Thursday, August 13, 2009

The New Town Hall

Senator Specter sighed. He’d tried joking around, he’d tried standing up to them, but still they came with their questions about losing the America they knew, breaking down crying, and the shouting.


“I hear you. Can you hear me?” They couldn’t.


All right, he thought, here goes. “Well, you've left me no other choice. Ladies and gentlemen, I present COCAINE AND ABEL!”

The curtains parted behind him to reveal a five piece band of straggly, unshaven youths fronted by a bearish looking man with an orange beard dresses in a poor man’s suit. The feedback curved the air like a meniscus of sonic doom. Then the barrage, a slow sludge of sound, guitars, keyboards and drums indistinguishable. Less a wall of sound than the whole building, crashing down, the clouds of smoke rolling over the town hall in a furious rumble. The man in the suit fell to his knees and howled as if genuinely in pain, then began ranting, sounding like a man with a mouth filled with angry sandwiches.

Behind them a large screen displayed text. One of Specter’s aides had rigged up a program that scoured the internet for discussion of health care. Statistics about people losing their jobs and their doctors, death panels, preexisting conditions, all of it faded up and down, and the conversation became big screen virtual with a dark loud throbbing soundtrack.

The nuts tried to keep chanting but the noise drowned them out, so they just looked like angry goldfish. Specter’s staff passed out earplugs, and he put on soundproof earphones, so he didn’t have to hear that horrible rock music. He sat down and watched the show, the vibrations from the band rippling his waddled skin. Yes, he was going to take a political hit for the whole “cocaine” thing, and these guys had a pentagram sticker on the drum set, so yeah, there was a Satanist charge to contend with, and God knows what the grizzly bear lead singer was screaming, but Specter smiled nonetheless. He was in the moment, and he’d stopped the lunatic fringe from hijacking his town hall. This was the band his niece recommended, and he hadn't had time to vet it.

What’s a little drugs and Satanism going to do to his career? I’m a Democrat now, he thought, time to enjoy it.

--Dan Kilian

Rationing the Death Panels

The C Word Warning! Uses the C word!

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