As you probably already know, a Comedy Central show host- Stephan Colbert- testified before congress last week about the plight of migrant farm workers. This has some people ticked off because Colbert DIDN’T show up as an average American citizen, testifying to congress; Colbert showed up as his character, (a stuffy, not too bright, egotistical conservative loud-mouth TV show host) doing a comedy bit in front of congress.
My first thought was: “what’s the big deal?” Congress wastes more money than you and I will see in a lifetime, so this is just more money thrown into the congressional money pit.
With Stephen Colbert, at least we have a video tape of his performance. We have something to show for the money that congress wasted. When congress gave a research facility 2 million dollars to feed cocaine to monkeys, we never got to see that..!! We do not have a video tape of the monkeys on cocaine. In that case, we have nothing.
Besides, when republicans controlled congress, they had that Elmo puppet (with his little red butt) testifying to congress about children’s issues. So really, how can I condemn the democrats if both parties are doing this crap?
But the term: “fiddling while Rome burns” keeps popping into my mind.
“Nero fiddled while Rome burned.”
Is that what the American Congress is doing? Asking Stephen Colbert to “fiddle” while America burns..??
Whenever I have an issue that I can see both sides, and I am not sure which side I agree with more, I cannot leave it at that. I have to dig deeper.
If the term: “Nero fiddled while Rome burned” keeps popping into my head when I think about Stephen Colbert testifying in congress; then I need to find out MORE about that term.
Nero couldn’t have fiddled while Rome burned because Rome burned around 64 AD, and the fiddle wasn’t invented for a thousand years later. If Nero was playing anything, it would have been a lyre. (OK, I guess it doesn’t sound good to say that Nero lyred while Rome burned; I get that.)
The phrase seems to have two distinct meanings; the most common meaning: Nero was a cold basterd, who fiddled while his city burned, because he was out of touch with his people, and didn’t care. (Some historians believe that Nero had the fire started to clear out the Christians from that section of Rome.)
Another meaning to the phrase: Nero fiddled while Rome burned, is: what more could Nero have done? Rome didn’t have a fire department (as we think of them today.) At best, people probably carried water in jugs from an aqueduct, and tossed it on the fire. Nero could have stayed inside his palace, or left the city. But instead, Nero ventured out and calmed the people by singing and playing his fiddle (aahhh, his lyre.)
So I guess it all depends on whether you like Nero, or not.
Our modern congress doesn’t fair much better than old Nero.
If you like congress, (a recent poll shows that 85 % of you DO NOT “like” congress) however, if you like congress, you will probably think that Stephen Colbert’s congressional appearance was no big deal, and kind of “fun” because you never got to see the congressional monkeys on cocaine.
If you do not trust this congress…
Well, then there was some serious fiddle playing going on in DC last week, Nero would have been proud.
In the game, you have to play with the cards that you were dealt. This congress hasn’t learned that yet. Yes, past members of congress HAVE done crazy things like having a comedian testify in congressional hearings, but that doesn’t mean that you can always get away with it.
With a bad economy, with high unemployment, with two wars, with government spending out of control, this was NOT a good time to be singing and dancing.
Congress, put the fiddles away. Get to work.
(Aaahh, unless you believe that when congress “gets to work”, they screw things up more. In that case; bring on Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, Letterman, and the cast from Saturday Night Live. We can keep congress “fiddling” until the first Tuesday in November.) Then, it will be a “one-way” ticket home, by way of Amtrak, seated right next to the monkeys on cocaine.
What better way to end a story like this, than to report that “stink bugs” are invading Washington DC. They smell bad, and they are everywhere.
Stephen Colbert- Congress, put down the fiddle, kill the stink bugs
September 26, 2010