Thursday, July 17, 2008
Idea for a play posted by Richard SeymourGenoa, 2001: a haphazardly dressed 'maniac' penetrates police headquarters in the Bolzaneto district, shortly after a mysterious incident in which hundreds of international anticapitalist protesters are ferociously beaten to injury and near-death. With no clues, no leads, and no suspects except the victims themselves, the police are anxiously attempting to secure the arrest of old ladies with cracked skulls. The 'maniac', adopting a variety of disguises, induces the police to leap through the hoops of their own illogical explanations for what took place: they weren't really injured, or if they were, the injuries were old; they attacked the police first; they were fighting among themselves; they were Black Bloc... Gradually, one by one, he provokes the officers to admit the sinister truth - that under the guidance of the neo-fascist deputy Prime Minister, and with assurances of impunity, the police systematically attacked, beat, tortured, humiliated and threatened with rape hundreds of people they knew to be innocent of any crime, for the purpose of terrorising them and the movement they represented. The police officers pour out their hatred for the dirty queers and communists and environmentalists and gypsies who pollute the otherwise pristine body of beautiful Italy. They reminisce about fascists - Mussolini, Franco, Pinochet, all great men. They sing the old fascist songs, and laugh about how easy it is to con the bourgeois press into swallowing any lies, any contortions, any manifest absurdities. But just as the play reaches its finale, the 'maniac' is exposed as a fraud and a penetrator - one of those filthy communists, no less. They prepare to defenestrate him. But, just as they have him by the ankles, his bag of disguises begins to tick noisily. Inside it, they find a bomb, but it's too late. The play ends with a bang.
What? What do you mean you've heard this before?