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Watching The Watchers And Other Philosophical Musings

Who will watch the watchers? It’s a question we’ve all heard before, and it’s an important one. But perhaps no less important is the question: who will watch the people watching the watchers? And indeed, who will watch the people watching the people watching the watchers? And so on, ad infinitum. Have you ever wondered about that? I have, but I guess I’m just naturally curious.


While we’re on the subject, what are these watchers watching, anyway? I don’t mean whoever is watching the watchers (we know what they’re watching: the watchers); I’m talking about the original watchers themselves. Are they watching their asses? Are they watching paint dry? Are they perhaps watching pots, waiting for them to boil? If it’s the latter, we should let them know that it’s just not going to happen. Also, for efficiency’s sake, can’t they just be the people who are watching the watchers, making a big loop, or is that putting too much watching on their plate? Would all that prolonged eye contact make everybody uncomfortable?


Here’s another problem I’ve been wrestling with: who will listen to the listeners? Is it the NSA? Whoever it is, will they really be listening, or just hearing (a subtle but important distinction)? And might I add, who will touch the touchers? The answer may be the police, depending on where the touchers are touching. Where did the touchers touch you, exactly? Can you point to it on this doll? You know what, forget about the touchers. I’m sorry I brought them up.


Who will smell the smellers? That’s probably a better question. I’m guessing it could be anyone in the smellers’ vicinity, depending on personal hygiene, though you’d think their hygiene would have to be beyond reproach or they’d never have gotten those smelling jobs in the first place. In any case, do we have people who can take over if the smellers’ noses get stuffed up?


Is anyone going to taste the tasters? Or how about sixth sensing the sixth sensers? What would that even look like: dead people who can see people who see dead people? That’s actually not a bad idea. Does anyone know M. Night Shyamalan’s agent?


“Who will watch the watchers.”

“That’s right.”

“I mean the fellow’s name.”


“That’s what I’m asking you, what’s he called?”

“No, What will smell the smellers!”

That’s not a question, just a little classic Abbott and Costello comedy to lighten the mood. Again, sorry about the touchers thing.


Consider this: who will weight watch the Weight Watchers? Does the company have a plan in place for this? I’m not sure folks will feel comfortable taking nutrition advice from people who are themselves overweight, so there should definitely be some oversight. Did I just save the Weight Watchers corporation?


Another query: who will watch the watches? Well, the watch store clerk, of course – that’s an easy one. But who will watch him? And is it the same person who’s already watching the watchers, or do we need someone else to take up the slack in this situation?


I’m also curious, who will watch Watchmen? I just got a new Blu-Ray player I’m itching to try out; I’m thinking of starting tonight around 7. Should we do a potluck thing, or does everyone just want to throw in some money for pizza? If you’re feeling it, want to turn this into a sleepover? We can watch The Matrix trilogy and then go straight into V For Vendetta. Who will watch the Wachowskis?
Any takers? No? Is it something I said? It’s all the questions, isn’t it? Well, I’m not going to apologize for my natural curiosity. Someday you’ll be glad I took the time the time to parse out these thorny philosophical matters. You’ll be thanking me on bended knee. Then I’ll have the last laugh. Just watch.


Matt Crowley is a writer, director, and improviser living in Brooklyn. He wishes he was a professional magician. Find him on Twitter @MatthewPCrowley.