Everything I Need To Know I Learned From Star Wars


Mr. James Meridith was hosting Jill Denby, a reporter from Broadway Magazine, in his small cramped office, very off, off, off Broadway. The subject of their discussion was the new play Mr. Meridith had written, “Everything I Need To Know I Learned From Star Wars”.

“So tell me a bit about your new play,” said Ms. Denby, turning on her voice recorder. “Have you been able to get any financial backing yet?”

“Well, as the title implies, my new play is about everything. In particular, it is about the classical conflict between good and evil, right and wrong, or, in Star Wars terminology, the light side and the dark side of The Force.” Mr. Meridith paused for a few moments, and then added, “As for your question about funding, no, I’m sorry to say I have not been able to find anyone willing to back me yet.”

“That’s too bad,” replied Jill Denby. “Maybe the subject matter is too, if you’ll excuse me, too ‘far out’ for today’s audience. There aren’t so many people interested in science fiction right now.”

“But my play is not about science fiction!” protested James Meridith. “It is about morals, about how we live our lives, about politics, everything!”

“Politics? What does politics have to do with Star Wars?”, asked Jill Denby.

“Why, everything!” replied James Meridith, rolling his eyes. “Look, my basic premise is that you can divide people into two categories: the nice people, the good people, the ones who care about others and who want everyone to be happy; and then there are the nasty ones, the assholes, the selfish ones who only care about themselves, and maybe their closest family. We are all familiar with the two types from the people we know in our own families, the people we went to school with, the people we encounter at work. Two types of people: good ones and bad ones.”

“Um, well, that’s a bit of a simplification, maybe,” said Jill Denby, looking skeptical. “But what does that have to do with politics?”

“Oh, it’s very simple.” replied James Meridith. “The good people are the Democrats, the assholes are the Republicans.” He stopped, as if he had made a self-evident statement.

“Ah, I’m beginning to see why you haven’t been able to get financing for your play.” remarked Jill Denby. “Isn’t it a bit drastic, saying Republicans are assholes?”

“We are talking about people who revel in the idea of torture, claiming morals are meaningless! People who do what they can to subvert democracy in order to keep themselves in power, both here and abroad! People who try to suppress the general advancement of knowledge, preferring the masses to be uneducated and pliable!” His voice was rising, and he began pounding on his desk with one fist. “To paraphrase good old Tom Lehrer, ‘I am a pacifist, and those who do not agree with pacifism should be lined up against a wall and shot!'”

“Really, let’s not go overboard here, Mr. Meridith. Surely we can all get along together …”

“Republicans should all be rounded up, and they should be tortured to death, and then they should be revived, and asked how they liked it! And then they should be … Are you leaving already?” asked Mr. Meridith.

Ms. Denby was collecting her things and getting ready to leave. “I just remembered a pressing appointment! Sorry, got to run!”

“Are you by any chance a Republican?” asked Mr. Meridith suspiciously.

“Not right now, that’s for sure! Bye! Good luck with your play!”

One Response to “Everything I Need To Know I Learned From Star Wars”

  1. First posted Aug. 30, 2009.

    If you like the title of this story, you can actually buy a poster with a similar message, “All I Need To Know About Life I Learned From Star Wars”.

    Tom Lehrer was incredibly funny. If you’re not familiar with him, buy a collection of his songs.

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