The Name of the Rosacea

You like movies about gladiators?

© 2017 Greg Skidmore, used under a Creative Commons license

[Special thanks to Turbo Satan for the title.]

Steve Bannon & his allies have leased a monastery in the Italian countryside for 19 years, where they plan to build a school for budding populists and “modern gladiators.” But it’s ignited protest from locals, who want Bannon to take his right-wing populist agenda elsewhere.

On Assignment with Richard Engel, MSNBC

VOICEOVER: On August 18, 2017, Steve Bannon was asked to remove himself from his place of employment.

[BANNON is shown carrying a banker’s box out the front door of the White House; the door slams, then opens; a hand thrusts out a black dildo, which BANNON resignedly takes and puts in the box.]

That request came from the President. Deep down, he knew Trump was right, but he also knew that someday he would return to him. With nowhere else to go, he appeared at the home of his friend, Richard Spencer.

[BANNON is shown entering a klavern, engaging a klansman in conversation; another klansman taps his shoulder; BANNON turns and the klansman lifts his hood, revealing himself to be SPENCER, who picks the dildo out of BANNON’s box, over which they share a hearty laugh.]

Sometime earlier, several colleges had thrown him out, requesting that he never return. Can two deranged men share a monastery without driving each other crazy? [Music swells.]

[The kitchen of BANNON’s monastery. SPENCER, wearing an SS uniform without insignia, is typing on a laptop. BANNON enters at the head of a staircase and walks sleepily down to the kitchen; he looks out the window, winces, and yells:]

BANNON: Goddamnit! The paper boy left the Times all way down at the end of the driveway. Go haul it in for me, Richie.

SPENCER: No can do, Kommandant. I’m working on some videos.

BANNON: Videos? Those are for children. Don’t you have any self respect?

SPENCER: Gotta get ‘em while they’re young, Kommandant. That’s the Kinder in the Kinder, Küche, Kirche.

BANNON: Bah, those kids are useless! What we need is an army of mature warriors who won’t get distracted whenever some famous Negress drops an album.

SPENCER: Mature? You mean old farts like Bolton. You want them to go to war with the Jew? Nein, danke!

BANNON: Look, let’s not argue, you know I’m useless before my first cup of cocaine.

[BANNON pulls a small emesis basin out of as drawer, goes to what looks like a coffee grinder and hits a button, filling the basin with white powder. He takes a generous snort.]

That’s another thing, Richie, let’s tone down the Jew talk. Jerry Seinfeld keeps asking me about it, it’s embarrassing.

[A big yawn is heard. ROD DREHER comes down the stairs dressed in some sort of Alpine climbing outfit, his hair freshly washed and conditioned.]

DREHER: How are you guys? I slept like a baby and I swear I could absolutely murder a plate of sacramental meats right now.

SPENCER: Funny, I feel the same way about the Jew.

DREHER: [Laughing] Oh, you’re just saying that! [Seriously] I wasn’t kidding about breakfast.

BANNON: I don’t think we have any food. You want some cocaine?

DREHER: Ha ha! I know how it is, guys — you hear them SJWs slurring you as racists and druggies, so you act like racists and druggies just to show them.

SPENCER: Sure, that’s what we’re doing.

DREHER: But seriously, you should have food up here. A lot of food. And it should all be sacramental. In fact you should have a little farm with cows, chicken and sheep — East Friesian give the best milk, but we should have some Lacaune for variety. The time of the martyrs is at hand, gentlemen. We may have to spend the rest of our lives here.

SPENCER: Don’t you have a wife and kids?

DREHER: We all have to make sacrifices. How about restaurants? I hear the aglio e olio is superb around here.

BANNON: I’d start walking down — [points out the window] that road and see what you see; but first pick up that paper and bring it to me.

DREHER: It's not the Sunday Times, is it? I can’t carry heavy objects.

BANNON: Oh, just go!

[DREHER leaves.]

SPENCER: What do we have him here for?

BANNON: His followers are religious and not very bright. I figure they’d make good cannon fodder come der Tag. And some of them are well-connected. You know who he hangs out with? David Brooks!

[They both laugh uproariously. Suddenly EX-POPE RATZINGER comes in, carrying the Times and a paper cup of coffee. He’s dressed like a banker, but with a little extra flair — the placket of his shirt, for example, is slightly ruffled, and he wears pontifical slippers.]

BANNON: Your Holiness! Thanks for bringing in the paper. Very considerate of you.

RATZINGER: How are you, Steven? Love what you’ve done to the place!

BANNON: That damn fool Rod didn’t give you any trouble, did he?

RATZINGER: [Pointing through the door] You mean that hobo? He begged me to tell him where I got my coffee. I told him I brought it in from Rome in my Jeep. Then he asked me if my driver could take him to a restaurant!

SPENCER: Guess he didn’t recognize you without the gown, Holiness!

RATZINGER: [To BANNON] Do I know this fellow?

SPENCER: Richard Spencer. He’s the leader of what they call the alt-right.

RATZINGER: [Brightly] Oh, the Nazi! Well, you know, most of the people I know are sick of talking about the war. What have you done for me lately, that’s what they want to know. So, you want to get rid of the Roma?

SPENCER: They’re on the list, sure.

RATZINGER: Am I on the list?

SPENCER: Yes, you are — on Spencer’s List! And the list is life!

BANNON: That means you’re home free.

RATZINGER: [Laughing] Et cum spiritu tuo!

BANNON: Now that’s what I like to hear — Latin! Holiness, I think I’ll have someone teach Latin here when we get the school up and running.

RATZINGER: [Frowning] Really? Why? It’s not even good for training priests anymore. Better you should teach these boys Chinese. That’s where the money is. That reminds me — I hear you’re calling this a “gladiator school,” is that right?

BANNON: That's right, Holiness.

Ratzinger: Well, no wonder you’re getting bizarre characters like that hobo. All the gladiators ever did was kill one another. Once they got to the Colosseum their lifespan was about 18 months. What use is it, and who in their right mind is going to sign up for such a thing?

BANNON: We’re going to make our boys into warriors. Spiritual warriors.

RATZINGER: You’ll forgive my saying, but it sounds kind of gay.

[Awkward silence.]

BANNON: Holiness, it’s the opposite of gay! We’re tempering these boys like steel, the way the Knights Templar did.

RATZINGER: You don’t know much about the Knights Templar, do you, my son? Next you’ll be telling me Baron Baden-Powell was straight.

BANNON: Then how, sir, can we fight the pernicious homosexualism of the anti-pope Francis?

RATZINGER: Oh, now stop that! Jorge’s all right. We’re more simpatico than you may think. It’s like the Jack Benny-Fred Allen feud, you know. Mostly an act.

[Suddenly DREHER runs in and throws himself at RATZINGER’s feet.]

DREHER: Forgive me, Holiness, I didn’t know it was you! Ooh, Holy Father, I have so much to tell you — I know how to save the Church! Please let me save the Church!

RATZINGER: [Shouting into his shirt-cuff] Mayday! B12 down! Mayday! [To BANNON] Who is this idiot again?

BANNON: He’s Rod Dreher, Holiness, the man who wrote The Benedict Option.

RATZINGER: Benedict Option? This one? [Cuffs DREHER] Schweinehund, you owe me royalties!

[A troop of SWISS GUARDS rush in and beat the snot out of DREHER as the CURTAIN falls.]