Good evening, friends. Welcome to Meltdown Theater, in which well-known people fly off the handle in amusing ways that are recorded for posterity!

I. First up we have Joan Rivers, in a British radio appearance. Yes, Joan Rivers. I have no idea of her politics but when an Afro-Brit author tries to needle her by saying that the word “black” offends her, she goes nuts on him. (Background here). Major points for sustained intensity–she’s redlining, but never gets incoherent in her rage and manages to fire off some nice ad hominems at him, turning on the hostess as well when she tries to placate both sides.

Trumping his badly-played race card? That’s priceless. One incident of colorful language, though it’s a word you can hear on TV. Thanks to Petefrt for that.

II. Next it’s over to Oliver Willis for the Rudy Ferret Audio–which Vanity Fair was using to make Rudy out to be some sort of looney. I’d seen a transcript, but the audio was hard to get to. Now it’s a click away. This is just so surreal. Frankly, I find his anti-ferretite fervor really endearing, and I can never quite tell how serious he is (he sounds like he’s about to start laughing at one point) about this. I can’t help but think he is just taking the mickey out of the hilariously earnest Weasel Advocate. Remember, Rudy is the Mayor of New York, and here he is being whined at by the President, excuse me, the Executive President of the New York Ferrets Rights Advocacy, demanding that Rudy apologize to him for telling him last week to “Get a life!”

This excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness. I’m sorry. That’s my opinion. You don’t have to accept it, there are probably very few people who will be as honest with you about that, but you should go consult a psychologist, or a psychiatrist and have him help you with this excessive concern–how you are devoting your life–to weasels.

I prefer Rivers’ straightforward outrage to Rudy’s therapeutic psychobabble, but if we should have President Rudy I would love to see him do that to, say Bashar Assad. Who looks like a ferret.

Ferret Face

III. Finally, for the grand finale. I had long heard of this exchange but had no idea that audio footage existed, let alone video. But it does. William Frank Buckley, Junior is debating Gore Vidal on ABC about the freedom of assembly during the 1968 Democratic Convention.

About two thirds of the way through the clip, Buckley reminds Vidal that Nazi sympathizers were isolated during the last war, and calls for the continuing ostracism of people “who egg on other people to shoot American Marines, and American soldiers”. And then Vidal calls Buckley “Pro-crypto Nazi”.

And it is on.

(Language alert on that one).

Tags: New York