A Merry Fascist Christmas
Like the Mel Brooks' stage classic, The Producers, which brought audiences to laugh at fascism in the context of the Broadway theatre hustle, Sean Stone and William Missouri Downs discover a winning formula to do the same with the Christmas season: a series of comedy sketches (SNL style), mixing original music and lyrics with satires of some seasonal classics, that lambaste U.S political and economic life.
|Brikai Cordova belts Ayn Rand's theme song,|
"In Love With Me"
For those with thin skins regarding their beliefs and opinions of the red-blue political party marketing brand charade, two cheerleaders issue a trigger warning at the top: this show will offend you, but you will laugh anyway; and, for those who already use the "f" word to describe our state of affairs, you will laugh as well.
A webinar, "The Joys of Fascism," sets up the premise, explaining how, by virtue of a Supreme Court ruling, U.S. corporations (controlled by a few banks) have become people, and thus have rights never intended for them, including money as speech (and thus unlimited use of capital to pervert the electoral system) as various Presidents noted, before that office was absorbed by the plutocrats' global crime syndicate.
"I hope we shall take warning from the example and crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws our country." —Thomas Jefferson, letter to George Logan, Nov. 12th, 1816
“I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.” —Thomas Jefferson, U.S. President (1801–1809) in a letter written to John Taylor on May 28, 1816
“Corporations have been enthroned. An era of corruption in high places will follow, until wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed.” —Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864, in a letter to Col. William F. Elkins, Abraham Lincoln: A New Portrait, (Vol. 2) by Emanuel Hertz (New York: Horace Liveright Inc, 1931, p. 954.
"Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people." —Theodore Roosevelt, Platform of the Progressive Party, “Declaration of Principles,” August 7, 1912 and Theodore Roosevelt, An Autobiography, 1913 (Appendix B)
"Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it." —Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom: A Call For the Emancipation of the Generous Energies of a People, Section I: "The Old Order Changeth," p. 13
“The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.” —Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in a letter to Colonel Edward M. House dated November 21, 1933, as quoted in F.D.R.: His Personal Letters, 1928-1945.
Despite these warnings, everything that these men observed has come true, as we laugh at the ubiquity of the disease; for example, in the skit "Capitalism Jesus," who preaches the gospel of corporate religion, right out of the Calvinist playbook: "If you have money you are of the Elect." You know that corporate control over religion is complete when virtually every piece of legislation coming out of Congress violates the teachings of Jesus, as summed up in the number, "God's Heaven (Is Just For The Rich)."
And who better to express the exaltation of selfishness than Ayn Rand—whose tome, Atlas Shrugged, set the bar for generations of sociopaths—who leads us in the new Pledge of Allegiance to the almighty dollar, before breaking out in song, "You can't eat love ..." and "In Love With Me," which in turn brings us to a lesson in self-obsession from mother to daughter, including "Dildo Lullaby": "... There's not a man alive who knows how you are feeling on the inside." Ultimately, worship of the ego leads to isolation of the individual and, like infants who are never held and touched, develops sociopaths and psychopaths to run the asylum.
As anyone paying attention would notice, the examples of fascism—the inversion of humanistic values—are everywhere, as we sing about the virtues of guns in school and bemoan the social services available in the mixed capitalist-socialist political economies of Scandinavia, while crooning the praises of trickle-down ("voodoo") economics of the Reagan regime, in a dance number featuring our favorite b-actor President as a dancing manatee (which brings down the house).
And what better segue than "trickle down" to bring us to wax poetical over "golden showers"?
All in good fun, but lest we forget, the ensemble via FDR delivers the punchline:
"The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism."
There was a time, just a few years ago, when very few people understood the fascist nature of the political economy in the U.S. and other western "democracies," and while the appointment of Donald Trump as chief divider and distractor has made it more obvious to many, corporate control over the state (one of the textbook definitions of fascism) has been growing for the entire history of this country.
The Dirty Fish Theatre's presentation of A Merry Fascist Christmas finishes its run on Sunday, December 15th, at the Walnut Room, 3131 Walnut St., Denver. For tickets: eventbrite.com/a-merry-fascist-christmas-tickets. General admission tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.