Medea (Benjamin) heckles Obama with a tragic monologue by Euripides

A heckler named Medea gives President Obama a taste of Greek tragedy by channeling Euripides. Photo: Oleg Atbashian

WASHINGTON, May 28, 2013 ― President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism speech was derailed several times yesterday when a mother-turned-activist named Medea shouted bitter words about his leadership.

This drama couldn’t have come at a better time for Obama, as it created the much needed appearance of moral pressure to push his agenda of unilateral disarmament even further.

Medea’s dazzling performance was captured very clearly on tape and immediately retransmitted on many networks, which caused some drama critics to suspect the entire theatrics might have been scripted at the White House and, possibly, even lip-synched.

At the very least, the sound engineers had been given prior instructions that at 4:35 into the President’s scripted remarks, they would have to capture a cameo appearance by Medea, making sure her voice wouldn’t be lost among other noises in the large auditorium.

In addition, we noticed that Medea’s words sounded strangely familiar - as if they had already been spoken a thousand times on different stages over the course of many years. A brief research confirmed our suspicion: the highly publicized oration had been lifted off in its entirety from Medea’s address to Jason, written by Euripides in 431 B.C. (Medea, Episode II, Stanzas 465-515)

Below is the transcript of their exchange

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May 23, 2013

{begin transcript}

MEDEA: You … you, utterly vile …

POTUS: Ma’am, please sit down.

MEDEA: This is the worst charge I have
to say against your total lack of manliness.

POTUS: Ma’am…

MEDEA: You have come to me, you who are most hateful
to the gods and to me and to the whole human race?
This is not daring; this is not courage,
to abuse your loved ones and look them in the face…

POTUS: Ma’am if you would just…

MEDEA: This is the most virulent of all human sicknesses,
shamelessness. Still you have done me a favor in coming.
I will lighten my grief by reviling you
and you will feel the sting in hearing it.
I will begin at the beginning.

POTUS: Just sit down ma’am.

MEDEA: I saved your skin, as all the Greeks know …

POTUS: Ma’am…

MEDEA: Who boarded the Argo with you,
when you were sent to master the fire-breathing bulls
with yokes and to sow the deadly field;
and the dragon which guarded the golden fleece
and, never sleeping, protected it with its many coils,
I killed it and held up the light of safety for you.
As for me, after betraying my father and my home
I came to Iolcus near Pelion
with you, eager but not prudent.

POTUS: I’m going to address that.

MEDEA: Then I killed Pelias, in the way that he would die most tragically…

POTUS: Would you let me finish my sentence?

MEDEA: …at the hands of his own children and I confounded their entire house.
And you, after receiving this from me, you, the vilest man alive…

POTUS: Would you just… just… would you…

MEDEA: You have betrayed me, and you have made a new marriage,
though you already have children. If you were still childless
you could be excused for craving another marriage bed.
Gone is the faith of oaths. I cannot understand
whether you believe the old gods are no longer in power
or that new covenants are established for men today,
since you must know that you have not kept your oath to me.
Feu [Ah] right hand, how fervently you were taken
and these knees, how futilely I was clung to in supplication
by an evil man. But I have lost my hopes.
Listen. I will share with you as if you were a friend.
And what will I get out of it?
Still … under questioning you will appear more shameless.
Now where will I turn? To my father’s house
which I betrayed for you along with my native land, when I came here?
Or to the unhappy daughters of Pelias? They would be delighted
to take me in. I murdered their father.
This is how it is. I have made myself an enemy
to my loved ones at home, the very ones I should not have
hurt; in helping you I have enemies.
And for this you have made me an icon
of Greek womanhood: I have in you a wonderful
husband and faithful to me oh, the pity of it
if I must go into exile, cast out of this country
without friends, a lonely mother with two lonely children,
a fine reproach to the new bridegroom
that your children are homeless beggars, and the woman who saved your life.
Oh Zeus! Why have you given us a clear test
of gold to tell which is counterfeit
but of men where to identify an evil one would be useful
there is no such mark on his body?

POTUS: This woman’s words need to be addressed. Though I don’t agree with all that she says and though she, uh, doesn’t seem interested in listening to what I have to say, nevertheless, uh, these ideas are… uh, seem… important.


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Oleg Atbashian

With a whole lot of humor and an eye to the absurdities of poltics and politicans, Oleg Atbashian brings the news and views from The People's Cube to the Communities and you.

Born and raised in Ukraine, Oleg Atbashian has been a teacher, translator, construction worker, satirical journalist, and at one time a propaganda artist, creating visual agitprop for the local Party committee in Siberia. In 1994, he moved to the US with the hope of living in a country ruled by reason and common sense, and whose citizens were appreciative of constitutional rights and capitalist prosperity. To his dismay, he discovered a nation deeply infected by the leftist disease of "progressivism" that was arresting true societal progress. He started writing satire again, this time in English, publishing a large number of essays, political parodies, and cartoons, in various media in America and around the world.

In 2005 Oleg Atbashian started, a forum-based spoof of "progressive" ideology with a loyal conservative/libertarian following, which he runs under the name of "Comrade Red Square, People's Director, Department of Visual Agitation and Unanimity." Rush Limbaugh described it on his show as "a Stalinist version of The Onion." The site contains thousands of hilarious, original satires and graphics by contributors from all parts of the US and the English-speaking world.

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