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Read the Libretto for Wynton Marsalis's The Ever Fonky Lowdown


News | Jun, 7th 2018

Librettist: Wynton Marsalis

~~~~

BASED ON DECADES OF CONVERSATIONS WITH MY BROTHER ELLIS.

THE EVER FONKY LOW DOWN

PART 1

  1. 6/8 March—We are the Greatest in the World - instrumental

Mr. Game, here at your everlasting service. I’m here for your edification, elucidation and your education. Here’s the situation. I run a game of numbers, though I’m not a numbers man. I inspire and sell confidence. Don’t laugh—-confidence determines the direction of the markets. And there’s nothing in the world more important than money, especially if it’s yours.

We are here tonight, but this is an international hustle. It has played out many times across time and space, and is not specific to any language or race. It takes on different flavors according to people’s taste, but always ends up in the same old place.

Since we here like to talk about freedom, that subject will set tonight’s pace.

I want you to sit back and hear me out. What I show you will eliminate all doubt. I’m a gourmet chef and a short order cook, the author of a best-selling book called, “leap before you look”. For the first time, tonight, I’m going to give you the opportunity to buy into the method for pursuing what we all call democratic freedoms for yourself and for resolving nasty stressful conflicts with others. I teach it through this timeless game, but you will learn just the same. That’s right, a game played by me, Mr. Game and you O Glorious People, complete with a wildcard which I will choose for you when the time is right.

This game tests your aptitude for accepting the revelations and democratic opportunities I make available. If you embrace these concepts and emerge with your sanity, vanity, and humanity intact, you will be awarded some very liberating prizes. You all are so great. I’m sure there will be many winners in here tonight. Lest you think I’m a happy rhyming fool, this is a game that took Solomon to school. I’m your host but no TV star. Though we play, the subject is war, but the point is Power! Pure power and only power!

It starts with a predilection for absolute slaughter become a call for order. It ends with the opportunity for greatness, wealth and fame for all time. Beat them, make them work to increase yours; defile and control their sexuality; ruin their experiencing of life and birth them into shame for what was done to them(in the name of a righteous God); redefine their place in history; teach them that they deserved all that was done to them; corrupt their children by rewarding them for their aptitude in regurgitating theirpathologyaccording to your narrative; and finally, sit right down and entertain yourself with their mocking and shaming themselves by singing and dancing about it. Well.... that’s just too much fun to go undone.

There ‘tis. It’s the rebound after the beat down, the hump on the brown round, and the ‘green you-lost’, I found”. It’s Ever Fonky and it’s all the way Low Down.

Did I tell you that my number one hustle is winning? I am a winner, and everyone loves a winner. Even the losers of a very bitterly fought war will try to join the winners. And y’all are all winners. You are the greatest people in the world. And we, together, are the best ever.

PART ONE

  1. We Are the Greatest (Music)

Oh, we are the greatest the world has ever seen

And we are the greatest that there has ever been

Oh, I am the greatest

No, you are the greatest

No, we are the greatest and we are the best of the best

If you not with us then you’re back in the pack with the rest

Oh, we are the greatest, everybody knows

You are degraded, that’s just how it goes

I, me, mine, myself,

me I, mine, myself,

mine, me, myself, I mean

We are the greatest in the world

We are the best that’s ever been

We know that you know that we know that we’re number one

We see that you see that we see that we’ve just begun

Let’s talk about I, me, mine, myself

We, our, us, ourselves

We are number one

Our crimes are much better

Our water is wetter

Our lies are much truer

Our sorrows are bluer

Oh, we are the best in the world as beginners

And we are the never say never again-ers

And we are the grinning-est grinners

The winning-est in the whole wide!

Mr. Game:

Yes, You have to believe in yourself to be successful. I see you have accepted that concept quite well.

Too much negativity and reflection are like all vegetables and no cake. Follow me while I explain what this is gonna take. I’m Mr Game. Success is my middle name. I became famous for my financial twerking that showed folks how to make money, without even the money working. We could go on and on about me, but we have a lot of stuff to do and tonight’s proceedings are all about you. Believe me, O Glorious People! You are great and we are sooo fantastic. But have you noticed a growing population of ‘others’ who look suspicious?

They seem to be everywhere. Who are they? Count them, I think they may soon outnumber us.

  • They/Let’s Call Them This

They are over here

They are over there

They are everywhere

What’s that in her hair?

What are their children playing?

What’s that baby saying?

Can we ask them?

They are over here

They are over there

They are everywhere

Let’s call them this

Let’s call them that

Or something funny, maybe this and that

Where do they live?

What do they eat?

What do they talk about when they meet?

What do they think?

What does it matter?

What’s with their crazy, noisy, silly chatter?

Let me ask

I wouldn’t broach it

Now’s the perfect time to approach them

Don’t look for trouble

I want to meet them

Don’t even greet them

Let’s take a seat, then

We’re here to count them

What’s the amount, then?

Three fifty three

Oh, let them be

I have to see

Let’s call them this

Let’s call them that

Or something funny, maybe this and that

Where do they live?

What do they eat?

What do they talk about when they meet?

Mr. Game:Yes, yes, well now, there’s quite a few of them. We must keep an eye on them. They may want to challenge our greatness. How are they different from us? How many are there again? Hmmm...I think that’s a lot. They may want to take our things.

O Glorious People! The world is divided into haves and have nots, strong and weak. It is a struggle between right and wrong, a battle for supremacy. Are we not winners and are we not the greatest? Do those people accept that? With God as my witness. We need to watch them!! Beware. They’re going to cause problems.

  • The Ever Fonky Lowdown in 4

It’s the ever fonky lowdown

It’s the ever fonky lowdown

It’s the ever fonky lowdown

It’s the fonky, fonky get down

O can you see

O can you see

It’s the ever fonky slow down

It’s the lowdown fonky throw down

O can you see

You and me

The ever fonky lowdown

What can you see?

Ever fonky lowdown

Ever fonky lowdown

Mr Game:

I’m a preacher and a teacher, a soul- reacher and a defense- breacher. As I feared, there are about to be more of them than us. They’re like rabbits. Are we going to let them sit there breeding away our freedom? We are winners. We can’t have them competing with us, because competition is an act of aggression.

Some have suggested talking to them, but talk is a waste of time. And we don’t have time. Every second wasted is a second given to them. Believe me, O Glorious People! I think I heard they have been committing nefarious crimes, and—-they don’t believe in God. We must hold them accountable. Let me take care of this. Please folks, don’t take our freedoms for granted. Thank you for your trust. You’re doing quite well.

  • I Don’t Like Nobody But Myself

I don’t like Black people

I don’t like Fat people

I don’t like White people

I don’t like Short people

I don’t like Old People

I don’t like people who talk

I don’t like the way they walk

I don’t like people who tell

I don’t like when they yell in the street on they cell because

I don’t like Loud people

I don’t like women

I can’t stand men

I don’t trust laughter and

I hate a silly grin, you see

I don’t like the rich people

Oh, I don’t like poor people

I can’t stand no holy people

I hate roly, poly people

I don’t like tall people

I don’t like small people

I don’t like nobody at all

That’s why I’m gonna take

As much as I can confiscate

I can’t stand whities

I can’t stand blackies

I don’t have to choose

I don’t like Muslims

And I don’t like Jews

I don’t like people who walk

I don’t like people who talk

I can’t stand people who can

When they stand like they stand

I don’t like

I don’t like

I don’t like

I don’t like nobody but myself

Mr Game:

Yes! We are truly something the world has never seen. We’re really really great! These people are killing each other and jailing their opposition leaders. We can’t abide this. They torture people, they steal from each other, live in chaos and soon....that chaos will be here!! We have to liberate them from themselves. O Glorious People! We must strike first to prevent what they may be trying to do to us, and to save them. Their leaders must feel our power. Believe me. Trust me.

We will spare no measure or expense in the pursuit of their salvation. Can you find it in your hearts to save these poor people? Yes. I knew you would agee!Your position will be made clear when I represent you to our governing body. They will understand. Our greatness has burdened us with this struggle. We will meet its demands. We must “extend” our principles to take this action. Then, we will no longer be constrained by worrisome teachings and archaic customs that have suppressed our ambitions.

Our government has agreed to make a few small changes to our laws. The path is now cleared for us to liberate these people, extend our dominion and increase our wealth, It’s a win, win, win for us. And in this game, winning is the only thing.

  • It May Sound Like the Drums of War

It sound like the drums of war

But it’s actually the stealing of money

It sound like the drums of war

But it’s actually the stealing of money

It sound like the drums of war

But it’s actually the stealing of money

It sound like the drums of war

But it’s actually the stealing of money

It sound like the drums of war

But it’s actually the stealing of money

It sound like the drums of war

But it’s actually the stealing of

It’s the stealing of

It’s the stealing of

It’s the stealing of

It sound like the drums of war

But it’s actually the stealing of money

Where did our money go?

no no no no one knows

Where did their money go?

It sound like the drums of war

But it’s actually the stealing of money

It sound like the drums of war

But it’s really the stealing of money

It’s the stealing of

It’s the stealing of

It’s the stealing of

Stealing of money

Mr Game:

To fulfill the mandates of our democracy O Glorious People, we’ve set aside a specific time and space for you to voice your uncertainties and to consult with your leaders. These are very serious actions we’ve taken.

  • Consideration Blues/I Know I Must Fight, Drums of War Return

How many did they say?

They were what?

Their own people?

What weapons?

How do you know?

But the Lord said

But weren’t they

353 thousand

I thought they

But didn’t we?

Well…

When did we?

But we would never

But didn’t the Savior

I guess

I really don’t

Well they must have

I guess we should

Help me to

Did our Lord say

I just don’t

Yes, I think

I guess so

Well, I don’t

I guess it’s too

Here we go

There’s no choice

The band says:

I know I must fight I know I must fight

I know I must fight I know I must fight

I know I must fight I know I must fight

I know I must fight I know I must fight

It may sound like the drums of war

But it’s actually the stealing of money

It sound like the drums of war

But it’s actually the stealing of money

It sound like the drums of war

But it’s actually the stealing of money

It sound like the drums of war

But it’s actually the stealing of money

It sound like the drums of war

But it’s actually the stealing of money

Won’t you tell me?

‘Bout that enemy

Won’t you tell me?

Where’s that enemy

Mr. Game:

We have handled these people very honorably and executed this war professionally. We lost very few people. Who is We? We are participants. This is your will, O Glorious People!

  • What Would the Savior Think?

What would the Savior think?

(Am I not a brother and a sister too?)

What would the Savior think?

(Remember the golden rule)

What would the Savior think?

Hallelu

Hallelujah

What would our Lord have done?

What would the Savior think?

(see the world anew, create the right instead of avenging the wrong. Love)

What would the Savior think?

Hmmmmm......

Mr Game:

That’s so naive, it makes me want to puke. Too much thinking and praying will give you a headache. Winners don’t reflect, we celebrate. We don’t have time for all this Savior nonsense and questioning whether you’re with us. You should have questioned who we were before their innocents became collateral damage.

There is only one savior: Power!!... and money is his lone disciple. You may question our conquests but they are your prosperity. Why, all across our landscape today, you see the result of past glories against others. You see them destitute and half insane, not working or working in service to us. You must agree, that’s far better than us serving them. You see, trust me, you are thinking about right and wrong and all that Savior nonsense. Everything is relative.

Some for me, some for you,

Some for you, Some for me, Some for me, None for You,

Some for me, some for me, some for me,

None for you, none for you, none for you.

  • Some for Me None for You-instrumental

Mr. Game:

Let me break some history down for you. We created a community based on freedom. In the name of freedom, we defeated some uncivilized people who had never heard of freedom. Because there was work we needed done, we were forced to enslave them, and then...we freed them. They were living wrong. These people didn’t believe in God. Some of their own people sold them to us. We were right in liberating them from being themselves, we were only wrong in waiting so long to do it. And hey, we were so absolutely right about deserving nice things for ourselves.

Now you, O Glorious people, may not get any of the spoils of this war, but you’re winners. A winner shouldn’t let the vicissitudes of money dampen their euphoria. You don’t get any Super Bowl money when your team wins, but it still feels damned good to wear their jersey you bought. It just feels so right: We won! we won! We won! And....we’re number one!!!

  • The Ever Fonky Lowdown in 5

It’s the ever fonky lowdown

It’s the dirty, lowdown smack down

It’s the smack down, it’s the crack down

It’s the fonky, fonky back down

It’s the ever dirty showdown

It’s a low down, dirty smack down

It’s a fonky fonky back down

It’s the ever fonky lowdown

Oh can’t you

O can you

It’s the ever fonky lowdown

It’s the ever fonky lowdown

Mr Game:

Ah yes we are all in this together. Oh Glorious people. The war was executed with such professionalism, the governing body has granted me the privilege of writing the official record. We all know what happened: they attacked us...we defended ourselves. They deserved everything they got, they abused their own people, and they were living in filth too, with a bunch of unkempt children.

If they believed in God, and if God was on their side, they wouldn’t have lost.” O Glorious People! Our people were heroic in battle as always. Let me find the right words, so the official records and textbooks will show that the good are celebrated and the bad are rightly punished. This act solidifies our bond. We are truly a community fighting for freedom. Do you agree to the wealth these actions have brought to us? Well, don’t ask ‘who is we’?Enjoy the spoils of war. Even if it’s only the acquired air of superiority that comes with identifying with winners, you got something for nothing, something for nothing. And there’s always more.

I’m a seer and a mind freer. Cash is my middle name, but I’m called Mr. Game. It all happened just as I said.

When the books are read about the dragons we slayed, and all our golden trophies are displayed, the world will gape at the fortunes (some of us) have made. The memory of our greatness will last and last, but we still have to keep moving fast fast fast. We have won the day, but must also master the night. Don’t worry about your money, it’s gon’ be right. We will increase your green under the cloak of night when the amateurs sleep. What I earn, we get to keep. I work for you like a Grey Ghost Raider, trust me baby, I’m a night trader. Always remember:

The speed of consumption far outruns the pace of corruption. I have to stay ahead of your appetite.

  • Night Trader

Sleight of hand by trade

Sign a bill, don’t even read the bill

I sign a bill, don’t even read a bill

Enforce a law, a law I never saw

I enforce a law, a law I never even saw.

Put ‘em in jail did they commit a crime.

Put ‘em away for a long, long time.

I’m a night trader, baby, I’m a night trader,

Sleight of hand by trade.

I’m a night trader,

I’m a night trader,

I’m a night trader,

I’m a night trader,

I’m a night trader.

Sell you a home, I’ll give you a loan

Sell you a loan, I’ll give you a home

Sell you a home, I’ll give you a loan.

Give you a loan that’ll take your home

Gimme some stock on private prisons

Don’t you worry, we’ll get good bids

I’m a judge — I’m sending kids

Night trader, baby, I’m a night trader,

I’m a night trader,

I’m a night trader,

I’m a night trader,

I’m a night trader,

I’m a night trader.

Sign a bill, don’t even read a bill.

Enforce a law, I never studied law

Who cares if they committed the crime,

There’s money to make, give ‘em some time.

There’s no time for all this “who struck John”,

Time is money, I’m moving on

Night trader, baby,

Sleight of hand by trade

I’m a night trader,

I’m a night trader,

I’m a night trader,

I’m a night trader,

Mr Game:

Let me teach you, children: we beat other people; therefore we are better than them. Group thinking baby, we are the greatest nation in the world, we are right and they are wrong (applause from band); the world is black and white and of course, because we won, God is on our side. And the Ever Fonky becomes deep down skonky when you see the terms of surrender for the defeated. Remember, O Glorious People! They too want to be winners. That’s right. When we hear songs celebrating our victory pouring from the mouths of the very people we defeated, we know that they have made peace with our supremacy.

That, O Glorious People!

Let me take you back to the schoolyard: Most kids just give in and follow the bully, but a few back away threatening some type of retaliation. Whether subservient or resistant, each will adjust their philosophy to accommodate defeat. That’s the illusion of choice. Haha, the old binary hustle. Tutsi versus Hutu, God fearing versus heathens, Democrats versus Republicans. Yes, there are two sides to every coin, but it’s still the same coin.

It’s so wonderfully gamey. Losers have two choices: entertain us by playing out our vision of them as meek, emasculated jesters....or excite us by playing out our vision of them as dangerous captured savages. Well, it’s natural to the defeated, all of that bowing and scraping, but it’s also ok to let a little pressure out of the system and listen to the most aggressive ones roar and shout insults about what they think we’ve done to them...and so on. I love the anguished fiery testimonials, I love them owning the bad names we called them. I just can’t figure out why they think all of that noise and blaming inspires guilt or shame—-it’s actually therapeutic for me. Tell us again. What did we do to you?

  • Mr. Good Time Man

Do you remember good and glory days,

When slappy, happy minstrels traveled cross the land bringing such joy and cheer with every song, and when they danced the buck and wing we knew they missed the old plantation,

And our hearts did burst with sorrow at the telling of a tale from old Dixie

Oh, come and play Mister good time man

Make us feel everything’s all right.

Oh let me smile your blues away,

I’m ready.

Yet there’s another type of fellow and he turns my legs to jello

When he brags about the violent string of crimes he has committed.

He is such a dashing fellow all bedecked in golden chains

And though the years have passed his story is the same.

Oh, can I buy a ghetto song

So I can dance and sing along

We’ll share a rhyme while you do time

I’m ready.

And so the Janus headed minstrel that has filled our lives with glee

Forever whether he be happy grinning or an angry lion spinnIng

Either way I love the ghetto and the old plantation cause the

good ol’ time attracting

character detracting stories and the acting is for me

Oh, won’t you play mister good time man

Oh, can you bust a gangsta rhyme.

Then we’d have you both on hand.

Oh, mister good time man

Oh, mister bad time man

Smile, mister good time

scowl, mister bad man

Smile, mister good time

Show us your grill

Mr Game:

Yes. There’s only one more step to complete the dispositional portion of this game. You must understand and embody the easy attitude of entitlement that comes with freedom and wealth. Our riches affirm that we are the greatest of the world. Everyone knows it. That’s why they want to be us.

Shame is for losers or for those who have done something wrong. We only did to them what they would have done to us, if they could. Don’t think about it, just follow the stories in all the books, movies, and everything else. We are number one. If you’re not us, you’re them. They will complain, but don’t look back, don’t look around, history is now. Can you accept this? I knew you would. It’s the Ever Fonky Low Down.

  • Because I Want To, Because I Like To, Because I Can

My brother

My sister

Why? Why? Why, Why?

Why do you keep doin’ it to me

Because I want to

Because I like to

Because I can

My sister

My brother

Why? Why? Why?

Why? Why? Why?

Oh, Why do you treat me so bad

Because I want to

Because I like to

Because I can

Oh, tell me why

Why eye

Why-y-y tell me, won’t you, oh why-y

Because I want to

Because I like to

Because I can

Mr Game:

That’s a ridiculous plea. This is how it all seems to me.

  • I Wants My Ice Cream

I wants my ice cream.

So good to me.

I loves my ice cream.

Oh, can’t you see.

Oh, yes I see you,

Sleeping in these streets.

Got me to thinking

What a poor man eats.

I likes my ice cream.

Would you like a lick?

Ah-ah I’m playin’.

Just a dirty trick.

I see you eyeing,

My brand new shoes.

I wants my ice cream.

Got the sidewalk blues.

I hear you brother.

I feel your pain.

I loves my ice cream.

That’s my refrain.

Ain’t got no money.

Even if I could.

I wants my ice cream.

Don’t think I would.

What’s all this hollerin’

And stumbin’ down the street?

Can’t you be quiet?

I’m trying to eat.

I see you eyeing

This ice cream cone.

But, you can’t have none

I’m on my phone

Mr Game:

Somebody’s got to rule. It might as well be us.

  • The Ever Fonky Lowdown in 6

It’s the ever fonky lowdown

It’s the ever fonky lowdown

Oh can’t you see

‘Bout you and me

It’s the fonky fonky fake down

It’s the ever, fonky break down

Why can’t you see

What it could be

‘bout you, you and me

It’s the ever fonky take down

It’s the ever fonky shake down

It’s the ever fonky shake down

It’s the fonky, fonky break down

It’s the ever fonky blow down

Of the fonky, fonky brown brown

Across time, across space,

Across the whole human race

Across time, across space,

Across the whole human race

Across time, across space,

Across the whole human race

  • What Would The Savior Think:

Church rumble and someone shouts as the singers hum: But what would Savior Think and Chris says:The word is the will of God, NOT the will of the people.

END OF FIRST HALF

PART 2

  • The Ever Fonky Lowdown in 5 and 6

It’s the ever fonky lowdown

It’s the nappy, nappy slap down

It’s the fonky, fonky trap down

It’s the lowdown dirty dap down

Oh say, can you see

It’s right, can you see

To fight, fight to be

You and me

It’s the ever fonky lowdown

It’s the never nappy hoe-down

For all to see

It’s the never nappy no down

For all to see

It’s right, can’t you see

The fight just to be

be free you and me

Game:

Mr. Game, back for your international delight. Though our game has been played across time and space, I give out prizes of value to only this time and place. You will receive five gifts of various sizes, each enlivened by hand- picked surprises which further apprises you of what was earned and learned from our handling of ‘others’ and their brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers. What we did to them or for them taught us how to achieve prosperity and order.

Each prize is accompanied with a clear explanation. I give some local history. Then, I tell you exactly what’s happening (that’s called the breakdown). Explain how our choices worked out over time (that’s the hand me down) and finally, we look underneath the sheets where the big dog eats, (that’s the Low Down).

DESCRIPTION OF FIRST PRIZE:

Here’s some historical fact.

These people weren’t doing anything productive and our lives gave them purpose.. to serve us. We gave them separate living quarters and encouraged them to pursue that same type of housing after we freed them.

What you do is what you will do and that you do makes it true.

Try as we might, most have proven to be beyond rehabilitation. Look around. You see them doing nothing and always involved in some type of mayhem and madness.

Here’s the breakdown:

Nothing is more important than living in a comfortable environment. Just seeing them can bring up fear and bad feelings. We’ve got to keep them largely out of sight and mind. They are, however, very good at games and at playing things.

Here’s the hand me down:

O mighty people! We must be inhospitable to them and to any group of outsiders who come here disrespecting our flag and our beliefs.

Here’s the Low Down:

Keep them down. Keep them away. Let no wound be too small to inflict. Quietly make sure they are slowly strangled by all of the systems across this mighty nation.

Your first prize, great and glorious people, is the freedom ofsegregation, segmentation and homogenization. Everywhere you look, you will only see yourself. Congratulations!!

  • Isms, Schisms

I GOT isms, schisms

Isms, schisms

Isms, schisms

All for me

Schisms, isms

Schisms, isms

Schisms, isms

I can’t see

Schisms, isms

Schisms, isms

Schisms, isms

All day long

Isms, schisms

Isms, schisms

Isms, schisms

Loud and strong

We don’t want the aggravation

Does not matter what they know

If I see one anywhere around my place

Our police may shoot them dead and win the case

We’ve got Racism, Sexism, Textism, Wow!

Leftism, Rightism, hit me now

Classism, Snobism, Fakism, True

Malism, Hoodism, Love them too!

Fakery, Snakery, Never Awakery

Bribery, Takery, What you say?

Racism, Ageism, Racism, Sexism

Racism, Classism, Every day

I’m just happy in these run-down places

And our segregated schools

If they see us anywhere around their homes

The police will beat us back where we belong

Isms, schisms

Isms, schisms

Isms, schisms

All for me

Classism, Snobism, Fakism True

Malism, Hoodism, Can you see

Racism, Ageism, Racism, Sexism

Racism, Classism, What you say?

Isms, schisms

Isms, schisms

Isms, schisms

Every day

I’m just happy in these rundown places

Does not matter what they know

If they see us anywhere around their homes

Our police will beat them back until they’re gone

Schisms, isms

Schisms, isms

Isms, schisms

Isms, schisms

Schisms, isms

Schisms, isms

Isms, schisms

Isms, schisms

Mr. Game:

Each of our five prizes comes naturally from the last. The battles we’ve won over these last years to segregate ourselves have led to purity in education, housing and employment. Just look around. All of that winning is addictive, but if you don’t fight, you can’t win. When you beat one group of others, you must use that inspiration to go on to the next and the next, until you work through all the groups that displease you.

DESCRIPTION OF SECOND PRIZE:

You will enjoy endless campaigns: old versus young, smart versus dumb, fat versus skinny, Democrats vs Republican. Finally, you will work your way all the way up to the most sacred battleground: your own home. For drama and intensity, nothing surpasses a passionate, extended domestic battle. Don’t forget the binary narrative: others are wrong and you are right. It’s a wonderful way of understanding that keeps you on the battlefield.

Here’s a snapshot from our history: We broke their families up for centuries and consistently destroyed the bond between their men and women. However, they were very productive for us as workers, as stock and as property. It was gloriously efficient and effective. We learned to value human beings economically. With the passage of time, the accurate valuation of people is just in our DNA, and their home life has still not recovered.

Let me free you from old thinking. Families are no longer what they were. Kids are disrespectful. Men and women at each other’s throats all the time.

Let’s consider, if you will, the poetic demands and uncertain terrains of romance. Think about all of the time it takes to develop a relationship with another person. Now, add the investment required to properly raise a child. You see, a traditional family just takes too much damned time and effort. The modern family is mobile and you need that mobility to make more money.

O Mighty People! Let me explain: life is just a big transaction. Look around. It costs to be born, it costs to die, it costs when you get sick, it costs ‘in case’ you get sick and everything in between is bills and taxes. Try paying for some food with the depth of your humanity. Nothing is more important than money.

Here’s the breakdown:

A winner buys the life he or she wants to live! (Everyone else will fall in line based on their payout).

Here’s the hand me down: Romance interferes with fighting. When the other is the enemy and everything becomes a transaction, intimacy is too nuanced. Who has time for love when the most important victory is yet to be won?

Here’s the Low Down: Now you are free to purchase all the personal space you want. If you get lonely, just swipe a picture on an app. Your prize is freedom from the rigamarole of romance and escalation of the domestic war in the court of transaction.

  • Yes/No Where Has the Love Gone?

Yes No Yes No

Yes No Yes No

Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes

No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No

No No No No

Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes

No

No Yes No Yes

Yes No Yes No

No No No No

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes

No No No No

Yes Yes Yes No Yes

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

No No No No No No No No

Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No

Where has the love gone?

Where has the love gone?

Where has the love gone?

Where has the love gone?

Where has the love gone?

Where has the love gone?

Where has the love gone?

Mr. Game:

Our next wonderful prize is actually two in one. We touched on the difficulties of contemporary parenting. Now, consider the impossibility of accounting for members of your community. It’s all so involved. If we just strip away needless complexity, we can sell more of our ideas. What are we selling? Well.....participation. The new community accepts everyone that can buy in. You can join the church. Don’t worry about reading the book. Send some money! That’s the sole requirement. “If you bring a check, we will not check.”

DESCRIPTION OF THE THIRD PRIZE

Hear me folks, just as today’s community is more fluid, the family of now doesn’t need all those old restrictions with the draconian nonsense of parents telling their kids what to do. You can now be the parents you wish you had. Your youngsters should be free to define their world with other youngsters, a momma should be free to be with her group and a daddy free to be with his. When the generations, genders and preferences are separated, they are unencumbered to create the exact environment they want and can purchase. Then, we can enjoy real participation.

O Glorious People! All this freedom must have a purpose. What greater purpose than selling? What better to sell than perfectly crafted entertainment products with a little sexual electricity (from the world of taboo) targeted at everyone in your home, especially the kids.

The only thing that feels better than selling is being liberated to give full expression to the cathartic euphoria of buying. It’s powerful and it feels so good. The real world will be delivered to your home, for a nominal monthly fee, when everyone is together.... or at any time on your mobile device. Our hard fought freedoms have allowed us to make available all of the things you were unjustly denied in the past.

Folks! We’re going full throttle, a candescent cocktail of freedom tailored to excite the group it targets. Look around. The kids love it! Choice and culture!

Here’s the breakdown:

(Sing) Give the people what they want.

(Sing) Shake your money maker.

(Spoken) Don’t sit on it, sell it!!

Here’s the hand me down:

Trash piles up if no one takes the garbage out. That’s why we pay people to clean. Everything is for sale--even a community. Like an old New Orleans auction house.

We used to sell and buy them as a community so’s all the mommas and daddys and children and all the relatives could be sold and bought in a very grand public spectacle. You know, selling and buying is in our DNA. What you do is what you will do and that you do makes it true.Hey! Didn’t that boy from Facebook just sell a bunch of people’s information?

Here’s the Low Down:

Don’t let other people exploit you. Own your own identity. We all have something worth selling. This prize gives you permission to sell whatever you have to whoever is willing to pay for it. Forget about shame.

Your prize is prime time pornography and the commodification of community

  • Consider This ‘Bout the Filth We Love

Consider this ‘bout the filth we love

Consider this from a view above

We love it

We like it

We sell it

Ooo

Consider this ‘bout the filth we make

Consider this ‘bout the filth we take

We like it

We love it

We buy it

Ooo

Consider this ‘bout the filth we love

Consider this from a view above

We like it

We love it

We buy it

We sell it

We believe it

We achieved it

We live it

And we just got to have got to have

What we need what we want now

WE LIKE IT

WE LIKE IT

WE LIKE IT

We love it

We love it

We love it

I say everything is for sale

Everything is for sale

Everything is for sale

Everything is for sale

Everything is for sale

Consider this ‘bout the filth we love

Consider this ‘bout the filth we make

Consider this from a view above

Consider this bout the filth we take

Oh we won’t see

The reality

Oh we won’t see

The reality

Oh we won’t see

The reality

Oh we won’t see

The reality

Mr. Game:

Our greatness has created jealous enemies everywhere. There are menaces within and without. We have a wide open country with very very porous borders. O Glorious People! We intend to protect every square inch of our homeland...but we can’t do it without your help, folks.

DESCRIPTION OF FOURTH PRIZE

We need you to register all pertinent personal, medical and financial information; to obtain the standard identification card which allows you to get in and out of public places; and please!! Keep your phone with you at all times. It’s for your safety!We already have access to your spending habits, entertainment preferences, daily routines, and the tendencies of your most frequently called friends. These last bits of information will enable us to completely protect you.

Here’s some history:

When we owned them, we would issue papers that accounted for them. For the very few who were able to ascend from their God given position, we issued freedom papers. If you didn’t have those papers, you weren’t free. We really kept track of those people because you couldn’t have them out spreading public mischief and mayhem.

Sometimes, to avoid work, they ran away. We posted the most beautiful descriptions of their person complete with dispositional observations. These advertisements allowed our citizens North and South to repatriate them back to their owners. We all participated and were very successful. When we all come together, success is guaranteed.

If it was important to account for a runaway, you can imagine, O Glorious People! You are far too important to go uncounted. Register now so we can protect you!

Folks, these are troubled times. Corruption is all around us in the form of deception. Open your eyes: doctors addicting you to drugs they’re paid to prescribe, heads of stock exchanges running Ponzi schemes, priests molesting kids, citizens supporting criminals over our officers, I could go on and on. Let’s not even mention the minorities and the terrorists, Lord save us!!

Look around at all the public violence. You cannothave enough surveillance and security. Our technological devices are far more trustworthy than the judgment of a person, a camera does not lie.

Here’s the breakdown:

You are the only one you can trust.

Anyone could be doing anything at any time. “Be afraid-Be prepared.”

Here’s the hand me down:

Surveillance equipment is steadily improving. Soon, we will be able to surreptitiously record every interaction, in every home, so that each accusation can be supported or contested with accurate documentation. Be amongst the first to participate.

Here’s the Low Down:

It’s important to know more than what everyone is doing. We need to know what’s on their minds. Privacy is an enemy of freedom.

This wonderful and timely prize grants you: Freedom through constant surveillance and relentless security.

  • Everybody Wears A Mask

I said everybody wear they mask

Why yous got to be like that?

I said everybody wears a mask

Why yous got to be like that?

I said everybody wear they mask

Why yous got to be like that?

I said everybody wears a mask

Why yous got to be like that?

Everybody wear they mask

Why yous got to be like that?

Oh, everybody

Oh, everybody be like that.

Everybody wear they mask

Why yous got to be like that?

Oh, everybody

Oh, everybody be like that.

Everybody where your mask?

Why you gotta make me ask?

Erbody wear that mask, you hear me?

Everybody where your mask?

Why you gotta make me ask?

Erbody wear that mask, you hear me?

We got to see what you’re doing

All the time

We got to see what you’re doing

All the time

We got to

Why yous got to be like that

Everybody wear they

Why yous got to be like

that?

Mr. Game:

O Glorious People! I know you love these prizes because you live them.

What you do is what you will do and that you do makes it true.This is The Ever Fonky Lowdown and you are getting rewarded for being winners. Big winners!

  • The Ever Fonky Lowdown in 7

It’s the ever fonky lowdown

It’s the ever fonky lowdown

Oh do you see?

It’s the low-down, fonky beat down

It’s the shake down till you break down

It’s the ever fonky get down

O say, can’t you see

‘bout us, you and me

Our fight, fight to be

It’s forever fonky

It’s forever fonky

It’s forever fonky

It’s forever fonky

Mr Game:

I can’t just give away this final prize so easily. There’s one more test to determine if you are indeed the best of the best. It’s my wildcard. Unpredictable and capable of catapulting you to the top of the food chain or thrusting you down to the dungeon in chains, the wildcard fights against our understanding of freedom and is called a “freedom fighter”.

Though not believers in our winning ways and traditions, they are formidable persons of courage, clarity and charity. These battlers challenge us to stay in winning form. I respect ‘em.

If you can survive exposure to this freedom fighter by maintaining your defense of the freedoms we have secured for ourselves across time, you will receive the final and greatest prize. If you waver, however, you could lose everything.

This particular wildcard is a lady, and I mention her now, because I’m confident in your confidence. Hear me, O Glorious Ones! All the others wildcards who have tried to defeat us, have failed: Harriet Tubman, saved hundreds but tens of thousands remained slaves, Lincoln Steffens uncovered corruption in our politics and won awards for it. But has the corruption ever slowed down? Hell, even Jesus failed in front of the people, they chose Barabbas.

O Judicious People! You want and deserve to be free to do what you want to do. Nobody wants to hear no mouthy preaching about whether we can see what’s wrong or not. We want the things that make us feel good! Money!!That’s our stuff. Forget all the judgement, we’re not interested in sharing our resources with others we can’t stand.

Some history:

Real freedom fighters come from a long way off. They bring a lot of history with them.

We had the enslaved well in hand or under our thumb, everything designed to keep them deaf, mute and dumb. It was illegal for them to read but not to breed, to write but not to fight, to say but not to pray. Somehow, they all got a hold of words from our Bible and created songs of survival, disguised as prayers, applied our sacred learning to their wretched affairs.

Here’s the breakdown and the hand me down:

All this singing about salvation was not good for their spirit. We had to encourage music that was more real to their condition and pull the old bones and tambo out. As was their way, they began to self-deprecate and the popularity of their music began to appreciate. As it was then, so it is today.

Here’s the Low Down:

While we were so focused on stamping out those damned drums, these people had created their own notions about “our” freedom. Coming from a book they couldn’t even read. And they filled the air with this noise as they worked.

I Got a Nagging Feeling

I got a naggin’ feelin’

Deep down in my soul

I said I got a tale to tell

Can’t rest till its’ told

Gonna lift up that heavy feelin

Let that light shine inside

Oh this life don’t bother me

Soon I will be free

I was a bitty baby

On my momma’s knee

When Jesus angel told me

I was meant to be

I got a naggin’ feelin’

Deep down in my soul

I’ve had some mighty troubles

Since my kids was sold

I said I got a tale to tell

Can’t rest till it’s told

Gon’ lift up that heavy feelin’

Let the light shine inside

Oh this life don’t bother me

Soon I will be free

Mr. Game:

From this absolute din came a feeling of hope. As time passed, that hope became belief which eventually became action in the person of a freedom fighter. She was determined to remake the world according to the dreams and struggles of her ancestors. Even though it was a failing cause, this particular woman was remarkable. I’m talking about someone who came from the absolute bottom of our society and grew up picking cotton as the eldest of twenty kids.

As a youngster, she was a voracious reader. She learned to understand and believe in our system. In the same way that the enslaved had twisted our religious intentions to serve their purposes, she figured out how to use our system to fight for her people’s version of freedom.

Here’s the breakdown:

She believed she could defeat democracy as we mean it to be and was willing to try.

Here’s the hand me down:

People of now don’t have the time to jeopardize their health on no poor person’s dream. Why risk life and limb when you can just get on line, and anonymously express your mind or open your heart to friends and neighbors in less than 280 characters?

Here’s the Low Down:

She was unwavering in the execution of her duty, refused to be silenced, followed the word and held to it. Her name was Fannie Lou Hamer.

  • The Ballad of Fannie Lou Part 1

Fannie Lou was born

in a fertile land

Oh, Fannie Lou came up

workin’ harder than any man.

and when they dropped down

Fannie Fannie she would stand

She could see

‘round Saturn rings

And she heard songs

The holy angels sing

When she spoke

every word had wings BOY

Fannie Fannie

Oh sweet Fannie Lou

I’m a Southern boy

from a Southern town

I used to see Fannie

Well she used to be around

Boy, she was something

something touch you way deep down

Oh, Fannie Lou

With your eyes so clear

Voice so strong

it drew the people near

When she spoke

she calmed the people’s fear BOY

Fannie Fannie

Oh sweet Fannie Lou

In a Southern style

They beat Fannie blue

And they did things to her

as it was their Southern way to do.

That didn’t stop Fannie

from doin’ what she was here to do.

On freedom farm

people pickin’ poke

Fannie Lou

Liked to laugh and joke

what she did

Caused folks to count their vote LORD

Fannie Fannie

What’d they do to you

Fannie Fannie

O Sweet Fannie Lou

  • The Ballad of Fannie Lou Part 2

Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Fannie Lou

Fannie Lou Fannie Lou

Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou

Fannie Lou Fannie Lou

Fannie Lou Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Fannie Lou

Fannie Lou Fannie Lou

Fannie Lou Fannie Lou

Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Fannie Lou

Fannie Lou Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer

Mr. Game:

Yes Fannie Lou, Fannie Lou! She was truly something. Too bad she was on the losing side. We invented freedom. We’re not about to fight against the freedoms we abundantly enjoy because somebody with no money is uncomfortable! And when you, O Glorious people, get behind something, it’s a done deal. You weren’t with her. You’re with us. Who wants to face public ridicule and humiliation for defending a position that gives them less than what they have?

Here’s the breakdown:

You almost never have to kill freedom fighters; just let memories of them die. There’s no need to bury information no one cares about. Put it on the front page of the paper. They’ll be wrapping fish in it the next day. Put a game on and everybody loses their mind.

The hand me down:

You have done well in this game. You overcame Fannie Lou’s overtures to the point of forgetting her very name. This is a great moment for our way of life. We should reflect in honor of her sacrifice.

  • Why Do We Pick Slavery Over Freedom?

Well, that was that.

O Glorious People!

This is your last prize and it’s the best one.

Now we’re really about to have some fun.

When you act against your best interest to attack a remote enemy with no power to do you any harm; when you’re ecstatic about identifying yourself as a winner even though you never get a single spoil; when you are happy to accept far less than your participation could have earned and honored to be rewarded for the achievement of staying home, congratulations! You’ve won one game of the Ever Fonky Low Down....and you’re the donkey.

George Clinton said, “Free your mind and your behind will follow.” Well, this is about your mind when you are behind that every day monkey and the air turns foul and you don’t even know it’s Fonky.

O Glorious People, My People, Our People, The People, hear me, this game was never about “them”. It’s been about you....and all of what has been sold to you. I’m talking about the machine, the system, the grind, the chart from birth to the grave. It’s all figured out for you. One hustle after another designed to analyze, paralyze, bind and blind you. O Can’t you see? Corrupt laws, endless litigation over trivia, ridiculous rules, bureaucratic incompetence; pay to live, pay to die, pay to get married, pay to divorce, pay for school, pay for the hospital, pay pay pay, ha ha! Indifferent government wasting and stealing piles of your money that you can’t even and don’t even want to trace, endorsing tribal policies that violate your self-interest as you all swallow the fake binary narrative of Democrat vs Republican, white vs black, man versus woman, haha. Fools!! Games, games, games!

Here’s some history:

Did you know that over 700,000 people died in the American Civil War..... “Us and Them”?

Here’s the breakdown:

Leave everything up to us and we’ll make sure you never have to do anything except pay. And while you hate each other and fight against a never-ending “them”, we will remain us. Who is us? Haha, we’re you when you get the opportunity to be.

Here’s the hand me down:

The Savior and all of these freedom fighters continue to get it wrong. You don’t actually want to grapple with more than two choices. You don’t want to sacrifice anything meaningful for your fellow citizens. You want to live in a fantasy world in which you may perhaps see others suffer, but from far enough away to change the page at a click. Be honest with yourself, you don’t actually want real freedom because, if it’s turned loose, it might just go anywhere. Why should your freedom be given to anyone? You fought for it. And we beat people, we are winners. Why should a winner give anything to a loser? They lost.

That’s why you repeatedly choose those who will jam the human soul into the cold, cold ground, drag it around like a jagged plough, pull it up and thrust it even further down, and up and down again even deeper if it make a single solitary sound.

Yeah... you really just want to be entertained by games, games!! This is a game, gotdammit!! The game of games. You think paying for a football stadium cost cost you? Winning the Ever Fonky Low Down cost you your humanity, but every day, millions are dying just to get a place in line to pay the price of admission.

This is an international hustle. It has played out many times across time and space, and is not specific to any language or race. It takes on different flavors according to people’s taste, but always ends up in the same old place.

I’m your host, by the name of Game, MISTER Game, a player, a soothsayer and a dragon slayer, I’m a night trader and a soul raider. I steps with lightning, walks with thunder, climbs the wall, puts the dead on the wonder, following me was your biggest blunder. I don’t recognize any “us” or “them”, him, her or you. When you see me coming, all I know is what I’m gonna do. I’m gon’ get paid, and somebody gonna get played. That’s just how my money is made!!

Here’s the Low Down:

Wasting time is the greatest drug in the world. Your last prize is freedom from thought and constructive engagement. You don’t ever have to do a single damned thing about anything going on out here that DOES NOT DIRECTLY BENEFIT YOU! Survival of the fittest.....That’s as Fonky as it gets, baby.

The Ever Fonky Lowdown in 4

It’s the ever fonky lowdown

It’s the ever fonky lowdown

It’s the ever fonky lowdown

It’s the fonky, fonky get down

O can you see

O can you see

It’s the ever fonky slow down

It’s the lowdown fonky throw down

O can you see

You and me

The ever fonky lowdown

What can you see?

Ever fonky lowdown

Ever fonky lowdown

  • I Wants My Ice Cream

I hear you brother.

I feel your pain.

I loves my ice cream.

That’s my refrain.

Ain’t got no money.

Even if I could.

I wants my ice cream.

Don’t think I would.

What’s all this hollerin’

And stumbin’ down the street?

Can’t you be quiet?

I’m trying to eat.

I see you eyeing

This ice cream cone.

But, you can’t have none

I’m on my phone

From the darkened stage the drums play the rhythm and chant of “I Know I Must Fight” at a slow tempo. The band joins in chanting at a whisper and it grows in intensity as it speeds up to a medium tempo. The lights slowly rise as the entire cast joins in and we become louder and louder. We face the audience and as they join, we leave the stage.

THE END


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