We’re all mad here
A recent comment on my post about The Madwoman of Chaillot made me look up a speech from the play, and I find the way it comments on current events a little scary, considering that the play was published in 1947:
President: …Baron, the first thing we have to do is get rid of these people! Good heavens, look at them! Every size, shape, color and period of history imaginable. It’s utter anarchy! I tell you, sir, the only safeguard of order and discipline in the modern world is a standardized worker with interchangeable parts. (Sits.) Here, the manager–And there—one composite drudge grunting and sweating all over the world. Just we two. –Ah, how beautiful! How easy on the eyes! How restful for the conscience!
Baron: Yes, yes, of course—(Enter Flower Girl, Waiter from café. Sergeant from l. to Madwoman.)
President: Order. Symmetry. Balance. But instead of that, what? Here in Chaillot, the very citadel of management, these insolent phantoms of the past come to beard us with their raffish individualism—with the right of the voiceless to sing, of the dumb to make speeches, of trousers to have no seats and bosoms to have dinner bells!
Baron: But, after all, do these people matter?
President: My dear sir, wherever the poor are happy, and the servants proud, and the mad are respected, our power is at an end. Look at that! That waiter! That madwoman! That flower girl! Do I get that sort of service? And suppose that I—president of twelve corporations and ten times a millionaire—were to stick a gladiolus in my buttonhole and start yelling (He rises and yells.) Are my bones ready, Irma?
Head Start and WIC (food program for Women, Infants, Children) are “entitlements”?
Oh yeah, this is a post about a satiric play in which the situations are exaggerated to make a point.