Speeches from the plays - 5.
From The Emerald Oil Company
[The action takes place in the mind of a Seer, & we discover How It All Really Works. But first, James Power O’Toole, least successful of CIA agents, takes a part in a rehearsal; & suffers a mishap.]
It depends how you play the game.
You have to keep him happy. I did. I
survived, didn't I? Got caught in the toes
a few times. That's what has me all
gnarled and knotted. Dangerous business.
He likes to play strangers. They
usually try to win. He en-
courages them in that for a while.
Like a bit of competition, he says.
I mean it is a free world. But if
they look like winning, he
changes the rules; and if they still
look like winning, he eats them!
O I'll play him. He won't mind me.
I'm on his side. I believe in competition
and free ennerprise.
Well that's all right then if you do.
Have a game. Ingratiate yourself.
Play his rules though. Nothing to it.
Just pretend to compete. Know how it goes?
He owns nine-tenths of the property,
you own one-tenth. You throw dice. You move
around the board. If you land on his
property, you pay him. If he
lands on yours, you invite him
to set up an industry, producing
So I go broke pretty quick?
O no you don't. You mortgage. Then you re-
nogotiate your loan. Then you
renogotiate your renogotiation.
Don't give up whatever you do. Go on
try it. He's waking up now. Up on the chair,
now hop up onto the table. Introduce
Haaa. Haaaagh! HAAAAAAKKHHH!!
I came to ask...
nopoly? Did you say monopoly? Why
of course little fellow. First we will
distribute the beans, the assets. Now
let me see. One for you, four for me, five for me;
one for you...
...all right people hold it. I
just want to skip a bit. That's looking pretty
good to me. What do you think yourself,
E.M. sir? Sure you'll tell us later.
Let's just move on to the bottom of the next
page, the game has been in progress some
time, "So you want..." Right Giant, your line.
So you want to mortgage Peru? Not enough!
You'll have to mortgage Thailand too!
AAAOO but I hate doing this to people!
My turn to throw the dice... One, two...
I'm afraid I just can't pay.
I've mortgaged everything I can.
FOE!... I do everything I
can for you. I lend you money,
I set you up in business. I only ask you
to pay me back, a little at a time,
as the rules of the game demand. And
what do I find? You've spent all the new
money I lent you paying me back for old
money I lent you earlier! Ungrateful wretch!
Is that any way to manage your finances?
Well I guess the game's over now.
You think it's a game? FEE!
FIE! FOE!!! And - get a load of this!!! -
Well it is a game, isn't it?
FUMMMMNNYUMMMMNYAMMMmmmm!! MWAAMMMMmmm Mwamm mmmwwpppf!
(guzzling - then on the intake)
E.M. sir. I think we've got a problem.
He ate him. The Giant ate your man.
Yes I saw that. Don't you feel that's carrying
the rehearsal process a tad too far?
Who wrote this garbage anyway, where is he?
You'll very likely find him in the bar
below. He won't attend rehearsals -
actors messing up his nice clean script.
All right everyone take five
see if we can dig the CIA
out of its latest tight corner...!
tell your author I don't think he has
a lot of tact… Ladies and gentlemen,
let us return to the 7th floor. You know
as a public relations exercise,
that was a washout. Wouldn't do at all.
And it's nowhere near the truth. Not
that that matters. And indeed our primary
concern is that it should be nowhere
near the truth. Here we are. Excuse
me one moment. The shrine. The card I left.
Prayer offering really. This little piece of card
represents investment plans proposed
for a Third World country of
little or no consequence. Profitability, although
a major consideration, is not our sole concern.
No. Cosmic Harmony is. Most vital. At a price.
Like anything else. And that price is
an element that figures in all our plans
- it shows up sometimes as a percentage,
function, factor, integral, exponent -
but it's always there. This is the element
that must be submitted to the challenging
scrutiny of the personage in our shrine...
(Tabernacle curtains draw aside, an illumined image intones in a lurid brass voice:)
I am Moloch! I am your Death
Wish! Where are my children?!
E.M. (closing the curtains)
Moloch, erstwhile god of death and destruction,
currently patron of economic development.
We have a procedure. I throw dice. Even,
Moloch says no, odd he says yes.
Double sixes, wait. Right, here we go.
Even. MSN, Moloch Says No. And
back into the works. Sorry babies...
of Africa? All Africa? O well.
Not my choice. How it has to be. Thus
the almighty economic forces
determine whether millions live or die,
and are accounted for. Infallible?
The concept of mistake does not apply.
And the key component that must be
pleasing to Moloch?
Child sacrifice. O yes. That's his
requirement. Whether it's powdered milk, a little
war, disaster engineered, disaster
courted, whether it means depressing an
economy down to famine level by
cutting the price of its major product, coffee,
seisal, zinc... Everything can be managed.
And must be. Child sacrifice. It's he
who says it. Not me. Simply must be faced
up to. We live in a world of hard
economic realities, at least I do. I
live with it. Anyway, it's nothing new.
Already it's implicit in newspaper
catchphrases of the contented who may be
children of yesterday's famine refugees.
I think we should be above all that
self-reproach business. It hurts us
only if we think about it. Soldier
on. Duty. Maybe repugnant, ultimately noble.
It's up to us to make it work, all this...
Phil (the visionary)
Wouldn't it make you sick? This hurts
me more than it hurts you. The martyred
executioner. I can't see any more.
Too horrible for words. I never thought
I could have dreamt up anything so sordid.
But that's science.
Step one - review the baffling facts, in our case
criminal misuse of the world's resources;
step two - construct a hypothesis, the only one
cogent and gruesome enough to fit those facts.
I mean we have control. Somebody's doing it….