Ah, the State of the Union, otherwise known as that evening that John Boehner and Joe Biden are forced to sit next to each other and fight to the death over who can make the strangest face, while a very earnest gentleman in a great suit talks in front of them about things that will not happen in the coming year.

No, I’m sorry, the State of the Union, the President’s address to the houses of Congress, where he lays out some plans, carefully selects some statistics that don’t induce total and utter despair and then compliments people sitting in the gallery for the remaining time.

Depending on which commentary you listen to, he either Failed To Mention The One Issue That Actually Matters And Therefore Lacks Spine, or Spent The Entire Evening Addressing Weird Minutiae Because He Is In The Pocket Of Everyone. It is all very confusing.

That is why Zeus gave us GIFs. Here are the evening’s three highlights, as far as these images are concerned.

The GIF you've all been waiting for... #vintagebiden #st... on Twitpic

(via The Post’s @jmckellogg)

It looks like a ghost just told Joe Biden a great joke. Otherwise there is no logical explanation.

Thumbs up from Speaker Boehner. #SOTU on Twitpic

Here’s John Boehner being congratulated on being the “son of a barkeeper.” This face is the face most people make when told “Hey, your dad’s cool!”

The trouble with a sixth State of the Union is that, if not worded carefully, it can sound like your sixth time making the same New Year’s resolution. Comprehensive immigration reform? Clean energy? Road-building projects? And we’ll lose 10 pounds! Just like we meant to last time.

Then again, who’s really to blame? The President had an idea. “For several years now, this town has been consumed by a rancorous argument over the proper size of the federal government,” President Obama said.  “It’s an important debate – one that dates back to our very founding.  But when that debate prevents us from carrying out even the most basic functions of our democracy – when our differences shut down government or threaten the full faith and credit of the United States – then we are not doing right by the American people.”

(Cue mingled, angry applause.) “We don’t come to your house and lecture you about how YOU prevent us from carrying out the most basic functions of our democracy,” Congress muttered.

“That is because I have given up inviting you,” President Obama’s eyes said back angrily. “Also, it is part of my stated function in government to come to you annually like this.”

In between congratulating people on being the sons of other people — “son of a barkeeper” “son of a factory worker” “son of a single mom” — and saying that he hoped to make progress on last year’s resolutions, the President touched on a number of points. He suggested a new way of saving for retirement called a MyRA, which a) as multiple Twitter users pointed out, is already the name of an app to help you monitor your rheumatoid arthritis b) is a PORTMANTEAU, an abomination on par with Bennifer and Cronut c) is already the first name of a Gore Vidal character (which I guess bothers fewer people than the first two objections). It also apparently “guarantees a decent return with no risk of losing what you put in.” This is great news! I didn’t know you could guarantee both of those things from an investment unless you were buying Commemorative Gold from a man advertising on cable news. Time for me to get out of bitcoins, I guess!

Except in the case of guaranteed money-making, a theme of the evening was that “America has never come easy.” That was certainly an understatement. Have you met last year in legislation?

The fact that all good things are worth working for was the theme of the evening’s concluding GIF. President Obama addressed Cory Remsburg, veteran of 10 tours of duty (let that number sink in for a bit), giving him a thumbs-up and returning his salute. Remsburg thumbs-up’ed right back.

American hero Cory Remsburg: on Twitpic

(source: @NYMag)

Everyone applauded long and loud, although it still came nowhere near to an adequate thank you.

And then it was all over, until next year.

Meanwhile, in State of the Union Response (Part One of Four), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) sat on a giant golden couch and spoke warmly and relatable. There were no memorable water-drinking moments to transform into a GIF, although Rodgers suggested that the State of the Union had been in our hearts all along. Actually. “The true state of the Union lies in your heart and in your home,” she concluded. Also, she was a woman, which was exciting!