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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.]

 

Old Retainer

 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!

Power

O I'll play him. He won't mind me.

I'm on his side. I believe in competition

and free ennerprise.

Old Retainer

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

beans.

Power

       So I go broke pretty quick?

Old Retainer

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

yourself.

Giant

         Haaa. Haaaagh! HAAAAAAKKHHH!!

Power

Hi.

Giant

Fee!

Power

    I came to ask...

Giant

       Fie!

Power

...about

a game...

Giant

Foe!

Power

    ...of monopoly.

Giant

Mo-

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...

Stage Manager

...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.

Giant

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...

FEE!

Power

     I'm afraid I just can't pay.

Giant

FIE!

Power

    I've mortgaged everything I can.

I'm broke.

Giant

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?

Answer me!

Power

Well I guess the game's over now.

Giant

You think it's a game? FEE!

FIE! FOE!!! And - get a load of this!!! -

Power

Well it is a game, isn't it?

Giant

FUMMMMNNYUMMMMNYAMMMmmmm!! MWAAMMMMmmm Mwamm mmmwwpppf!

(guzzling - then on the intake)

Sssslllltthhwwpplllthllssllp'p!

(Pause.)

Stage Manager

E.M. sir. I think we've got a problem.

He ate him. The Giant ate your man.

E.M.

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?

Stage Manager

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...!

E.M.

You can

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:)

Giant-as-Moloch 

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….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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