America's version of Waiting For Godot: Charles Krauthammer and George Will
By Michael Moriarty
Unfortunately, my title for this article ignores the obvious: both George Will and Charles Krauthammer are Vladimir, the intellectual of Samuel Beckett's divinely important classic, Waiting For Godot.
I don't think, at least in this moment, I don't expect that these journalists could possibly be the other major character Estragon in a production of Godot.
The intellectually limited, yea "challenged" Estragon, certainly in the eyes of Krauthammer and Will, might very well be the American people!
With a very Irish play on the word estrogen, Estragon is that corner of the United States which has fallen madly in love with and, according to the principle subjects of this article, has become obsessed with Donald Trump.
The American Estragon is, indeed, an increasingly fierce corner of the American population!
That unenlightened portion of America is, according to our journalists, literally benighted by that ugliest of Ugly Americans Donald Trump.
Therefore, Fate, or Godot, or GodHimself, has forced these two, well-known pundits, Will and Krauthammer, to spend their life writing for and talking to their own version of the charmingly but undeniably "stupid" Estragon: the American people.
Many of the American people are, according to Krauthammer and Will, in a painfully incomprehensible love affair with Donald Trump.
Seemingly unrelated but of profoundly poetic importance, I had, as a Dartmouth student, the great privilege of sharing the stage with Stephen Macht –––in Stephen Geller's production of Waiting For Godot.
Most Americans, myself included, as we are waiting for whatever the word "Godot" happens to represent, we, the American Estragon, spend much of our time watching television.
Will and Krauthammer, on the other hand, can be frequently found attending the Washington Nationals' baseball games.
They both, apparently…and rather ritualistically… as the game progresses, fill their scorecards out while sharing their profoundly informed opinions of Dusty Baker's managerial decisions.
In this context of Godot, the manager of a baseball team is hardly closer to God or Godot than the painfully barren tree that sits on stage, behind and between Vladimir and Estragon.
I'm tearing up at the site of Beckett's little trinity of the Crucifixion's two thieves and a barren tree, an infinitely powerful symbol, devoid of The Miracle that delivered us Easter and perhaps Mankind's most decisive revolution, Christianity.
However, a Cross without Christ?!
Godot's absence could infer Christ's Second Coming.
Then again, as my other alternative, Waiting For Godot could resemble a tastefully homosexual Book of Genesis.
In the eyes of some?!
The story of Adam and Mr. Evil!
However, I always tear up easily… when confronted with the agonies of Good Friday.
Particularly when such a Holy Day is missing the Man/God we all still live in wonder about.
And wait for!
Then again, I also cry when blissed.
When in ecstasy!
When deliriously and divinely happy!!
Tears are the most tangible reminder of that oft-embarrassing and horrifyingly brutal cliché: "one's humanity".
Meanwhile, I, a Jesuit-trained product out of classrooms filled with crucifixes, come from what once was a fiercely Detroit Tigers baseball family. My grandfather, George Moriarty, who, I think, would have much preferred being a successful songwriter than the two-fisted,
However, Big George, our name for The Brawny Poet… making my father, of course, "Little George"… wrote only one successful lyric.
Love Me Like The Ivy Loves The Old Oak Tree
Hmmm… uh… well… an endearing bit of surprising sentimentality… yet promising sensuality… out of this competitive bruiser from Chicago's tough and, at that time, mostly Irish Catholic South Side.
I, in one of the many, mildly embarrassing ironies of my life, am not a baseball fan.
Never have been.
Never will be.
I assume it is the darkest of my heretically un-American character flaws.
Despite my family background… or, perhaps, because of it… and despite my appearance in one of Robert De Niro's long string of successes, Bang The Drum Slowly, my father, yet another "George" of the Moriarty clan, and, though a doctor, a surgeon, my father had great expectations of me as a possible athlete… which, of course, I never fulfilled… along with a few other false expectations my mother had harboured as well.
My father was, like Krauthammer and Will, a scorecard-filling analyst and intellectual.
He was also, perhaps, a similar disappointment to his own father as I was to him!
Big George Moriarty!
What has all of this to do with Samuel Beckett and Waiting For Godot?
The now, distinctively American connection between baseball and intellectuality.
Meanwhile, speaking of intellectuals, Eli Wiesel once met with Samuel Beckett in Paris.
Much later in New York, the poet laureate of the Holocaust told me that all he could remember of that unforgettable encounter was Beckett's long silences.
Not incidentally, the most disturbing silences in the theatre that I have ever experienced were those endured during a performance of Waiting For Godot.
It was there I learned the divine powers of silence.
I applied that learning experience with a record-breaking and heart-attack-inducing, endless pause or "silence" in my mildly successful battle with the memory of Humphrey Bogart.
My struggle with the depth to which The Bogey literally defined and still, in the minds of most in this world, unquestionably owns the role of Lt. Commander Phillip Francis Queeg, Captain and Commanding Officer of the Caine Mutiny.
Some recent comments on Twitter, speaking of the Presidential debates, declare, apropos of my recent metaphors, "Soon Trump'll start going on about The Strawberries!"
Now, going from a Commander Queeg to a President Donald Trump, I expect there will be an endless line of American mutineers battling the coming Trump Administration.
I assure you, dear readers, their belligerent hatred for Donald Trump will far surpass "mutiny".
It will, in short, be pure treason.
And they will be given the very treatment that they themselves should have been demanding for their President Barack Hussein Obama:
Meanwhile, the ruling emperor over Theatre of The Absurd, Samuel Beckett, could and would say nothing to Elie Wiesel for increasingly and uncomfortably long stretches of rather disturbingly silent time.
The "pauses" or silences in the written script of Waiting For Godot, at least for the playwright himself, could be, perhaps, never too long.
Due, however, to the absence of silences, I especially look forward to Bret Bair's Special Report on Fox News when and where both Will and Krauthammer appear together.
Watching them listen to the other guests must be similar to their shared behaviour at a baseball game.
Both are particularly but, as best they can, either politely amused or not-so-secretly dismayed by any foolish remarks from the other guests.
Verbal metaphors for an infielder's error or a particularly humiliating strike-out.
As if still sitting on the seats of a baseball stadium or standing before a withered tree on the set of Waiting For Godot… or attending Bret Bair's Special Report, Krauthammer's and Will's shared Universe of the Intellect is, for me at any rate, deliciously, to coin a concept, "Beckettian"!
All that is missing on the Fox News television screen are the silences and the tragically blasted Tree of Life.
Such thoughts immediately remind me of the tragedy-laden ballet, After Eden.
A small masterpiece by choreographer John Butler and composer Lee Hoiby.
Many millenniums before The Armageddon-To-Come, came the historical fact of sexual guilt and self-disgust in "After Eden".
All of it ending perhaps in the post-atomic landscape of a World War III
That said, and laying aside the torturously self-conscious sentence constructions of both myself and George Will, if there is one thing I, and mainstream, Trump-fan Americans loathe, it's a snob.
A literarily pretentious wordsmith who looks down on everyday Americans from an even greater height than the contempt-filled perch of Donald Trump.
George Will appears to patronize everyone except his favourite, fellow intellectual and equally intense, fellow baseball analyst, Charles Krauthammer.
Mr. Krauthammer, as the indisputably most Vladimiresque of this Beckettian pairing, has softened his initially contemptuous and unmistakably George Will attitude toward Donald Trump.
In the best spirit of baseball, Charles Krauthammer might be telling himself, "You can't safely belittle an unrelentingly consistent winner, no matter how much you originally hated him."
However, George Will still thinks you can!
Pitching With Atypically Humble Doubt
That unbending prejudice of George Will, his unswerving contempt for Donald Trump, begins to persuade me that, despite Will's long and archly gothic sentences, he is, at heart, not an intellectual Vladimir but a theatrically, yea, shamelessly professorial-mirror-image of incurable impatience, Estragon.
Both Will and Krauthammer seem to regret the absence in their real lives of a shared, childhood daydream: playing for or, better yet, managing a major league baseball team and sharing their mutually enjoyed obsession with baseball's intricate strategies.
Such brainstorming about both the American and National Leagues is, perhaps, a central key to both of their political points of view.
Vitally important and dramatically relative fact: neither of these men can easily endure losing a debate.
Losing an entire Presidency to Donald Trump, however, perhaps two terms of it, surrendering the White House to someone who, at times, appears to be the mortal enemy of all that Will and Krauthammer hold dear?!
The possible consequences are beyond my poor powers of description.
There are apparently a few intensely cardinal rules for managing either a successful World Series team or advising a candidate for the Presidency… and Donald Trump, for his entire life, has been breaking every one of those sacred rules for politicians!
And in a most cardinally shameless way!!
And, yet, at this ever-deepening point into the election, Trump is not only winning!!!
He has won the Republican candidacy for President of The United States!!!!
My one, personal experience with Donald Trump was, for me at least, a classically humiliating Trump encounter.
A crossing-of-paths that I, in light of this article, prophetically experienced on the way to a benefit baseball game. An event that Donald Trump had graciously arranged for charity. He wished to help the fundraisers by filling the stadium's empty seat's with what I had briefly been at the time: a celebrity.
As should have been expected, he soon began looking at me and speaking to me with contempt.
I had apparently confirmed the Trump opinion about much of the human race, particularly "act-ors": that Michael Moriarty is "stupid".
Relative to the terms of Donald Trump's value system?
I am now not only profoundly but blissfully "stupid".
I am, at least from a "Trumpian" perspective, too easily satisfied with a mildly successful career as an actor… instead of capturing the dreamy life of a great and multi-millionaire movie and television super-star… or the Presidential success of a Ronald Reagan.
Anything less than that and one is made to feel, particularly around Donald Trump, "Stupid!".
The blisteringly first impression
From a Donald Trump?
Through his facial expression:
"You are certainly not as powerful
as I am!"
The truth is, I am SO Donald-Trump-"Stupid", in the eyes of men like George Will, that, despite Trump's last, face-to-face opinion of me, I am voting to help, as best I can, make Donald Trump the next President of the United States.
For one, the bottomless shit-hole… if you will forgive the expression… that over-twenty-five-years of New World Order, United Nations Avarice and Greed plus Bush/Clinton/Bush/Obama Presidential Treason, the poisonous crap that this entire cabal has dropped America into?!
The cure for that?!
The saving-grace that can lift the United States out of the deepest hell it has been in since the American Civil War?!
And because of that desperate need for strong medicine?!
has delivered us
yet profoundly necessary Deliverer
Swallow the medicine bravely, Mr. Will!!
Face the central theme
of Samuel Beckett's
Waiting For Godot!
Perhaps taking a hint
From his fellow Parisian,
Beckett decided to write an entire play
That discussed suicide
As its main subject.
As the author
Of The Stranger
Set the major ground rule
For any serious French artist
"There is but one
and that is suicide."
IN THE CONTEXT OF THE UNITED STATES?!
TOWER OF BABBLING HERSELF?!?!
WITH THE REPUBLICAN,
GEORGE H. W. BUSH'S
THE ONLY POSSIBLE WAY,
ACCORDING TO PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN,
YET THERE IT IS:
NEW WORLD ORDER!
What about hanging ourselves?
Hmm. It'd give us an erection.
(highly excited) An erection!
Let's hang ourselves immediately!
Upon further consideration, George Will … casting against type, mind you… might make a most exceptionally surprising Estragon.
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@MGMoriarty.