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intolerance

  
Intolerance  


Part One 
The play of the ages is made up of hatred and intolerance versus love and charity. Turning from one to the other rocking, they bring the same joys and sorrows. 

In a western city, ambitious ladies banded together with their money as they left the room. He picked up a dime, which he shined. They were brought into dispute by the hypocrites among them. He hides behind the stairs. He doesn’t know what to think. Love is a silent mystery and always will be. The gun explodes. They fight. They gather them up: women, children, men. It was a terrible awakening. “Get over there and keep quiet,” he orders. 

He doubts her. The massacre begins. The king throws a fit. His mother is sad. His bad reputation puts him in jail. He inflames their minds against his enemies. She will only marry a soldier. She goes to stoke the fire. She is smitten. They were in evil surroundings. The child was left alone. His baby fingers were hopeful, lifted. She planned for the day of his return. Who will succeed in reaching her? 

“We must destroy them or be destroyed.” They must have laws to make people good. They were dancing in cafes. In the doomed city the marriage will be announced tomorrow. They kissed goodnight and called it settled. She liked him too. Enter the troops. “Kiss my hand.” He looks around. The king is pleased. 

He saw a scorching sun at midday. He inspects the place. Her father works in the mill. She keeps ducks and geese. No cowards allowed here. She bids him adieu. Her tears were like white pearls kept in an ark of silver. They have accomplished their purpose. She was alone. She swept the floor. Only his cap was left. They are happily ignorant of the web around them. 

They oppose the threatening tide. A new engine of destruction spouting flame attempts to burn the towers. He was frenzied and predicted the downfall of the city. She realizes the bitter fact that she is no longer part of that world. He visits her and kisses her gently. He courted public homage since he was such a great man. She goes swishing by. It brings results. Their prayers are in vain. More blood and terror. She coughs and sputters. In the temple they burnt offerings. Youth had healed her wound. She was happy again. She stands. They shake hands. He was a mighty man of valor and a faithful guard. He angrily resolves to re-establish his power. She is fated to be sold as a slave. He was a friend of sinners. They all drank wine. Her bodice is unbuttoned. He rifles through his pockets. 

He works the tenements, trying to convert people to the true worship of his god. He is through with his old life. He gives away his gun. Boasting, he tells everything he knows. Her heart soared. They went to the beach. He remembers when hundreds of his faith perished at their hands. There was no more dancing. He studied their habits. They covered their political intolerance with a cloak. They thought they were better than other men. An excited rider entered the courtyard. They defaced their statues and prayed. He stands before the sacred image of the sun. All around him were crowds. She bowed to the floor. The increasing demands decided him to action. “Give me the phone.” She is pleased. He vows to take revenge or die. 

Crowds gathered at the gate to the city. The tables turn. They give thanks and jump and shout. She proposed to uplift humanity. “Hello ladies,” he said. He cuts wages ten percent. The men are agitated and strike. The loom of fate weaves death for his father. She aligned herself with them and agreed to help. His son is not comforted. Enter the king. He promises to build her a city more beautiful than her native land. The battle continues into the night. She is afraid. Her voice is hoarse. 

The men were astounded to see him. He had been scorned and rejected. She called him a female man. He smoothes her hand. She thrusts him aside. He hated the opposite party. He unveils the prize. It was an age of intolerant youth and laughter. “I don’t know what I’m going to,” she says and then she laughs. He was singing a sad song, he was so much in love. She is a little dear one. He entered the room. His mother was there. He jealously watched the image of the goddess borne on a sacred ark. 

He still wanders friendless. He can’t meet the new conditions, which leads to his demise. They reported the case. Some had objections. Her gifts were much appreciated. They burn incense to the god seated in a room of scented cedar. They took her baby and threw her down the cold stone steps. He vows revenge and arranges the old frame-up. The encircling wall was broad enough to race three chariots. He was borne on a litter of gold. They fire guns leaving many dead. A terrible scene. They squeeze money out of them. Then they advertise their good works. He laughs and sneers. He’s also a barbarian of the streets. War drums and trumpets call the people to arms. She watches the battle from afar. Great timbers fell the towers. She came down from the mountains. Morning brings more destruction. His army is repulsed. Even the women helped. There’s much to admire in this frenzy. He is reunited with his beloved. He was stricken by her pale beauty. 

Another proud period of the past was a hotbed of hate. See what happened. Many victims were forced to seek employment elsewhere, friendless, alone. It was a blind for his real operations. He wanted her to be his chicken. He married the sister of the king. They look at him in amazement. He took the matter to court. She prays for forgiveness. He is overcome by emotion at her pitiful state. They close the gates against the foe. He defies his enemies. She has a fair measure of happiness. 

They were meddlers. They could fill a room. An old man sat. They demanded that all action cease. Beautiful women sleep unclothed in a sensual scene. She tries to eat an onion. It wasn’t so different than the modern way. She tried to see him go. Her bags are packed. They all land in the same district. He is made bold by love. She giggles. She slams the door. The families wait. A standoff. Merchants bargained. He gave her his seal of freedom. What a magnanimous gesture! She eats an apple and spits out a pit. He gets a warning. They kiss. She was not without thorns. 

They suffer humiliation. As the wine is poured, it runs out. She was very lovely. He was gallant. “You do as I say!” They became the most influential power in the community. He repeats the old prayer: Kill, kill, kill for the glory of God! Great moving siege towers covered with hide move into place. She was taken along with the others. It wasn’t a pose. They crashed and burned. They drank no wine or beers. They were barbarians. His hand was on the sword of war, the most potent tool of intolerance. They take him away. It was a broken nest. She called them rats and lice. She attracted the attention of a soldier. They declare the wine delicious. He works hard all day. The ladders fall. She listens to a citizen of the slums. Still the murderous cannonade continues. She collapses on his corpse. 

She rushes forward. They telephone the news. The women weep. A boy was employed in the same mill. She was hoping for a sight of her baby. They set their steps on the right road. It was swell to be alive. She is incorrigible. She is sent to the market to get a good husband. They should have been in bed so they could be at work on time tomorrow. She wants to walk like her so everyone will like her too. She threatens to scratch his eyes out. “A sweet dove, a wild rose.” It was a tender scene. He would give his life to be able to buy such lovely merchandise. “There is too much pleasure seeking,” they said. 

She is the unmarried sister of a magnate, who throws a party for her friends. He greets them avidly. It’s a magnificent spectacle. He was a singer. There was a marriage. “The first bite is for the bride!” She leaves the scene. The same old love and dreams. In grinding poverty. Still, it was a hopeful geranium. 

She wanted help. They came forward. No enemy was able to force the gate to her Temple of Love and Laughter. They claimed it was an old-fashioned remedy, used privately. He was a friendly neighbor with a glass of beer. In that distant time all the nations sat at their feet. She imitates her walk. She tries to get the hang of it. They had ancient instruments of war: burning oil, catapults, stones and spears. He gives his boss some dough. All the village was there. “Don’t go away swiftly, ” he pleads. He leaves to take charge of the city’s defense. She finds a coat of mail and goes to fight beside her beloved. He wanted to build her a city of gold. She was overjoyed. They fight. He kissed his hand. He loved his pets and toys. 

They were an ancient people, parallel in their hopes and complexities. He is a drunk who loses his watch. Each one was his own distiller. Inside the city walls there is panic. “Who are you?” Just for that, he would never see her again. She ran away in shame. They perspired everyday at exercises. She’d promised that no man would ever come into her room. He prayed for the first time. They raided the house. He wanted to get married so he could “come in.” They accuse him of stealing. Virgins light the fire of life. He was a man visitor. He was known so it was on the house. Assaulted on all sides, they broke through. He falls and dies. Who would cast the first stone? 

The wonder of dance. He made everything beautiful in its time. He was the head of the war machine. She sees her king. They burn to death. All is lost. Bodies fall. Their very lives depended on their extermination. “We must investigate!” They found husbands for women and gave dowers so everyone would be happy. They were afraid she wasn’t a fit mother. They celebrated their success at righting a world that was wrong. He had a red-letter day. She bowed down before the king and apologized. His mighty foe nears. It’s a quiet domestic scene. She chased them with a broom. She watched the happiness of others. They gave us many high ideals. She wanted him to think as they do. She was having the time of her life. 

He greets her politely and bids goodbye. So too they exit. 

Stolen goods were planted on him. He has prepared for a titanic struggle and is in secret league with the high priest, who receives reassuring news. They cavort and play in the spray. They were equal opportunity hypocrites. She was taken for adultery. He favored the man. In there, there will be flowers in the ash heaps of his backyard. “The scent of your beauty is greater than the fragrance of life,” he said. He turns the water into wine. They were harmless as doves. It was the first miracle. She was the clearest and purest of all his petals. He bowed to her seven times. He was protecting the weak from the strong. He greets her kindly and asks to dance. “She should be stoned!” they cried. “Out of my sight!” he orders the slave. 

They were spying on the city. They had brilliant lips and eyes lined with kol. They pinched the ladies' cheeks. He always went inside to see his girls. They reported the clean up of the city. They were women who had ceased to attract men. 


Part Two 
It was betrayed and its civilization was destroyed and became an unknown cipher. 

“He’s going to get my baby back for me,” she thinks. He pours out colossal hospitality. She was pleased. She is such a tease. They are guided on their mission of treason. They enter through the gates left open by the priests. A vast gloom settles over him. They come to the door and pass. They get down on their knees and pray. Meanwhile, she had her share. They argued against him. The king throws a fit. It was her last day in the city. He dragged a heavy cross. He signs the order. She bites her thumb. He polishes his glasses. 

He was unaware of their dastardly purpose. He hides behind the stairs. He doesn’t know what to think. She was happy to be even on the fringe of such glory. The boy walks forward without hope. The elephants roar. It was a splendid sight, a vast array of chariots and men. He grabs the gun and flees. They embrace. His mother is sad. They apply more pressure. She’s aghast. He reposed. He looks down on the city he seeks to betray. 

People everywhere were singing the D.A.’s praises. Boasting, he tells everything he knows. A red fire burns on a hill. He unites forces with his General. They march in splendor. The water wheels turn. She fixes herself up. It was a golden moment for them all. But it is too late. The bells ring. The massacre begins. A new appeal is made. They have accomplished their purpose. They reach the station and stop the train. The weights are ready to drop. He wields his ferocious sword. He stumbles ahead. Around his neck is draped a sign. 

In the doomed city the marriage will be announced tomorrow. She has a little flirtation. They rush to stop the train down a long road. He gazes up to heaven. She watches from a distance. There is a great conspiracy. The police come and arrest him. They take them both away. He was inflamed by a new face. “No, he didn’t do it,” she claims. They burn and slay and pierce and cut. The savagery is terrible. All the camp followers were there, having fun. She takes her gun and shoots him. His way is beset with danger. The hordes invade, their swords held high. 

She had a simple dinner and sighed. “Help me,” the child cries. There was an irresistible impulse. They dance and sway. Beautiful women moan. They race to catch up. His lawyer says, “Circumstantial evidence!” She powders her nose. The slave girls scream. They lie in bed at night. There are ominous activities. She thinks, What have I done? The other woman walks away. It is morning. They gather them up: women, children, men. He wins her confidence. She spies them meeting in the doorway. The host arrives. They drank spiced wine cooled by snow. He is sentenced to die. 

She had an audience with the king to secure his signature. They leave the banquet hall. He felt he was wrongly convicted and sees a ray of hope. She gallops along. She asks God not to let them do it. He gives her the password. She can’t let an innocent man die! He is in ecstatic pain. She is forlorn and enters a strange blackness. The car pulled up. She got out. It’s his last dawn. Upon their doorways, the chalk of doom. The prosecutor speaks: “Is this your gun?” She goes to warn him of the new advance. 

The town was in an uproar. He completed the arrangements. The feasting lasted many days. They save him from disgrace. They get to a phone. A kind officer on the beat learns of the sentence. She is stopped by the guards. “There’s no time left!” She follows in a cab. They finally free the boy. 

Her husband returns. She did something bad. The baby is frightened, alone. “I’ll be back,” he says. He wouldn’t give up hope no matter what he might say. He has a badge of safety and goes to rescue his loved one. He steps on the gas. They speed ahead. He stabs her and flees. He petted his dove. The great monarch is enthroned. “Get out of my way, you fool!” It was a terrible awakening. He shut the doors. He visits her and kisses her gently. 

All praise is given to the goddess they worship. She is stricken with guilt. They all get out of the car. “Look at my outfit.” She leads on the lovesick boy. He is at last convinced. He grabs his sword and shield. She climbs through an open window and almost falls. She gives him brave encouragement by smiles and tears. 

This cat was scratching the eyes out of the people. His thoughts turned to love. They race to get him to stop. He falls to the floor, dead. She boldly pursues them. He reclaims his prize. They both die. He wants a kiss. It was a great feast, celebrating their victory. They have one last bacchanal. He is about to lie. She struggles to be free. Her warning is delayed by revelers. She is suspicious and uses the password. Now the mercenary had his opportunity. They batter the door down. 

He waits for the priests. The dancers are exhausted. She begs the judge. “Listen to her story,” they say. They agree to work together. Then she confesses. Her appeal was fruitless. The governor departs. Their feathers fly. He has only twelve guards to aid him. The enemy is enjoying the fight. She bites her nails. He signs the pardon. He will begin to build her new city — tomorrow. A day that never comes. 

They spy “the fastest man alive,” the famous Racer No. 8. A sacred dance before their god. A fire burns. The horror. Into what red Hell would his soul stray? “Someone, please help!” The crowd jeered. “He didn’t do it!” But universal justice says: a murder for a murder. 

He kicks the door open. She wakes up. His trial for murder is almost over. She got the address where the kid was. He said he could get her baby for her. They scourged him with whips. Now he was King of Kings. 

Even her little birds are dead. She did it! They must overtake him before he reaches the train. He’s received the final sacrament. A bud will blossom. They kill the child. He lodges across town. He is about to strike her but instead takes her in his arms. They are engaged. She is sweet. Their appeal for a truce is in vain. She is pierced by arrows, and dies. 

He would not consent to the intolerant measure. They will go with the king to death. Soon they will slit the deadly strings. They are overcome with joy and glad to be alive. He is at the threshold of death. He takes the stand. The little wife goes to the governor. And bars the door. 

“Kill them all! Let not one escape to upbraid me.  Hang him by the neck until he's dead,” he says.  They’re all scum.  Fading lights. Candles out. It is done. 

A white rose from her beloved. “I gave it back to him a long time  ago,” she says. 

They were all dead. The king is dead on his throne. They finally arrive. There's no time to waste!

Armies clash. Cannons fire. Cities burn. Life goes on. Bloom flowery fields! Prisoners, break your chains! Love and children, grow! Heaven, open up with celestial roars! 
— from the film by D. W. Griffith
— February 2009
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