Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Sad Truth About Vermont Liberalism (a one-act play)

Lead character: Odum

Secondary characters: People who think like Odum (otherwise they wouldn’t be allowed onto Odum’s website).

Opening scene: People gather to celebrate anything worth celebrating, mostly just the happiness of knowing they’re not victims of working class wages. These are modern liberals, you know, folks who are connected enough intellectually with the history of social and political change but disconnected enough to avoid the pain that comes with the connection, if you know what I mean. Let me be more blunt: They attend fundraisers for the wealthy guys who talk about wanting to make it better for the poor guys. There, are we clear now? Whew.

The first scene involves the mighty-liberal Odum deciding to start a Vermont website that will give all his liberal, privileged friends a place to gather on an Internet medium that the people they want to help don’t otherwise have the time or resources to gather on. He’ll have, for example, the liberal Bill Simmons, from the swanky condominiums of Burlington, join him for all kinds of smart talk about homelessness. As long as, of course, none of those “folks” will intrude on Bill’s abode at the Ledgewood Condominiums. It’s one thing to talk about the poor and the underclass, but it’s a whole other thing to let them into your condo! Liberals do have their limits, you know?

Besides, ponders Bill, “ can they be trusted when I leave for a few hours to attend the Ned Lamont fundraiser? I mean, come on, it would be a total fucking drag to come home to a house full of slovenly pigs after I pitched in my two cents –er, make that $50 – to support a millionaire for Congress. I have, after all, my principles.”

You go, Bill. But, better yet, you just keep giving us the weather and other distractions on your website. It’s your strong suit.

Oh shit, I forgot about the play we were in the middle of. Damn. This always happens to me after a few beers with the boys. Let’s get back on track.

The second character is “Vermonter,” a man so insecure with his social standing that he posts a picture of what he’d like to be himself on his website.Vermonter is so confused that he uses a name like “Vermonter,” a certain and see-though indication that he’s trying to be someone he’s not. He obviously feels guilty about something – a common affliction in the circle of Odum’s friends. On one occasion, for example, Vermonter will scream to high heavens about Joe Lieberman being nothing but the devil in Democrat’s clothing, but then, in the next moment, just as seriously declare that Hillary Clinton has a “good heart.”

Yeah, let’s just hope Vermonter has a good therapist. Or maybe – even better yet – he’s got a good trust fund. Because he’ll need either – or both – to get through this cognitive dissonance.

The final character in this play is Ed Garcia. Ed is banking on one and only one quality: The seemingly ethnic quality of his name. He’s clearly hoping that a man named “Garcia” will be given a free pass in the liberal community of Central Vermont. He hasn’t, after all, proven much in his arguments. And he’s been more than willing to fire his punitive pistol at anyone who dares to utter an alternative opinion to his mighty hero, Odum.

And so the play begins. The curtain is drawn. The poor souls who made it all happen – the workers, that is -- are chased away with the hissing sound normally assigned to pigs, and Odum, Vermonter and Ed Garcia take the stage. And the dialogue begins:

Odum: Thank goodness, we’re alone.

Vermonter: Amen, Father Odum. This is what I wanted, some alone time with you and –well--- also a link to my miserable website.

Odum: Don’t worry, my brother, a link is granted to you. You have clearly proven your willingness to drink from the Odum cup of liberalism.

Vermonter: Oh, great Odum, how can I thank you?

Odum: It’s simple, Vermonter. I need only one favor. I ask that you don’t say a word of displeasure toward my rather unsightly fondness for “Charity” of the rightwing blog, “She’s Right.”

Vermonter: But, Odum, she’s in favor of everything we oppose, things like taxes on the rich, environmental regulations, and even an end to the war on Iraq.

Odum: I can’t hear such dissention. I am the Lord of this website and I will not tolerate such intolerance. Charity has an ass the size of mine – I mean – an ass the size I like, and I will not tolerate any further condemnations of her. In fact, from here on out, I declare that Charity and her rightwing drivel shall be declared to have a link to our vaunted site.

Vermonter: But?

Odum: No but. Be it declared.

Simmons: I know I’m getting in on this a bit late, but I’ve been at a condo committee meeting and I’m so thrilled to give you, Odum, my news.

Odum: It better be good, CandleBoy, because, remember, I got 7 more votes than you did in the Seven Days Whatever Contest.

Simmons: You should know me better than that, Sir Odum, because I am nothing beyond my loyalty to you, my condo community, and the belief that – well—fucking over those who can be so easily fucked over should be fucked over.

Garcia: Hey, I heard that!

Simmons: Heard what?

Garcia: You spoke about fucking people over.

Simmons: But not you, Ed. Certainly not you. That’s why we’ve given you a password and the privileges to fuck others over on our site.

Garcia: Cool. Carry on, then.

Odum: Thanks, Ed.

Vermonter: I’m most concerned that Snaky Boy is going to make us look like fools. I mean, we keep proclaiming our concern to the important issues of the day but then we also keep going on vacation. I don’t think it looks good.

Odum: I’m sorry, I missed the last thing you said, my cell phone connection is terrible down here in the Vineyard. But I can’t seem to find enough Hillary t-shirts for the kids.

Garcia: You’re where, Odum?

Odum: Never mind. I’m in Randolph, Ed. I’m taking the kids through a corn maze. Yeah, that’s it, a corn maze in Randolph.

Vermonter: But I thought you were going to meet me and my boyfriend at the Tiki Beach Pub later?

Odum: What the fuck, Vermonter, knock it off. I’m speaking in code to give the old slip to Ed. Get real.

Garcia: You guys are SO Vermont.

Odum and Vermonter (in unison): You bet!

Odum: And the plan is simple from here on out: attend the fundraisers, attack Snarky Boy, and keep the bullshit piled from here to eternity.

Vermonter: You forgot something.

Odum: What’s that?

Vermonter: Go Welch and go Parker!

Odum: Who?

Vermonter: OUR candidates!

Odum: I was kidding.

Garcia: Who?

Odum & Vermonter: Shut up and attack Snarky Boy.

The End.