No Right Explanation

No Right Explanation
Presidential Royal Rumble

Firefilm | 6 Aug 2012 16:00
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Last week, the guys debated which U.S. President was the best, and this week they continue that debate in print for your reading enjoyment.

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Chris: This week's No Right Answer turned out to be one of my absolute favorite episodes ever. Half of this came from the enjoyment of filming, as we had a ton of energy and really sank our improv chops into something as meaty as "let's have fun with Presidents." But the other, much larger half (thus making it a very skewed pie graph) turned out to be the response from the comments. Tons of surprises on that front! We made an episode about the two most obvious choices for U.S. Presidents and we got a swarm of alternate choices from entirely unexpected places.

I heard a very quick backing for Polk, and a few mentioning Madison and Taft and a handful of others besides the more obvious Washington, Jefferson, FDR, and JFK. What's still fascinating me though is the rhetoric a lot of comments still start with. "What, no love for [insert author's choice]?!" For one last time, let's all say this together, with feeling: By nature, a debate has to have two choices and therefore has to whittle itself down to two and only two. We didn't forget, dislike, or otherwise snub other choices. It's just how it happened this time.

That said, I saw a fun comment that mentioned how this episode in particular showed how much Americans know about U.S. history. I wasn't sure if it was referring to Kyle and me in the episode, playing it up on purpose for laughs, or at the commenters, the majority of which proved they knew far more than enough about U.S. history. I couldn't be more proud to read the bevy of comments and just see history lessons popping up into both compact and not-so-compact snippets.

For now though, if there was any doubt that I pulled an Honest Abe and wrestled Kyle to the ground in this debate, there are a few points that I'm honestly sad he didn't bring up about Teddy, just because I had arguments planned way ahead of time. First, Teddy Roosevelt was known as the Trust Buster for all the trusts he broke up during his Presidency, yet the funny irony is, Taft, his successor and the guy we only remember for getting stuck in a bathtub, busted twice as many trusts in half the time (Roosevelt had 44 in 7 and a half years whereas Taft had 90 in 4).

The other part that Kyle missed bringing up is Roosevelt establishing the FDA and a lot of things as a result of The Jungle, that fun little book about the meat industry by Upton Sinclair. Now, I'll admit, The Jungle made me more hungry than outraged, but while Teddy freaked out and passed a handful of regulations as a result, the actual book was heavily fictionalized as, you know, fiction books usually are. Oh, and that whole "piranhas can strip a cow in a minute" fact? Also fabricated, specifically to impress Roosevelt. All this leads me to believe is that while Teddy was a man who was larger than life and kicked every single butt that came betwixt his boot and Mars, he was really gullible. I'm starting to believe I could have dissuaded him from fighting me just by mentioning I knew Kaio Ken and then showing him an episode of Dragon Ball Z.

But I can't just leave without taking a few cheap shots at the other Roosevelt, which could have been another argument in Kyle's favor - that the Roosevelt name carried on and grew stronger with age. FDR is seen as this mythical man who saved the United States from the Great Depression via The New Deal. Want to know some really tough but easily learned facts? FDR didn't get us out of the Great Depression via The New Deal. That would be World War II. The New Deal crippled what little was left of the economy and the last Great War saved the day by being a really horrible time for everyone. And then FDR didn't even finish the war. That was Truman and the Manhattan Project.

Ugh, see? History stops being fun really fast. On an unrelated note, I want to make a Kickstarter for a videogame called Presidential Royal Rumble. Best fighting game ever? False. That would be the sequel, Presidential Royal Rumble: Second Term.

Oh, and fun fact: Kyle and I are both Moderates, bordering on Indifferents, though it still says Republican on my voting info because I registered in Spanish but don't speak Spanish. Politics!

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