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December 12, 2009

A Short Play

GEORGE W. BUSH enters and walks to center stage.

Hey world! SUCK IT!

BUSH punches 5 billion poor people in the face.


BUSH exits. BARACK OBAMA enters and walks to center stage.

War is not healthy for children and other living things. What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding? As Dr. King taught us, the arc of the universe is long but it bends towards etc., etc., and so on.

OBAMA punches 4.88 billion poor people in the face.


—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at December 12, 2009 09:31 AM

No one could have anticipated....

Posted by: vastleft at December 12, 2009 10:34 AM

While appreciating your point, and agreeing with your presentation in the second act of the play, IMO the first act seriously misrepresents the facts by claiming that at the end of act 1 the world boo'd. Sorry, not as I recollect. They may not all have cheered, or some of the cheers may have been a bit muted, but a sufficient percentage of the audience stayed til the end of the show for it to be deemed a success and remain on Broadway for its full run.

Posted by: Harpfool at December 12, 2009 10:42 AM

Hey! This is similar to the scenario I tapped out last year. And the beauty of it is, the central plot is timeless!

Posted by: Dennis Perrin at December 12, 2009 12:27 PM

Finally. The acknowledgement that BO has punched 0.22 billion poor people less than W.

Now that's change we can believe in.

Posted by: john at December 12, 2009 01:02 PM

Finally. The acknowledgement that BO has punched 0.22 billion poor people less than W.

Untrue! It's .12 billion fewer. I thought about the number a lot.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at December 12, 2009 01:30 PM

is that .12 billion the people who died from bush's blows and so are unable to punched in the face by b.ho?

Posted by: anon at December 12, 2009 01:49 PM

you need to work a pie-in-the-face into the play somehow or it won't make it

Posted by: N E at December 12, 2009 01:59 PM

An even shorter play:

BUSH: I'm to the right of Jonathan!


OBAMA: I am also to the right of Jonathan!


Posted by: Oratil at December 12, 2009 07:29 PM

those 120 million probly like jerry lewis

an even shorter play:

the end.

Posted by: hapa at December 12, 2009 09:02 PM

In fairness to Mister Obama, many of the poor people whom he sought out for punching had been had been displaced to refugee camps by the previous administration, and like some of the billions of dollars allocated for the wars, were consequently more difficult to find.

So Obama had his work cut out for him, findingand punching them, in so short a time. And some other were just dead.

Anyway, I think it's a great play. You're a regular Eugene O'Neill.

Posted by: grimmy at December 12, 2009 09:41 PM

oops, sorry about th' typo. Am eagerly awaiting your version of The Emperor Jones, btw.

Posted by: grimmy at December 12, 2009 09:45 PM


Posted by: 99 at December 12, 2009 09:56 PM

A good beginning, but a little too terse for my taste. The structure is fine, but flesh it out a bit.

The long struggle with Hillary, representing the "Old Order", versus Obama, "Change you can suspend your disbelief in", should be included - it helps the audience identify with Obama, and it introduces some sexual tension over the attraction/repulsion between the two. For the film version I suggest Emma Thompson as Hillary - the resemblance is even better since Emma has put on quite a bit of weight (did you see her with Dustin Hoffman in Last Chance Harry ?) Will Smith is the obvious choice for Obama - he's probably already practicing his impression

Include the dramatic victory night appearance in the park in Chicago (edit in actual footage of Oprah weeping, etc.)

Then, when Obama's true nature is revealed, the impact will be even greater

I predict Oscar nominations, although probably just technical awards (lighting, e.g.)

Posted by: mistah 'c.b. de mille' charley, ph.d. at December 13, 2009 05:53 AM

Must watch video over on American Leftist. A debate on US Policy in the Middle east. Please do so!-Tony

Posted by: tony at December 13, 2009 09:42 AM

Posted by: Woodyeofalb at December 13, 2009 10:51 AM

mistah c.b. de mille charley, ph.d.:

You brought your A game there. You should copyright "Change you can suspend your disbelief in," and casting Emma Thompson as Hillary is inspired too. And frankly, so is the idea of using footage of Oprah weeping.

But I think you are wrong about the Academy being willing to give up a lighting award so easily, unless the plot changes just a little. I'd suggest a change or too for distribution purposes anyway, because Americans like action flicks. I don't know if you saw Robert Altman's The Player, but if you did something like that could work wonders. For example, if you move the footage of Oprah weeping to the end of the film, followed by several shots of a massive crowd of .12 billion people cheering and maybe waving American flags all around the world as Captain Bruce Willis storms into a Taliban stronghold and rescues captured journalist Julia Roberts from the swarthy terrorists who have been holding her, and Major Willis guns down a bunch of the evildoers and then wisks Roberts away from the terrorists' nefarious cave just before a Predator strike wipes it out, and then the film closes with excerpts of a speech by President Smith as he presents Major Willis with a medal, you'll have pure gold.

Posted by: N E at December 13, 2009 12:14 PM

N E's plot is only a few predator drones away from a michael bay movie

Posted by: almostinfamous at December 13, 2009 01:29 PM

Isn't this pretty much Citizen Kane?

Posted by: Oarwell at December 13, 2009 05:13 PM


well, yaknow, altman is more cerebral than michael bay, but you're right, with a more collaborative effort the film could just keep getting better and better.

Posted by: N E at December 13, 2009 06:15 PM

Credit where credit is due - I did not come up with "Change you can suspend your disbelief in"

Note the date on that - as Freud said, approximately, "whenever I arrive at a conclusion I find that the poets have been there long before me" - and here's something wonderful from an Obama radio ad of January 2008, posted then by vastleft at correntewire:

"Hillary Clinton. She’ll say anything, and change nothing. It’s time to turn the page. Paid for by Obama for America."

Nor am I the first to cast Emma Thompson as Hillary - Mike Nichols did that in "Primary Colors" (1998)

The action movie N E suggests certainly has the potential for a much bigger box office, particularly in the States, but also requires a much bigger budget - whereas if Emma and Will can be convinced to take profit participation rather than up-front checks (Willow Smith could be one of the Obama daughters, another inducement for him to participate), the character-driven drama I'm thinking of could finish in the black without burning through a lot of cash

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at December 13, 2009 06:17 PM

Good Lord was Primary Colors boring. No wonder I didn't remember that Emma Thompson played Hillary--wait, or did I? Anyway, they should have gotten Michael Bay involved in that one, not that it could ever have been as funny as The Player, because Altman never would have touched it.

But I don't mean to belittle Ruben Fleischer, especially if he was behind getting Woody Harrelson in Zombieland. That was inspired.

Posted by: N E at December 13, 2009 08:35 PM

Obama ain't done punchin' yet.

Posted by: DavidByron at December 13, 2009 11:09 PM

Obama ain't done punchin' yet.

well, you gotta leave something for the sequel, right?

Posted by: almostinfamous at December 14, 2009 10:40 PM

Also, as so many of my liberal friends are so relieved to point out, at least the guy can construct a proper sentence! now that's change we can believe in.

Posted by: jerry at December 15, 2009 11:24 AM