Did the peace gig last night, and for the most part, it went pretty well. It wasn't the best setting for performing comedy, esp the political brand I wrote for the event.
But wait, Mistah Son -- wasn't this an antiwar fundraiser? What better place to diss and piss on those who rule us?
In theory, yes. You'd think that those who hate this war and can't stand the criminals who wage it would be ready to release their anger and rage through righteous laughter. And quite a few did, some deeply and loudly. But a good many sat there with pursed lips, and didn't seem amused with all the lib bashing I placed in the mouths of different characters. (And the fact that many people were in line for the à la carte dinner didn't help -- too much moving around and talking.) 'Course, this was meant to mock those characters and not the libs per se, but as is often the case, the material was taken literally, so much so that when I was introduced as President Bush, I received a series of boos. I wanted to stop right there and remind them that, um, I'm not really the president, and that, ah, this is a set up for a comedy bit, so your boos are really pointless. But then, maybe I didn't get their humor. Well, we do live in confusing times.
The wife joined in the fun, playing Osama bin-Laden, several battered survivors of the Into Karl Rove's Mind theme park ride ("17 solid insane minutes of pure emotional depravity"), and Fox News Bedtime Story reader Miss Britney Ann. This was the first time we'd performed together, and it was great. The wife studied theater at Cornell, was in several plays in NYC and for a time worked with a comedy group at the 13th Street Repertory Theater, alternating gigs with Brother Theodore, who had a long-running one-man show there. So I was in good company. After the act, a couple of people asked me where we were gonna perform next, which I hadn't really thought about, but now I, and she, are. Some deranged Nichols and May deviation, perhaps. We're in discussions.
The Hummingbirds, who preceded us, played raw, melodic folk rock. Rep. John Dingel got up and delivered a blistering critique of the Bush gang. And Juan Cole, for whom we opened, spoke at length about how the US media was glossing over the intricacies and internecine battles over Iraq's constitution, and how despite this, that country remains in horrible shape. And while he called for US ground troops to be pulled out, he maintained that some kind of US or allied presence should remain, lest the whole region be engulfed in even more brutal warfare. Dunno how that went over with the Out Nowers in the audience (Juan wasn't booed, put it that way), but he's been slimed as a warmonger and racist for saying this, notably by the Counterpunch crowd. I didn't get that sense from Juan when we talked; he seems genuinely outraged by this war and knows quite a bit about the region. I have my differences with him, but he's a very soft-spoken, nice, intelligent guy. Attacks like Counterpunch's are simplistic and crude, to be generous.
For those who didn't get a chance to see the act, here are three excerpts. The first is an "anti-blessing" given by Pat Robertson. The second is a public appeal by Dick Cheney and Osama bin-Laden. And the third is W. doing what W. does.
Much thanks to Phillis Engelbert of Michigan Peaceworks for the invite. And mega-thanks to Mike Gerber for the extra material, and to Jon Schwarz for the feedback.
Dear Lord, please ignore this gathering of peace activists who reject your command that America wage war throughout the world, and know that in their hearts they wish to destroy your holy system of corporate capitalism.
And Lord, I pray that you keep these ACLU-loving traitors from turning God fearing Americans into pacifists, atheists, feminists, socialists, communists, Satanists, environmentalists, vegetarians, vegans, fruititarians, Rastafarians, witches, warlocks, demonic elves, lesbian vampires, homosexual werewolves and cross-dressing leprechauns.
For as your Son and our Savior once put it, "Blessed are the hitmen, for they shall inherit the Earth" and "Do unto others, but cover your tracks, to minimize blowback."
And Lord, it appears that I have once again embarrassed your Republican party by calling for the assassination of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. And even though I'd still like to see Chavez's head blown off, and Venezuela's vast oil reserves seized and privatized by American petroleum companies, I regret my outburst, and ask that you punish me harshly. I need not specify how I should be punished -- we've been over this many times, and you know what I like and how long and hard I like it. I leave that to your discretion.
Again Lord, thank you for this war and the many more to come. In Jesus's ballistic name, amen.
Cheney: Hello, I'm Vice President Dick Cheney
Osama: And I'm Osama Bin-Laden
C: As you know, both of us have done pretty well with this Terror War thing.
O: Very well indeed.
C: I mean, Halliburton's making a killing -- pun intended.
O: And Al-Qaeda's recruitment is thru the roof, unlike your military, Mr. Dick!
C: Low blow Osama, but a good one!
O: Just watch your head!
C: Ha! I love this guy!
O: You're cute too!
C: Thanks. Anyway, things have been great for us, but that's starting to change. All these polls are telling us that the majority of you out there are turning against the war.
O: Very bad for business.
C: You said it. That's why Osama and I are making this special appeal: without your support, we can't keep waging this war.
O: Frankly, it's all we got.
C: If this thing tanks, my pension's in the toilet.
O: And I'm no longer the Bono of jihad.
C: So please, the next time a pollster phones you, tell them that you want more war and plenty of it.
O: Get those poll numbers up there. We can't do this without you!
C: Remember, you put the public into private war. Thank you, and God bless America.
O: And death to all infidels!
C: Osama, you slay me.
O: Some day, my friend, some day . . .
Condi Rice: Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, the President of the United States.
Bush: Thank you, Condi. My fellow Americans, and Helen Thomas, I've given many reasons why I won't meet with Miss Sheehan, but none of them seems to have satisfied you. So, I've come up with a few more reasons why she and I will never meet.
1. Miss Sheehan didn't vote for me. As you know, I don't talk to anyone who doesn't vote for G. W. I mean, that would be plum crazy! I'd have to be a crazy man to do that!
2. Miss Sheehan's for peace. I'm for war. Lots of it. See, there's a disconnect there. We wouldn't understand each other. It'd be like a killer robot trying to talk to the Ambassador from Pluto. Just doesn't make sense.
3. Gotta have my Me Time. Need my Me Time. Me Time's important to a prez'nit, and last time I looked, I'm the prez'nit! I meet with Miss Sheehan, no time for Me Time. Me Time becomes She Time. Then the Next Person's Time. Before long, it becomes America's Time. I can't govern like that.
4. If I let Miss Sheehan into my home, she might steal something. I'm rich, she's not. You do the fuzzy math.
There are many more reasons why I won't meet with Miss Sheehan, but I'm late for a GOP fundraising veal calf slaughter. And to the terr'sts watching, I simply quote my man MC Hammer: "Can't try to touch this." So keep bringin' it on! Feels good!