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Devils, God, and People

A play in one act with three scenes

by Alfred de Grazia

Copyright © 2001 by Alfred de Grazia

Dramatis Personae:


Beelzebub, devil

Lileth, devil

Adolf, Benito, Mao, Tojo, Josef: devils' assistants,

masked to resemble notorious characters

Scene One

The scene opens rear of stage in a barroom, old-fashioned, low-brow, upon two devils and god. God, a dark fellow with fat black hair, wears a white kimono on whose back is lettered brilliantly 'In God We Trust' . The female's seat distends a card reading: "Lileth," while, from the male's seat, a corresponding card reads "Beelzebub." Seen from the back at first, sitting on their bar stools, with god in between the devils, they turn around as the play opens and step onto center-stage.

As the curtain goes up, there is a full (synthesizer) cacophonic orchestral chord crash, followed by thirty seconds of a snare drum roll and one-second-tempo bass drum beat.

The devils are concluding the encounter, leering, sneering, and smacking each other, congratulating themselves. The one is a woman named Lilith, a bimbo type, painted, naked (almost) with a long forked tail that she plays with seductively during the action), while the other is a squat, horned man named Beelzebub.

God goes stonily shuffling off in his pointy slippers to the right of stage, shaking his grey locks and muttering, Woe is me! Goddamned! Woe is me, goddamned!

Lillie: Now don't come back until we've fixed your wagon. A deal's a deal. We made you an offer to roll dice for the pigs. You accepted. So we have picked up the human race fair and square. Wheeee! (And she hurls a brown ball, which she has pulled out from beneath her tail, at the back of the retreating Lord.)

God turns, baffled by such insolence.

Beelie: You proclaimed your rage at the disgusting American people, you cursed your job, you prayed - I don't know to whom, you faker - that someone would take the whole rotten mess off your hands.

Lillie: Yes, and you remember when you said to Moses, to take just one case, that you would destroy all the Jews? How many of such threats you have called down from on high! Not only against the Jews, but against all of the Earth's people as well. Only a last minute impulse saved mankind from extermination and left the world with the seed of Noah, for what it was worth.

And so We came. At your service, Big Shot. Nothing disgusts us. By definition we are the essence of disgust. And you will be happy, dear God, when you see what we do with the collective bastardy. It's no more than they deserve, you'll agree.

God turns once more and this time leaves the stage, calling over his shoulder, You'll be sorry, you'll see, you'll be very sorry.

Scene Two

Beelie: O.K. now, let's proceed to ruin America. We have to have a game plan. It's not hard to do. We want to do whatever is the worst thing possible for Americans.

Lillie: That's a big order, popsy.

Beelie: Not at all. We will take a short cut. It's all been figured out for us.

Lillie: I can't believe it. Do you mean that there are humans out there or saints and scoundrels or whoever, who have been thinking of all the policies that will bring disaster on the country? Who hate so regularly and intensely the whole people?

Beelie: No, sweetums, there is no such purely evil group, although many humans believe that pure evil is so common and successful that it must be beautifully organized. Such is not the case. Although responsible for evil, we devils have not perfected the process yet. Not that having a bumbling god has been much of an obstruction to evil.

No. There is no perfectly planned program for destroying the world's richest, most powerful, most hedonistic balderdash mishmash of a people.

Lillie: That's what I thought. We must find a short-cut.

Beelie: How do you like this short-cut to a completely evil program?

Lillie: Hit me, brother, I'm all pointy ears.

Beelie: O.K. It's the very Devil's elite theory, based on the political scientists of the past century, Nietzsche, Pareto, Mosca, Michels, Lasswell, de Grazia, and a few others. Since the elite are those few who have most of what there is to get -- like wealth, power, and authority -- they are driven constantly to protect and enlarge their holdings. Whereupon they pursue policies that block what they dislike and fear.

Now, we devils adore the rich, the powerful, and the domineering types.

Lillie: (enthusiastically) Therefore, what the elite does not want to happen, will be the same as what we don't want to happen.

Beelie: Oh, no, no, no, my Dear. What the elite wants is what the devil admires and might be good for the world, but it is against our devilish policy to carry out policies that would be good for the world.

We want just the opposite. For our first interest is in destroying America, and a liking for the elite should not obscure our vision as to what are the worst things that can happen to the country.

Lillie: I am sorry, Dearest, if I demonstrated any preference for the rotten elite. What the elite does not want to happen we want to happen, and will make happen, with all our devilish tricks and in the absence of You-Know-Who.

Beelie: Yes, indeed. Let us be carefully clear, Lillie. We believe in elite policies and all such deviltry, but if we are to ruin the country, we must deny and negate elite policies. Whereupon and in consequence, there will befall America a total disorganization, economic dislocation, and hullabaloo. Bickering, universal hostility, environmental abuse, chicanery, bad faith, disbelief, rioting, suppression, and uncooperativeness will envelop the land and its people, and the society will collapse in ruin.

Lillie: Since the elite makes the country work, by feeding the country precisely those policies that the elite detests, we will bring the country down. And I'm going straight over to the Seekonk Public Library and research the policies of the elite so that we can oppose them.

Beelie: Whatever the elite opposes, we will support and decree and institute.

But you need not go to the Library, Lillie. I went on line, and using the Copernican search engine, picked up a thousand screaming affirmation of elite policies. All we have to do is turn them into the negative, their contrary, put them into effect, and go off to our favorite hot spot to await the results.

Lillie: Won't that be fun!

Beelie: Are you ready, Lillie, can I list their policies? And tell you what we're going to do about them?

Lillie: Yes, indeedy!

Beelie:1. Elite policy calls for making people work for their income. But, we devils will give everyone a guaranteed womb-to-tomb subsistence through life.

Lillie: What a calamity, tee-hee!

Beelie: Policy number 2. Subsidize the cultivation of the Rocky Mountain and High Plains region and open them up for large-sale logging, mining, and personal ranches; continue and increase the commercial subsidies and exploitation of water and mineral resources.

But therefore, to the contrary, we will encourage the evacuation of that vast region, disemploy most of its politicians in combining the fifteen states into a single state, and convert it to parkland and tourism.

Beelie: Policy number 3. The elite would forbid abortions and open the country to mass immigration of foreign working classes to keep wages low and the unions and native workers under control.

We will therefore encourage birth control, and institute free choice and inexpensive abortions. We will block mass immigration, even though the lower classes agree with the halt.

Lillie: That should do it.

Beelie: Now again. The elite likes low prices for gasoline not only because of its high profits on volume, but also because millions of new cars will be needed as the existing fleets wear themselves out faster. It encourages general liberty of movement and waste of time and high costs of real estate.

So, to the contrary, we would raise the price of gasoline by

a dollar a gallon.

Lillie: What a howl the masses will raise, but just wait.

Beelie: Yes, just wait until we draw the United States into a world government, where it will have to consult with the whole world before it commits some foreign folly.

Lillie: Should we abolish all differences between ethnic groups. The elite needs them to play them one group against the other, "divide and conquer."

Beelie: Yes, ha, ha, a real "Rainbow Coalescence." Everybody will be made to believe that they lack all purity of blood and all mirrors will show them to be overweight, diminutive, quadroons, and near-sighted, but marvelously everone will be pleased by his mirror image.

Lilli: A nation of squat quadroons. Great!

Beelie: The elite have the inconceivable folly to believe in the right to pass on their wealth to who they damned well please. I like the derring-do of this and believe, as they do, that shortly thereafter the disproportionate wealth will be back in the same hands.

Lilli: No, we can't let them have it. It brings order and durability to the country, too.

Beelie: No, we will force the rich to give away all but a modest sum that they require for their needy ones. They will have to find worthy but unrelated recipients, and donate or will their total assets to them. Give it all away before they die!

Lillie: Wow! What frightful fury!

Beelie: We will destroy all atomic weapons and sky wars paraphernalia, and make everyone feel quite unprotected from the many wicked nations of the world.

Lilli: Won't they be praying to their deus otiosus then!

Beelie: Yes: But he promised not to hear any plaints. It's part of the deal.

Lilli: Any more?

Beelie: Yes. One more. Nine points in all. Everyone will receive a minimum decent subsistence income as a matter of course, no promises extracted from them. Welfare from womb to tomb. Right now, the per capita income of the USA is only $7000.00, and would have to be raised to $18,000 a year.

Lillie: Hey, that's just dandy. What a mind you have, Beelie. Three hundred million people coasting through life on their government bank account. Of course, practically all of these would prefer to work at fat salaries, commissions and profits and not go into their basic life account.

One thing does occur, though, how is this paid for?

Beelie: Easy. Just multiply the 300 millions by $18,000.00 and you get 5.4 trillion dollars. You divide this 5.4 trillion bucks by the 300 million people and of course you get the same $18,000.00, so that is precisely their tax, an equal head tax, when and if they can pay it. All other spending of all governments will be raised and spent the same way, in one big congressional lump-law each year.

Lilli: That plan is so stupid, it's obscene.

Beeli: Yes, that's the opposite from what the elite wants.

Lillie: Sacré rouge! What chaos ensues!

Beelie: A great plan, what, Lillie? 'Nine Ways to Ruin the U.S.A.!' And they say that the devil's intelligence is inferior to God's!

Lillie: What ruins, what devastation, what hatreds our new regime will bring! The raging press! The sinister capitalists, the scheming militarists! Hot-diggity-dog!.

Beelie: The elite will resist to the bitter end. The mass of people will be driven to ecstasy, followed by a grand confusion, and finally into a maelstrom.

Scene Three

The devils are returning to get reports on progress made in the Earth's ruination.

Lillie: Where are all the people?

Beelie: It's just as we said. They've killed themselves off.

Look, no crops, cows, nothing but a few gardens and bungalows. Agriculture has been ruined, at least in Texas,

which is not far from home. You can see for yourself.

Lillie: I can't wait to receive the reports of our experts.

The Devils Assistants bustle on stage and grovel. Adolf, Benito, Tojo, Mao, and Josef . Adolf nips at a piece of carpet from time to time, Benito gesticulates to the wall behind him, Tojo bumps his head on a board he carries, Mao shoots a flower out of a pistol, while Josef puffs his pipe furiously.

Beelie: So, Josef?

Josef: Masters, they're well fed, the beastly mass of kulaks!

Lillie gasps and gives a little cry of chagrin..

Mao: The idle population is 50% and do nothing but write poetry, better than mine, too.

Lillie: How awful!

Benito: The miserable creatures. They will not sing patriotic songs, nor drill, nor salute. They do nothing but play , play, play - and tend their shitty gardens.

Lillie: At least they're not singing opera.

Benito: They do that, too.

Beelie: That'll be enough out of you. And you, Tojo, stop bumping your head. What's with you?

Tojo: Every person looks like Japanese or maybe Indian. I can't tell. My bumping has thankfully destroyed my mind: Have you ever heard of Pearl Harbor? I can't recall. (Bump).

Beelie: And finally Adolf. You're the supreme Mr. Bad News. Surely there must be some good bad-news coming from you.

Adolph: All the people look like Jews to me. I can say nothing bad enough about them, so I can say nothing.

Beelie: Well, I can say something. I never heard such rubbish and nonsense. Hell isn't suiting you all badly enough. We'll have a little double-punishment set up.

Get out! A firing squad awaits you. (They exit morosely and as soon as they disappear, a volley of shots is heard.)

Lillie: Good! Though I think, popsy, that we should bring them back every week and kill them again. I know that it don't mean much here in Hell, since they're suffering continuously. Still, it can't hurt, can it?

Beelie: No darling, it can't hurt and it will be done, weekly as you suggest. What lousy reporters they turned out to be. And they were so deadly bad when they were alive. But Hell is no place for an honest reporter, and they should have known that, and lied to us.

Lillie: That's right. Lies upon lies make truths.

Beelie: Those evil assistants are passé. So what if they murdered a hundred million people? Are they computer-literate? We must find some newly minted human monsters, maybe some of those Muslim bosses, or Africans. They are real beauties. They're full of hate for America, too.

Well, let's see for ourselves.

Lillie: You go thataway, Beelie, and I'll go thisaway and when we finish making the rounds, we'll meet to check our findings.

But hardly do they exit, each from one side of stage, with drum booming, and snare drum rolling, and lights on-off-on, than they rush back in, from contrary sides of stage, exclaiming. They're right. They're right!

Beelie: Three hundred million happy shitheads ! I can't stand it.

Lilith: I tell you, it's hell up there, popsy! Everywhere you look, those goofs are fewer, calmer, healthier, and happier - I'm sorry, but it makes me puke. (And so she does.)

Beelie: Go right ahead, dear. And what's really bad is that the elite are acting that way, too! Not only acquiescent, but proud! The traitorous swine.

(Makes a sudden decision.) All right! That's enough. I tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going right to God and tell him what I think of him and his creations. Are you ready to come along as well.

Lillie: I sure am. I still have some vomit left for him. But do you think that he will take back the world and we will have our old jobs back?

Beelie: Not a chance. We are stuck in an Armageddon against good on Earth, peace, prosperity and good-will toward mankind. It's a battle we've already lost

Lillie: Yes, you and your stupid policies.

Beelie: Now, watch your tongue or I'll twist your sleazy tail.

He reaches down with his hand to grab her tail, but she turns and steps sharply on his hand.

Beelie: Ouch, let go!

But no, it's not us who are to blame. It's the decline of religion that produces all this constructive behavior, beginning with the malaise of God and extending through the thousands of other deities and saints and what have you, ending up with ourselves, the devils, as the ultimate victims.

Lillie: Let's go find God and give him the bad good news.

Beelie: And maybe dump the world back on him.

Scene Four

The devils are disgusted and dismal, and they proceed to the cloistered garden of God, an extreme of the stage where a rope surrounds a square meter of dirt, from which scraggly flowers grow, around which God is taking his habitual morning stroll. They interject themselves to his presence.

Beelie: Lordie, you can have your world back. It stinks. It's full of the worst, the most intractable, kinds of love, charity, sharing and good cheer. You will love it. It's your kind of world.

God: My god! The nutty devils have done to America what I've never been able to do : create a happy and prosperous nation at one with nature! And without reason or benevolence. Just by doing what the powerful do not want to do. Eschewing God and Devils.

Lillie: That's the ticket, old smarty. We're in the soup together.

God: I am astounded and disheartened by your good news of her-and-himkind. I have little love for people, as you know from hearing and reading my words and deducing my motives from the terrible effects of my divine activities.

Lilith: People were stupid enough to believe you cared deeply for them. Especially did the privileged classes think so.

Beelie: But in disillusioning them of your pretenses, we absolved them of our fakery. We had to leave them to their own devices. A curse on them! Do you agree?

God: Yes. A curse upon them!

Lillie: But, excuse me, gentlemen, our curses are worth less than a penny on the dollar. What can you do with such people? They fear neither the God nor the Devil.

God: We can't help our strong language. A double curse on them, worse than the ones that I used many times in the past. (Regretfully) But those worked.

My famous, though limited, application of reason and benevolence, my two big tricks, couldn't ease and soothe humanity through earlier ages.

And then I lost control of mankind in a toss of dice with the devil, expecting that as a result mankind could get what it deserved and what I never quite had the heart to give them - perpetual and total misery.

Now I find these thoroughly evil devils returning piteously to me because what I thought, and they thought, were contemptible, cowardly, and ungovernable creatures have gone on to the good life all by themselves, employing policies that the Devil and I, as well as the rich and powerful, have belabored and contemned. How now can I hold a respected, awful place in the universe?

I am called lord of the universe and therefore all the more dreadful that I am bereft of purpose and reason. What a mess occurs when I apply my kind of rationality and benevolence.

He lifts his kimono, pulls a pistol from his gaitered leg holster, then reconsiders. I confess I am a coward, and I would prefer not to die by gunshot. (The devils: But yes, but yes, do so.)

So I might as well use my defective omniscience to employ the most painless way in the world to extinguish oneself.

But not stabbing, (The devils: But yes, but yes, do so.)

nor hanging, (The devils: But yes, but yes, do so.)

(Continuing his soliloquy, ignoring them)

nor casting oneself down to Earth, like Lucifer, (The devils: But yes, but yes, do so.)

nor picking a noble deadly quarrel with someone like Casanova or Aaron Burr (The devils: But yes, but yes, do so.).

Drowning is tedious. (The devils: But yes, but yes, do so.)

Slitting my veins is impossible for I have no blood, but just this marvelous liquid stuff that replenishes itself. (The devils: Ah, so, shucks.)

Then we come to the poisons. I have provided a couple of hundred of them through evolution, or rather in the recent jumps of quantavolutions. Some are painless. Humans have composed chemically many another. What say to OD on one of them. Cyanide? Ugh! (The devils: But yes, but yes, do so.)

No, I have a unique way that humans can only apply to themselves imperfectly and even then only after they are dead. I mean immolation into dust and ashes, dispersed by the winds and the waters. I, Deus, Mazda, Yhwh, Zeus, Wotan, King Kong, can go beyond that, something which, if I were not selfish, I would long ago have taught to her-and-him-kind.

I have the power simply to disappear in every respect known to man, or anybody else, except some more powerful gods in the far reaches of the universe. Beyond electrons, beyond neutrinos, beyond space plasma. I disappear into nothingness. Above all the Gods shall I be, for, as Nothing is above the infinitely great Gods, I shall be Nothing.

So here I go.

Pouf!! (An explosive puff of smoke and God disappears.)

Devils look at each other, saying: God is dead! and they burst into tears.

Beelie: But we need mankind! The world will never be the same without God. What infinite boredom! They bite their tails and stomp on them.

Lillie: The theologians proved that God requires the Devil. But they forgot to prove that the Devil requires God!

Beelie: So here we stand, jobless and without credentials.

Lilith: Let humanity be damned to eternal bliss -- happy, pleased, satisfied, icky sweet bliss. If they must do without Gods, they must also do without devils.

Beelie: Amen.

They throw good-bye kisses to the audience. Then, Pouf!! -- An explosive puff of smoke and they too disappear.


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