While Sanders’ 9-hour effort to explain things like the wage gap and estate tax to a bunch of stodgy, hostile Senators was heroic, we can all agree that his speech was dryer than bread left out overnight to make stuffing. And I know if I were subjected to 9 hours of rambling about the deficit, I would deliberately do the opposite of whatever the rambler was telling me to do, like lower taxes to 0% for everyone in the country or just declare my state is seceding from the Union and go out for a burrito. That’s because boring speeches short-circuit my brain faster than dumping orange drink on a laptop.
So next time Sanders gets his knickers in a twist, he should attempt a more engaging filibuster, something with visual aids and interactivity, the type of speech people will talk about for years to come, and not just because that was the most sleep they ever got while the Senate was in session. So Mr. Sanders, I’ve compiled a list of suggestions, free of charge, to spice things up a little next time. You’re welcome.
-Screen Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, periodically stopping the film to go around the room and make everyone point out one similarity between you and James Stewart, preferably physical. Keep calling attractive aides to the front to tell them they’re Clarissa Saunders to your Jefferson Smith, then ask them to “filibuster” your “bill,” and be sure to use your most lascivious air-quotes-fingers.
-Play “Never Have I Ever” and include frankly incriminating examples, like “Never have I ever accepted kickbacks from corporate stooges” or “Never have I ever had an inappropriate relationship with somebody in this room” or “Never have I ever indulged in mind-altering substances before coming to one of these awful, horrible, no-good meetings.” Take note of which Senators either refuse to play or finish first.
-Read aloud from William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch, and don’t feel bad about skipping ahead to the obscene parts, asking if anyone knows what a Steely Dan is (it’s a dildo–brilliant!), and replacing the characters’ names with those of Senators’ spouses and children.
-Tell everyone to take a ten-minute break to “free write” about their “feelings,” then tell your sneakiest page to swipe people’s work and read it aloud in his best Russian accent. If somebody wrote poetry, you hit the jackpot, but be prepared for most of the free writes to be about how the Armed Services Committee think they’re so much cooler than everyone else.
-Call Domino’s and order a hundred pizzas with anchovies, then order a thousand endangered orchids from Tanzania. Charge everything to the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and send them a note detailing exactly how many miles and tons of fuel were wasted so they could enjoy fresh flowers. Everybody ought to get a giggle out of that.
-Announce that you’re running for President and intend to pick your vice president via Senate ballot. Everyone’s allowed one vote and they can’t vote for themselves. Tell whoever wins to go get your dry cleaning.