Giving a bleep about politics
Despite the fact that you’re reading this column in Wednesday’s paper, it’s actually due at The Park Record on Monday morning. Which means that, as I write this, the next president of the United States is still, at this moment, undetermined. But as you read this, you already know the results of Tuesday’s election.
And of course, with a race this close, no matter the winner, approximately 48.5% of the country is going to be pretty pissed off about it.
But if last weekend was any indication, residents of Park City shouldn’t be too grumpy. Because we know how to laugh and have a good time at the expense of those seeking office.
If you saw the play "Park City Giving a Bleep," you know what I’m talking about. The satire, held last weekend and the one prior at The Yard, was political, comical and charitable.
It started with Mayor Dana Williams winning a reality show called "Dancing with the Mayors." Due to his tango talents, he won the right to have Park City host a presidential debate. But Parkites soon grew tired of both presidential candidates and decided to secede from the nation, officially becoming the Sovereign Nation of Cool, Hip, Independent, Laidback Lifestyle, or ‘CHILL’ for short.
But then there was the business of electing our own president, a spoof on a cast of colorful locals like: Timmy Yay whose platform included free Crossfit classes for all residents; Naudia Mammalian, the director of Friends of Cannibals, who believed everyone should be allowed to walk their cannibal off leash at Round Valley; high-density developer Naygoon Gimmemore, who ran on the promise of suing if she was not elected; Brother Young, who was awarded the coveted Gold Plated Temple Recommend Card, promised to be our candidate with a conscience; and lastly, there was the evil twosome, Darth Boyer and Lord Talisker, who ran on a rather sinister, albeit unique, promise – that every resident of CHILL would be allowed to exterminate any one person of their choice in order to make their life easier. KPCW’s Meslie Badger moderated the debates between these candidates.
As the plot unfolded, it seemed Darth Boyer and Lord Talisker would win in a landslide, but soon their campaign was foiled by two frisky teenagers who uncovered their real agenda: to allow all of CHILL’s residents to off one person, and then, after all the residents were dead, no one could stop them as they planned to put high-rises and highways all over town. When their plot was thwarted, the town celebrated, and it was noted: "That’s really what democracy is all about. Everyone having their own extremist opinions based on sound bites from either Fox News or NPR."
In the end, Parkites came together and remained part of the United States.
"This play is all about supporting our town," explained Annette Velarde, the show’s executive producer. "It’s littered with inside jokes unique to Parkites. Whether you get your local news from The Record, KPCW, or your book club, you’ll get the humor."
In addition to simply being a good time, the whole thing was also about good causes. Ticket purchasers were allowed to choose a nonprofit they support in Park City and a portion of their ticket sale was donated directly to that charity.
Annette said over the course of four shows — with all but the first show sold out — they raised about $10,000 for local nonprofits. Something she’s is pretty stoked about.
"More and more the Park City area is moving toward domination by the 1%, and as a longtime local, that bothers me. Not everyone can afford a $300 ticket to a black-tie fundraising gala. But people who can’t afford that still want to participate in supporting the nonprofits in a meaningful way. ‘Park City Giving a Bleep’ gives them that opportunity," she said.
Velarde and her team of co-writers spent over a year penning the script. It was a true labor of love: challenging, exciting, and at times daunting. "People were inspired by the idea of doing something that contributed to all the nonprofits. Actors, support staff, tech experts, the list of people who gave of their time and efforts goes on and on. Mark Fischer and Mike Sweeney let us use The Yard free of charge. Without them, there wouldn’t have been a penny to distribute to the nonprofits."
And while play will likely never be labeled as "family friendly," the audience seemed to find the sexual undertones and double entendres perfectly timed. Particularly when a character called Rosie Rightwing went on a rant about legitimate rape, saying: "You’ve gotta love our magic va-jay-jays that can tell the difference between hostile and friendly sperm.Amy Roberts is a longtime Park City resident, freelance writer and the proud owner of two ill-behaved rescue dogs, Boston and Stanley. If you have a story idea, please e-mail her at email@example.com.
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Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin once landed in Deer Valley Resort for the Merrill Lynch Celebrity Ski Classic races. He spoke to The Park Record during the visit in 2004 about topics like America eventually embarking on a mission much more ambitious than the moon landings – a trip to Mars.