Ah yes, the fart heard around the world.
The flatulence that rocked American politics, the breaking of wind that broke the internet: #Fartgate. If you haven't already seen the viral video, please blast that volume and press play now.
Here we see Eric Swalwell, U.S. Representative for California's 15th congressional district, talking via satellite with Chris Matthews on Hardball. The pair are discussing the Donald Trump impeachment hearings, and the screen cuts to Salwell, who begins to deliver a point on alleged election interference, when what sounds like a large, wet fart interrupts him. Sometimes, life is good.
There is just so much to love: the blankness in Swalwell's eyes; the way the fart seems to get its own syllable in the rhythm of his sentence; the explosive nature of the fart itself; the flicker of life in his face when he hears it, as if its taken this, this moment of absolute vulnerability, to finally shake this dull-eyed political cog out of his middle-class stupor. For one, brief, brilliant moment, the viewer can't help but to think—nay, to hope—that he's going to laugh. It seems he may cast off the yolk of social niceties and late stage capitalism and look life dead in the eye and say proudly, "Chris, I just farted on national television. God Bless the U.S. of A." But alas, Swalwell hardly misses a beat. He quickly continues on his rehearsed charade of democratic rhetoric and the brief and glorious flash of light in the darkness of America is smothered.
But wait, the Internet—that sublime, chaotic beast that feasts on humiliation—couldn't let that happen. The fart was immediately cemented in the hearts and minds of American's everywhere the moment it went viral on twitter.
Swalwell denied the allegations that the sound was his backdoor breeze, and Hardball soon chimed in, blaming the sound on a mug scraping across the desk.
But #FartGate was not over yet, as conspiracy theories soon arose about the source of the heinie hiccup. One astute twitter detective brought forth the compelling evidence that the source of the colonic calliope was actually Chris Matthews, whom, it appears, has a history of this particular on-air faux pas. Click the tweet below to read the full thread of evidence.
It seems that the odds are relatively high that Chris Matthews was the source of the anus applause, though we'll probably never know for sure. But what we can be sure of is that no matter how old we get, how divided our country becomes, or how hopeless our fate may seem, we will always think farting is funny.