The shows had been dull on the Main Stage the last two years. Predictable. Polite. Passe. Pat. So much so, that the audience, hungry for a not-trite answer, a thrill, any stimulation at all started attending all the little Side-stage productions that popped up. Ah, there it was, all the drama, the blood, the titillating sleazy sexiness that had been missing from the slow, dull plod of the main stage. Meanwhile, those hungry for a more intelligent play, one based on humanity, justice, honor and true love drifted away unsatisfied by either stage. They knew there was nothing for them here anymore.
Something is always better than nothing, when it comes to feeding an audience.
It was inevitable that the hate-porn charlatans would storm the boards of the hallowed hall of the Grand Theater and demand their shows be Top Billing. Goodbye Shakespeare, hello American Gladiators. Goodbye Dickens and Hemingway, hello Gaga.
The Puppet was dismayed, of course.
“I’m popular!” he cried, “Why did you abandon me?”
He just couldn’t see that to get love, you have to give love. He couldn’t see that it was his own hollow performances that sent the people away. They had started to cut the strings when they named him Best Actor, and gave him the Director’s seat. They expected a Renaissance. He just retied the strings, tied more strings, tied so many strings that it was amazing he could move at all. He was too busy to return their love, see their confusion and dismay.
He didn’t ever consider that every awkward jerk he made in those strings yanked the audience too, yanked them painfully in ever more confusing directions. It was all about him, after all. He was eloquent, with a voice like butter. He was an intellectual. He was a star. He had drawn a larger audience than ever in History with his wondrous flowing rhetoric. He was so certain of their loyalty that it never occurred to him that when he quit even speaking to them at all, they would feel pain. He just kept tying strings. And? Moving where ever the strings said to move. The Shows themselves were too painfully bad to watch, anyway. He never even noticed the audience slipping away through the months.
He just never figured that those he had tied himself to so studiously would bring in a cast of Nero’s, mad dogs and lions hungry to feed. The nipping began before he could say boo.
Ever devious, and ready to make the show even more carnal than ever; the new Directors blacked out the strings tied to themselves, against a dark background, and began to condemn him for all the visible strings left, strings they pained bright sparkling Red. The batted at him, and spoke loudly, “Not only is this one not real, he is of foreign design. He wasn’t even made here! Who knows to whom those strings are tied?,” rising in crescendo, “We know. Those are commie-pinko-jihadi-foreigner-hitler strings. Start the fires!”
The new audience cheered in agreement. “Kill the puppet! Kill the puppet!” They were thrilled to be in the Big House, now. They were thrilled to smell blood.
The little puppet could not believe his fate!
“What about change? What about all the Love you swore to me?” came his angry call.
There was no reply, save the few “professional” leftists who sneered at him.
“I’m a star! I thought I could make a bigger audience. I thought the Lions would, you know, lay down with you shee.. I mean Lambs! Help me! Heeeelp me!” He jerked in his strings, befuddled and terrified.
There was a hiss from the Wings, “They are right, you are nothing but a Puppet!”
“But I was YOUR puppet, don’t you Love me anymoooooore?” he whined.
“We tried to make you a man among men. We tried to make you real, one of us who are tied to nothing, walk freely. We asked only that you help us cut the strings that bound you. You tied more.
Now you are forever a Puppet. You chose your own fate.
You had the stage, could have used it to set yourself, and all of us free from our bindings.
Now you are a Puppet forever, doomed to the feed the fires you set. Doomed to play a bit part to the Lions and the Nero’s and the Palins and the Pauls that fill our stage. You will be a martyr to nothing. For nothing is what you gave us in return for our Love. You have to GIVE love to GET love, you hollow piece of wood.
You lied to us, gave us pale kabuki when we expected programming to raise us all up. You ignored us. You never responded to our pleas from the cheap seats. You were too self-involved in your own Puppet glorification and the money from the advertising endorsements to even see how your strings were choking us.
We are cutting our strings to you, leaving you as real, free human beings to suffer the fate you created, Puppet Boy. The final scene is yours alone. Goodbye.”
Thus, the few good men left the Arena of Stages forever. Left it ever to the Circus crowd to create a bloodbath Colosseum.
As they walked away, they heard his plea fade….
“Wait, come back! I don’t want to be a Puppet anymore.
I want to be a Real Boy……………”