Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

Vows I’ve Made, Vows I’ve Broken, Vows I’ll Continue to Keep.

Below is a two-minute play called Our Oath, Your Office, which I wrote for Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind in 2009. It was first performed in January, the Friday immediately following Barack Obama’s inauguration. I feel a need to revisit and share it in light of the deep fissure that this past week has rampaged its way through the ranks of the liberals (or the lefties, or the progressives) regarding the debt compromise (or debt debacle, or debt surrender, or “Satan Sandwich”[1]) that got signed into law hours before the nation suffered a catastrophic default.

I’m not going to lay down paragraph after paragraph of what I perceive about the deal or the President or my feelings on both parties’ higher-ups and rank-and-file and grassroots. (Because that is what the comment sections of Facebook status updates are for.) I just want to be clear that when I sat down and wrote this and every night I performed it I meant every single word spoken, and that I mean it as much today as I did two-and-a-half years ago.

Our Oath, Your Office
© 2009 Bilal Dardai

Three pairs of performers standing in a row; each pair faces each other. The “A” performers hold a copy of a book that is important to the “B” performers. “A” performers speak in unison and “B” performers speak in unison except where indicated.

A: Please raise your right hand and place your left on this copy of…
A1: [title of book]
A2: [title of book]
A3: [title of book]

“B” performers do so.

A: I, [B performer’s full name]—
B: I—
B1: [name]
B2: [name]
B3: [name]
A: —do solemnly swear—
B: —or affirm—
A: —that I will faithfully execute—
B: —the duties of an American citizen.
A: I will remember the principles—
B: —that drove me to vote for you.
A: I will work—
B: —for the change you represent.
A: I will not hesitate—
B: —to speak out against injustice.
A: Even if it is you who commits it.
B: Especially if it is you who commits it.
A: I will not deify you.
B: I will not deify you.
A: I will understand that you are a human being—
B: —and therefore fallible.
A: I will look to the future—
B: —and avoid dwelling on the past.

(Beat.)

A: But I will also—
B: —to the best of my ability—
A: —do what I can to ensure—
A/B: —that we never allow a selfish, power-hungry idiot like George W. Bush to hold this office ever again.

(Beat.)

A: So help me God.
B: Over my dead body.

CURTAIN

My point being–when it comes to this country’s politics, the motto I attempt to live by is Remember clearly, analyze objectively, and take responsibility.

Any time you convince yourself that something you don’t really like “couldn’t possibly be worse” than the something that disappointed you, you are daring the universe to show you just how wrong you are.

[1] And seriously, “Satan Sandwich” is just childish. I expect so much better of some of the people I see using it.

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This entry was posted on August 4, 2011 by in Playlets, Politics, Theatre.
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