Alien Attack (or, Shoot the President and Win A Prize)

August 5th, 2010

As reported in President Obama target game gets feds’ attention (Allentown Morning Call 8/04/10), a Catholic Our Lady of Mount Carmel Big Time fair in Roseto, PA (not far from my hometown of Allentown) featured a game in which players could win a stuffed animal by shooting an image of an “alien” (with antennae) black man in a suit with a presidential seal belt buckle and holding the “health bill” in his hand. The game (called “Alien Attack”) was created and run by Goodtime Amusements of Hellertown, PA. The Secret Service is investigating.

“I don’t care what you think.” – Goodtime Amusements president and carnival game ownerIrvin Good Jr. in response to someone who complained about the “game”

 

“What’s-a wrong, boy? Boss-a treat you crummy?
Trouble with your tummy?
This-a bring you some relief.
Here, give some hail-a to da chief.”
— “Shoot the President” carnival game owner in Stephen Sondheim musical Assassins

 


He’s been burnt and hung in effigy

(Isolated incidents, according to the GOP).


He’s been maligned as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao,

Images the Tea Party has refused to disavow.

(Not that the Tea Party or GOP would such images condone,

Like Obama as a witch doctor with his nose pierced by a bone.)


But now, there’s a new game people are playing,

Which I personally find quite dismaying:

Shoot the health-bill-bearing Obama between the eyes

And you can win a stuffed toy prize.


Have we sunk to a disgusting new low?

What do they want to reap from these seeds they sow?

That none of this matters is a dangerous delusion.

Stop, please, before this trend reaches a horrible conclusion.


Otherwise it won’t be long before someone feeling blue

Who doesn’t know what to do

Listens to the carnie’s cries

To shoot a president and win a prize.

***

For more on the uncomfortable increase in talk about ideologically motivated assassination, read The Obama Youth?, Dallas, Going Drouge, MLK Day, Arsonists, O Captain My Captain, Rising Tides of Blood, and Death to Dictators, or click here to read our full “assassination” series.

Here’s your theme music for today, Everybody’s Got the Right from the musical Assassins by Stephen Sondheim, about inviting people to play a carnival game about shooting the president (read the full lyrics below). I couldn’t find any video of the Broadway production, so this is from a production at ASU.

 

Everybody’s Got the Right from Assassins
[PROPRIETOR]
Hey, pal- feelin’ blue?
Don’t know what to do?
Hey, pal-
I mean you-
yeah.C’mere and kill a president.
 
No job? Cupboard bare?
one room, no one there?
Hey, pal, don’t despair-
You wanna shoot a president?
c’mon and shoot a president…
 
Some guys
Think they can be winners.
First prize often goes to rank beginners.
 
[CZOLGOSZ]
How much?
 
[PROPRIETOR]
Four-fifty. Ivor johnson. .32. Rubber handle.
Owls stamped on the sides.
 
[CZOLGOSZ]
All right, give me.
 
[PROPRIETOR]
Hey, kid, failed your test?
Dream girl unimpressed?
Show her you’re the best
If you can shoot a president-
 
You can get the prize
With the big blue eyes,
Skinny little thighs
And those big blue eyes…
 
Everybody’s
Got the right
To be happy.
Don’t stay mad,
Life’s not as bad
As it seems.
 
If you keep your
Goal in sight,
You can climb to
Any height.
Everybody’s
Got the right
To their dreams…
 
[HINCKLEY]
Deal
 
[CZOLGOSZ]
Mister-
 
[HINCLKEY]
I said “deal”
 
[CZOLGOSZ]
You. Wait your turn.
 
[HINCKLEY]
It is my turn.
 
[CZOLGOSZ]
I was here first-
 
[PROPRIETOR]
Watch it now, no violence!
 
[PROPRIETOR]
Hey, fella,
Feel like you’re a failure?
Bailiff on your tail? Your
Wife run off for good?
Hey, fella, fell misunderstood?
C’mere and kill a president…
 
[GUITEAU]
Okay!
 
[ZANGARA]
Marron…
 
[PROPRIETOR]
What’s-a wrong, boy?
Boss-a treat you crummy?
Trouble with your tummy?
This-a bring you some relief.
Here, give
some hail-a to da chief-
 
[ZANGARA]
You gimme prize-
 
[PROPRIETOR]
Anything you want.
 
[ZANGARA]
I want prize. You gimme prize!
 
[PROPRIETOR]
Only eight bucks. Cheap for “anything you want.”
 
Everybody’s
Got the right
To be different
Even though
At times they go
To extremes.
Aim for what you
want a lot-
Everybody
Gets a shot.
Everybody’s
Got a right
To their dreams-
 
Yo, baby!
Looking for a thrill?
The Ferris Wheel is that way.
No, baby,
This requires skill-
Okay, you want to give it a try…
Jeez, lady-!
Give the guy some room!
The bumper cars are that way..
Please, lady-
Don’t forget that guns can go boom…
 
[PROPRIETOR]
Hey, gang,
Look who’s here.
There’s our
Pioneer.
Hey, chief.
Lound and clear:
 
[BOOTH]
Everybody’s
Got the right
To be happy.
Say, “Enough!”
It’s not as tough
As it seems.
 
Don’t be scared
You won’t prevail,
Everybody’s
Free to fail,
No one can be put in jail
For their dreams.
 
Free country-!
 
[PROPRIETOR]
-Means your dreams can come true:
 
[BOOTH]
Be a scholar-
 
[PROPRIETOR]
Make a dollar-
 
[BOOTH, PROPRIETOR]
Free country-!
 
[BOOTH]
-Means they’ll listen to you:
 
[PROPRIETOR]
Scream and holler-
 
[BOOTH]
Grab ’em by the collar!
 
[BOOTH, PROPRIETOR]
Free country-!
 
[BOOTH]
-Means you dont have to sit-
 
[PROPRIETOR]
That’s it!
 
[BOOTH]
-And put up with the shit.
 
[ASSASSINS]
Everybody’s
Got the right
To some sun shine-
 
[BOOTH]
Everybody…
 
[ASSASSINS]
Not the sun
But maybe one
Of its beams.
One of its beams.
 
[ALL]
Rich man, poor man
Black or white,
pick your apple,
Take a bite,
Everybody
Just hold tight
To your dreams.
Everybody’s
Got the right
To their dreams…
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Comments

2 Responses to “Alien Attack (or, Shoot the President and Win A Prize)”

  1. Flyer0731 Says:

    We have indeed sunk to a dismaying low. Even this revolting game has polarized the public, with many of the responses applauding the “game”, and mocking “oversensitive liberals.”

    I personally do not think free speech includes a game about assassinating the President of the United States. Free speech does not included “crying ‘fire’ in a crowded theater,” as Oliver Wendell Holmes said. This is indeed crying “Fire!”, and sending out sparks that can well turn into flames that devour our self governing nation.

    Those who look to Iran and ” Radical Islaamists” as the great threats to our freedom could look much closer to home, to incidents like this one at a church festival in a small town of Pennsylvania. The church under whose auspices this game was played should pray every day that its sparks do not gravely wound the nation we all love.

  2. Newsericks Says:

    Thanks for your comment. I agree completely.

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