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The Little Prince

The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Richard Howard (Note: You can also see this little play acted out [Here].)____________________________________Setting: the Sahara Desert. Brian is standing next to his crashed airplane.Little Prince (LP): (offering a pencil and piece of paper) Hello, Sir... would you mind drawing a sheep for me?Brian (B): (annoyed, incredulous) Can't you see that I am stranded in the desert? I need to find water and fix my airplane, or I will die. LP: Don't fret so. I will tell you some endearing childlike stories about my friend the Fox. That will cast your problems in a new, enlightened context, which will make the cares of adulthood seem silly! B: I am concerned about my survival right now, and I find your detachment to be insulting, as if you don't acknowledge the gravity of my situation.LP: No! no! It's just... look how unhappy your world is. If you could only see life with a renewed sense of wonder...B: (interrupting, annoyed) Yeah, it would be nice to downplay all of life's difficulties, and just dwell on the simple pleasures. But the real world doesn't afford that luxury.LP: If you could see things as I do, with wide-eyed innocence, you would realize the deeper wisdom-B: (interrupting again) Wisdom?! About what???!? You live alone on an asteroid, where your biggest worry is there may be too many trees! You know how many people would love to have that problem? LP: That's all metaphor-B: (ignoring LP, going on) You bounce around the universe, hanging out with allegorical nobodies who have little or no relevance to Earthly readers.LP: Ah! There you are wrong! Those "allegorical nobodies", as you call them, are germane to your modern world. The Lamplighter, the Businessman...B: (dismissive wave of the hand) Yeah, yeah.. the ratrace, the materialism... the lack of spirituality in our present day. I'm sorry, Little Prince, on one level I'd love to agree with you. A simpler life sounds great to me, but look around this planet; most of humanity is struggling to feed itself, living under oppressive and often violent socioeconomic systems. LP: But that relates to materialism. The man who counted stars....B: Human beings are material creatures. I'm saying we're composed of matter. Our biology won't allow us to ignore the need for food, water, and other materials. Did you know control of most of the world's drinking water is being concentrated in the hands of a few private corporations? Did you know people in Bolivia were spending nearly half of their monthly wages on water, back before the Cochabamba riots? What sort of animals would you have those people draw, Little Lord Fauntleroy?LP: Hey, that's not fair. I didn't say I had all the answers! ...and I don't see any of your world's major religions solving those problems either. B: Maybe the problems aren't solved, but our most inspiring leaders- religious and secular alike- at least acknowledge the problems, and try to do something about them. Look at Moses: he freed the slaves from Egypt! Look at Jesus: he threw the moneychangers out of the temple, and he healed the sick! Look at Gandhi: he led the Salt March! Look at Martin Luther King's work for the civil rights movement! If you want to be an inspiration like them, you have to care about peoples' real-life problems. All this animal-drawing and falling-in- love-with-roses shit ain't gonna cut it. Until you get your hands dirty in the service of socioeconomic justice, you'll never be more than a joke; a New Age Hallmark card!LP: (on the verge of tears) No! B: I've got a good mind to put you on my GoodReads "Shit" shelf!LP: No, Sir! ....No, Sir!B: That's right! Spell it! S-H-I-T You and Ann Coulter can hang out together... get drunk and chase whores!LP: (voice cracking) Don't you do it! Don't you... (fighting tears) (pause) I GOT NOWHERE ELSE TO GO!! (short pause) I GOT... (tears) I got.... nothing. (crying)(long pause, Brian looking down on LP in a fetal position on the ground)B: Okay, get up on your feet. (takes paper and pencil from LP) Here's what we're going to do: we're going to make you relevant. (draws two boxes on the paper, points at one) See here: this is the U.S. Constitution. It holds that all human beings are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. (LP nods attentively) (camera starts to pan back, taking in the larger scene of the vast desert; the volume of the voices goes down as the camera withdraws) (Brian points at the other box) ....Over here, we have the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization... (sound of Brian's voice is lost in the diminishing volume, but the appearance of talking continues, and the Little Prince is engrossed by what Brian is saying) (camera continues to recede, and Brian and the Little Prince are just specks in the desert)Narrator (voice of Morgan Freeman): As near as anybody can tell, that was the last time the Little Prince ever spoke about drawing animals, or falling in love with flowers. Something changed in him that day. Some folks might say he matured. Other folks might say he heard a higher calling.Me? I like to think of that as the day the Little Prince got down with the Revolution.(fade to black)(thoughtful music plays as credits role)________________Brad Pitt as Brian...