The Princess: Joseph Campbell did this to me....You don't know who I am, do you?
No. Of course not. So once upon a time, I was the youngest daughter of the King...so beautiful that the sun itself marveled every time it shone upon my face. Fuck off, it was a long time ago, okay. One day I was playing with my golden ball--don't get any ideas--and it fell into a well. I loved the ball..(warning look)...and I cried over it's loss...A frog, came up from the depths and asked why I was crying and what would I give to him if he was to retrieve it. Whatever you want, I said...thinking he'd want, I don't know...a bigger well? He said he wanted to be my constant companion, eat from my plate, drink from my cup, sleep in my bed... So I promised. Of course I promised. He retrieved my ball & I ran home, leaving him behind. But he showed up & my castle & I was forced, by my father, to honor my word. And he ate from my plate. And he drank from my cup. And he slept in my bed. And I couldn't stand it any longer. So I threw him against a wall. And all of a sudden he wasn't a frog anymore he was a beautiful man. And he said I was to be his wife and then I was. And we rode away and his faithful servant Heinrich, whose heart was bound with iron bands to hold it together cause he was so sad about his master turned amphibian.. the bands burst because he was so fucking happy.
Do you know my name?
No. You fucking do not.
You do not because I don't have one. And that, my dears, is not Joseph Campbell's fault, per say...but it is his fault that I am here. Nameless. For all of fucking eternity. (realizing the need to explain) So Campbell wrote The Hero with a Thousand Cocks and here we are. I'm here because this is where all the stories live. The ones who get told. Campbell put me here. And I suppose I should be grateful. I'm sure there are many nameless princesses long forgotten who would have just loved to have had someone immortalize them in a long winded analysis of world myth. I'm sure that they would have thought it was just peachy to be among the great stories of Buddha and Shiva and Jesus...(enter Jesus...he rushes in awkwardly. She looks at him...)
No, buddy. Not yet. (He leaves, disappointed).
And that poor fuck...every time he hears his name he runs out hopeful it's going to be his second coming. Christ...(he pops out again. Realizes it was a false alarm. Turns as to not draw attention to himself, and walks away).
You will notice that Jesus (she waits for him to enter. He does not.) Is white. We're all white. Most of us. Richard Gere uttered his first Om Mani Padme Hum and, poof, the Buddha was white too. This is where we live. The stories that get told and retold. Why am I here? With the heroic creators of the universe? Well, good fuckin' question. Campell said, that he couldn't find any real women heroes because, you know, (her best Campbell impression) "All of the great mythologies and much of the mythic story-telling of the world are from the male point of view. When I was writing The Hero with a Thousand Faces and wanted to bring female in, I had to go to the fairy tales. These were told by women to children, you know, and you get a different perspective. It was the men who got involved in spinning most of the great myths. The women were too busy; they had too damn much to do to sit around thinking about stories." That's right. There are no female heroes because they were all, presumably, doing laundry, or cleaning up something...for someone else. Thank you, Mr. Campbell. But there are lots of women here. There are damsels waiting to be rescued and witches waiting to be slain, princesses worth half a kingdom, waiting to be won...Women available to satisfy a hero's lust. Some willing. Some not. There are virgin queen's parading around like their shit doesn't stink. And me. Immortalized because while I was PMSing for the first-fucking-time, I threw a manipulative, ugly frog against a wall. There were no hormone balancing drugs back then my friends. No pills or water treatments to calm the 'hysteria' of being female...It was all very, very, scary--all that un-checked lady-energy. So I should be grateful, right? Having the coming of my adolescence immortalized. (Beat.) He wasn't a bad guy. Campbell. I don't want you to think, I think, he was a bad guy. He was a smart guy. And he had these ideas that once, were new. And so they were important. So all these other guys wrote about his ideas. And then people wrote theories based on the other guys theories. And then they argued about which theories were grounded in the sciences and which were not and then some of them got tenure track positions and some were published and some were labeled quacks and some were thrown into obscurity forever never to be referenced in anybody's thesis. Ever. I'm not pissed at Campbell. And I'm not pissed that academics are such fucking piss poor storytellers, rendering all of us stuck in this boring, fucking, white, boring, changing-so-fucking-slowly it's like watching- paint-dry-hell-hole. Academics aren't supposed to be story-tellers and, besides, they're like 10 years behind the real-fucking-people, who are telling the real fucking stories...which, by the way, makes them the perfect people to be teaching the next generation of scholars, oh wait... No. I'm pissed because all y'all aren't better fucking story-tellers. Did you read this? This guy at Kent State double cast the role of Martin Luther King, Jr. One of the Mr. King, Jr.'s was played by a white guy. The director wanted to ask the question if an American could walk in the shoes of another great American...even if he wasn't African-American. He wanted to see if Mr. King, Jr.'s words rang out differently when spoken by someone white. He thought this actor, who he respected, was just as much a child of Martin Luther King, Jr. as he was (he was black). He didn't have answers. He had a question.
When half the stories everywhere on t.v., and radio, and twitter and the whole world is crying that race is dividing the country and everything is terrible and white people are terrible and police are terrible and the other half is whining that everyone should just get over all that civil rights shit cause it was soooo 50 years ago and black on black crime is much more the issue and not to let one rotten police officer spoil the barrel. When all the stories everywhere always are just giving all the answers, saying what the moral is, and what to think and who is the hero and who is the bad guy--this guy just had questions.
And the pissed off playwright is pissed because this is just one more time that black people have been erased. And pissed that there was a question of how Mr. King Jr's words would be heard differently if spoken from a white man...Can't the world just HEAR a black man? And she's talking about ownership of story and narrative and responding to THIS (gesturing around her). THIS place. Where the stories are told and re-told. And that THIS matters...
And then there's this fuck-nut who pulled his show from Clarion University because he found out, gasp, that 2 members of the 5 member cast in "Jesus In India" (Jesus enters but just listens) were white & one was mixed race. The kids were rehearsing 6 days a week, hours a day for the whole quarter--braced for the reaction of their small Christian community to picket the show and hate on them because Jesus says fuck a lot...but a week before they open the playwright pulls it. And guess what? None of those Asian characters are going to make it up here, my friends (mixed race or otherwise). That Christian community is saying God made that show never open. None of those white students saw a play by a Korean American. THAT's the story y'all are telling? (Jesus leaves disgusted) I was looking at my FaceBook feed. I said I was stuck, I didn't say I was dead. And I was reading about the massacre in Paris. And you, know, I changed my profile picture, like you do, when these things happen and posted about all the praying I was going to do and I read stories and I was so fucking pissed that this was the quality of the stories. Boring, fucking, changing-so-fucking-never, people murdered everywhere-always stories.
And then...the other ones came. The stories telling me I should feel really fucking bad for feeling really fucking bad that white people died. Because brown people die and black people die and yellow people die and nobody cares (excuse me, not nobody, white people don't care--ESPECIALLY if nobody white has been killed or has done the killing.
And then the story becomes why the fuck isn't the President and all the other important world leaders issuing statements of solidarity with Lebanon and Nigeria, and Pakistan? And I'm not pissed about that story, because these ideas are kinda new, and so they're important. And people will write about these ideas and theorize and write theories about other people's theories and build whole fucking careers on the losses and trauma and pain of SOME BODY ELSE.
I'm pissed because y'all aren't better story-tellers. Because nobody, as far as I can tell can see beyond the opinion that's in his head, right now.
I'm pissed because THIS shit? These are not stories I want to hear anymore--because all the fighting over the ownership of this narrative, or that narrative or you sit down and you shut up because you're priveledged or you're playing the race card or you don't care or you're too stupid to understand because of the color of your skin or your vagina is boring, and stupid and boring and changing-so-fucking slowly it's like watching paint dry.
And these false dichotomies set up that there is no other story to tell. Like there is an apple OR an orange, black OR white, imagination OR reality. Like somehow, some jack-ass somewhere thought there wasn't room for stories to exist without wiping out someone else's. And somehow all the storytellers in the whole world forgot that you have to imagine something BEFORE it exists.
YOU CAN FUCKING DO BETTER! IMAGINE SOMETHING BETTER!
And I'll watch the paint dry because it's not like I have something better to do and it's not like I don't have the time because, thank you fucking Mr. Campbell. But I'm lonely because the Frog Prince ran off with Heinrich a long time ago and I'm lonely! And there is room up here! There's room...