Where in the World is MadamaB?

I’m currently “nuancing” at The Widdershins. Come and join me!

Look, Up in the Sky! A Play in One Farcical Act.

Up, Up and Away

Up, Up and Away

THE SCENE: A swank TV studio, with all the zoomy, whizzy lights, giant flashing screens, deep-pile royal blue carpeting, poreless, lacquered newsbots, and hysterical black-clad assistants one could ever desire. We are in the back of the studio, in the glass-enclosed center of all the action. EDITORS 1, 2, 3 and 4 are all sitting in their leather chairs, directing the action by talking to each other, pointing at their MacBooks, and shouting into their wireless headsets. They are all in their 20′s and have just been promoted after their more experienced bosses “aged out of the business.”

EDITOR 1 (swigging a Red Bull): What’s new on Twitter? We’ve gotta have something for the next segment.

EDITOR 2 (nervously): Let’s see…Demi and Ashton just tweeted…

EDITOR 3 (yawning): Oh please. They tweet when they pee!

EDITOR 4 (pushing in excitedly): Guys, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard just got bombed! A bunch of people died and that DinnerJacket guy is blaming us and the Brits! This could be the start of a huge international incident!

(A brief silence, then:)

EDITORS 1-3 (bursting into laughter): HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

EDITOR 3 (wiping tears from her eyes): Oh, that was a good one! Like anyone cares about that crap these days.

(EDITOR 4 subsides into a humiliated silence.)

EDITOR 2 (eagerly): What about Sarah Palin? Sometimes we can just say her name and people think it’s news!

EDITOR 1 (dismissively): Nahhhh, we tried that two days ago. It bombed.

EDITOR 2 (peevishly): FINE. Uh, uh…Oooooh! (points at his MacBook) Check this out!

(All the EDITORS gather around the screen.)

EDITOR 3 (finally interested): Holy shit! A kid jumped in a balloon in a back yard and it got loose?

EDITOR 2 (proud): Huh? Huh? Is this good or what?

EDITOR 1 (shouting into his headset): Listen up, people! We’ve got something. Get ready to roll in five!

EDITOR 4: This story is unbelievable! Wow, it’s…hmmm.

EDITOR 3 (dismissively): What is it NOW?

EDITOR 4: Well, just shooting it out there, but…what if the kid was never in the balloon to begin with? Or what if he was, but he’s not now? Or what if these parents are making the whole thing up?

EDITOR 1 (after a brief pause): What are you, 25?

EDITOR 4 (nervously): Uh…26.

EDITOR 1 (smugly): I figured. God, you old people just don’t understand the business any more! (gets up and starts pacing) The story’s a win-win. If it’s a hoax, we do a story about the hoax and we milk that for a week. If it’s true, boo-hoo, the kid’s dead – we milk that for a week. If the kid arrives in the balloon safely, we milk his heroic and incredible escape for a week. (suddenly shouting) DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!

(EDITOR 4 looks cowed and ashamed. EDITORS 2 and 3 look happy and superior.)

EDITOR 1 (with chilling finality): You’re fired. (sitting down, shouting into his headset) Hey! You in the black!

(ALL the assistants whirl around at the same time, with hopeful smiles on their faces.)

EDITOR 1 (annoyed): NOT YOU! The guy with the cool hair and soulpatch. Get up here, man.

(The New Guy pumps the air with his fist, then starts making his way to the glass booth as EDITOR #4 exits ignominiously. Suddenly, EDITOR #4 stops his exit, and stands in the middle of the newsroom. He exudes a quiet and desperate dignity which is compelling enough to cause a pause in all the furious activity.)

EDITOR 4: You are all a disgrace to journalism. Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow are ROLLING IN THEIR GRAVES!

(He swoops out dramatically. With a shrug, the buzzing and rushing resume.)

EDITOR 3 (yawning again): What the hell was he talking about?

THE NEW GUY: Should I Google ‘em?

EDITOR 2 (completely uninterested): Whatever. (looks at his MacBook, brightens) Oooh, video!

EDITOR 1 (excitedly): Send it through!

EDITOR 3 (happily): News for a week no matter what happens. We are AWESOME!

(All the EDITORS high-five as:)

(LIGHTS OUT.)

Yet Another Award for Obama!

Oooh, shiny

Oooh, shiny

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A befuddled President Barack Obama was awakened at the crack of noon Monday to more unexpected accolades: He had just won the Most Valuable President (MVP) award for keeping the world turning on its axis, simply by using the power of his enormous brain.

Although the President was difficult to understand before his first cup of coffee and slightly miffed at being roused so early from his bed (well, who among us is really a morning person?), it seemed that, after the disbelief had worn off, he was fully cognizant of the honor and responsibility of being America’s MVP. “Wow,” he exclaimed. “You mean just by thinking about what I’m going to have for lunch, I’m actually powering the rotation of the earth? Far fucking out!”  The POTUS was quickly rushed to his bubble bath by the First Lady, as Robert Gibbs, Presidential spokesperson, furiously typed the words “Thank you very much for this unexpected and overwhelming honor” into the Presidential Teleprompter for Obama to read later on in the afternoon.

Unfortunately, not everyone is thrilled with this year’s recipient of the MVP Award. Scientists, in particular, are outraged at the counterfactual assertions of the MVP Committee.  Said Janet Marksham of the League of Concerned Scientists, “We have, in fact, measured the size of President Obama’s brain, and have found that it is exactly the same size as every other adult male of the species Homo sapiens. In fact, there appears to be no evidence that Obama’s thoughts are powering anything, much less the rotation of the earth!”

Despite the clearly partisan naysayers, America should be very proud of our President becoming the world’s first black MVP.  The prize is $10 million, which President Obama is donating to the newly-founded charity, the Malia and Sasha College Fund for Underprivileged Daughters of American Presidents.

—Additional Reporting by S.N. Ark

A Sunday Morning Rant

(Note: Apologies for my absence…I’ve been over at The Widdershins.)

The Blogosphere The Blogosphere

I’m still processing what I experienced on Friday night at The White House Project. It was quite exciting to be around those 100 women who are considering running for office, to hear the passion, trepidation and hope in their voices. It was also a privilege to hear the wise words of the women who have been successful (and who have failed) in the brutal world of politics. I got a good “get” from the event, too: I will have an interview with a fantastic lady,  New York State Senator Liz Krueger for you in a few weeks, as well. Teh kewl!

I’m also processing my thoughts about blogging, the Interwebs, and what they’re really good for. Seems to me, the best thing we do is opinionating, and organizing for action. We’re trying to do a little of both here at TW now, because my opinions are a little dark these days, and I’m having a really hard time trying to keep a positive attitude with all the idiocy that’s going on.

I mean, what planet was the Nobel Peace Prize Committee on? Even the Obama-supporting pundits I’m reading are having a hard time defending the complete clusterfuckiness of that award. Some, like Glenn Greenwald, are not defending it at all; others seem to be resorting to the tried-and-true tactic of skimming over the obvious ridiculousness of it all, blaming the Republicans and, in the case of the DNC, calling those who criticize the award “siding with terrorists.” (I have to admit, I find that “reporter’s” assertion that Ronald Reagan, Mr. Iran-Contra, should have gotten the award, to be quite hilarious.)

Although I sometimes can chuckle at the absurdity of things, in general, I find I have lost my sense of humor. Obama seems bound and determined to make sure that nothing benefiting the needy ever passes through Congress, all the while (successfully?) blaming the Party who is out of power and who literally can do NOTHING to prevent him from doing anything he wants to do. It is really fucking depressing, and the idea that a Republican President and Congress might be taking over again in four years hardly seems bearable, or a remotely desired outcome.

So, the last thing I want to hear right now is the smug cluckings and crowings of the Right, as Obama swiftly throws any chance of real change out the window with both hands. I’ve had to put up with those jackasses and their lying, criminal, anti-American activities for the past eight years. I don’t want to hear what they have to say, not now, not ever. I will never forgive them for Bush, for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, for the destruction of the Constitution and the economy, and most of all, for being in bed with the corporations who have ruined a far-from-perfect, but well-meaning attempt at democracy, and who have now taken over the Democratic Party leadership as well. If I have been oversensitive about that because of my red-hot hatred towards these bloviating gasbags, I do apologize.

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Welcome to Libertarian Island! A Play in One Freedy-Free Act.

Libertarian Island

Libertarian Island

SCENE I: A busy urban street. Two middle-aged white men, BOB and JOE, are waiting at a stoplight, having a spirited political discussion. They have been friends for years and the discussion has the feel of ritual.

BOB: Look, I just don’t trust the government to run my health care. In fact, I don’t want ‘em doing anything for me at all. I just want to live my life without government interference. What’s wrong with that? Besides, the American health care system is the best in the world!

JOE (sighing): Oh, forgawd’ssake, BOB, give it a rest already. I wish just for once you could live in that Libertarian Paradise you’re always talking about. I’d bet you’d be begging for government to come back in about half a second!

(The light changes. BOB and JOE start walking across the street, too absorbed in their conversation to pay much attention to where they’re going.)

BOB: No, seriously, JOE. The only thing to do is make government so small we can drown it in a bathtub. Every man for himself. It’s the only way we can be free!

JOE: Ahhh, BOB, don’t you get that all corporations care about is their bottom line? I’m telling you –

(Out of nowhere, a bus, out of control, careens into the intersection and smacks right into the hapless friends. Strangely, the marquee on the top of the bus reads “Liberty Express.” BOB and JOE fly in opposite directions as the scene fades to black.)

SCENE II: A lush island Paradise. The sky is a lovely blue festooned with decorative, puffy white clouds. BOB is lying on a hammock strung between two palm trees. Behind him, the facade of an impossibly luxurious resort hotel can be seen; in front of him is a beautifully landscaped infinity pool, complete with waterfall and fat-free bathing beauties in bikinis. BOB is unconscious, but appears to be otherwise unharmed by his encounter with the Liberty Express. Slowly, he opens his eyes and takes in his surroundings.

BOB (wonderingly): What the fuck?!

(One of the bikini-clad babes, perfectly tan and blonde, strolls over to BOB with a drink in her hand.)

BLONDE (liltingly): Hello, Bob! Welcome to Libertarian Island. Care for a complimentary beverage?

BOB (confused): What – what happened?

BLONDE (comfortingly): That’s really not important, Bob. Everything will be explained to you shortly. I’m just here to provide you with your complimentary beverage. Do you want it or not? It’s got a cute little umbrella and everything!

BOB (totally lost): Uh…yes???

(The BLONDE hands him the drink, which he sips tentatively. A huge smile blossoms across his face.)

BOB: Wow! That’s the best martini I’ve ever had. How did you know it was my favorite?

BLONDE (wagging her finger, flirtily stern): Uh-uh-uh! Drink up!

(BOB finishes his drink. His eyelids lower to half mast as the potent alcohol kicks in.)

BOB (tipsy): Thanks, uh…what did you say your name was?

BLONDE (coldly): I didn’t. (lifts her wrist to her mouth) Okay, he’s ready.

(She walks away, completely indifferent now that she has performed her duty, and happily situates herself on the lounge chair from whence she came.)

BOB: What – where are you going?

(He starts to follow her, but a man clad all in white robes steps in front of him, blocking his access to the BLONDE. The man looks like a Ken doll, the ultimate Republican idea of perfection. In fact, his name is KEN. Cool, huh?)

KEN: Now, BOB, let’s just calm down. My name is KEN, and I’m here to officially welcome you to – Libertarian Island!

(A banner unfurls from the palm trees between which BOB’s hammock is tied. The pristine white, beautifully-inked banner reads, of course, “Welcome to Libertarian Island.” Below that declaration are the words “Freedom IS Free! Free, Freedy, Freedelicious Freedom!”)

BOB (in awe): Cool!

KEN: I’m here to be your guide and to help make your stay more enjoyable.

BOB: How could it be more enjoyable? I mean, (gesturing) LOOK at this place!

KEN: Well, BOB, this place certainly is beautiful. But this is not where you’re going to be staying. Step this way, please.

(KEN leads BOB past the bikini babes, who loftily ignore him, and towards a dirt path in the elegant green sward. After a minute of walking, BOB notices something strange.)

BOB: Hey KEN – is that a door?!

KEN: Yes it is, BOB. You see, you were in the visitor’s section of Libertarian Island. When you go through this door, you will see the rest of the island. I promise, you’re going to love it!

BOB (confidently): Of course I will. I mean, this is Libertarian Island, so I’m assuming we’ve got that damn government out of our lives and are free to create a better society through choice and competition!

KEN: Ab-so-LUTELY! (opening the door) And heeeeerrrre we are!

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I’m Busy at The Widdershins…

Woman At Work

Woman At Work

things are ch-ch-ch-changing over there!

Go take a look if you’re so inclined…and happy New Year to all my Jewish friends out there!

Eight Years Later…Nothing Has Changed.

Picture From Z-Mation.com

Picture From Z-Mation.com

Well, it’s September The Eleventh again. Let’s see how we’re doing on All Matters 9/11, shall we?

Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the attacks, is still alive and free, despite self-serving claims to the contrary by some in Pakistan.

The 9/11 Memorial is still unbuilt. (Gonna be lovely sometime, though. 2021? 2031?)

Al Qaeda is now in Iraq, where before, Saddam Hussein’s regime had kept them at bay.

Our occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan continues, and Congress has just approved another request for $128 billion to keep the pointless quagmires going. Meanwhile, the Taliban now has a presence in 97% of all the regions of Afghanistan.

There are still no body bags or coffins on the TeeVee. The dead of Iraq and Afghanistan can still be “out of sight, out of mind,” as Donald Rumsfeld decreed.

Last November, we elected a man President based on his promises of “Change,” and so far, he has done nothing but embrace the war policies and the Unitary Executive theory of his much-despised predecessor. Worse, he has protected the members of that OTHER Administration from the consequences of their actions. George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell and Condi Rice remain unpunished for their launch of a war based on lies. Bush and Cheney’s other criminal actions, like torture, the outing of Valerie Plame, rendition and warrantless wiretapping, also have cost them nothing.

In this Obamafied, kumbaya, “post-partisan” atmosphere of no accountability ever for any Republican politician, is it any wonder that Tom DeLay is on “Dancing with the Stars,” and Mark Foley, MARK FOLEY of the underage intern scandals, is going to have his own radio show?

When will we ever learn? And when, please tell me, are things going to change?

All my sympathies go to the families and friends of the victims of that fateful attack so many years ago. I can’t help but feel that they would be not pleased by what has been done in their names. I hope that one day we will be able to remember them without guilt and shame for our collective insanity.