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“MARCHING TO OBLIVION”
by OPOVV, ©2013
(Dec. 3, 2013) — The stage is draped with Royal Purple cloth hanging from Corinthian columns, and the players, Greek Gods and Goddesses, are dressed in white togas, lounging around a large crystal ball. The stage is lit by a warm glow. The crystal ball is dim blue.
Hephaestus (God of Money) enters from stage left, holding his ribs and giggling. “You got to see it to believe it. I don’t know if they’re as dumb as they act or if it’s all just an act, but, if nothing else, it’s entertaining.”
Choruses of “Oh, do tell” ring out.
“It’s like this,” he says. “They color pieces of paper green and put numbers on them, usually the number ‘100’, but I’ve seen the numbers ‘50’ and ‘20’, too. Then they pat themselves on the back and proclaim that their bookkeeping methods are beyond reproach, that they’re really rich and have a strong economy because, and get this, they color paper with the total amount of $35 BILLION every month!”
Choruses of “Here, here!” ring out.
Athena (Goddess of Common Sense) asks, “But how can they keep it a secret?”
“That’s the funny part: they don’t. Everyone knows about it. Why, they even go on television and talk about it as if it’s a good thing to do.”
Choruses of “You’ve got to be kidding” ring out.
“A house of cards,” remarks Hermes (God of the Stock market), “Ready to fall at the slightest provocation. It would be a good excuse to declare Martial Law if the economy tanked.”
Choruses of “Indeed it would” ring out.
“You mean to say,” exclaims Ares, “that all the people who died in all the wars, those descendants of Greek Democracy, died in vain, for naught?”
Choruses of “Say it ain’t so” ring out.
“Well, it seems to be so,” says Hephaestus, affecting the pose of Rodin’s “The Thinker.”
Hades (the Piper, who we must all pay, in the end) stands up, and all turn toward him as he says, “Yes, it is as he says. I’ve been studying these people for over 200 years and in a matter of a few years, they are squandering all of their accumulated wealth; so much, in fact, that even the yet-born are saddled with a great debt.”
Choruses of a hurtful, mournful wail ring out.
Zeus (the Head Dude) stands. The other actors kneel in front of him. The stage lights dim as the crystal ball becomes blindingly bright.
“Little People!” cries Mighty Zeus. “My children have turned away from the Freedoms that they worked so hard for, turning their collective backs on individual initiative for a collective failure. Little People, who were once strong and could stand alone. Little People, who were not afraid to speak Truths. Little People, marching to oblivion, My Children are dying! Is there no one to help them? Why can’t they help themselves? Why can’t they relive the wonder days of yore? What prevents them, what course do they follow? I shall not stand for this travesty!”
Choruses of “The Star Spangled Banner” ring out!