepared to laugh at the nonsense it grafts onto otherwise logical thoughts. Our politicians and pundits should be applauded for their commitment to the act. Of course their original intention was not to entertain, but you can’t film these clowns in high-definition and not expect them to start thinking they’re stars. We are openly demanding a show and they are only too happy to oblige.

Naturally they are! These are people with a pathological need to be known. Yet we are trusting them to be the kind of large-hearted benefactors that lay personal ambitions aside for a greater good? Spare me this aggressively dim whimsy. Our imaginations are a beautiful gift. It would be better not to abuse them.

We tell children to dream, yes, but we also tell them to have common sense. If someone is able to advocate publicly for a trillion-dollar platinum coin, their parents and teachers only did half their job. Who can type the words “platinum coin” and “solve problem” and not wonder if maybe that would be a good idea for a screenplay? Fiction is not the statesman’s milieu, though, so our legislators (and sideline commentators) can stop posing.

Perhaps you will argue that this plot of the next James Bond film is a legitimate way of averting our horrifically inevitable doom. Well, the front page of theWashington Post this morning featured three pictures of apocalyptic weather events with the headline that things are getting hotter and drier, so please don’t ask me to worry about multiple disaster scenarios in one day.


There are 5 comments.

  1. Member

    Those first two paragraphs above are beautiful. Which is not to diminish the last two, but the phrase “aggressively dim whimsy” is going into high rotation.

    • #1
    • January 10, 2013 at 1:12 am
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  2. Contributor

    Yours is the best response to the “trillion-dollar platinum coin idea that popped into some lazy person’s head and went viral” that I’ve read to date!

    Also, don’t you love how Paul Krugman took to his online diary to write about how he couldn’t possibly accept the open Treasury Secretary position? Response: Well that’s good — no one asked you in the first place.

    • #2
    • January 10, 2013 at 1:39 am
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  3. Inactive
    Maura Pennington Post author

    Why, thank you!

    • #3
    • January 10, 2013 at 3:56 am
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  4. Member

    Well done. The platinum coin belongs to the same realm as pixies, fairies, leprechauns, and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

    It proves that the Left really is out of ideas.

    • #4
    • January 10, 2013 at 4:39 am
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  5. Inactive

    Used this on another blog…

    It would have to be a very heavy coin. If it were 40,296,583 lbs, it would be okay. 

    No one got the joke — they must be mathematically challenged (or, do not know the current price per oz of platinum).


    • #5
    • January 10, 2013 at 5:11 am
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