Laughing Matters — Jonathan Coulton, “Nobody’s Above the Law”

Sometimes comedy illuminates hard truths with a pointed urgency that other means can’t quite achieve. Sometimes comedy is just funny. This series of posts is mostly about the former instances, but the latter is valuable, too.

Although my inability and aversion to sign up for every last streaming video option concocted by the entertainment corporations of the globe has decisively put the series The Good Fight beyond my reach for the time being, I’ve casually followed the various heaping helpings of praise upended on the creation of Michelle and Robert King in response to its various headline-mirroring stories of modern liberal exasperation. My exposure to to The Good Wife — the CBS drama which spawned The Good Fight — was similarly limited, but I flatly adored the King series in between the two, the loopy, giddily inventive Braindead. From what I can tell, some of that odd political satire’s sensibility spilled over to the new endeavor.

And I’ve recently learned that one of my favorite contributors to Braindead was invited to participate in The Good Fight. Indie rock singer-songwriter Jonathan Coulton handled “Previously on Braindead” duties for the bygone series, penning and performing quick ditties that piled dense recap information into jauntily rhyming couplets. (In one instance, the plot contrivances overwhelmed Coulton, leading to a summary of an old Gunsmoke episode instead.) For the new gig, it seems Coulton is offering wry, weary commentary on relevant current event, catchy education accompanied by animation for a sort of Schoolhouse Rock for adults.

In one recent episode, Coulton offered “Nobody’s Above the Law,” which is a pointed, timely reminder that there is a constitutional process built right into U.S. government meant to deal with morally bankrupt individuals who ascend to places of power. For obvious reasons, I’ve been thinking of this number a lot lately. Maybe this video needs to be screened for elected officials over in the legislative branch. It’s only a couple minutes long. They should be able to sit through it, and maybe even process its message.


Previous entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Laughing Matters” tag.

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