Tag Archives: satire

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.)

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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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President Obama Answers the Red Phone: A Play in One Uncaring Act.

The Red Phone Is Ringing

The Red Phone Needs to be Answered

THE SCENE: It’s 3:00 (in the afternoon) at the White House. Fresh from his second workout (and fourth cigarette) of the day, an energized PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA sits in his private quarters with his Chief of Staff and closest confidant, RAHM (RahmBo) EMANUEL. The room has been overdecorated, butofcourse, in Louis XIV WannaBe.

As the lights come up, OBAMA and RAHMBO are relaxing and chatting in overstuffed, purple velvet chairs with  gold braid around the edges. It’s time for their daily chore of listening and responding to OBAMA’s messages on the Red Phone, which is so tricked out, it would look right at home on the bridge of The Enterprise.

OBAMA (with his trademark grin): Well, Rahmbo, are ya ready? Today’s messages should be great.

RAHMBO: Fuckin’ A! Can’t wait to see how your “Balls of Steel” national security speech went over.

(RAHMBO hits “Play”. The phone beeps and begins playing back the messages.)

RED PHONE (in mechanical male voice): Message One. From: Richard Cheney.

(CHENEY’S VOICE comes on. Unfortunately, it is nothing but snarling gibberish. The brief message ends, and the phone beeps.)

OBAMA: Whoooops! I should have known Cousin Dick would call. Lucky for me, George built a Cheney-To-English Translator right into this phone. Let me see – I think it’s this one. (Hits a button) Okay, Rahmbo, try again.

(RAHMBO hits “Play” again.)

CHENEY’S VOICE: Hey, Cuz, great job on that national security speech of yours. I was worried everyone was going to notice that it was the same as mine, but that speechwriter of yours is worth every penny! Oh, and thanks for the cover on torture. It would have been a real drag to go to jail for a “no-brainer” like waterboarding. See you in Paraguay on July 4th – George is bringing the barbeque! Peace out!

(The phone beeps.)

RAHMBO: Should we call him back?

OBAMA: Naaaaahhhh. I’ll talk to him over the weekend, like always. Any more?

RAHMBO: Yup – we’re pretty full up today. (presses “Play” again)   

RED PHONE: Message Deleted. Next Message, From: Benjamin Netanyahu.

NETANYAHU’S VOICE: Mr. President, Shalom. I would like to know why you are being so intractable on the matter of the West Bank settlements, while putting no pressure at all on the Palestinian leadership to recognize Israel’s right to exist and defend itself. I don’t think we are ever going to have peace this way, Mr. President. Please call me back. (The machine beeps.)

OBAMA (snippily, responding to the message): Yeah, well, Benjamin, I’m doing the best I can with this mess I inherited from Bush. And everyone knows the Israelis don’t have any oil, so why the hell should I step up for them? I mean, what do they want me to do? (reluctantly) I guess I’ll have to send George Mitchell over there again.

RAHMBO (muttering under his breath): Yeah, THAT’s gonna do a lot of good.

OBAMA (sharply): What was that?

RAHMBO: Nothing, Mr. President. Next message!

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Barack Obama’s First 100 Days: A Play in One Conspiratorial Act.

Who is Hiding Behind These Masks?

Who is Hiding Behind These Masks?

SCENE ONE: The President of the United States, BARACK OBAMA, is sitting in the back of his plushly-appointed limousine. A TV screen showing constantly looping DVD’s of OBAMA’S greatest speeches is strategically placed in front of his eyes. It has a calming effect on him in these days of stress and strain. OBAMA is smoking a cigarette to further relax him in preparation for the meeting he is about to attend.

LIMO DRIVER: Where to, Mr. President? We’ve been driving in circles for 15 minutes now.

OBAMA: Is anyone following us, Frank?

LD: Just the usual photographers and Secret Service, Mr. President.

OBAMA: Ditch the photogs, Frank. The Secret Service knows where we’re going.

LD (with slowly dawning realization): Ohhhhhh. We’re going THERE. (impressed and determined) Hang on, sir. I’ll get you there  in no time.

OBAMA (leaning back in his seat, enjoying his smoke): Good, good. Don’t want to keep them waiting. They hate to wait.

(LIGHTS OUT.)

SCENE TWO:  The hallway of an anonymous office building somewhere in DC. There is no art on the walls, which are a tasteful ecru. A plush beige carpet leads to a nondescript blond wood door. OBAMA walks confidently down the hall and approaches the door.

DOOR (in sultry female voice): Welcome, President Obama.

OBAMA (with a big smile): Hello there, sweetie.

DOOR: Please speak today’s password phrase.

OBAMA (exasperated): Come on, you just recognized me! I’m the President of the United States. Just let me in already!

DOOR (implacably): Please speak today’s password phrase.

OBAMA: Awwwww, shit.  Uh, um…”We get the bucks, your life sucks?”

DOOR: Password incorrect. Two more tries, Mr. President.

OBAMA: The notion that somehow you would deny me entry…I’m the leader of the free world! How can you do this to me?!

DOOR: Do not try to baffle me with bullshit, Mr. President. I am not made to Obot specifications. (implacably) Please speak today’s password phrase.

OBAMA: SHIT! Uh, ummmmm…

(The trademark grin spreads across his face as he remembers the password)

OBAMA: Blood for oil, we get the spoils!

DOOR: Thank you, Mr. President. (the door clicks open) Welcome to the meeting.

(OBAMA walks through the door. LIGHTS OUT.)

SCENE THREE: A typical conference room. The bland decor of the hallway is echoed in the blonde wood, beige leather chairs and beige plush carpeting. The only ornamentation is one large P on the center of the back panel of the wall facing the audience.

Clustered around the stage left side of the table are five people in black robes and white, expressionless masks in the Greek tragedy tradition. Their sex, age and physical appearance are all indeterminate. They have voice-scramblers in their masks, to further hide their identities; the effect of this alteration is to make their words even more inhumane and eerie.

BARACK OBAMA enters stage right, strutting confidently. He takes his seat at the table, across from the five mysterious figures.

OBAMA: Hey, guys, how’s it going?

FIGURE 1 (pointing a finger intimidatingly): WE will ask the questions. YOU will answer.

OBAMA (only slightly daunted): Don’t worry about it, I’m cool. Uh, um…mind if I smoke in here?

FIGURE 2 (forbiddingly): Yes.

OBAMA (more sheepishly): Oh.

FIGURE 3: If you have QUITE finished stalling, young man, we will now proceed with your 100-day performance review.

(A screen comes down in front of the “P” in the back of the room. A blank report card entitled “BARACK OBAMA: FIRST 100 DAYS” appears on the screen. As the figures name the items being graded, the name of the item and the grade fill in the blanks.)

FIGURE 4 (whispering to 3): Are you sure the report card format was such a good idea? He’s not Dubya, you know.

FIGURE 3 (whispering back): Trust me.

FIGURE 5: Now, let’s check your progress on the Patriarchal Agenda. Hmmmm…let’s see. Item number one: Keeping our war machine oiled and running smoothly.

FIGURE 1 (snickering): Oiled! Ha ha ha!

(ALL FIGURES laugh. OBAMA looks puzzled, but gamely joins in the laughter.)

FIGURE 5 (pleased): I thought you’d like that! Anyway, our employee here gets…oooh! An A Plus!

OBAMA (preening): You’re darned right. And it wasn’t easy, either, especially when I talked about how I was against the Iraq war for two years and promised to end it…and now, I’m getting away with continuing it indefinitely. Some trick, huh? Plus, I’m even doing a surge in Afghanistan and building up to a third war in Pock-ee-stan – and not a protest in sight!

ALL FIGURES: Bravo!

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The Obamas Meet the Queen: A Play in One Embarrassing Act.

Not Again!

Not Again!

Note: Thanks to commenter jules, for the inspiration for this play!

THE SCENE: Buckingham Palace. HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH and her consort, PRINCE PHILIP, are lying in bed in their elaborate, gilded suite. It’s been a long day – they’ve just spent it with America’s First Couple, BARACK and MICHELLE OBAMA. They are both exhausted, but not ready to go to sleep just yet. They are wearing monogrammed, silk pajamas with royal crests on them. Reading glasses and old-fashioned nightcaps adorn their royal heads. HMQE is reading The Guardian, while PP is reading OK!.)

HMQE (acerbically, putting down the newspaper): Any good pictures of Britney today, darling?

PP (absorbed): Hmmmmm?

(PP looks over at his wife, reads her mood, and puts down the magazine.)

PP (sympathetically): What is it, darling? Are you still upset about today?

HMQE (bursting out with repressed frustration): Of course I am! I don’t understand how you can just sit there and read that wretched rag, while I’m lying here in a tizzy!

PP: Now, darling, try to remain calm.

HMQE: CALM? (getting out of bed and crossing to her dressing table) CALM? You want me to be CALM? I’m utterly prostrate, Philip, I really am.

(collapses into the chair in front of her dressing table, head in hands)

PP: I’m so sorry, darling. (gets out of bed, crosses to the chair and puts his hands comfortingly on her shoulders) They really are dreadful, aren’t they? I suppose those etiquette lessons were a waste of everyone’s time.

HMQE (despairingly): Oh, Philip, when will the Americans elect a President who has manners and class? We had to deal with that idiotic, brain-damaged Bush for eight years – a man who actually thought it was appropriate to WINK at me. I’m surprised he didn’t ask me to pull his finger!

PP (comfortingly): Well, at least HE’s out of the picture, thank goodness.

HMQE: But now – now they’ve elected Barack Obama. And let me tell you, Philip, I am NOT amused. How DARE he send back that bust of Winston? Winston was a wonderful man and a great ally of Americans in World War II. Does he have no sense of history?

PP: Appalling, darling.

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President Re-Election Does the Vision Thing: A Play in One Utopian Act.

No, You Cannot. Have a Nice Day!

No, You Cannot. Have a Nice Day!

THE SCENE: A five-star hotel suite somewhere in America. (What – you thought he’d actually be at home, doing his job?) PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA and FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA are sitting at a linen-covered table set with heavy silverware and a pink rosebud in a crystal jar, sipping coffee and discussing the challenges and benefits of Presidenting. A four-poster bed can be seen slightly behind and to the left of where the Obamas are sitting.

MICHELLE: Well, I think things are going great, Barack. You haven’t had a Cabinet appointment scandal in a couple of days, and everyone seems to be getting used to the whole idea of spending hundreds of billions to fix Bush’s mess. Plus, your speeches are still killing!

OBAMA: Yeah, and I have all this cool stuff that shows I’m the President! Air Force One. A nifty jacket. The White House. Man, this job rules! But there’s one thing that’s getting me down.

MICHELLE: Listen, Barack, if it’s that whole smoking in the house thing again, I TOLD you –

OBAMA: Nah, nah, it’s not about that. This is something even MORE serious. (standing up and pacing) People are accusing me of thinking small on health care just because my entire plan consists of computerizing medical records! I mean, what do they want, single-payer health care or something? I never, EVER said I was going to do anything like that!

MICHELLE (watching him, sighing sympathetically): Yeah, honey, I know. Where do they get these stupid ideas about you?

OBAMA (lying on the bed, hands behind his head): I honestly don’t know. Maybe Axelrod told some of his operatives to spread that nonsense – I just gave up on keeping track of all the things he was promising my fans in the blogosphere. (pats the space next to him on the bed to indicate MICHELLE should come lie down beside him)

MICHELLE (crossing to the bed and lying down): So, is that it? You’re catching flack from a bunch of keyboard commandos over health care? Sounds pretty small-time to me. (suddenly worried) Unless – the health insurance companies aren’t threatening to withhold funding for 2012, are they?

OBAMA (laughing): Of course not! No worries there. They couldn’t be happier that I won. (sobering up) No, the real problem is that I’m being accused of not having a vision for this country. Can you believe that? Don’t they know that this medical records idea is just a small step along the way to a better, brighter, more efficient O-merica? Here, let me show you my vision…

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So Long, and Thanks for All the Fascism

Obama and Bush, Perfect Together!

Heh Heh. Ah Built Up Lots A Power For Ya, Obie. Have Fun Now!

Ahhhhh, Bushie Bushie Bushie. We are so, SO happy to see you go! But you did leave something behind for your friend, now President Obama, didn’t you? No, it wasn’t a note in the Oval Office. It was all the tools he will need in order to institute a fascist state! What a lovely parting gift!

The inaugural speech was more of the hopey-changey campaign pablum we have learned to expect from Obama, of course. It’s hard to believe that Jon “The Gropinator” Favreau was kept on for that. But it wasn’t the first draft that we heard! Poor Jon’s original effort was a little too truth-y for the awesomest most historical-est O-ment ever! I’ve managed to get my PUMA paws on it, and it went a little something like this:

“Hello America! We are about to enter into a new era of politics, and I just want to thank George W. for paving the way.

Yes, you heard me right. President Bush is the reason I’m standing here today, about to be inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States. After all, if he hadn’t been the Worst President Ever, there is no WAY you would have picked me. I have no experience, no clue what to do about the economy, I’m setting my sights on privatizing Social Security and Medicare, and I’m already foregoing almost all of my campaign promises or pushing them off onto Congress. Let’s face it, I’m good for nothing but campaigning for my next term.

Oh, and speaking of that, I’m really excited about this idea of repealing the 22nd Amendment. Did you hear about that? I’m going to need at least three or four terms, like FDR, to fix this mess George W. got us into. You know what else I’m going to need? A lot of money and influence over my OWN Party. After all, nothing is more important than pressuring Democrats to do exactly as I say. Just ask Hillary’s delegates from the primary! They actually thought their votes and voices counted. If you think I need to gather support from Republicans, don’t bother – I’ve already got it! Who do you think bankrolled me when I first started my campaign? Oh, and that civilian security force I was talking about? It’s going to be a reality – 20,000 troops by 2011. Those warrantless wiretapping powers and executive orders will sure come in handy when I’m arresting dissenters and throwing them into Gitmo, which I may or may not be closing at some point on an ever-vanishing event horizon.

My fellow Barackians, I hope you don’t expect much from me. I’ve already told you that I am Lincoln, JFK and Ronald Reagan all rolled into one. What else do you need? Well, okay, my Secretary of State might actually get SOMETHING good done, but it will most likely only be by accident, as I will be undermining her every chance I get. Oh, sure, it will make me look bad, but I’m just petty that way. Get used to it!

Oh, and speaking of getting used to it, you’re going have a long time to do that. Because this whole “new kind of politics” I’ve been talking about is more like a very old kind of politics – the kind that Stalin practiced and Orwell warned you about. So relax and let me do all the thinking. I am The One you’ve been waiting for, remember?

So long, and thanks for all the fascism!

I don’t know why they didn’t go with that one. It would have inspired me! But if you’re feeling periodically down tonight, tune into Blog Talk Radio tonight for New Hampster and Sheri Tag’s PUMA Bawl!

I’ll be there too, to keep them company. Laughter is the best medicine, and we’re going to need a lot!