Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Frogs – A comedy by Aristophanes.

Reviewed by Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan.

Aristophanes' Frogs, The Cambridge Greek Play 2013. Photo (c) Nick Rutter 

“First, we think that all / the citizens should be made equal, and their fears removed...Next I say that no one in the city should be disenfranchised.”
Chorus Leader, 62

Putin
Dangerous and subversive ideas. Something Pussy Riot would gladly sing, and that should tell you something. I say: off with his head.
Erdogan
Indeed. He’s clearly a CIA plant. What’s governance without fear? Also, some people, once enfranchised, will surely seek independence. Delete this entire scene.

“Why, it's like nirvana / whenever I curse my master behind his back!”
Slave to Pluto, 65

Putin
Spoken like a true member of the patriotic opposition. Ridicule us behind our back, but show us fear and obedience where it counts. I like his attitude.
Erdogan
I find it bizarre that you do, Vladdie. Showing irreverence to your legitimate autocratic rulers, even if behind their backs, is no less subversive than public dissidence. After all, there is really no patriotic opposition. The leader is right even when he’s not, and his person is sacred even if he behaved in a profane manner. Either this or chaos.
Putin
You know what’s your problem Erdo baby? You lack a sense of humor. You should go shirtless in public more often, that should help you relax a little, and learn how to take yourself less seriously.
Erdogan
I prefer to take Aristophanes more seriously. Now, let’s focus. The play is almost done, and it’s about time. Too long for a comedy if you ask me. Especially a Greek one.


But the poet has a special duty to conceal / what's wicked, / not to stage it or teach it.
Aeschylus, 82

Putin
Tell that to the Pussy Riots girls. They’re busy scandalizing me all over the place.
Erdogan
Now Vladdie, where s your sense of humor.
Putin
Fuck you! And watch me kick your ass in Syria, you pig.
Erdogan
So much for yours sense of humor. As for the play, I wouldn’t give it more than is three guillotines and a khazouq (impalement pole). The gift of comedy is not a gift the Greeks should carry anyway.