“I repeat with the most vehement conviction: truth is on the march, and nothing will stop it. Today is only the beginning, for it is only today that the positions have become clear: on one side, those who are guilty, who do not want the light to shine forth, on the other, those who seek justice and who will give their lives to attain it. I said it before and I repeat it now: when truth is buried underground, it grows and it builds up so much force that the day it explodes it blasts everything with it. We shall see whether we have been setting ourselves up for the most resounding of disasters, yet to come.”
Emile Zolá from J’Accuse
“The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it
always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.”
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote
And now a word in Spanish to give hope to millions.
“Confía en el tiempo, que suele dar dulces salidas a muchas amargas dificultades…”
“Cambiar el mundo, amigo Sancho, que no es locura ni utopía, sino Justicia!”.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha
Most Americans may recall or have learned about Bogie and Bacall (motion pictures), Mantle and Maris (baseball), and Bachrach and David (music) over these decades of entertainment. Today everyone knows Hamilton and nobody knows Quixote and Zolá. What? Quixote and Zolá. Where is the connection? At first glance we would say that there is no connection. But think again. Fighting for Justice takes teamwork. And bringing Don Quixote and Emile Zolá to life on stage or even remotely together during this COVID-19 pandemic makes sense
Quixote or Don Quixote is known all over the world and has been transformed into plays, motion pictures (The Man of La Mancha), works of art, and more. Emile Zolá’s work has been read all over the world. I read Germinal about French coal miners in the 1960s. His greatest work was to pick up critical information of a conspiracy by the French Military against a Jewish captain. The motion picture of his work was given the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture in 1937 (The Life of Emile Zolá). Anyone that has seen or heard of Hamilton will want to read Quixote and Zolá, even though my play treatment was written before the killing of George Floyd.
We see more and more truth about the death of George Floyd each day. Today I saw the video of people pleading with a police officer standing guard to protect what. An unnecessary death that was perpetrated in almost 9 minutes. The media is getting blamed for much of the chaos by some police but it was the media that exposed what has become known as The Dreyfus Affair. Emile Zolá accomplished that in the French newspaper L’Aurore. L’Aurore translated into English means Dawn. I hope that the first light of day will awaken our nation now and we need the media to this.
This play could have been developed but there are lots of reasons why it did not happen and at this time leading up to the Election of 2020 it may be too late for development. The Force 2020 DDT (Defeat Donald Trump) presents that play to be shared all over the world now. The play could have been developed through social distancing and perhaps that can still be done. In a theater today where there has to be “social distancing” or at least 6 feet apart for each theater goer and that would limit, greatly limit, access to the viewing of the play. That is not world changing nor would it have the expected impact on the all-important Election of 2020.
This play has very sensitive material and may not be for those men, women, and youth who cannot say Black Lives Matter, Jewish Lives Matter, Puerto Rican Lives Matter, Polish Lives Matter, Latino Lives Matter, and more. Yes Blue Lives Matter as well. It’s almost impossible for me to say that All Lives Matter because I have observed so many people and articles where just reading them diminishes the demand for Justice in this world.
I have mentioned previously that Colin Kaepernick has an important role in the play. The idea was born long before I sat down to write the play that the connection between Zolá and Kaepernick was there, a strong one even if Kaepernick had never even heard of Zolá. So Zolá gave birth to Kaepernick’s speaking about truth and justice and now everyone can see the role that Kaepernick plays. Enough said for now
Quixote and Zolá is not a finished work, given that a three act play would have additions and deletions. The public (both American and international) can think of things that it feels belongs in the play. Trump’s handling of the flu that turned into his worse nightmare belongs in the play. The military that is now conspiring or rejecting Trumpism contrasts with those members of the French military who conspired against Dreyfus. I have called for the renaming of MacArthur Airport on Long Island which Trump would not support. His history of America praises far too much that should be praised and he is no confederate or ally of mine. He is the Confederate lovers ally. Now is the time to go straight to Quixote and Zolá.
Quixote and Zolá
People are walking in a tranquil street and suddenly that tranquility is disturbed by a gust of wind which affects only a particular spot. But people take notice and a man appears who was not there before. Comments are heard about the man “coming out of nowhere.” A close look at the man reveals something familiar to the entire world. His dress and his physical appearance can only remind us of one character. Don Quixote. Don Quixote has been granted the power to make people appear and those people cannot be seen by human beings.
Later Don Quixote meets a kind lady who takes him home to her family. There he learns about this modern life from an extended family. Maria is the matriarch of the family and her children are Ramón and Fiordaliza. Don Quixote speaks about the chivalry of life in Spain from a man’s viewpoint and Ramón casually teaches him that things have changed as the world even has women in the military helping to fight in war and saving lives. Fiordaliza shows Don Quijote a modern tool that has replaced most books, the computer.
Don Quixote does his first Google search of Spain and the Reyes Católicas or Catholic Kings. He insists that is incredible and looks forward to his next Google search pronouncing it Go-o-gle.
Don Quixote is sitting by a computer alone in the hotel for the first time, marveling at it, but he turns and sees Khizr Khan (whose son served and died for America) raising the Constitution who says, “Have you ever read the Constitution.” He decides to do a search of Don Quixote and finds a Broadway video of the Impossible Dream. After watching about fifteen seconds of the song, he clicks it off and stands up. Speaking out he says that he knows that he inspired the song and he knows the lyrics well and says “to be ready to march into hell for a heavenly cause.”
Don Quixote is sleeping but suddenly his wakes up to noises that are heard, loud noises. He calls the front desk. A hotel clerk informs him that the noise is unexpected drilling as a pipe has broken on the street.
Don Quixote watches an interview of Hillary Clinton by the press where she indicates that she lost the election because of James Comey and the F.B.I. investigation. The camera crew departs as Hillary Clinton leaves. Back at the hotel Don Quixote does a search of Google typing Hillary Clinton and F.B.I. investigation, finding an article that says Hillary Clinton could have done a FACEBOOK marathon in the swing states and won. He now searches for FACEBOOK and it says login. He does not know what to do and says I think I need help. He stands there in deep thought for half a minute
Jorge Ramos, the reporter known for his encounters with Donald Trump, tells Don Quixote that help is needed to fight against Trump’s wall. The great wall of Avila, Quixote states, has not been used for centuries, such a beautiful wall. Ramos tells Quixote that Trump’s wall will probably be made of concrete or steel, which will never contain people or the drug cartels that destroy lives. Suddenly Donald Trump is standing there telling people “Mexico will work with us and Mexico will pay for the wall. On day one we will be working on a beautiful, powerful, southern wall.” And today, Ramos says, the walls of Avila are a World Heritage site for tourists to see.
Don Quixote sends for Colin Kaepernick and learns from Kaepernick that a lot of the nation did not protect his freedom of speech before NFL Football Games. Quixote tells him that he only remembers the torero or bullfights in Madrid. Kaepernick excuses himself, turning away from Quixote. He starts to cough a lot and that leads to a mysterious windy moment. Suddenly a two-legged object is moving close to them. A man appears. It is Emile Zolá, the famous French journalist. Don Quixote and Zolá leave together as Kaepernick remains there kneeling.
Don Quixote welcomes Zolá and the team is now in place. They discuss Germinal, the great work about France’s coal miners who Zolá wished to have a better future. Don Quixote points out Zolá’s anti-Catholicism and finds out that they were on the wrong side of history and the laws of nature. But his work in helping the poor and persecuted were powerful. The French were fou or crazy about anti-Semitism and there could develop a massacre from it.
Emile Zolá tells Don Quixote that he decided that the best time to appear was the very moment that Quixote was talking to Kaepernick. It’s all about justice and that is the help that is needed now and I exited with Kaepernick’s words. Quixote says it was a great injustice to expel the Judios. Zolá says it destroyed Spain’s power and the atrocities continued. “What have you learned?” Zolá asks. “Watch” Quixote points. It’s James Comey talking about the state of the president. “Trump said I hope that you can let Mike Flynn go and I took it as a direction.” Zolá is upset and moves about. “And I bet that Comey became the target, the scapegoat. In 1894 in Paris it was Dreyfus,” Zolá says. Seeing Zolá upset, the two men sit down and Quixote prepares two glasses of sangria to drink.
Now a bit more relaxed, they learn about the detention of the immigrants at the border and the humanitarian crisis created by Trump. Don Quixote says that a man like that deserves to be put in the dungeon, but even in my day the dungeon was inhumane. Look he says as we see Jews being tortured during the Inquisition. Zolá says that the Dreyfus trial was a complete set up based on no evidence that a German speaking Jew from the newly acquired Alsace Lorraine had betrayed France. Look over there as we see Captain Alfred Dreyfus being stripped of his rank, his sword being broken, and finally Dreyfus being taken away a prisoner after he shouts his innocence.
Yes it’s all about La Justicia. Yes Zolá confirms Le Justice. Zolá speaks about about injustice – “As for the people I accuse, I do not know them, I never saw them, I have against them neither resentment nor hatred. To me, they are only entities, spirits of social evil. And the act I am hereby accomplishing is only a revolutionary means to hasten the explosion of truth and justice.”
“What do you think of this Emile?” They watch Congresswoman Omar of Wisconsin “Jewish money is controlling the world and the American congress,” she says. Zolá tells about Edouard Drumont who was anti-Semitic and who went from being the editor of La Libre Parole and who accused a government deputy of taking a bribe from a Rothschild. And that Panama Scandal that Drumont wrote about got him three months in jail and his supporters elected him later in Algiers. Zolá laughs and Don Quixote shrugs his shoulders. The voters soon got rid of him.
Zolá says “Let’s form a committee of justice.” In disbelief, Don Quixote says “Form a committee of justice? Form a committee of justice? My friend we are the Committee of Justice.” “I must object. We need help,” Zolá adds. “No we don’t amigo. Things will be fine with only two heads,” Don Quixote demands. At this moment Don Quixote reveals something important to Zolá. There was a chance to call up one more aide to help, but his concentration was weak due to the street noise the other day and he used up his energy just calling up Zolá.
Don Quixote calls Robert Mueller to appear who is standing and telling an audience “There is evidence of obstruction of justice, but it is the Justice Department’s policy not to indict a sitting president.”
Zolá and Don Quixote enter a restaurant together. The restaurant’s host asks how many. Don Quixote replies one but please seat me at a table for two since I will feel alone if there is only one seat. The two men sit down and talk. Don Quixote talks about having done this envoy stuff before. Zolá is interested putting his elbows on the table to listen better. Don Quixote talks about Colonel Picquart being from Strasbourg in France.
Then suddenly William Barr appears and says, “The Mueller Report cleared President Trump of wrong-doing.”
I’m telling you again Zolá repeats that we need help and now. The country Is divided and the truth has to be victorious. We can do it. All that is needed is to apply information in a new setting. History matters and we will continue to be a great part of history. Zolá remarks that he does not wish to be Sancho Panza. Don Quixote admits being confused about this detail. Zolá has demonstrated knowledge of this but the enormity of the problem has to be considered as help may be necessary.
Engaged in conversation about the Dreyfus Affair, Don Quixote requests to know more. Zolá explains the arrest of Captain Dreyfus and the plot that involved some military officers who dishonored the military. Colonel Picquart was the leaker but he was sent off, perhaps to die in Tunisia because he was not “loyal” to his superiors. Someone had to go to the government and that was Louis Leblois, the lawyer and friend of Picquart, sounding just like the Comey leaking of the memo through Dan Richman of Columbia which Quixote read about. And then there was J’Accuse and Zolá fled to London for his life. Don Quixote speaks about Picquart being born in Strasbourg and like Dreyfus was from Mulhouse in Alsace and Picquart was anti-Semitic, just like much of the General Staff. Zolá is amazed by Don Quixote’s knowledge and then the Spaniard confesses that he was sent to France to fight against that injustice. Zolá now learns that it was Don Quixote who convinced Picquart to fight for the honor of the French Army which he did.
Impeachment is on Don Quixote’s mind. Zolá favors the immediate resignation of everyone involved just as rooting out the military officials was needed. Going from A to Z and making that badly needed difference is required and it must happen fast.
Nayib Bukele “The American people in the street do not care about impeachment. President Trump is a strong ally.” Looking at him, the two men point thumbs down. Un nuevo hidalgo creating a new form of world disorder. Zolá reveals how his father created dams, one in Aix-en-Provence and this man is going to be sorry for opening up the dam.
The two men agree to do more research fast. They both sit as computers in the hotel lobby searching for clues.
Joe Biden says that his son Hunter did no wrong. There is no evidence and he should not be the subject of an investigation. “There it is again,” Zolá points out. Thousands of Edouard Drumonts in this country. Supporters of Trump include the National Review, the New York Post, the Washington Examiner, and The Federalist. My words ring true today says Zolá. “Finally, I accuse the first council of war of violating the law by condemning a defendant with unrevealed evidence, and I accuse the second council of war of covering up this illegality, by order, by committing in his turn the legal crime of knowingly discharging the culprit.”
Zolá appears more and more concerned about getting the best help out there. Don Quixote tells him not to worry so much since he is sure things will happen as they had happened before in Washington, D.C. Zolá wants to know more about what happened in Washington, D.C. Things were worse at that time. Zolá does not understand (ne comprends pas) how things could have been worse. It was 1964 and Lyndon B. Johnson almost backed away from Civil Rights legislation after John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Now Zolá realizes that Quixote was the special envoy in that matter.
Don Quixote is doing an internet search. Clicking to open and clicking to close things. He does a search of Dreyfus in Jewish Business News. James Comey A Leaker With a Higher Loyalty…The Year of Justice For All: Without Trump 2019…Capo di tutti or Boss of All Bosses: Jail Time for Trumpee. Zolá approaches and clicks on the James Comey article and reads. Zolá says do a search of the author and it turns up “El Quijote del GED.” They open the site up together. Discovering a telephone number, Zolá calls. Don Quixote takes the phone. He speaks with “El Qujote” whose work is full of the Dreyfus Affair. They talk about making their work go viral as Zolá made J’Accuse the center of attention in Paris. Zolá takes back the phone. Zolá was right about needing help. Asking for badly needed help, he writes down USA Today for people to read in hotels across America in the morning, Twitter, The New York Times, Associated Press, Reuters, and the Washington Post. Stay away from the New York Post, the National Review, The Washington Examiner, and especially from Fox News.
Don Quixote tells about the two plans to cause things to improve, the resignation of Donald Trump or spreading the truth across the United States. Zolá was brought in because reasoning with Trump would fail. Don Quixote points for Zolá to watch. It is German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying that she stands in solidarity with the women of color in Congress who were singled out for the Trump incited chant that they should go back where they came from.
Zolá now prepares his J’Accuse for the American public which has been divided for years and wonders if they will be successful. Don Quixote recalls the Spanish Civil War where he was called in and could only accomplish the return of the factories to their owners after they were taken over and could not function. They have to succeed. Zolá continues writing.
Don Quixote and Zolá are walking in the street. Finally they stop at the right spot. Don Quixote points and Zolá looks. They see a group of people walking into a small dining area and a sign that reads The Holiday Lodge Welcomes The University of Liberty and The Pigeon Forge Evangelical Associations. The people open the newspaper to the headline of the front page which says “J’Accuse By Emile Zolá.”
Taking their bows, Don Quixote asks the audience to stay seated and sing The Impossible Dream with the cast.
© 2019 Martin Danenberg
Make this play go viral. And please see Cervantes on my Black Lives Matter page.