Monday, November 22, 2004

Who's More Liberal?
[Didgeridoo theme music sounds] ...

Announcer: Welcome to America's favorite television game show...

Studio audience [shouts]: Who's More Liberal?...

Announcer [somewhat sheepishly]: OK, to be fair, the game show that's solidly in the 7th percentile of popularity, as measured by the Boston Phoenix/Le Show poll conducted at Wild Oats stores nationwide. [regaining enthusiasm] And now, here's the host of Who's More Liberal?, Lakshmi Stardust!

Lakshmi: Thank you, Rainbow. Thank you, everybody, I bring you peace. Now, let's all open up our crown chakras and play Who's More Liberal? Rainbow, tell us about our contestants!

Rainbow: Well, Lakshmi, our first contestant is a hemp-store owner from Sedona, Arizona; please welcome Anastasia Hearthfire! [applause]

Anastasia: Very groovy, thank you!

Rainbow: Joining Anastasia is a part-time counselor at a rape-crisis center in Cambridge, Massachusetts; please welcome Brian Bobbit-Blade! [applause]

Brian [hugs Anastasia, waves to audience]: Oh, thank you all SO much!

Rainbow: And our last contestant is a listserv producer with Greenpeace International who hails from Berkeley, California. Please say bonjour to Louis Arugula! [applause]

Louis: May you all be purified by the Godforce!

Lakshmi: Welcome, everybody. You know the rules. I'll ask each of you to answer a question and our distinguished studio audience will vote telepathically to determine... Who's More Liberal! And here are your categories for today's game: Hybrid Cars, Palestine, Anal Sex, Sustainable Agriculture, Anthroposophical Healing, The Shrinking Rainforest, Legumes, Baseball's Designated Hitter Rule, Collective Bargaining, The Kyoto Protocol, Why The Caged Bird Sings, and The Supreme Court. Anastasia, as our returning leading liberal, you control the board. Please choose a category.

Anastasia: Very groovy, thank you! I just wish we all could win! Well, Lakshmi, I guess let's go with Hybrid Cars.

Lakshmi: Excellent choice. Anastasia, your question is, What did you drive to the studio today?

Anastasia: Lakshmi, I drove a Toyota Prius. Not only did I achieve an average of 60 miles per gallon on the ride here, but I had to wait over 6 months to take delivery of the car, a period of suffering that fostered deep spiritual growth! [applause]

Lakshmi: Excellent, excellent. Brian?

Brian [turns toward Anastasia]: Is that your cute little Prius outside, the pearl one with the Che Guevara sticker? That thing is aDORable! If I win today, I'm going to share the prize with you! [turns back toward Lakshmi] Lakshmi, I almost bought a Prius but instead I decided to buy a used VW Jetta diesel. The mileage isn't quite as good as the Prius but I saved over four thousand dollars, which enabled me to make sizeable donations to both the World Wildlife Fund and Students Against Destructive Decisions! [wild applause].

Lakshmi: Well played, Brian. Louis?

Louis: Lakshmi, may I point out that both the Jetta and Prius are built in non-union shops? I do not own an automobile. I sold it and bought a bicycle. [scattered, polite applause]

Lakshmi: It looks like Brian ...

Louis: But I don't even ride the bike! I walk everywhere I go because the bike's tires are made of rubber, which is a major source of air pollution during manufacture and a source of water pollution from leacheates in the aquatic environment, not to mention the waste-disposal issues... [drowning applause]

Lakshmi: It looks like Louis is our winner in the Hybrid Car category! Louis, you control the board.

Louis: Thanks, but first I'd like to share my points with Brian and Anastasia! Their answers were wonderful.

Lakshmi: Oh, I'm sorry, Louis, but I'm afraid we can't allow that. Because of the impact of karma on the outcome of the game, our rules prohibit it. Please select a category.

Louis: I understand and I'm sorry. I assure you I was not trying to gain an unfair advantage. Feel free to take away my points.

Lakshmi: Hello? The karma rule, OK?

Louis: Sorry! I'll go with Legumes, Lakshmi.

Lakshmi: Very good. Louis, what legumes have you eaten today?

Louis: Wow. Gosh. Let's see. I had some endame yesterday. Um, I have a wonderful recipe for red beans and rice I was going to try out tonight for dinner. Today I took my chances with mercury and ate some fish because it's brain food, you know... [Buzzer sounds; studio audience groans]

Lakshmi: Oh, I'm sorry Louis, time's up. Brian?

Brian: For lunch, I had aduki beans with kombu. It was macrobiotic! [polite applause]

Lakshmi: Anastasia?

Anastasia: Well, for breakfast I had soy grits and organic peanut butter on toast and for lunch I had falafel with hummus. I made it myself using organic chickpeas. [wild applause]

Lakshmi: I believe Anastasia takes the Legumes category. Anastasia, you control the board.

Anastasia: Um, I'll take Kyoto, please.

Lakshmi: Please describe your best protest day.

Anastasia [beaming]: At WTO in Seattle, I made a sign that spelled "Amerikkka" with three Ks, Anastasia! [scattered mild applause].

Lakshmi: Brian?

Brian: In Paris, I joined other activists in painting our torsos in neon colors and occupying a Denys Puech sculpture. [applause]

Lakshmi: Nice touch. Louis?

Louis: Lakshmi, my proudest protest was when I traveled to Brazil to join tens of thousands of demonstrators in a march led by Jose Bove himself! [applause]

Anastasia: ...did I mention that the Amerikkka sign I made in Seattle was painted on my naked body? [wild applause]

Lakshmi: I think our audience has chosen. Anastasia, you control the board. Please choose a category.

Anastasia: Um... I'll take the Supreme Court, Lakshmi.

Lakshmi: Very well. If Justice Antonin Scalia were a yoga position, what position would he be?

Anastasia: Gosh, that's tough. I guess I would have to say he'd be a down-facing dog? [polite applause]

Lakshmi: Brian?

Brian: Wow. He's so blocked... I'll go with the legs-up-the-wall-corpse pose. [applause]

Lakshmi: Louis?

Louis: Cobra, definitely. [scattered applause]

Lakshmi: I'm sorry. The correct position was knee-hugging child. Knee-hugging child. [disappointed groan from the audience, followed by encouraging applause] Anastasia? You still control the board.

Anastasia: I'll try Palestine, Lakshmi.

Lakshmi: Very good. Please come up with a punch line for this joke, trying not to use "Yessir, Arafatwa" or "Mahmud-swing Abbas" in your answer: Ariel Sharon, George Bush, and Jerry Falwell walk into a mosque... [didgeridoo music interrupts] Oh, that sound means it's time for a word from our sponsors. Don't touch that dial. We'll be back in a moment to find out Who's More Liberal!...

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