War Fatigue: A One-Act Gchat Play by Donny Potter

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A one act gchat play by Donny Potter,  a Washington D.C. based  satirist, musician, misanthrope and non-profit employee.   

Barry:  Hey bro, how fucking awesome was last night?!?!

Sent at 2:06 PM on Saturday

me:  ha yeah, last night was pretty crazy

Barry:  dude, I can’t even believe how much infrastructure we destroyed, not to mention all those children we killed and orphaned.  We destabilized the shit out of that whole region!  Iraq was a pretty dope spot.

Sent at 2:11 PM on Saturday

me:  yeah, it was alright

Sent at 2:09 PM on Saturday

Barry:  Well, don’t even worry about it man, tonight is gonna be even crazier!  There’s this new spot I just heard about called Syria.  They’ve got like three levels, a roof deck, beer pong, and check it out… there’s gonna be tons of chemical weapons up in that bitch!!!

me:  heh, you said that about Iraq…

Barry:  Nah man, this is different, this time I’m 100% positive that Syria is gonna be crawling with beautiful deadly weaponized chemicals.  And anyway, that wasn’t even me who said that about Iraq, it was Colin.

Sent at 2:14 PM on Saturday

me:  yeah…

Sent at 2:16 PM on Saturday

Barry:  So what time do you want to meet up to pregame?

Sent at 2:18 PM on Saturday

me:  I don’t know man, I’m pretty tired.  I think I might just sit it out tonight.

Barry:  WTF dude?!   Come on man, don’t be a little bitch.  I’m telling you, Syria is going to be way better than Iraq.  What part of ‘CHEMICAL WEAPONS’ don’t you understand?!

Sent at 2:22 PM on Saturday

me:  yeah, I know man.  I do want to go.  I’m just pretty tired from last night.  I really did a lot of damage to my international credibility and I feel like I should chill out and lay low tonight.

Barry:  lame

Sent at 2:24 PM on Saturday

Barry:  Dude, come on.  We don’t even have to stay out that late.  Just a couple of cruise missiles and then we can leave

Sent at 2:26 PM on Saturday

me:  :  ha, yeah right.  I just know that after a couple cruise missiles we’re gonna want to start aerial bombing and then before you know it we’ll be getting our boots on the ground.  I just need to relax tonight man.  Not to mention the fact that I don’t even WANT to fucking know how much money I spent in Iraq last night!

Barry:  ha, come on man, that’s what credit cards are for.

Sent at 2:28 PM on Saturday

me:  eh, who’s gonna be there anyway? Are Britain and France coming?

Barry:  Nah, fuck those dudes.  They’re being little bitches.  But I guess you’re gonna bitch out too huh?

Sent at 2:30 PM on Saturday

me:  ha yeah, sorry man.  Maybe we can go to Iran next weekend or something.

Sent at 2:35 PM on Saturday

Barry:  Ok, word.  I guess I’ll just hit up Congress and see if he wants to go.  He can be annoying, but whatever.  At least he’s probably not going to be a little bitch about going to war on a Saturday night.

Sent at 2:37 PM on Saturday

me:  dude, I’m sorry.  I’m just tired

Sent at 2:40 PM on Saturday

me:  u mad?

Sent at 2:42 PM on Saturday

Barry:  haha, nah.  It’s cool.  I’ll hit you up next weekend about Iran.  Maybe we can drone Yemen for happy hour one day this week.

Sent at 2:43 PM on Saturday

me:  ok, sounds good.  Have fun dude, sorry I can’t make it out.

Barry:  nah, it’s cool.  Have fun shaving your vagina tonight.

me:  ha, yeah.  And you have fun myopically jumping into a conflict that you don’t really understand and is none of your business in order to save your ass politically while feeding your ravenous military industrial complex masters with little thought to the local human costs and dire diplomatic consequences of blind violent action to support disparate rebel forces with questionable agendas, possibly making this no-win, hopeless, depressing situation even worse.

Barry:  thanks, I will!

me:  i know you will

Sent at 2:45 PM on Saturday

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  • Jason E

    I saw the photo and thought I bet this will be funny. I was wrong and now I hate myself! Thanks Donny!

  • Nick L.

    I will take a swing.

    me: Hey mate, what were you up to last night?

    Johnny “Bull”: Just out with the lads. Cousin from the US was over.

    me: Sam? Isn’t he the big, roided-up bloke who kept referring to his testicles as “The Elgin Marbles” after we went to the Museum?

    Johnny “Bull”: Hahaha. Yeah. He just got a face tattoo of a tricorne and a broken snake.

    me: What a muppet.

    Johnny “Bull”: Louis was there too.

    me: that weird French kid? I thought you hated him.

    Johnny “Bull”: Eh, he is annoying. I used to date his sister, EUgenie. She asks me to hang out with him every once in a while.

    me: I remember her. She had some great assets. What is she doing now?

    Johnny “Bull”: Dating some really dickish German fellow.

    me: Ah. So what did you all do then?

    Johnny “Bull”: It was a crazy night. First, we went to this campsite party. It was pretty mint in the beginning, but then Sam started to freak out because he thought some guy, who was giving him a googley eye, had a knife. We tried to calm him down; Louis got annoyed and just sat on a bench reading Foucault.

    me: WTF?

    Johnny “Bull”: Yeah. Sam just snapped and wadded into the crowd and started wrecking people. Turns out though, it was a traveler camp and we got as good as we gave. Had to high tail it out.

    me: Lucky as hell.

    Johnny “Bull”: You are telling me. This morning was the craziest though. On the way back to the flat, we saw this woman screaming at her kid. He was on one of those leashes and seems to not have wanted to be anymore. Louis went over to her and politely asked her to stop yelling at the kid. We even called the police, but they said they couldn’t do anything for just yelling.

    me: Did you leave?

    Johnny “Bull”: No. Because right after that, she started in hitting the kid. We yelled at her and told her to stop. She didn’t. Then we called the police back. They came this time and an officer went over to talk to the woman. When he turned around she started in hitting the kid again. He came over to us and told us that she was the little sister of a big Russian gang boss and they couldn’t do anything without his permission.

    me: That is messed up.

    Johnny “Bull”: Yeah. The police left and we were just standing there watching this woman hit her kid. Harder and harder. I asked the lads what we should do. Sam said he was really tired from the earlier fighting and that if we went over to the woman and tried to make her stop we could get in trouble for assault.

    me: Huh?

    Johnny “Bull”: Yeah. Louis was pissed and ready to bang heads. I have rarely seen him like that. He kept telling Sam that if there was a time to get angry, now was it.

    me: Yeah. I mean, he’ll fight a bunch of guys over some non-existent knives, but won’t lift a finger to help a kid getting beat? You did something, right?

    Johnny “Bull”: Well, no. I was pretty tired too and pretty banged up.

    me: Jesus, man.

    Johnny “Bull”: Don’t worry, we did get her to stop. After 5-10 minutes of yelling from across the street Sam finally got pissed too and started walking over to the woman. He had that gleam in his eye like anything could happen. The woman saw it and stopped what she was doing. Sam was just standing in the middle of the street staring her down. Finally she picked the kid up and went on her way. We watched them for a while to make sure she didn’t start hitting him again. It is a good thing all those pleas to stop changed her mind.

    me: Huh? Wasn’t it Sam coming after her that stopped her?

    Johnny “Bull”: I don’t think so. That was a bit of a lucky coincidence. He can be pretty reckless and I am glad that he didn’t do anything rash.

    me: I guess. Seems like the threat of force stopped the violence, not some half-hearted pleas from across the street. Anyhow, got to go to brunch. Cheers.

    Johnny “Bull”: Cheers.

  • Badgerite

    Satire is supposed to be clever, I thought. As opposed to just stupid.
    Oh and there is this
    DEAD CHILDREN SCORE
    Drones — 47 in all known operations
    Assad — 400 in one attack.

  • Freibiergesicht

    I wish I had a pithy comment but this piece of garbage isn’t worth the effort to think of some clever burn.

    • Freibiergesicht

      no wait i thought of one: this reminds me of something I’d read on Tumblr. I’m not even trying to burn you. it literally reads like something from Tumblr.

      • Donny Potter

        cool story!

        • Freibiergesicht

          you forgot the ‘bro’. oh and the fact that France has been pushing for military intervention in Syria.

          • Donny Potter

            ok, fair point about France. my bad.

          • Freibiergesicht

            I appreciate that you acknowledge that France wants to intervene. But are you going to acknowledge that your depiction of Obama as someone who was totally in for crazy destructive war in Iraq – a war he ended, btw – makes no sense whatsoever?

            I’m not trying to give you shit. This could have been a kinda funny bit that I probably would have disagreed with but still chuckled at. But your starting point with it was so off base that it makes no sense. Shit, if I were gonna give you tips, you could’ve started with Obama going on about droning the fuck out of some terrorists in Yemen. That would have been accurate.

          • Donny Potter

            I was actually trying to aim this piece more at the media and their incessantly diagnosing the american people with “war fatigue” like it’s some kind of disorder rather than considering that it might be a good healthy thing that the American people aren’t so quick to just blindly accept our questionable involvement in conflicts.

            the character “Barry” was not meant to just represent Obama, but also Bush and all the others who contributed to this great “war fatigue” we’re having. So yeah, I probably shouldn’t have called him Barry, maybe Sam or something. ah well.

            To be perfectly honest, this is the first satirical thing I’ve ever written, which is why I’m not as good as Colbert (who I love, btw). I actually only planned to post it on Facebook this morning to make some of my friends chuckle. A couple of them are affiliated with this site saw the FB post and asked me if they could post this here. I didn’t submit it or anything.

            Anyway,I don’t really regret it, but it is a bit surprising how quickly and personally you guys will attack people who seemingly question your president.

          • Freibiergesicht

            It would be helpful if you didn’t assume that everyone who found your piece unfunny weren’t just shills for Obama, for starters.

            But I get you. i think it would have worked way better if it was framed more as a gchat between “Sam” the hawk and “me” the war-weary populace. But you put “Barry” in there which did invoke the president and since you attributed views to the pres that aren’t factual it undermined the whole thing.

            I’m just a critic. I’d never try satire, that’s hard shit.

          • DHaradaStone

            It’s the Daily Banter, which implies a back-and-forth of views. I have no problem with your piece running here. I even think it’s kind of funny. And I’m especially sympathetic to the arguments about why Americans are tired of war and skeptical of the official reasons for it. And yes, I think Obama supporters (myself included) are a little too sensitive, but can you blame us, given the shit storm he faces over every single thing he does? If he ended poverty and cured cancer there would be those on the right and the left who would still attribute some nefarious motive to him. Painting him as a war monger just doesn’t square with the facts, that’s all.

          • Schneibster

            I’m glad I saw David’s piece here. Donny, I’m not against you posting here, but you really blew it with the “barry” character. Sorry, man, I hated Bush and watched him steal two elections and fuck up my economy. I voted for Obama and the Republicans (Bush’s party) have insisted on attempting to contaminate, destroy, or make up lies about everything good he’s done. I suggest you not confuse Obama and Bush again. You will get some very negative responses. It might even be a good idea not to mention them in the same breath. Bush was a traitor.

            What country are you from that you don’t know this? Quite frankly I evaluated you as right-wing US Libertarian Party, against war because you don’t want to pay any taxes. If that’s not who you are you wrote the wrong article. Perhaps you should communicate a bit more effectively.

  • Schneibster

    Wow.

    Ummm, what was that? The most offensive recasting of conservative anti-Obama lies as if they were actual leftist views evar?

    -1 for lack of funniness.

    • Donny Potter

      interesting, so now being anti-war gets you branded as a conservative!? that democrat cool-aid is as laced with as much PCP as the Republican cool-aid huh? whelp, you guys enjoy that! I seem to recall, long ago, some guy winning a democratic primary by being less gung ho about stupid wars than that Hillary lady. Wonder what happened to him? ah, never mind. that was probably before your time.

      • Schneibster

        No, making up lies about Obama gets you branded as a conservative.

        On Earth.

        Count your blessings; I’m assuming your colleagues have decided you’re not a racist, and therefore that that’s not the motive for lying about Obama. And you should ask around, that’s a pretty standard assumption of mine.

        Directly straight up show Obama ever wanted to bomb Syria. If you can’t you lied.

        • Donny Potter

          what lies?

          • Schneibster

            Show Obama ever wanted to bomb Syria.

          • Donny Potter

            he doesn’t? then why is he pushing for it?

          • Schneibster

            He just asked Congress to delay any resolution on it.

            On Earth.

          • Donny Potter

            I meant to type *was* not *is*

          • Schneibster

            Obama’s against war.

            Maybe you forgot.

          • Schneibster

            And I think today’s headline, Russia and US make an agreement to help Syria dispose of its chemical weapons, proves I’m right.

            No bombs.

            No boots on the ground.

            Not even an SR-71 overflight.

            And it’s over.

            Obama is not Bush.

            Period.

      • Freibiergesicht

        lol stop pretending you’re not actually 23. those of us born before 1990 know that it’s spelled ‘kool-aid’ for starters.

        • Donny Potter

          Kool story

          • Freibiergesicht

            “bro”.

  • Waltb31

    Funny? Funny how? RWNJ funny? PBO amuses you? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_DwZfyXAXI
    Keep taking “satirical” shots at POTUS. I’m sure your folks are “amused”.

  • The Panic Man

    Comedy is not served by self-righteousness.

    • Benthedailybanter

      where has everyone’s sense of humor gone today?

      • The Panic Man

        Yes, that’s right, we all just have no sense of humor.

        How RWNJ of you.

      • Freibiergesicht

        Satire has to be based in some basic truths to be funny.

        The idea that Obama is a war monger who is responsible for getting us into Iraq is not based in truth, in fact it’s kinda the opposite of truth. So the whole premise of the bit is incredibly stupid and inaccurate, which renders it unfunny. I sentence the author to at least 20 hours of “The Colbert Report” to learn how and why satire works.

        • Benthedailybanter

          For goodness sake, it’s a SATIRICAL PIECE about the American government’s love of war and the public’s increasing skepticism about blowing up countries they know nothing about. It’s not really even directed at Obama so why the hell are you getting upset? I’m shocked that some of our readers are getting so offended by this. It’s not supposed to be a serious piece – just something to make you think/laugh a bit.

          Obama isn’t Jesus Christ and is fair game for satire just like everyone else. Damn. Can’t believe I’m having to write this…

          • Freibiergesicht

            Just saying something is SATIRICAL doesn’t make it funny, or smart. Satire has to be rooted in accepted truths to work, this isn’t so it doesn’t. As I pointed out below, if he’d started with “Barry” (not directed at Obama? Yeah…) talking about drone strikes instead of Iraq, then it would’ve made more sense. Or if he didn’t want to make it about Obama, then he shouldn’t have named the warmonger “Barry”. And even if he’d made one or both of those changes, the self-righteous poorly researched bit at the end would’ve killed the humor, because self-righteousness is the enemy of funny. But I’m sorry everyone is dogpiling on your friend. :'(

  • kckitty

    lol

  • formerlywhatithink

    Weak.

  • Chez Pazienza

    Wow. Did we start some kind of “Write the Dumbest Fucking Thing You Can Possibly Think Of” competition and nobody told me about it?

    • Shauna B. Alexander

      Chez, don’t be a spoil sport just because someone was funnier than you today!

      • Chez Pazienza

        Yup. That’s exactly what I was thinking.

    • Donny Potter

      man, I was suuuure you knew about the “write the dumbest thing” competition, but I guess you were really just trying to be clever with that “retarded hamster” zinger. Oh well, either way you won buddy. congrats!

      • Chez Pazienza

        Please go away.

        • Donny Potter

          ha, ok.

        • Benthedailybanter

          be nice Chez. Donny’s a good dude.

          • Chez Pazienza

            I’ll take your word for it.

          • DHaradaStone

            Donny does win hands down if there’s a contest for stuffing the largest number of tired far left (or libertarian, take your pick) fact-free clichés about Obama and Syria into a single sentence. That one three paragraphs from the bottom is a doozy.

          • Donny Potter

            oh yeah, which part isn’t true again?

          • DHaradaStone

            “Myopically jumping into …” Uh, yeah, after resisting repeated calls to intervene for two years, and after Russia and China blocked the U.N. from even asking Assad to “please, pretty please, maybe if you would, consider not gassing Syrian children to death.” “Reluctantly and tentatively wading into” would be far more accurate. “[A] conflict that you don’t really understand.” So you have better info and a more detailed understanding of the Middle East in general and Syria in particular than Obama? Really? Where do you get your daily intelligence briefings? “Feeding your ravenous military industrial complex masters.” You mean the same “masters” who spent tens of millions of dollars trying to defeat him in the last election and whose bottom line he has undermined through cuts in the defense budget and troop withdrawals in Iraq and Afghanistan? A few days of missile strikes aren’t going to make up for that. “Little thought to the local human costs and dire diplomatic consequences …” How the hell would you know? If you think that O isn’t insisting that whatever plan the generals are drawing up to punish Assad minimizes the risk of civilian casualties, then you haven’t been paying attention. Have you given ANY thought to how many tens of thousands of additional civilians might die if Assad (not to mention every other tinpot dictator) gets the message that the world is perfectly okay with him using chemical weapons against his own people?

          • Freibiergesicht

            Based on Donny’s other comments, this probably won’t get through, but that’s an entirely accurate analysis of the situation.

            When Libya was spooling up, I kept hearing far-leftists (of which I consider myself part of, at least when it comes to domestic issues) crying that we must be after oil in Libya, because Syria has having a horrific civil war and we weren’t doing anything about it. How could we act in Libya but not Syria?

            Now these exact same people are horrified at the idea that we might do any military action in Syria, no matter how limited, and comparing it to the Iraq war.

            I think there’s good arguments for not intervening militarily in Syria and I’m pretty agnostic about whether it’s a good idea or not. This bit is the exact opposite of that because it presupposes a monstrous, war-mongering Obama when the reality has been pretty much the opposite of that, drone-based policy excepted.

            I wonder if lil’ Donny thinks of President Clinton as a war mongering tyrant as well?

          • Donny Potter

            oh my, he sure was, and so will she be. why are you overlooking Obama’s drone policy, it’s killing thousands of innocent people?!?!

          • Freibiergesicht

            Dude, I used to be on the payroll for Peace Action. I am aware of drones, and the military budget, and the military-industrial complex, and all that.

            Anyway, I’m not a supporter of our current drone policy. I absolutely don’t think the CIA should be able to control drones or affect drone policy. I think Obama has been way too liberal in his use of drones. But you didn’t start this about drones, you started with Obama drinking baby blood in Iraq.

          • DHaradaStone

            I’m not a fan of the drone war either. Even one civilian death is one too many. Frankly, I agree with Bob Cesca that the AUMF should be rescinded. But numbers, like other facts, matter. So does perspective. “Thousands of innocent people”? According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, an independent group with no ties to the U.S. government and which has done reporting highly critical of drone attacks under the Obama administration, civilian deaths in drone attacks in Pakistan beginning in 2004 (five years before Obama took office) through the end of June 2013 totaled between 411 and 890. In Yemen, (2002 to present) between 39 and 99, and in Somalia (2007 to present) between 7 and 27. If the reports out of Syria are correct, Assad killed more civilians with sarin in a single day than died in U.S. drone attacks in these three countries over the last decade (even if you go with the high-end IBJ figure for drone attacks).

          • Donny Potter

            who was calling to intervene? The cannibal rebels? taking sides in the middle east has always been a super good idea that has never backfired huh? Obama received 34% more donations from the defense industry than McCain, and even after his first term where he totally undermined them, the top three defense contractors, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northtrop Grumman, gave more to Obama than Romney. Your assertion that we’ll save more lives in the long one than we’ll destroy is completely hypothetical and not a good reason to get involved in another country’s civil war. I could easily as you are doing, factor in the make believe number approximating how many civilians the rebels will kill when they take power, but I won’t do that because no one knows.

          • Freibiergesicht

            This argument might make sense if Obama was actually advocating for regime change in Syria.

            But he’s not. Although you could make the argument that we wouldn’t have the cannibal scary terrorist elements in the rebels had we supported them earlier but that’s watercooler quarterbacking so I won’t even go there.

            You make a good point in that at this point I – and most Americans – are not comfortable with the idea of a power vacuum in Syria post-Assad. That’s why literally nobody in the Obama administration is advocating regime change. The idea of a limited, targeted military strike is to enforce international norms about use of chemical weapons. That’s it.

            Was our involvement Libya a war? Or Kosovo? Because what Obama was proposing doing – and now will probably NOT do – was FAR more limited than that.

          • DHaradaStone

            You’re conflating individual contributions from employees (which can include everyone from the CEO to the janitor of a corporation, but not the corporation itself) with PAC money. Most defense money is funneled through PACs. In 2012, defense industry PACs gave 59 percent of their $15,533,956 in contributions to Republicans and 41 percent to Democrats at the federal level. That doesn’t include contributions from individual execs and investors to Super Pacs, which overwhelmingly favor Romney. If you’re only counting individual contributions to presidential candidates, overall defense sector donations also actually favored Romney ($1,365,334) over Obama ($1,141,130). Employees of Lockheed-Martin gave Romney $170,494 and Obama $127,182. Employees of Northrop Grumman gave Romney $111,464 and Obama $109,256. You are right about employees of Boeing (which unlike either Lockheed-Martin or Northrop Grumman gets more than half its revenue from commercial airplane sales), though. They gave Obama $190,768 while they only gave Romney $149,587. So yeah, I guess Obama must be going to war over $40,000.00 and change he got from Boeing personnel. What other reason could there be?

          • Donny Potter

            eh, even still they gave a shit ton of money to help elect someone who you contend they see as an existential threat.

            but yeah, it’s probably more about saving his ass politically after that ‘red line’ bullshit, than anything else. he’s desperate to not be a lame duck.

          • DHaradaStone

            They? O didn’t get one dollar from a defense PAC, or any PAC for that matter. He’s supposed to return donations from individuals because they work for defense firms? But all that aside, do you think it might just be possible that he doesn’t consider the redline “bullshit,” that he may be one of the few world leaders who actually gives a shit about whether the international conventions against the use of chemical weapons are enforced or are meaningless? He’s risking a lot, politically, to pursue an unpopular course. The easiest thing in the world, especially after the British Parliament said “no,” would have been to say, “fuck it; I tried.”

    • Zach Callahan

      I’m afraid you already won that competition with your idiotic Glenn Greenwald article. Go back to defending the status quo with your pro-establishment propaganda, Chez.

      • Chez Pazienza

        Hi, Donny’s friend. Welcome.

        • Zach Callahan

          Extremely unprofessional for a writer on a website to be trolling one of the other writers from that same website in the comments section. Real class act.

          • Chez Pazienza

            Your indignation is duly noted.