Yesterday, I subjected you to economics and Fed analysis. Today, we have fun with comic book lingo. No, the "con" in "retcon" isn't about con artistry.
"Retcon" is short for "retroactive continuity." Many popular comic book characters have been around for decades, and their storylines are... inconsistent. How do the publishers handle this? Sometimes there are hard reboots, but sometimes they use a little trick called a "retcon." You know that thing you think you read? That's not what you read. That character wasn't who you thought it was. It was actually an imposter. Or mind control. Or... something. At the time, that wasn't what the writers and publishers meant, but once a new writer is in charge, they change it, retroactively, to get rid of continuity errors. Hence, "retroactive continuity," or, "retcon."
Remember that thing I said about it not being con artistry? Never mind.
It pops up all over the place in sci-fi. In a terrible spin-off of Doctor Who called Torchwood, they invent a drug to make people forget the weird, freaky alien and sci-fi shit they see. They call the drug "retcon." The show basically sucked. That joke was the best part.
Remember Trump? This is a post about Trump. A couple of weeks ago, Trump tweeted (of course) that Obama wiretapped him. Now, unable to produce any evidence (because it was obvious all along that it was bullshit), he and his people are engaged in... retcon! He didn't mean Obama personally, he meant the executive branch, even though the tweets made it clear that he was talking about Obama personally. And he didn't mean a technical wiretap of Trump personally, even though that's what he tweeted. He meant general surveillance of Trump Tower generally. Retcon. Why? Because a deadline passed to provide evidence to Congress of his claims, and he couldn't because it was bullshit. So, rather than admit it, he and his flacks engaged in retcon.
What is fascinating is that even Rep. Devin Nunes was going along, at least partially, with the retcon. He soft-pedaled his criticism of Trump by saying that Trump's accusations were only wrong if we take them "literally."
I wonder who Nunes's favorite comic book character is.