Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Playing President

In last night's Theater of the Absurd, a Lame Duck is quacking at the podium while the ducklings-in-waiting look on, pretending to listen before they waddle out for their turn on the TV stage.

You could have watched the President's last State of the Union address with the sound off and not turned it up as his would-be successors did their predictable soliloquies--Hillary Clinton with a smile as tight as duct tape, dodging questions about Bill; Barack Obama modestly insisting he's no JFK but basking in his Kennedy aura for the day; Mitt Romney mouthing "Washington is broken" platitudes followed by non-sequiturs that Harold Pinter would not have dared to write.

On his way out, George W. Bush is besieged by legislators holding out their programs to be autographed for some e-Bay auction years from now on another planet.

For a coda, a nice-looking schoolteacher named Kathleen Sebelius comes out to review the production by lecturing the "political pundits" before they review it and "obsess over the reactions of members of Congress: 'How many times was the President interrupted by applause? Did Republicans stand? Did Democrats sit?' And the rest of us will roll our eyes and think, 'What in the world does any of that have to do with me?'"

This Washington revival does ample justice to the definition of Theater of the Absurd as "broad comedy, often similar to Vaudeville, mixed with horrific or tragic images; characters caught in hopeless situations forced to do repetitive or meaningless actions; dialogue full of clich├ęs, wordplay, and nonsense; plots that are cyclical or absurdly expansive; either a parody or dismissal of realism."

Now the actors are off to tour the hinterlands for audiences who will watch with as much puzzlement as they did last night, if they stayed awake for the whole production.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed watching President Bush's departure from Congress after the speech.

As we could hear comments made to him, the joke of one glad hander was, "How can we give a tax rebate to somebody who didn't give a bate in the first place?"

Heh, heh, heh.

It will be nice to see him gone for good.

Anonymous said...

The evening was only another opportunity for Bush to justify himself. The defendent took the stand.

Anonymous said...

I think bush drank vodka half way though his speech and was drunk at the end. Did you notice the two glasses he had by him and after drinking the second one he changed.
He needed his liquid fortitude to continue his bs.