Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
Below is a play I performed for my last six weeks in TOO MUCH LIGHT. I wrote the play initially in response to a story about Michigan legislators watering down an anti-bullying law on the basis of “religious grounds.”
I’m posting it now because they’re trying to do it again in Tennessee.
And I’ll be damned if that shit ever goes by without a response from me.
© 2011 Bilal Dardai
A series of tableaus. BILAL speaks to the audience while PHIL and KURT create images of roughing him up, playground style. Each transition is handled violently, with pushes and shoves.
Tableau 1: BD backed up against a wall.
BD: His name was Jason. He used to push me up against the school building during recess and demand all the money I had on me. I once gave him about 75 cents entirely in pennies that I’d kept in a small red treasure chest, that originally came from a box of Cap’n Crunch. We spent an hour in Principal Mikulcik’s office and he left me alone after that. I don’t know why he did it. Maybe he was saving up for a bike.
Tableau 2: BD held from behind, the other grabbing his collar and wound up to punch.
BD: His name was Aaron. I’d bike past his house on my way to Matt Horeni’s and he’d throw large rocks at me as I went by. He hit me once in the shoulder and knocked a spoke off the front wheel, and I started taking a different route to Matt’s instead. I don’t know why he did it. Maybe he was racist.
Tableau 3: BD pinned down on his stomach, one person on his arms and the other grabbing his head.
BD: His name was Junior. He sat next to me in English, making rude remarks about my mom, and he shoved me into walls when we passed each other in the hallway. I got transferred to another English class and he got disinterested. I don’t know why he did it. Maybe because he had to go through life with the name Junior.
Tableau 4: BD with his arms twisted behind him.
BD: His name was Mike. He’d mess with my food during lunch and knock me over during gym class. I struck him in the head with a combination lock and that seemed to get him off my case. I don’t know why he did it. Maybe because it was high school and I was fat and somebody had to.
Tableau 5: BD stands before the audience, the others pushing an invisible person against the wall.
BD: I don’t know their names. There are 26 of them, and they are all Republican legislators in the state of Michigan. Last week they helped pass something they called “Matt’s Safe School Law,” named after Matt Eppling, a student who was bullied to the point that he committed suicide. And these 26 Republican legislators included a provision in this bill granting legal protection to bullies if they argued that their behavior stemmed from “moral or religious convictions.” I don’t know why they did it. Even if the final law gets rid of the loophole, I won’t comprehend why they did it. Maybe they thought it would be a winning issue next election. Maybe they believe it’s just a natural part of growing up. Maybe they’re a pack of cruel, ignorant sociopaths, and maybe we should stop allowing these people to hold fucking office.