Morning all! I opened The Widdershins with this play about our origins. If you missed it last night, here it is again. Enjoy – and please stop by The Widdershins today to see GaryChapelHill, LadyBoomerNYC, Mawm, SheriTags, and yours truly!
THE SCENE: A field of grass. A spotlight alights on center stage, where six people can be seen, standing and talking in an animated and friendly way.
The spotlight moves off the group and rests downstage right, where we see a podium. A woman and a man sit beside it; these are THE NARRATORS. The man is holding a large, old-fashioned book upon which can clearly be seen the title: The Tale of the Widdershins. THE NARRATORS look at each other, then the male NARRATOR nods and takes the book up to the podium. He turns on the reading light, clears his throat, and begins his tale.
MALE NARRATOR: Once upon a time, there was a group of people who loved American politics and followed it obsessively. Since they were mostly liberals, they allied themselves with the Democratic Party, calling themselves…(dramatic pause)…Democrats. These so-called Democrats gathered in a fantastical place called “The Internet,” which, although it could not be seen, nonetheless provided an indispensible forum for discussion (and well-honed snark) during the bleak years of President George W. Bush’s interminable Reign of Error.
(The Female NARRATOR gets up and joins her male counterpart at the podium. She reads the next paragraph of the story.)
FEMALE NARRATOR: The Democrats were united in their hatred of George Bush and their optimism for the next President, who would surely be a Democrat as well. As a member of their Party, he or she would also share and promote their values.
(The spotlight goes back to the field of grass, where individuals in the group begin to speak.)
DEMOCRAT #1: George Bush is the Worst President Ever. I cannot wait until 2008.
DEMOCRAT #2: Impeach Bush and Cheney! Nancy Pelosi for President!
DEMOCRAT #3: End the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan!
DEMOCRAT #4: Save Roe v. Wade!
DEMOCRAT #5: Save the environment!
DEMOCRAT #6: Save the economy! No more trickle-down economics!
ALL DEMOCRATS IN UNISON: Republicans suck! Gooooooo, team!
(The spotlight swings back to the podium, where the NARRATORS are now looking at each other with knowing smiles on their faces.)
FEMALE NARRATOR: It seemed nothing could go wrong for the Democrats. They all cared about the same issues, and there was no way they could lose in 2008. Yes, the future was rosy…until something very strange happened. A new figure appeared on the scene – a man some called, “The One,” but others called by his name: Barack Obama. And the Democrats had their first encounter with: Disloyalty.
(The spotlight swings back to the field of grass. BARACK OBAMA is walking through the group of Democrats, schmoozing each one. A wall with the word “Disloyalty” printed on it in large letters has appeared stage left. There is a door in the center of the wall.)
OBAMA: Hey, Democrats, how are you? Vote for me cause I’m going to bring change! I am The One! You are the ones you’ve been waiting for! Change is coming to America! Don’t let those Republicans bamboozle or okey-doke you! By the way, did you know Hillary is a menopausal, triangulating, racist old bitch who loves war and is totally bought by the multinational corporations? Her husband’s a racist too. And, she wants me assassinated because she mentioned RFK!
DEMOCRATS 1, 2 and 3: OOOOOH, he’s soooooo dreamy!
DEMOCRATS 4, 5 and 6: Uh, what is he talking about? I don’t like this at all.
OBAMA: Okay, Democrats who think I’m dreamy, follow me! Democrats who don’t like me? That’s okay, I don’t need you anyway. You’re just bitterly clinging to your guns, religion and xenophobia, and you all vote Republican anyway!
(OBAMA and DEMOCRATS 1, 2 and 3 walk up to the wall, smile at each other, then open the door and walk through it.)
DEMOCRAT #4: Hey – where are you guys going? Are you going to let him get away with that?
DEMOCRAT #5: What the hell just happened? Why did our friends leave us?
DEMOCRAT #6 (confidently): Don’t worry, guys. The Party couldn’t possibly nominate this loser. He’s a liar, a fraud and has no experience.
DEMOCRAT #5: You’re right, #6. This is just a temporary setback. But what do we do in the meantime? Our friends seem to hate us because we don’t worship Obama and we like Hillary better.
DEMOCRAT #4: I dunno. I guess we’ll have to go hang out somewhere else. Let’s go around this wall.
DEMOCRAT #5: Yeah! Come on, I can see where it stops.
(DEMOCRATS 4, 5 and 6 face the wall, and then walk upstage left, or widdershins, and disappear offstage.)
(The spotlight swings back to the podium.)
MALE NARRATOR (taking over): The Democrats were bloodied, but not bowed by the disloyalty of their former friends. They found new places on the Internet to gather, places where their point of view was welcomed, not shouted down as racist. They had hope, because they knew that Hillary Clinton would be tough to beat. And indeed, despite the predictions of the media and their former friends, Candidate Clinton won every major primary, whereas Candidate Obama gathered most of his delegates from caucuses – quite a few of them in red states. It seemed clear that if the Democratic Party followed its normal nominating process, they could not fail to nominate Hillary. But things were not as straightforward as that.
FEMALE NARRATOR (taking over): The Democrats had shamefully invalidated two of the biggest primaries, which Hillary won easily: Florida and Michigan. They claimed it was because those two states moved up their primaries, but in reality, other states had done the same and were not invalidated. As the Democrats were about to find out, the Party was following a different set of rules, and the game was rigged. On May 31, 2008, Hillary’s Michigan delegates were awarded to Obama, as were many others, despite the fact that he had removed himself from the ballot. And in Florida, the delegates received half-votes. This result guaranteed that Obama would go to the Convention with a slim lead of 17 pledged delegates, but that neither candidate had enough pledged delegates to win the nomination. Nevertheless, Obama was touted as having “clinched” the nomination, and Hillary Clinton was forced to suspend her campaign. It was the Democrats’ second encounter with “Disloyalty.”
(The spotlight goes to the field again. This time, there are quite a few more people at center stage. The “Disloyalty” wall is still stage left, with the same door in the center of it.)
DEMOCRAT #4: I cannot believe this. The Party screwed us over. They rigged the game! What happened to the primary process?
DEMOCRAT #5: Lipstick on a pig!
DEMOCRAT #6: Party Unity My Ass!
DEMOCRAT #7: People United Means Action!
HALF OF THE DEMOCRATS: PUMA!!!
DEMOCRAT #8: PUMA? What the hell is PUMA? You guys are ridiculous. Any Democrat is better than McCain or that evil witch Palin. Democrats rule, Republicans drool! Come on, who’s with me?
(Half of the DEMOCRATS go through the “Disloyalty” door.)
DEMOCRAT #6: Not again!
DEMOCRAT #5: I’m not going through that door. Let’s go around that wall again.
DEMOCRAT #4: Yeah, let’s go!
(The remaining DEMOCRATS walk widdershins and disappear offstage.)
(Spotlight goes back to the podium.)
MALE NARRATOR: The Democrats were now PUMAs. Through the disappointing and depressing election season, they stuck by each other and stayed together.
PUMA #1: So, fellow PUMAs, now that the election is over, let’s evaluate who we want to link to on our blogroll. I nominate X and XX.
REMAINING PUMAS: Agreed!
PUMA #2: As owner of this blog, I hereby remove X and XX from the blogroll.
PUMA #1: Great! Anyone else?
PUMA #3: I nominate XXX. I find his content anti-Semitic.
PUMAS 4-9: Me too!
PUMA #4: Look, here’s some stuff he said. Disgusting!
PUMA #1: But I like him.
PUMA #10: I read him every day.
PUMA #11: Me too.
PUMA #2: As owner of this blog, I hereby remove XXX from the blogroll because he asked me to. Let’s just leave it at that.
PUMAS 1, 10 and 11: Noooooooooooo!
PUMA #4: Wait a minute. You know that most of us find his content offensive and he has asked to be removed from the blogroll. Why are you dismissing our feelings instead of supporting us? You can still read XXX, you know. He will not be disappearing from the Internet.
PUMA #2: As the owner of this blog, I’d like to say that you are all jerks and I’m totally mad at you. And why are you calling us anti-Semitic? Stop it! Stop it! How dare you! You’re acting like a bunch of Obots! I want us to have a conference call to discuss the exact definition of anti-Semitism. If you don’t show up, it’s clear you’re using the Holocaust to stifle discussion.
PUMAS 3-9: No one called you anti-Semitic. And we are not Obots.
PUMA #4: You asked us our opinions, but it’s obvious you didn’t want them. You prefer XXX to your own contributors, who have stuck by you through thick and thin for the past year. I’m stunned! I think I need a break.
PUMA #3: And we don’t need you to define anti-Semitism for us. It already has a clear meaning, which you obviously don’t understand. I’m outta here.
PUMA #6: I need a break too.
PUMA #5: Me too.
PUMA #7: Hey guys – let’s form our own blog. We’ll call it – the Widdershins.
PUMAS 3-9: Cool! Let’s go!
(PUMAS 3-9 walk widdershins around the wall again, and the lights go totally dark. When they come up again, the spot is on the field, but no wall is in sight. The PUMAs are now all holding hands and smiling at each other.)
FEMALE NARRATOR: The PUMAs had now become The Widdershins. With no disloyalty in sight, as they continue to turn leftward, they will offer us left-leaning, unconventional wisdom.
MALE NARRATOR: And don’t forget about the snark!
MALE NARRATOR AND FEMALE NARRATOR (together): The End.