“Spy vs. Spy is a wordless comic strip published in Mad magazine. It features two agents involved in stereotypical and comical espionage activities. One is dressed in white, and the other in black, but they are otherwise identical, and are particularly known for their long, beaklike heads and their white pupils and black sclera. The pair are always at war with each other, using a variety of booby-traps to inflict harm on the other. The spies usually alternate between victory and defeat with each new strip.”
News of the week: the failing NY Times reported that the FBI opened up a counter espionage file on Donald Trump, POTUS. They apparently suspected that he was a Russian foreign agent, or maybe an “unwitting” agent. I’ll buy the “unwitting” part, at least. This was prompted, apparently, not only by his public behavior, but surely some other dirt they uncovered. All this was turned over to Robert Mueller, Special Counsel Extraordinaire, who said “thanks a lot” when this hot potato was dumped in his lap. As the POTUS likes to say: “We’ll see what happens.” Indeed.
Question: If the Donald is a spy, then is he the one dressed in white, or black? Or both?
I was once told there are three kinds of people in the world: those who can count, and those who can’t. I do think there are roughly three groups in the USA that will react to this news: 1. Trumpsters; 2. Never Trumpsters; and, 3. Empiricists. Here is a description of each of their reactions:
Trumpsters: Watchers of FOX news and followers of Rush, Coulter and Hannity. They believe that Trump will Make America Great Again, and while they might not like everything about him, by golly he’s a businessman. This whole thing about him being a Russian spy is a made-up smear by the deep state FBI, populated by Democrats, scumbags, and followers of crooked Hillary. They are sore losers who won’t rest until Trump is impeached. Don’t they understand that he won the election and he is trying to keep us safe from the criminal hordes streaming up from the Southern border bringing crime, drugs and rape? Build that wall, and we don’t care how long the federal government stays shut down because they are all Democrats anyway, and who needs them? Make America White Again!
Never Trumpsters: Get physically revolted every time Mr. Tangerine Man comes on TV or tweets. They keep a running list of his lies. They like to point out that Hillary got 3 million more votes than Donald, but conveniently forget about the Electoral College. Characterize his administration as chaotic, and his temperament as mercurial. They are effete snobs who like to use big words like mercurial. They would like to turn the USA into a socialist Sweden, but the Trumpsters think we’d end up like Venezuela. The new House, led by Speaker Pelosi, is licking its chops to gather all kinds of dirt on the prez and his minions, so look out. The supeonas are coming, the supeonas are coming!
Empiricists: Want ironclad proof. An empiricist is someone who, when you say it is raining outside, will go out and note that while there is water falling out of the sky, well, in between the water there is air, so there is as much air as water, so we must call for further research. Which raises the question of what level of proof is needed before you conclude that the POTUS is a scumbag? First we must empirically define the elements of a scumbag, then gather evidence to support the conclusion. Or, more scientifically, develop a null hypothesis about how you would prove someone is not a scumbag, and go from there. Despite their adherence to rigor, even the empiricists are starting to conclude that the evidence is piling up.
In the meantime, national parks are closed but trash and human feces are piling up, air traffic controllers are calling in sick, food inspectors are furloughed, and federal workers are not being paid. The administration says they enjoy the time off because they don’t have to work and will still get back pay—probably—and will still have their vacation time. They also are providing guidance about how to jawbone your landlord or banker to explain why they can’t be paid, but you should offer to mow their lawn or paint their walls as an in-kind.
MAD Magazine is a prime example of what makes America Great—satire. So, to quote their mascot, Alfred E. Neuman: “What, me worry”?