By Gary Sohmers, 2017 copyright, All Rights Reserved
Chapter Fifteen – Foolish Old Man
With little delay, I count off the next song, my calling out fat cats like T.Raitor, band blasting from the loudspeakers, launching this rocker on the crowd. Originally this song was written to shine a light on the lowest life forms that scurry in the undergrowth that may be causing damage to roots, and how foolish that can be. To my surprise, T.Raitor appears on his platform, microphone raised to his mouth, to again try to make this event all about him. In another appeal, he perverts my words to sing about his own life.
Leaning towards his security detail, he begins to sing a corrupted version of my lyrics, “I’m no Foolish Old Man, I’ll tell you what is real or what’s real in your mind, I’m the smartest old man, a younger man’s dream in a well-worn main frame, and the smoothest old man, though no one can believe that this pretty girl is into me.” He gestures to a young female standing next to him who reacts with a questioning look.
PunkHead who is standing next to me ready to take action, points at T.Raitor and shouts, “Foolish Old Man,” and I answer him singing, “He is just delusional, he’s losing his facilities.”
DT continues to show his narcissistic arrogance, “I’m such a clever old man with a checkered past, no one could believe that my luck would last, as long as it has, never having to lose, wealthy and entitled, built a worId I could rule.” Gra joins in, singing about his childhood, “A traumatized boy with no patience to wait, within him bad beasties beyond human restraint.” I join Gra adding my lyrical opinion of DT’s situation, singing, “In between the agony, this humorless beast,” and PunkHead joins in to conclude with, “Can’t be trusted to be kind, say the least.”
Terra at her microphone points at DT and sings, “He’s a Foolish Old Man,” and in response the audience and the beasties all shout, “Foolish Old Man.” As planned, the next line is my allusion to his delusion, singing, “He’s not sure what is real or what’s real in his mind.” His security detail leans into DT’s microphone to defend him, stating clearly, “He’s no Foolish Old Man,” followed by the punk protestors calling them out on this hypocrisy, screaming, “Foolish Old Man!”
T.Raitor’s security confirms their belief that really, “He’s a younger man’s dream in a well-worn main frame,” to calm the distrust that age could build a better machine. PunkHead challenges that proposal as snide as he can muster, “Just a Foolish Old Man,” which causes his associates and the rest of the audience to chide DT with another rousing, “Foolish Old Man.”
EarthaMum appears next to the young, bewildered female citizen DT alluded was “into him”, and points questioningly, singing, “I can’t believe that this pretty girl is really kinda into him.” In his own defense DT responds, “I’m no Foolish Old Man, you are all delusional and losing your facilities.”
Gra jumps in singing the next verse, “Hey you Foolish Old Man with a head way too large, why do you let all of this greed take charge?” T.Raitor’s response was a predictable distortion of my original lyrics, as all have been, “My profit and fame are my true reward, and none of it needs to be shared with the world.” Gra questions his arrogance, singing, “Do you believe that you alone decide their fates,” and I sing my lyrics, “Without science, conscience, morals or a healthy debate?”
DT musters the balls to declare that, “I alone am the smartest, the greatest, the one, who can keep the wheels turning and get the job done,” followed up by PunkHead screaming, “You’re a Foolish Old Man!” and the entire audience now chanting, “Foolish Old Man!” His security detail being paid to be there to protect his ego and his physical presence, laughingly say in unison, “Why don’t you believe him, he’s trying to do everything,” followed by DT shrugging it all off with, “I’m no Foolish Old Man.”
My audience, now including what appears to me to be most of DT’s former supporters, shout, “Foolish Old Man,” and with deceitful confidence DT reiterates his narcissistic claim, singing, “Just a younger man’s dream that may be what you’re looking for.” His last few supporters gathered on the platform, shout, “Not a Foolish Old Man!” and the audience shouts back a hundredfold, “Foolish Old Man!” EarthaMum adds, “That pretty girl was always just repulsed by him.”
Gra adds to the ridicule, jokingly singing, “What a Foolish Old Man,” and the audience again responds with boisterous enthusiasm calling back again, “Foolish Old Man,” followed by Terra adding an exclamation point to the sentiment, singing, “You are so delusional, the sheep will turn away from you.”
DT now finds that those mindless sheeple he thought he had fooled or bought would not easily become subservient tools for his new society. PunkHead takes the lead in the next verse, pointing at DT with defiance, singing, “You’re not really a great capitalist, you’re nothing more than a narcissist.” The supporter citizens still surrounding his platform ask in unison, “What happened to those promises, to change the fate for the rest of us?”
EarthaMum clarifies that what DT promised was not intended for all, singing, “He never meant you citizens, he was just looking out for his brethren,” as some still confused citizens ask, “What about the families, freedoms and prosperity?” DT shrugs, and attempts to distract by throwing money and dancing comedically. PunkHead continues, vehemently singing, “Hey you Foolish Old Man, we see through your scam,” and I join in with conviction, “Even those who had been fooled realize that they’ve been had.” Terra again joins us, “You had your time controlling our lives for your plan,” with Gra concluding the sentiment proudly singing my words like they are real, “Now the universe might try to take its own stand.”
The entire audience knows its cue and sings wholeheartedly, “Foolish Old Man,” followed by Punkhead, Terra and Gra pointing to DT and responding in an accusatory tone, “Foolish Old Man.” I add my perception about everything that everyone is now thinking, “Not sure what is real or what’s real in his mind,” and the crowd again responds vociferously, “Foolish Old Man.” The punks and protestors scream, “Foolish Old Man,” and DT gestures as if surprised they are referring to him, as Punkhead decries his vain attempt, singing, “You’re a younger man’s dream in a decrepit old main frame.”
Terra points and sings, “Foolish Old Man,” and the audience responds in kind, “Foolish Old Man,” followed by EarthaMum singing the obvious fact everyone but DT knows, “Nobody believed that that pretty girl was into him.” Gra shakes his head in sorrow and sings, “Foolish Old Man,” and the crowd comes back with a rousing, “Foolish Old Man.”
At least I was able to go back to my original lyrics to conclude the verse, an opinion now shared by everyone, singing, “You are just as disposable as all of your commodities,” to T.Raitor as he stands alone atop his weakly built precipice, occupying space that no longer desires him. His narcissism, hate, arrogance and corruption beasties angrily eat at him right in front of everyone, a self-inflicted pain and pressure on his already weakened old body. Plus, the physical exertion of dancing has made him as weak as his platform.
In front of the entire audience, with the music playing, DT begins to clutch his chest, winces with pain and struggles to stay standing as his security detail attempts to continue to dance and hold him upright. T.Raitor becomes stiff, standing straight up, eyes open with surprise that this is happening, and cracks a wry smile upon his face. With that, his body becomes lifeless, falling into the arms of his paid security detail who immediately toss him to the few trolls left on the platform as they abandon the tyrant.
The audience and band notice the activity on the platform as they had pointed at him and had all wished for his demise. There was only a minor sense of shock from the crowd as his body was quickly removed.
I can see very few empathy beasties around anyone except Terra. Her belief that every snake in the grass may just be a creature trying to survive the best way possible, she always hoped people would discover how to control their beasties and change for the better. To her, DT may not have been able to recognize and reconcile the bad beasties within him, but even the worst beasties are given graces when they pass and once again become part of the planet.
On my cue, the band changes the musical tone to a dirge, often played at funerals to set a somber tone for memorializing the deceased. Gra steps up to the microphone with a lesson, sympathetically eulogized as a warning, “When that Foolish Old Man was laid down in his grave, natural cause the culprit from a life full of waste, there will be others following bad beasties’ desire, to win by all means, set the planet on fire.”
T.Raitor’s death on stage was captured by thousands, and immediately beamed worldwide through social media. Many of his disillusioned followers had probably just returned to their day-to-day lives until told by their trusted, compromised, influenced or brainwashed friends, family or media, who or what to stand up for, or against, next.
In the uneasy stillness that remained after witnessing the death of an evil person at my concert, even of his own natural doing, the abandonment by his followers and the missing apathy from others left a vacuum in the entire atmosphere.
Some will be changed, some have evolved.
Gary RockOpera Producer
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