King Trump-Us-Swear-at-Us; P.M. Haman-yahoo;
Hillari-ester; & Morty-Sky Sandstorm
This election has already won the Harpo Marx Award for Best Purim-Shpiel of the 58th Century. It’s hard to parody. But let’s try!
Here’s the Inside Dope: Purim is the Jewish festival of Spring Fever. (This year it begins the evening of March 23, ending at sunset March 24.) Purim is hilarious and subversive, exactly one lunar (loony) moonth before Passover -- and then Passover is the serious celebration of birth and freedom. In the same way, Mardi Gras is hilarious and subversive, 40 days before Easter -- and then Easter is the serious festival of life renewed and resurrected.
One aspect of Purim is “purim-shpiels” – Purim playlets that poke fun at all Established Institutions – kings and rabbis, Torah and politics.
The biblical Scroll of Esther that is traditionally read during Purim is not a factual history; it is itself the first purim-shpiel, a satire on stupid and tyrannical governments, especially on hatred of minorities and women. Its main characters are the feckless King Ahasuerus, his bloody-minded Prime Minister Haman, the doomed Queen Vashti, the would-be Queen Esther who hopes to lead an alternative government, and her clever adviser Uncle Mordechai.
In The Throne Room
KING TRUMP-US-SWEAR-AT-US: Prime Minister Haman-yahoo, this is my golden scepter. It's the biggest scepter in the world. When I hold it out and wave it in front of everybody, especially the ladies of the court, they all bow and faint in awe. Except Queen Washout, who thinks she is the queen of all our country’s news reporters. When I wave the scepter, she gets so angry she starts bleeding from wherever.
PRIME MINISTER HAMAN-YAHOO: So just execute her already.
KING TRUMP-US-SWEAR-AT-US: Can I really do that?
PRIME MINISTER HAMAN-YAHOO: I do it all the time. Assassinate whoever you want. Enemies. Teen-agers. People on their way to a wedding. Your predecessor King Panorama used to do it, too. Worked fine.
KING TRUMP-US-SWEAR-AT-US: Wow. Any more advice?
PRIME MINISTER HAMAN-YAHOO: Sure. First, demonize the Muslims. Last time I was worried, I accused them of ruining democracy by coming to vote in “hordes.” Worked fine; I won the election.
Next, put refugees and people who claim they need asylum in detention camps. Indefinitely. Forever. I do that with African refugees, and it works fine.
If you are speaking somewhere and somebody stands up to disagree, shake your scepter at them. If they don't shut up, urge your supporters to beat them up.
And if that doesn't stop people from making trouble, here is what we do: we make people who don't like me wear little tags wherever they go saying that they are foreign agents. Works fine. After all, I'm the Prime Minister. And you, even better; you are the King!
And if that is still not enough, here we have people we call "shtetlers." They live in little shtetls out where the Muslims are. They have rifles and submachine guns and assault weapons. Since we actually have some real live terrorists among our Muslims, the " shtetlers " already think the only way to defend themselves is to shoot first and ask questions afterwards. After all, we’ve already convinced them that all Muslims are “dangerous anti-democratic hordes,” especially when they try to vote.
I think you have armed people like that, and you call them “militias.” Or “supremacists.” Or some such. So if you have any trouble …
And by the way, if somebody asks you to repudiate people like that, just fumf around for a while. Ask – –"What's wrong with supremacy? We should all be supreme, just like me!" Everybody will get the message.
And then there’s the stuff we do to the trouble-makers we imprison. It’s top secret. We can teach your CIA about it anytime you say the word.
KING TRUMP-US-SWEAR-AT-US: No need. We already know. Don’t you read my speeches? I’m already –
PRIME MINISTER HAMAN-YAHOO: Sh’sh’sh! And I almost forgot, when we catch terrorists we burn down their houses so their kids won’t become terrorists. Trouble is, some of the kids get so traumatized and angry they become terrorists.
KING TRUMP-US-SWEAR-AT US: I already figured that out. I’m ahead of you on that. I announced we’ll just kill the families, whether they knew about the terror plans or not. Then nobody grows up to be a terrorist. ----- Listen, I have a question.
PRIME MINISTER HAMAN-YAHOO: Shoot! – No no! -- Don’t point that scepter at me! Does it shoot too?
KING TRUMP-US-SWEAR-AT-US: Of course. Biggest shooting scepter in the world! Here’s my question: When I just talk about some of these ideas, the Jews over here get all riled up. Start muttering about Mussolini and Hitler and whatever. But you actually do some of this stuff, and they don’t say a word. Why not?
PRIME MINISTER HAMAN-YAHOO: Good question.
Meanwhile, In a Neighborhood Bar:
HILLARI-ESTER: Uncle Morty-Sky Sandstorm, I think we may be getting closer to throwing King Trump-Us-Swear-at-Us out and making me the first real reigning Queen in history. Any ideas?
MORTY-SKY SANDSTORM: A lot of folks got mad when they saw the King take over 10 luxury hotels, name them after himself, and throw that six-month-long wild drinking party. Most of the people have to pinch their pennies now. So I think you ought to push this whole question of unequal wealth and income.
HILLARI-ESTER: But a lot of my friends are pretty rich too. Won't they get mad and refuse to support me if I talk like that?
MORTY-SKY SANDSTORM: You know, people say you’re not humorous. But I think you’re Hilarious enough. In fact, you’re Hilariest! Don’t you get it? Look, I can be bad cop and you'll be good cop. I'll talk about a whole political revolution and you talk about important reforms. Your rich friends will get so scared by me that they'll be willing to support you for Queen.
HILLARI-ESTER: But you are organizing thousands and thousands of people who are demanding radical change. How can you turn them off?
MORTY-SKY SANDSTORM:[Silently smiles.]
Dear friends, The Book of Esther unravels two profound jokes – really the same joke.
Haman -- who plans to hang Mordechai on the gallows -- by his very own planning sets in motion a process that ends by Haman himself being hanged on the very same gallows.
And the King -- who commands that his wife and all women do exactly what he and all their husbands order them to do -- by his very own command sets in motion the process that ends with his doing exactly what a woman – Esther – tells him to do.
Hoist on our own petard, whatever a "petard" is. Slipping on our own banana peel.
Laugh – and swallow. Breathe deep. Get the joke, let the joke get you, and have a hilarious Purim!
Shalom, salaam, sohl, peace, Earth! -- Arthur
P.S. – By the way: This Purim-shpiel arises only from my own feverish imagination in honor of Rosh Chodesh Adar-Bet -- the New Moon of the moonth of Purim. It does not express the opinions of anyone else or any institution on any subject whatsoever –- Purim, the Scroll of Esther, American politics, or the uses of a golden scepter. Please feel free to share this with others under --
<Creative Commons Attribution/ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA) 4.0 International> Oh yes: If I get hanged for this under the laws of ancient Persia, will you-all come to my funeral? -- AW