“Friends, Romans, countrymen…”

“Not likely to be too many Romans there.  I think they all died off centuries ago.  Some Italians maybe.  But not Romans.”

“Fine!  It was for dramatic effect.  Set the tone, you know?  Shall I change it to ‘Americans’?”

“That would be more appropriate, I think.  Still, don’t you find it redundant?”

“How so?”

“Well, you’re an American.  Your countrymen are American.  So it seems to just repeat the address.  Besides, it’s also rather exclusionary.  Aren’t you going to speak to the women in the audience?”

“Maybe I should begin, ‘My fellow Americans’?”

“You’re not the president.”

“Argh.  Alright.  Stop it.  Can I continue?”

“By all means.”

“Thank you.  Ahem.  I come to bury America, not to praise her.”

“More jokes?  You’re still on Shakespeare?  I don’t mean to tell you how to do this…”

“Like hell you don’t.”

“… but one line is pushing it.  Two is practically plagiarism.  Do you really think people want to hear Mark Antony’s bit that much?  Say what you’re trying to say.  Let the cute stuff go.”

“I was trying to signal the irony from his monologue.”

“They should be able to figure it out if you’ve done it right.”

“Okay, okay…  We have been told America will become amazing once more.  And since an honest man has been elected to the highest office, we can be sure it’s true.  But before the new age dawns, the one that is so new it will be old, let us take a few moments to reflect on what we have left behind.  In the past few years, the country has seen several changes.  The expansion of insurance coverage to many millions of people was one of the biggest.  Unfortunately, the government’s actions forced insurance companies, which have always fought to keep rates low, to raise prices for consumers.  The companies have bemoaned this state of affairs.  Now we can look forward to the companies being allowed to lower those prices again, making insurance affordable by allowing only some people to have it.”

“Ah.  Better.”

“Thank you.”

“Please continue.”

“Another change that we had suffered through was social in nature.  Women, minorities, members of the LGBTQ community had seen slow but perceptible improvements towards equal treatment.  This came at the expense of white males who had built this country through their own efforts without any help whatsoever.  These changes gave white males the barest of glimpse of how these disadvantaged groups had been treated for centuries.  That injustice threatened their feelings, and thus the very foundation of our once proud nation.  Now we can look forward to a return of the white male to his proper place.”


“Too heavy handed?”

“Perhaps a bit.  Go on.”

“Finally, our formerly advanced country had begun making moves towards the technologies and realities of this new millennium.  The transition was difficult as manufacturing was being shipped overseas and the demand for old energy sources declined.  This slide stops now.  We will close our border to immigrants who have never contributed anything to our country.  Rather than prepare for the future, we need to move our own workers back to factories and mines.  This will help us in several ways.  We can take pride that we are making things.  Also we will help make Social Security and Medicare more financially stable, since life expectancy will lower with the accidents and illnesses that are rampant in mines.  The one way that we cannot go back, however, is with unions.  These are job-killing organizations.  If we let workers have rights, it is no wonder these companies feel forced to look elsewhere for labor.  The best strategy to get jobs back is to set up sweatshops with the same conditions and pay that we see in southeast Asia.  That will return our labor force to financial security.”

“Well, that was…  rather…”

“And so, we will soon usher in the end of the privileged political class, those people who serve in political office for years and develop expertise for the job.  We have ended corruption and returned power to wealthy private individuals whose only concern is that of the working class, with whom they have so much in common.  America as we knew her is gone.  May this new America, this return to the good old days of the 19th century, be everything we have hoped for.”

“Well, then…”

“So how was it?  Once you get past the opening bits you hated.”

“Maybe go back to those.”


“Shakespeare had the nuance right.  A bit more subtle.”

Et tu?


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