Scene: A video editing suite with two figures cloaked mostly in darkness, lit only by a monitor with a video playing. They’re watching it, going back and forth over an interview. The opening credits are for an interview show called “First Person.” The theme music is from Beethoven’s Ritterballett, the Romance.
Shadow 1: How’d we get this job. It’s gotta be the worst job in politics.
Shadow 2: No, your girlfriend has the worst job in politics.
Shadow 1: Fuck you, dude! And by the way, she’s pissed. Let’s get through this so I get home.
Shadow 2.: No argument.
Interviewer: Congressman, you’re the first theologian turned politician we’ve interviewed on this show…
Interviewee: I’m afraid I have to protest. I’m not a theologian. I don’t belong to that circle.
Interviewer: But your degree is in religion is it not and you are a politician.
Interviewee: One’s degree is merely a license plate, a form of identification we’re forced to carry.
The video stops.
Shadow 2: What an arrogant asshole.
Shadow 1: Right. I’ll make a note. Nobody cares about that shit. They know he’s arrogant. Go to the part about his daughter.
Video speeds ahead.
Interviewer: Let’s talk about your daughter. She’s in federal prison for domestic terrorism…
Interviewee: She’s charged. Charged.
Interviewer: Yes, sorry, accused of domestic terrorism. How did this happen? Will this impact you politically?
Interviewee: Of course it will he used against me in the obvious ways. It’s fair. Voters want to understand whether the apple falls far from the tree, right? Or was it my neglect…
Shadow 2: Can we use that? Apples? Trees? Neglect?
Shadow 1: Mmmmm. I don’t know. The boss has been cool about burning him on the kid. It’s probably in reserve if the poll numbers say it’s close.
Shadow 2: But he’s all about Burke or some shit like that. And here’s his kid running around with anarchists and knocking over banks. It’s beyond socialism. I mean what the fuck?
Shadow 1: You’re right. Hmmm. Wait, he says some shit about the American revolution. Let me see.
Speeds back and forth.
Interviewee: The American Revolution was neither…
Interviewer: Now wait, what does that mean.
Interviewee: It was more English that anything and it was hardly a revolution. American colonists were taxed at a fraction of their English counterparts. They had representation from Edmund Burke and Charles Fox — they were champions, champions of the Americans…
Interviewer: You’re saying that the old ‘no taxation without representation” slogan was…
Interviewee: …illegitimate. Well, wrong word. It was an exaggeration. Propaganda.
Shadow 1: Now that we can use. He’s supposed to be a conservative.
Shadow 2: Let it play…
Interviewee: The point is the American Revolution was rooted in the Glorious Revolution, it was Englishmen saying, “The King has broken the social contract.” Remember Locke? But they really didn’t have that much to complain about. The whole revolution for independence thing didn’t need to happen…
Shadow 2: Now that’s good. “The whole revolution for independence thing didn’t need to happen.”
Shadow 1: His daughter doesn’t think so.
Shadow 2: Right. The guy doesn’t even believe in the country he’s governing. No wonder she’s ready to blow it up.
Shadow 1: That’s an ad right there. If this guy had been in Philadelphia in 1776 we’d all be British right now.
Shadow 2: Right. We’d all be speaking English right now!
Shadow 2: I’m thinking something like the dollar bill, with Washington dissolving into the Queen’s face with his stupid about the “independence thing” as a voice over.
Shadow 1: Yes. Yes. I love that. That “independence thing” will fuck with him all day long. He stepped in it there.
Shadow 2: Now you can go home to mommy.
Shadow 1: She can wait. We’re going to get a drink. This is a killer.
They leave, the video plays alone, flickering in the dark.
Interviewee: You said earlier, I’m a theologian turned politician. I’m not much of a politician either. I mean, listen to me and look at my family. But I can’t say I’ve made a mistake. I’ve followed my path.
Interviewer: And your path is controversy? What is that path?
Interviewee: Faith. And faith isn’t a belief. It’s trusting in something outside of oneself, the Universe, God, the people who lived before us, even the people who will come after us.
Interviewer: And how does that play in Peoria?
Interviewee: Exactly. Remember Admiral Stockdale. “Who am I? Why am I here?”