Steve Bannon, a bloated white supremacist who was inadvertently promoted to a high-ranking position on the National Security Council by a President whose grasp on reality weakens with each passing day, has been trying to starve the American conscience through various media for decades. During his career as a documentary filmmaker, he produced so many right-wing screeds that Andrew Breitbart described him as "the Leni Riefenstahl of the Tea Party Movement," a title that was apparently intended as a compliment despite the fact that Riefenstahl was, openly, a committed propagandist for the Nazi Party.
"What," you may never have asked yourself, "would it have been like if committed Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl had produced her own Hamilton-esque documentary about the 1992 LA Riots?" Well, thanks to a Daily Beast piece from last August that The Independent dug up this morning, we can now pollute our already anxiety-riddled mornings with possible answers to that question. The piece is an interview with Bannon's former writing partner Julie Jones and, though her answers don't provide much in the way of an explanation for what turned Bannon into his generation's Riefenstahl, we do get one particularly shiny gem. Bannon apparently got the wheels turning on an idea a while back:
…to take Shakespeare's Coriolanus (based on the life of the Roman leader Caius Marcius Coriolanus) and, according to Jones, "make a rap film out of it set in South Central during the L.A. riots—that was Steve's idea."
Holy shit, keep going.
A copy of excerpts of the screenplay that was shared with The Daily Beast—The Thing I Am, written by Jones and Bannon—includes rap music, racial tensions aplenty, looting, gangster "foot-soldiers," and chaos at "ground zero of the 1992 L.A. riots."
Oh shit, this is gold.
Coriolanus's Menenius Agrippa, a senator of Rome, is recast as "Agrippa, 'Mack Daddy' of South Central, an ORIGINAL GANGSTA (O.G.) upper-echelon Blood."
Don't you dare stop now.
The rap lyrics were penned mostly by Jones and the son of Wendy Colbert, Bannon's assistant. "Steve [then] added stuff—all the 'dudes' are him," Jones recalled. "It's not strictly rap. It's more Shakespeare in rap [music]."
"You choose. To act and die—or lie 'neath whitey's boot!" the gang-member version of "BRUTUS" declares, standing on a chair, "talking trash, shouting to be heard."
"Die, die, die!" the crowd roars back.
What kind of whiskey-induced, paranoid fever dream would possess a man, the Tea Party's Leni fucking Reifenstahl for that matter, to twist Coriolanus into a parable about the LA Riots? And if Bannon was, as Jones suggests, "all the 'dudes'" in the film, does that mean that Steve Bannon sees himself as "Agrippa, 'Mack Daddy' of South Central, an ORIGINAL GANGSTA (O.G.) upper-echelon Blood?"
With Bannon now seemingly running the country by prodding his boss to sign executive orders, living out his Leninist fantasy of destroying the state and rebuilding it in his own perverted image, we may never know.
Lead image via Wikipedia.
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