In which an authoritarian’s hunger for control now extends to
the personal lives of the nation’s people, impacting their ability
to speak and think freely.

“All rise, the honorable Jackie Pineshaft,
star of such films as
Cuban MILFs 3 and Jackie’s Wet Vacation,
is presiding. Court is now in session.”

“You all may be seated.
Now Mr. Shapiro, it is my duty to inform
you of the rules of TubeCourt. Your testimony
will be streaming to your fellow citizens
across the country. They will vote on
the verdict by either liking your testimony
or disliking it online. I will then
read the verdict. The camera is
right here, please look into it at all times.
You’re off to a good start,
your tie is already getting quite a few likes.
Do you have any questions, Mr. Shapiro?”

“Listen, I just wrote a song,
I don’t know why I’m here.”

“Mr. Shapiro, with all due respect,
you wrote and performed a song
filled with lies and slander
about our glorious emperor. Now
the Supreme Court ruled last year
that First Amendment protections
for freedom of speech only apply
when the form of speech
in question is commercially viable.
The government believes that yours isn’t.
That is why you are here. I understand
you have brought your guitar with you.
Can you play the song in question for us?”

“Honestly, I just wrote it
when I was drunk, it’s not…”

“Mr. Shapiro, if you want to convince
this court of your commercial viability
as an artist, you should probably
summon the courage to play the song.”

“Okay. It’s called
‘The Tyrant Song.’”

He wants to rule with an iron fist
but I think it’s made of brass
cries so loud when it hurts so little
reverberating off his ass
loves all that pomp and circumstance
but only eats fast food
how could someone surrounded by gold
be so witless, base, and crude
says he’s a fighter, he’s never fought
could you imagine him in a war
watches TV for twelve hours a day
more makeup than a whore

Cause this is our leader
this is our guy
just shoot me now
when I wake up I cry

This is our leader
this is our guy
just shoot me now
when I wake up I cry

We never elected this foolish emperor
couldn’t even win the most votes
some yahoos in the boonies liked him
cause he has a fleet of boats

this guy is such a fucking racist
he’s afraid of black paint
The first time he heard NWA
it almost made him faint
he talks about himself so much
the only topic he knows
all the ladies run away from him
as he grabs at their pantyhose

Cause this is our leader
this is our guy
just shoot me now
when I wake up I cry

This is our leader
this is our guy
just shoot me now
when I wake up I cry

“Is that it?”

“Well, it did have a catchy melody…
Let’s see what our viewers thought.
Oh no, you received 78,692,329 likes
and 91,203,597 dislikes.
That means your work
is not commercially viable.
Let’s open up our comment section
and see what viewers think
your punishment should be
for criticizing the emperor
without commercial intent.
We’re getting a lot of responses here.
I’m just going to scroll down
and select a punishment at random.
Okay, here we go:
remove both his thumbs,
kick him out on the street,
and make him try to play that guitar
with his thumb-less, bleeding hands.”

Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash


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