equality activists seize US Capitol & decree full equality

Near the US Capitol, cis-gender equality student-activist Praxagora emerges from her Volvo. Her thumb presses furiously on her iPhone 11. She stares at her phone intently for a long time. Then she begins to speak to it.

Praxagora: Behold, portal of enlightenment, hear my cry! Let the seas roar, and justice roll down like thunder! Rancid and sexist butter, gender-exclusive from cows, is still served onto us daily! Men students careth not. They are apathetic, listless, and impotent. Only we cis-gender women student-activists feel what should be their pain. When Sappho was stirring a pot in the dorm kitchen and wiggling her behind for all her worth, her roommate remained stolidly seated, peeling potatoes for her. He kept apologizing for her stirring the pot in the kitchen instead of taking her place in the house governing assembly. Me too, that’s happened to me, too! Why am I the only one here? Where are all the rest of the equality activists?

A Toyota Subaru parks nearby. Three persons emerge from it. They’re dressed in black boots, black cargo pants, white t-shirts, and black leather jackets. They have freshly trimmed crew-cuts and carry “END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN” signs. Over the next hour, many more persons gather.

Praxagora: Enough waiting for those woefully late, whether they are cis-gender women, non-binary women, or transmen. Muster forces! Cis-gender women to the right, non-binary women in the middle, and transmen left out, I mean, left. Count out!

There are 52 cis-gender women, 50 non-binary women, and 48 transmen.

Praxagora: We can’t storm the Capitol until we have an equal number of activists by gender category. We need two more non-binary women and four more transmen. Does anybody know two non-binary women they can call?

Non-binary woman A: No, no, that’s wrong. You can’t summon non-binary women in two’s. Shame on you!

Praxagora: Can we get four more transmen? Any transmen friends who aren’t here?

Cis-gender woman A: I won’t date transmen, and I won’t even be friends with them. They aren’t real men. Why can’t only we women seize the Capitol and establish gender equality for women? Why do we have to have transmen with us?

Praxagora: You’re such a ditz. We need an equal number of transmen to be credible as revolutionaries for gender equality for women. Any more hate out of you, and you’ll be expelled from our Broad-Based Alliance for Equality.

Stacy: Dana and I, we’re standing here with the cis-gender women. But we feel like men. We like fixing cars, getting rid of spiders, and we’re always telling each other fart jokes. We’re strong, silent types. We’ll identify as transmen. Then we’ll have gender equality. Sorry for not speaking up sooner. We don’t like to talk about ourselves.

Praxagora: Say no more. Now we’ve got 50-50-50 gender parity. Onward. Storm the Capitol!

They march to the gates of the Capitol.

Assembly of equality activists:

Oh when the saints, go marching in,
oh when the saints go marching in,
oh how I want to be in that number,
when the saints go marching in!

And when the cis, begin to scream,
and when the cis begin to scream,
oh how I want to be in that number,
when the saints go marching in!

And gender binary-less come,
and gender binary-less come,
oh how I want to be in that number,
when the saints go marching in!

Oh when the transmen, sound their call,
oh when the transmen sound their call,
oh how I want to be in that number,
when the saints go marching in!

And when the stars, fall from the sky,
and when the stars fall from the sky,
oh Lord I want to be in that number,
when the saints go marching in.

Capitol policeman A: You can’t come in here.

Assembly of equality activists:
End violence against women!
End violence against women!
End violence against women!
Now!

The Capitol police back away.

Capitol police chief: Stop them! Push them back!

Equality activist A: Don’t you dare assault me with your toxic masculinity!

Equality activist B: He wants to rape us!

Capitol policeman A: Fuck you!

Equality activist B: He just admitted it. Help me! Rapist! Help me!

Three transmen equality activists encircle equality activist B.

Transmen equality activists: Don’t touch them!

Capitol policeman A: I didn’t touch her!

Transmen equality activists: You just assaulted them! We just heard you assault them!

The Capitol police back away in bewilderment. The equality activists march into the Capitol as members flee in fear.

Loudspeaker announcement: There is a fire in building. All occupants must lock down immediately. A lock-down is now in effect. Do not leave your shelter location until further notice.

Senator in bathroom stall: For the love of constipation, what’s this shit? I’ve already been sitting here for an hour. Members farting like horses pisses me off. They stand in front of the urinal shaking it like they’re LBJ, and they fart away. It stinks in here. I wish I had COVID so I couldn’t smell it.

Loudspeaker announcement: There is an equality disturbance in the building. Evacuate the building immediately through the nearest emergency exit. Everyone except policemen with large guns should evacuate the building immediately.

Capitol policeman Ted: I’ve got a compact assault rifle. Is that big enough?

Capitol policeman Chad: C’mon, check yourself. A large gun looks more like a bazooka. You gotta evacuate.

Capital policeman Ted: Man, that’s humiliating. I’m sure I could get the job done. But I don’t want guys with bigger guns laughing at me. I’m pulling out.

Senator in bathroom stall: I still can’t even evacuate my bowels. Forget it, I’m not leaving here until I finish my motion. I don’t care if they shoot me like a sitting duck. They’re all complete crappers, and I’m stuck. No stool fluidity.

Praxagora: Equality activists, we’re now in complete control of the US government.

Praxagora begins to sing, with a chorus of equality activists joining her.

Something has changed within me.
Something is not the same.
I’m through with playing by the rules
of someone else’s game.
Too late for second-guessing,
too late to go back to sleep.
It’s time to trust our instincts,
close our eyes and leap!

It’s time to try
defying gravity!
I say let’s try
defying gravity!
No, they can’t pull us down!

Senator in bathroom stall:
Nothing is moving within me.
I’m struggling just to take a shit.

Equality activists:
We’re through accepting limits
‘cuz someone says it’s so.
Some things we cannot change
but till we try, we’ll never know!
Too long we’ve been afraid of
losing love we long have lost.
Well, if that’s love,
it comes at much too high a cost!
We’d sooner fly,
defying gravity.
Kiss us goodbye.
We’re defying gravity,
and they can’t pull us down.

Senator in bathroom stall:
I’ve been taking Flomax for years,
but I’m still a weak pisser.
Now I can’t even crap.

Equality activists:
Together we’re unlimited,
together we’ll be the greatest team
there’s ever been, with dreams
just the way we planned ’em.

Senator in bathroom stall:
If I can’t even piss and crap well,
I should just retire,
and sit forever on the toilet at home,
king of my own place.

Equality activists:
There’s no fight we cannot win —
three genders together,
defying masculinity —
three genders together,
defying masculinity!

Senator in bathroom stall:
I’m still straining.
It’s not coming.

Equality activists:
We really hope you move it,
and then you live to regret it,
with your insides no longer in!
We hope you’re crappy in the end,
we hope you’re crappy, man fiend!

Senator in bathroom stall:
Uuuuuhh. Uuuuuuuhh.

Equality activists:
So if you care to find us,
look to the western sun!
As Siri told me lately,
all of us deserve the chance to fly.
And if we’re too near the sun,
at least we’re flying free.
To those who’d keep us on the ground,
take this message the world ’round.
Tell them how we’re
defying gravity.
We’re flying high,
defying masculinity.
And soon science will meet us in renown,
and nobody, no coronavirus,
no scientist that there is or was,
is ever gonna bring us down!

Senator in bathroom stall:
It’s probably that wicked vaccine.
I shouldn’t have gotten that witch brew.
I’d rather die of COVID than
not be able to take a shit.

Praxagora: As recently chosen eternal paramount leader of our praiseworthy insurrection, my first executive order is that all US universities must make classics compulsory. All students shall be taught to read Greek and Latin equally.

Equality activist D: What about Sanskrit. Are you gonna mandate Sanskrit equally?

Praxagora: Did Aristophanes write Ἐκκλησιάζουσαι / Ecclesiazusae — that’s Parliament of Women, you dopes — in Sanskrit?

Equality activist D: I don’t know who Aristophanes is. Sounds Sanskrit to me.

Praxagora: No, he didn’t write in Sanskrit, you ignorama. If I hadn’t studied classics, this insurrection would have never happened. I got the idea from a great ancient Greek woman orator-leader’s speech to the Athenian assembly.

Equality activist D: But women were held captive, barefoot and starving and working as slaves in the kitchen, throughout all of history until now. Was she a transman?

Praxagora: She was gender-fluid. She moved easily between identifying as a cis-gender woman and a transman.

Equality activist A: So what did she say? “Equality now!” or something like that?

Praxagora: No, no, no. Classical Greek women were much more sophisticated. The great Greek woman-leader didn’t just chirp short sayings like a parrot or you tweeters. She delivered an eloquent speech to the governing assembly. I’ll deliver it in English to you barbarians:

Friends, Athenians, countrypersons, lend
me your ears, and you shall escape from your
current muddle. I propose that we turn over all government
to women, who successfully run and rule over our households.

Women are superior to men, and the future is female,
as I will demonstrate. First, they dye their wool
in hot water according to their ancient custom,
each like the other. You’ll never see them doing differently
from what other women do. But the Athenian state
is blown around with the whims of democracy,
always enthralled with the antics of some new clown.
Meanwhile, the women cook, as they always have.
They keep personal burdens within their heads, as they always have.
They celebrate sisterly solidarity, as they always have.
They drive their husbands crazy, as they always have.
They hide their lovers in the house, as they always have.
They treat themselves to extra morsels, as they always have.
They drink their wine undiluted, as they always have.
They enjoy a fucking, as they always have.
And so, activists, let’s give all government to women,
and no arguing about how they govern,
just let them do what they want to do.
As mothers, they’ll inspire our soldiers to death or mommy’s love,
and nourish them with extra rations while they’re still alive.
Moreover, there’s nobody more inventive in getting money than women,
and when in power they’ll never be cheated,
since women themselves are masters at cheating.
I’ll pass over the many other reasons why our future is female.
Adopt my resolution, and with happy wives, you’ll lead happy lives.

{ ἢν οὖν ἐμοὶ πείθησθε, σωθήσεσθ᾿ ἔτι·
ταῖς γὰρ γυναιξὶ φημὶ χρῆναι τὴν πόλιν
ἡμᾶς παραδοῦναι. καὶ γὰρ ἐν ταῖς οἰκίαις
ταύταις ἐπιτρόποις καὶ ταμίαισι χρώμεθα.

ὡς δ᾿ εἰσὶν ἡμῶν τοὺς τρόπους βελτίονες
ἐγὼ διδάξω. πρῶτα μὲν γὰρ τἄρια
βάπτουσι θερμῷ κατὰ τὸν ἀρχαῖον νόμον
ἁπαξάπασαι, κοὐχὶ μεταπειρωμένας
ἴδοις ἂν αὐτάς. ἡ δ᾿ Ἀθηναίων πόλις,
εἰ τοῦτο χρηστῶς εἶχεν, οὐκ ἂν ἐσῴζετο,
εἰ μή τι καινόν <γ᾿> ἄλλο περιηργάζετο.
καθήμεναι φρύγουσιν ὥσπερ καὶ πρὸ τοῦ·
ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς φέρουσιν ὥσπερ καὶ πρὸ τοῦ·
τὰ Θεσμοφόρι᾿ ἄγουσιν ὥσπερ καὶ πρὸ τοῦ·
πέττουσι τοὺς πλακοῦντας ὥσπερ καὶ πρὸ τοῦ·
τοὺς ἄνδρας ἐπιτρίβουσιν ὥσπερ καὶ πρὸ τοῦ·
μοιχοὺς ἔχουσιν ἔνδον ὥσπερ καὶ πρὸ τοῦ·
αὑταῖς παροψωνοῦσιν ὥσπερ καὶ πρὸ τοῦ·
οἶνον φιλοῦσ᾿ εὔζωρον ὥσπερ καὶ πρὸ τοῦ·
βινούμεναι χαίρουσιν ὥσπερ καὶ πρὸ τοῦ.
ταύταισιν οὖν, ὦνδρες, παραδόντες τὴν πόλιν
μὴ περιλαλῶμεν, μηδὲ πυνθανώμεθα
τί ποτ᾿ ἄρα δρᾶν μέλλουσιν, ἀλλ᾿ ἁπλῷ τρόπῳ
ἐῶμεν ἄρχειν, σκεψάμενοι ταυτὶ μόνα,
ὡς τοὺς στρατιώτας πρῶτον οὖσαι μητέρες
σῴζειν ἐπιθυμήσουσιν· εἶτα σιτία
τίς τῆς τεκούσης θᾶττον ἐπιπέμψειεν ἄν;
χρήματα πορίζειν εὐπορώτατον γυνή,
ἄρχουσά τ᾿ οὐκ ἂν ἐξαπατηθείη ποτέ·
αὐταὶ γάρ εἰσιν ἐξαπατᾶν εἰθισμέναι.
τὰ δ᾿ ἄλλ᾿ ἐάσω. ταῦτ᾿ ἐὰν πείθησθέ μοι,
εὐδαιμονοῦντες τὸν βίον διάξετε. }

Equality activist A: So that’s where the saying “Happy wife, happy life” came from. It’s a classic!

Praxagora: You wouldn’t know a classic from a folktale. Register for courses in ancient Greek and Latin at your nearest university. Education is cheaper than ignorance! But the time for oratory is over. I’m issuing an executive order requiring all wages and other income be paid directly to the government. The government will in turn provide every resident with a Vice-Versa GovPayPal EqualityCard. With that card, every resident will have equal ability to buy any good or service. In fact, with the Vice-Versa GovPayPal EqualityCard, everybody will be able to buy whatever they want!

Equality activists: All for equality! Equality for all! All for all!

Cis-gender woman equality activist A: What about cis-gender men?

Praxagora: Cis-gender men will have to do whatever we cis-gender women, non-binary women, and transmen tell them to do.

Cis-gender woman equality activist A: What if a man isn’t able to do it when I tell him I want him to?

Praxagora: No problem. Just get another man to have sex with you.

Cis-gender woman equality activist A: That’s what I’ve been doing.

Praxagora: Keep in mind that I’m also issuing an executive order that prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. Sexually marginalized persons such as Dis and others in celibate Hell will have priority access to the most sexually desirable persons. Many sexually impoverished persons urgently need thrilling sexual satisfaction to be safe from serious personal harm. If the necessary sexual access causes privileged persons some discomfort, well, they’ll just have to lay down and endure it.

Cis-gender woman equality activist A: How do we know who’s privileged and who’s marginalized under the new sexual equality decree?

Praxagora: The Bureau of Labor Statistics has been tasked with creating a Sexual Privilege Index. It will weigh various attributes, such as how tall a man is, how much hair he has on his head, how muscular he is, how many other women he has, etc., to compute an SPI with a value from 1 to 100 for each man. A similar SPI will be constructed for women. If you want to have sex with a particular man, you must check how low your SPI is relative to the SPIs of all the other persons who want to have sex with him. By the looks of you, I’d estimate you have an SPI below 10. That makes you a very marginalized person. You’ll be able to have sex right away with any man you choose!

Cis-gender woman equality activist A: This is a just, equitable, and rational government!

Praxagora: The Vice-Versa GovPayPal EqualityCard should be printed and distributed in time for everyone to go to restaurants for dinner tomorrow night. Enjoying magnificent dinners, all will know that equality rules this land!

Equality activists form a chorus and sing.

Limpets with saltfish and sharksteak with dogfish,
hot mullets, oddfish, and savory pickle sauces,
cold thrushes, blackbirds, and pan-roasted pigeons,
fresh cooked-up roosters and crisp larks with wagtails,
rabbits with spritzer and mulled wine with olives,
big chunks all drizzled with honeyed silphium,
plus vinegar, oil, and spices galore!

{ λοπαδοτεμαχοσελαχογαλεο-
κρανιολειψανοδριμυποτριμματο-
σιλφιολιπαρομελιτοκατακεχυμενο-
κιχλεπικοσσυφοφαττοπεριστερα-
λεκτρυονοπτοπιφαλλιδοκιγκλοπε-
λειολαγῳοσιραιοβαφητραγα-
λοπτερυγών. }

Non-binary woman equality activist C: These are a few of my favorite things!

News of the insurrection, coup d’etat, and new executive orders spreads among men working on the streets of Athens. A road-working man repairing a pothole calls to a man sweeping out a sewer.

Road-worker: I’ve heard that the assembly passed a bunch of new safety regulations.

Sewer-worker: Yea, something about prioritizing the safety of sexually marginalized persons.

Road-worker: The street-walkers would be safer if the assembly could hire more road-workers to fill the holes. But it’s dirty, dangerous work. Yesterday a bone that some woman hurled out of her home nearly hit me in the head. There aren’t many women hole-fillers. Women know how dangerous the work is.

Sewer-worker: At least we’re not house-movers or plumbers. Women are always grabbing their parts and trying to force them. As Βλεπυροσ said in Aristophanes’s Ἐκκλησιάζουσαι, “τὸ πρὸς βίαν δεινότατον.”

Road-worker: What the Hell does that mean?

Sewer-worker: I majored in classics and learned ancient Greek. What Blepyrus said basically means that men don’t like having women rape them. Anyone with common sense should know that, but most people don’t understand. If I ever get a job as a classics teacher, I’ll teach them.

Road-worker: I heard that now we’re gonna be forced to have sex with old, ugly women before we can do our primary squeeze. Something about an SPI measurement. I don’t need any new measurements. I do well enough with just eye-balling.

Sewer-worker: You can eye-ball as much as you like, but under the new regs you’ll be doing nothing more than eye-balling unless your SPI is low enough.

Further down the street, two other Athenian men are discussing the new equality regulations.

Eddimedes Murphes: I’m no racist, but if the bitch is green, there’s something wrong with the pussy.

Epicenes: That doesn’t matter. Marginalized people’s safety has priority over privileged people’s comfort.

Eddimedes Murphes: I’ve got hot young black women pinching my ass and pulling at me, but I have to have sex with some green witch? What’s the point of working hard to become the most famous speaker in all of greater Greece?

Epicenes: You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that your speaking and teaching fees, which will now be paid directly to the government, will contribute to funding Vice-Versa GovPayPal EqualityCards for all.

Eddimedes Murphes: Sounds as good as eating an ice cream cone dropped in a pile of dog shit!

Epicenes: You’ve already got three white crones seeking your meat. Their SPIs are gonna be much, much lower than any hot young woman.

I weave with brightly colored strings
to keep my mind off other things.
So, my friend, let your fingers dance,
and keep your hands out of romance.

Falling in love with love is falling for make believe.
Falling in love with love is playing the fool.
Caring too much is such a juvenile fancy.
Learning to trust is just for children in school.

I fell in love with love one night when the moon was full.
I was unwise with eyes unable to see.
I fell in love with love, with love everlasting,
but love fell out with me.

Two ugly old white cis-gender women, eminent professors of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality, appear and start tugging on Eddimedes Murphes’s arms.

Eddimedes Murphes: Is this some sick joke? Please, someone tell me what in the world these are! Are they monkeys plastered with makeup? Hags arisen from the underworld?

{ πότερον πίθηκος ἀνάπλεως ψιμυθίου
ἢ γραῦς ἀνεστηκυῖα παρὰ τῶν πλειόνων }

Epicenes: They identify as cis-gender women. Under the executive order of the new equality regime, they have priority access to you.

Loudspeaker announcement:
The women have decreed that if a young man desires a young woman he may not hump her until he bangs an old woman first. Should he in his desire for the young woman refuse to do this preliminary banging, the older women shall be entitled with impunity to drag the young man off by his pecker.

{ ἔδοξε ταῖς γυναιξίν, ἢν ἀνὴρ νέος
νέας ἐπιθυμῇ, μὴ σποδεῖν αὐτὴν πρὶν ἂν
τὴν γραῦν προκρούσῃ πρῶτον. ἢν δὲ μὴ ᾿θέλῃ
πρότερον προκρούειν, ἀλλ᾿ ἐπιθυμῇ τῆς νέας,
ταῖς πρεσβυτέραις γυναιξὶν ἔστω τὸν νέον
ἕλκειν ἀνατεὶ λαβομένας τοῦ παττάλου. }

Eddimedes Murphes: I’ve heard this shit before. Same fucked-up gynocentric government putting half the black men in jail. Better to lock up all of us black men than to have such creatures forced on us for extra sexual duty. You think I didn’t study classics?

The kooky gynaecocracy says I have to fuck this old hag night and day, and after I get free of her, start in again on this other old toad with a funeral urn already standing by her legs. Man, I’m damned to be clamped with such freaks as these. But if the very worst really does happen to me as I put into port atop these two harridans, bury me right where I penetrated this first one’s channel. As for other, why didn’t Zeus make her a transgender gay man? While she’s still alive, cover her with pitch all over and put her feet in molten lead up to her ankles. Then stick her over my grave instead of an urn!

{ ὢ τρισκακοδαίμων, εἰ γυναῖκα δεῖ σαπρὰν
βινεῖν ὁλὴν τὴν νύκτα καὶ τὴν ἡμέραν,
κἄπειτ᾿, ἐπειδὰν τῆσδ᾿ ἀπαλλαγῶ, πάλιν
φρύνην ἔχουσαν λήκυθον πρὸς ταῖς γνάθοις.
ἆρ᾿ οὐ κακοδαίμων εἰμί; βαρυδαίμων μὲν οὖν,
νὴ τὸν Δία τὸν σωτῆρ᾿, ἀνὴρ καὶ δυστυχής,
ὅστις τοιούτοις θηρίοις συνείρξομαι.
ὅμως δ᾿, ἐάν τι πολλὰ πολλάκις πάθω
ὑπὸ τοῖνδε τοῖν κασαλβάδοιν δεῦρ᾿ ἐσπλέων,
θάψαι μ᾿ ἐπ᾿ αὐτῷ στόματι τῆς ἐσβολῆς,
καὶ τήνδ ἄνωθεν ἐπιπολῆς τοῦ σήματος
ζῶσαν καταπιττώσαντες, εἶτα τὼ πόδε
μολυβδοχοήσαντες κύκλῳ περὶ τὰ σφυρὰ
ἄνω ᾿πιθεῖναι πρόφασιν ἀντὶ ληκύθου. }

Young, handsome man: Crazy old ladies are sexually harassing me with Diomedes’ necessity. They say if I refuse, they’ll come with me to jail!

Another young, handsome man: Apparition of damnation — a woman over sixty who looks like a big blood blister demands me! I think I’m gonna shit my pants for fear of her touch.

Epicenes: Eros is dead. The joy of sex is over. Withdraw into your homes, men, and don’t come out until this kooky gynaecocracy is overthrown. Video games, porn, and Netflix, and now porn video games on Netflix. That’s the best life has to offer us men today. Withdraw! Withdraw!

One by one the actors leave the stage to the sound of doors slamming.

* * * *

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Notes:

The above play is adapted from Aristophanes’s Parliament of Women {Ἐκκλησιάζουσαι / Ecclesiazusae}. Aristophanes’s Ἐκκλησιάζουσαι was performed in Athens, probably in 392 BGC. The name Praxagora {Πραξαγορα} is from Aristophanes and means literally “public-spirited.” On the relation of Ἐκκλησιάζουσαι to Athenian democracy, Sonnino (2017).

Preceding the quotes in ancient Greek are English translations, with some modifications. The Greek text and source English translation are from Henderson (2002). Roche (2005) provides a lively English translation somewhat less faithful to the ancient Greek. The Greek text of Hall & Geldart (1906) is freely accessibly, as is the English translation of Theodoridis (2009).

The ancient Greek quotations are Aristophanes, Ἐκκλησιάζουσαι, vv. 209-12, 214-40 (Friends, Athenians, countrypersons…), 1169-75 (Limpets on saltfish…), 471 (It’s absolutely terrible when you’re forced; Blepyrus on a man being raped), 1072-3 (Are they monkeys plastered…), 1015-20 (The women have decreed…), 1098-1111 (The kooky gynaecocracy says I have to fuck this old hag…).

Showing the progress of philological knowledge and expertise, Jacobson (2011) convincing argues that Ἐκκλησιάζουσαι vv. 465-72, which concerns women sexually coercing men, did not include a gesture suggesting how a man could stimulate his reluctant penis. A woman’s active, loving, and appreciative receptivity to a man’s penis is generally the most effective way to stimulate it.

The text above includes parodically lyrics of the song “Defying Gravity” from the 2003 Broadway musical Wicked (music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz). It also includes a quote (I’m no racist, but…) from Eddie Murphy’s 1983 stand-up comedy television special Delirious. It includes as well lyrics from the song “Falling in Love with Love” from the 1938 Broadway musical The Boys from Syracuse (music by Richard Rogers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart). The meter of the above English translation of Aristophanes, Ἐκκλησιάζουσαι, vv. 1169-75, draws on that of the song “My Favorite Things” from the 1959 Broadway musical The Sound of Music (music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II).

[images] (1) 1938 filming of Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra singing “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Via YouTube. (2) Theater Mania’s video compilation of various artists performing the song “Defying Gravity” from the 2003 Broadway musical Wicked (music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz). Via YouTube. Here’s a performance by Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, who performed the song in the original Broadway show. (3) T.3 (Liam Fennecken, Brendan Jacob Smith, Jim Hogan) with its 2021 recording of “Defying Gravity.” Via YouTube. (4) Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson performing the song “Make Believe” from the 1951 film version of the 1927 Broadway musical Show Boat (music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II). Via YouTube. (5) Oscar Peterson performing on piano the song “Falling in Love with Love” in 1977 at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. With wonderful artistic sense, Peterson culturally appropriated Richard Rogers’s music from the 1938 Broadway play The Boys from Syracuse, which is based on William Shakespeare’s play The Comedy of Errors, which is based on Plautus’s play The Two Menaechmuses {Menaechmi}. Plautus wrote Menaechmi in Latin in Rome some year about 200 BGC. Plautus based Menaechmi on a now-lost ancient Greek play of New Comedy. Like other fine artists, Oscar Peterson appreciated classics and produced classics.

References:

Hall, F. W., and William Geldart, eds. 1906. Aristophanes. Comoediae. Oxonii: Oxford University Press.

Henderson, Jeffrey, ed. and trans. 2002. Aristophanes. Frogs. Assemblywomen. Wealth. Loeb Classical Library 180. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Jacobson, David J. 2011. “A Gestural Phallacy.” Didaskalia. 8 (25): online.

Roche, Paul, trans. 2005. Aristophanes. The Complete Plays. New York, N.Y.: New American Library.

Sonnino, Maurizio. 2017. “Restoring and Overturning Athenian Democracy in Aristophanes: Paradigmatic Truths and ‘Carnival’ Reversals.” Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought. 34 (2): 366-389.

Theodoridis, George, trans. 2009. Aristophanes. Women in Parliament. Online at Poetry in Translation.

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