This is the eclipse of the century! Until the next eclipse of the century, scheduled seven years from now.

People used to think that a total eclipse was the result of something nice and wholesome like an enormous bear or frog devouring the sun, but we live in a gods-forsaken age where the eclipse has been christened the “Great American Eclipse” and given its own whooshing graphics and sound effects on televisions across the country. Given that there is nothing so important or so trivial that we do not, apparently, have to apply horse-race commentary to it, I have assembled a fictional panel of talking heads to answer key questions about this eclipse. 

Moderator: The sun rose today — but the moon rose to the occasion, and our panel is here to talk about it. We have a range of perspectives here: an actual hobgoblin with dark leathery wings who only thrives when the sun is gone (whom many of our viewers have strongly suggested we not continue paying to come on the air); a female expert who will not be able to get a word in edgewise; a man with glasses; and an enormous hairpiece sitting in front of a fake bookcase. My co-host is off looking directly into the sun in defiance of expert advice, and we do not know when or if she will return. To the questions. Who were the big winners of the eclipse?

Guy With Glasses: The moon, obviously. It showed up, it created a viral moment, it set the agenda. Millions of Americans were stirred. The moon frankly looked presidential.

Woman Who Gets Shouted Over: — at least in the sense that it cast a hideous shadow over all Americans and some who gazed upon it went blind and lost their sanity —

Hobgoblin: That’s not called for, Sarah. After today, I think it’s fair to ask: Do we need the sun? All the sun does is burn the skin of infants and give needless breaks to the solar power industry, a total racket.

Woman Who Gets Shouted Over: — all life, especially crops, depends upon —

Hobgoblin: I don’t. And what about the literally million of vampires who have been murdered by the sun?

Guy With Glasses: Listen, we can argue the merits of the sun and the moon for days, but I think today has made it clear that the sun has some serious catching up to do.

Hairpiece With Bookcase: The real question is, why did the sun abandon millions of rural voters?

Guy With Glasses: That’s a great point, Hank. And can the sun figure out what it did wrong in time for 2018?

Q: Should the Democratic Party take this into account?

Woman Who Gets Shouted Over: — no —

Guy With Glasses: People really loved it when the sun went away. The Democrats can either remain stubbornly pro-sun in the face of this fact or alter the platform to welcome people who may agree on other issues but don’t share their pro-sun bias.

Q: Did the sun go away because we did something wrong?

Hobgoblin: The real question is why the sun came back. I think I speak for millions of Americans when I say that I favor a world shrouded in darkness where we can raise our young peaceably in hivelike structures.

Woman Who Gets Shouted Over: (shaking head furiously) I don’t want that.

Hairpiece With Bookcase: The moon was right to send its path of totality over only those states where real Americans live. Except Oregon.

Guy With Glasses: The moon was playing to its base. The moon-base, if you will.

Woman Who Gets Shouted Over: I won’t.

Q: What do you say to people who say moon fanatics are lunatics?

Hobgoblin: I think we ignore the voice of the millions of American who remain confident in the moon’s leadership at our peril. Some say only buffalo gals, hobgoblins, bats and beings referenced in the song “Thriller” like to come out by the light of the moon, but I say, maybe not.

Woman Who Gets Shouted Over: You are literally a hobgoblin.

Q: What are the takeaways from the moon’s performance today?

Guy With Glasses: This is a side of the moon we haven’t seen yet. The dark side.

Hairpiece With Bookcase: But we need to ask: What about the moon blocking a giant portion of the sky resonated so much with Middle America? And if the sun is so good for us, why do we have to fork over millions of dollars annually for “protection”?

Guy With Glasses: Yes. I’m sure millions of Americans, especially in the path of totality, will be looking at the sky and asking themselves: What has the sun done for me lately?

Q: Well, I hope they aren’t looking at the sky, as that will cause blindness and retinal damage.

Hairpiece With Bookcase: Say SOME. Say some. I don’t know.

Hobgoblin: I think everyone should stare directly into the sun for eight minutes just to be sure.

Hairpiece With Bookcase: I think a lot of people have to ask themselves questions about the sun’s many contradictions. Does this giant flaming ball of gas really have our best interests at heart? If the sun is such a good thing, why do those who stare into it directly go blind? That isn’t the action of a friendly ball of gas. These are all valid questions.

Q: Speaking of which, here comes my co-host.

Co-host, Returning, But Transformed Into A Majestic Witch: I looked into the eclipse

your lives all seem petty and irrelevant to me now

i have seen into the great stillness and the void between worlds

snakes answer to my voice

i am crowned with stars

the tides have switched their allegiance to me

come let me devour the world

Q: When we return, how will this affect the midterms?