Doing comedy after the national earthquake that occurred November 8th is more than a challenge. It’s hard to satirize that which is, at first glance, completely within the realm of satire itself. Yet here we are. John and I were working at the Sarasota Medieval Fair when the shit hit the fan. We do a sketch where Puke runs for public office, Snot puts him through a “press conference” wherein Puke answers questions like “Have you ever smoked marijuana?”–“Yes, but I quit.”–“Why?”–“It interfered with my drinking.” We tried the sketch the first day of the first weekend, and were met with a mostly steely silence from the majority of the patrons at the show. I’m sure they sensed a “liberal bias” in the sketch, we were definitely appearing in the heart of Trumpville, even in a fairly progressive Florida city like Sarasota. So we put that sketch away for the remainder of the gig and stayed with the safe stuff like “The Magaga Routine.”
That was a rough two weeks. Being 1600 miles away from urban Minnesota, where neighbors generally support rational, compassionate political thought, where Paul Wellstone is still revered and everyone is welcome at the table, was a bit unsettling– even though each day now feels like I’m in a nightmare production of Macbeth, he’s just been crowned King, and we’re all standing around in bad costumes at court glancing at each other and thinking: “But….he’s the guy who killed Duncan! Doesn’t everybody know that? How can HE be King? And what’s going to happen to us?”
So it’s good to be home. And the work of the Resistance is just beginning. I’m starting this blog to give myself a forum to occasionally vent and say what I think in the coming days and months without subjecting all my Facebook friends to a daily Seinfeldian “airing of grievances.” I’ve already met with half a dozen like-minded men, all actors of a certain age, all well known in the community and all deeply concerned with the radical right turn by the nation’s political ship into the unknown and murky waters of the next four years. The witches are gathered by the cauldron and the auguries are not good. A good friend (and another actor) reminded me tonight that those of us who have been a part of the theater community sometimes take the diversity that has always been an integral part of the acting profession for granted and assume that everybody else sees what we see—or don’t see. It’s a good thing to remember.
All of us want to have a positive impact on our communities however we can, to reassure the least secure among us that it’s still safe to live and work here. There’s fear everywhere, much of it well-founded. The Know Nothings have been given license to come out from the shadows, and under the banner of NO MORE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, they’re feeling their oats, they’re standing up in bars and airplanes and calling people “Hillary bitches,” they’re intimidating minorities, creating fear, and it’s up to the sane among us to stand up, speak up, defend the Minnesota values that we’ve lived with all our lives, and say NO. Black, white, gay, straight, atheist, Christian, Jewish or Muslim, we’re all in this together and an attack on one is an attack on all.
The Resistance starts now.
Time for us all to get active, show up, support environmental, women’s, and progressive organizations like the Sierra Club, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the SPLC—with contributions if possible—and put the brakes on this bigotry, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, and every other fetid phobia that’s been uncaged and encouraged by this Mango Mussolini and his misguided followers. According to the final vote tally in the past four or five elections, there are millions more of us than there are of them. Let’s work so that in a short two years the next election rids us of the worst of their representatives and becomes a warning to the rest.
More soon. Keep the faith. —UnclePuke