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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


LowerManhattanite: "Political Masturbation Theatre Presents: William Shakespeare's 'Obamo'"

Quite the couple

THANKS to LowerManhattanite for this great piece - THANKS LM!

(Curtain rises on a smoke-filled, oak-lined study. In it stands OBAMO, a noble Moorish/Amfrerican, newly chosen to the Senate and HILLAMONA, a proud, steely blonde of noble lineage, also to the Senate selected. They are at opposite ends of the room—brooding in smoldering silence. The tension between them could be cut with a plastic spoon/fork hybrid {“spork”}. Hillamona wheels on Obamo suddenly with fire dancing in her eyes)

HILLAMONA: (Flushed and holding her throat as if just choked) Varlet! You sought to steal the air from my lungs—my campaign’s very lungs!

OBAMO; You drape your anger ‘pon a hook in the wrong man’s castle. T’was not I, Hillamona—your quarrel lay with King David of the Western Hills. Yet you assail me.

HILLAMONA: He mouths words as thy proxy, Obamo—deny it not, for you know it to be true.

OBAMO: He is his own man. I do not control him.

HLLAMONA: Thy denial fairly rings with implausibility, Moor.

OBAMO: (with venom) Hah! Irony abounds woman. You who would cast doubt ‘pon my words! Look thee to the linens—and find there a bib to sop the mendacity that drips from thy mouth. I pray one will do.

HILLAMONA: (enraged) Stripling!

OBAMO: Virago!

HILLAMONA: (hissed) A Virago favored by your own Moors!

OBAMO: (stepping back for a moment) Your words…ring of an anger contrived. Thou art are a snake, snapping fangs at the air madly, as blood leaks from thy own body.

HILLAMONA: I do not hear thee!

OBAMO: The wolves smell your blood. (He sniffs)’Tis sweet in the air. Your war vote wound betrays you.

HILLAMONA: I do not regret it, Moor. You say it wounds me, but is it not a graver wound to retreat? To renege? Yea, bleed I do, but die I will not. While you…

HILLAMONA: Risk not, lose not, hatch-ling. When the vote was cast, thy were but an egg. Barely a’ borning.

OBAMO: And from the moment beak sundered shell, this bird’s song was ‘nay’ to the war you championed. Thou…and the traitorous Joseph of Nutmeg, and other craven practicalists.

HILLAMONA: Misled were we!

OBAMO: Nay, Lead you did not. And now you stand o’er the ashes of defeat and claim to have lit no flame.

(Hillamona brandishes a dagger and points it at Obamo)

HILLAMONA: Thou shalt not quicken the vessel (*1). with me! The first strike shall be mine—

OBAMO: (Standing his ground and deepening his voice) You would raise a hand to me? Thy comrade? We stand on the same side, you and I. Your fight be not with me. ‘Tis with our enemy. Giuliano. MacCain and the Mormom Mitt.

(Hillamona hesitates, blinking, unsure)

OBAMO: (Moving to her) They on whom the nut hath sprouted wings that fly. (grasping her now) Let you,,,and I…and Edwardio—

HILLAMONA: The maned?

OBAMO: And feckless. Let us loose the arrows in our quivers at the real enemy…not each other. Leave us forget the mundaneness of despair…

HILLAMONA: (Grasping him back) And embrace…?

OBAMO: The audacity…of hope.

(He holds her tightly cradling her head back—until, she gasps and gurgles from choking on her own saliva. She wrenches herself away, eyes again ablaze with mistrust and anger.)

HILLAMONA: (Gasping) Again you seek to take the breath from me!

OBAMO: Twas you! Thy choked thyself Hillamona!

HILLAMONA: The injury is from without, cur—as always! And I shall smite he who hath swung at me. I shall smite all!

(She swings wildly with the dagger, missing Obamo who dodges. Hillamona chases him about, catching air instead of flesh, running him off the stage and following close behind. Enter MEDIAGO from the wing, rubbing his hand together gleefully.)

MEDIAGO: (laughing conspiratorially) Yes…yes! Let slip the dogs of war! Mistrust, my mistress! Deceit, my liege! Confusion and rancor ! (Sniffs hard at the air) Like the spoor of fresh roses in the air, that smell so sweet, Obamo thinks me his friend, and Hillamona sees me her coronator, yet neither the two knows me for what I am truly—that which serves neither their interests, but craves only nearness to power. It, the flame…to my nature-drawn moth. Power! Quo of status! I crave theeeeeeeeeeeeee!

(Mediago runs madly from the stage, exiting—pursued by an elephant)

(*1.) quicken the vessel = to swift boat

- posted by LowerManhattanite

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