Friday, August 30, 2013

Muppets and my Only Ever Sour Opinion About Muppets.

Yeah. I may be a little drunk right now. I am watching an episode of The West Wing that involves actual muppets interacting in a human way. I mean, they aren't taking meetings in the Roosevelt room or anything. But this feels sort of ... lame. And it hurts me to say that about The West Wing.

(Please see below for an hour and a half of bullshit I have already written about The West Wing, which again, is a TV show that hasn't been on TV in a really, really long time.)



Thursday, August 29, 2013

Spoilers about the post below:

The Selena Gomez girls who I can't figure out if they are BFFs or on a date, they are very much on a date. HASHTAG some giant vials of tequila and faint whispering. And ... okay, well now they're just kinda kissing some ... but it is in that sloppy way that very young women get drunk and think they're sexy but actually just look like drunk young women who are drunk more than they are anything else.

I am only now realizing that it might be kind of creepy to live blog what is going on around me, but I'm bored and pay a lot of money for a phone with the ability to do this, so, you know ...


Where I'm at right now.

I am in a bar/mexican restaurant bar and here is the 360: 

To my left a couple college-age girls drinking and taking selfiies. They are cute-ish in that Selena Gomez might play either of them in the movie of this blog post, despite the fact that two Selena Gomezes are 100 pounds lighter than these two actual normal people. I can't tell if they're BFFs of if they're on a date If it is a date it is going well. HASHTAG: pillowfightslater?

Past them along the bar, an off-duty nurse still in scrubs and a guy in a deep V American Eagle top and he is trying to close the deal despite his little moustache and she just looks tired, however if there is anything that the Chive's "Bored at Work" has taught us, it's that nurses are crazy.

Past them and to the left: fat white girl and skinny Hispanic guy. This is enough of a trope already that I'm not going to opine about it here.

Further around the 360: two women in after-work clothes who don't want to sleep with me, but that's okay because i don't want to sleep with them. HASHTAG: sexual tension neutrality and therefore uselessness.

Further around the 360: empty booth, empty booth, empty booth, then: Asian girl in salmon knit sweater eating with a fork while Mexican girl who is trying to look skinnier than she is laughs louder than is required; that one is very much a date.

Further around the 360: brings you back to me: short buzz-cut guy in hipster glasses, slim but somehow still kinda soft, drinks his drink in his black t-shirt and types blog posts on his phone all antisocial.


Upworthy Spoiler.

SPOILER ALERT: A couple of the posts below deal specifically with some writerly-type thinking and will be incredibly boring if that’s not your cup of tea. To make up for that fact, here is a picture of Kate Upton:


Second Thoughts and Susan Sontag.

Well, see, now I feel kind of weird about the picture of Kate Upton.

Is it kind of sexist somehow? To be all like, “Sorry and whatever, by way of an apology, please accept this picture of a hot chick.”

I can’t imagine I am demeaning Kate Upton, who has chosen a livelihood that requires she be a hot chick. Though I have talked to a surprisingly large number of people (mostly women) who claim they do not find Kate Upton to be a hot chick. I will never understand that, BTW.

But you know what probably is sexist? Using the term “hot chick” so many times in this post. What would Susan Sontag say?

So here, by way of an apology for this whole post, please accept this picture of a box full of kittens:


Nothen’ but a Family Thing.

As a teenager I had a neighbor who had flown on Naval reconnaissance missions during the Korean war. He was a very nice man who encouraged me to read Tom Clancy (bless his heart) and I read a lot of that type of thing when I was a teenager. In defense of Tom Clancy, The Hunt for Red October is a legit book and you would do yourself a favor if you read it (though the movie is better, it is better in a movie sort of way).

From all of this techno-military-porn I was reading, I learned - and was surprised to learn - that pilots (military aviators we’re supposed to call them) have their own little rivalries. I remember being struck by it because it was something I had never thought about before (and I grew up ten minutes from the largest inland Naval air base on the West coast). It struck me as odd that fighter pilots didn’t get along with bomber and/or attack pilots, or even pilots of other fighter planes. Like I said, I was young.

These are just basic and understandable rivalries, but it surprised me back then.

Tonight I was in class, the first meeting of a workshop class I’m taking, and I was similarly struck by the manner in which people described themselves; pigeonholing themselves essentially. I’m sure that when a class full of civil engineers and structural engineers get together, they divide into camps. There is a similar sort of thing that happens when writers get together. This is nothing new and I have seen it a lot before; science fiction and horror writers always - and I mean ALWAYS - identify themselves immediately. Poets tend to as well, especially in a non-poetry environment (as if to shout, “Don’t shoot me! I’m a stranger here.”) Oddly - on maybe obviously - I haven’t met many playwrights here in Southern California so I’m not sure how they identify themselves. Narrative fiction writers usually don’t have to say anything at all because the assumption is that all fiction is narrative and “narrative fiction” means both short stories and novels and all narrative fiction writers assume that anybody who isn’t a narrative fiction writer wants to be.

Interestingly, all of the screenwriters I’ve met also assume that every writer actually wants to be a screenwriter. The difference being that all of those other writers look down on screenwriters. The professor running the workshop I was in tonight offhandedly commented once that, “screenwriting isn’t writing” and I understand why she would say that, though I don’t entirely agree. Screenwriting is intensely structured and is actually much more like poetry in terms of the technical and mechanical issues; consciousness of the form has to always be forefront when the actual writing is taking place.

Oh! Also, in my class tonight there was a guy who writes (or aspires to write) “creative non-fiction” which is a term I love and something I would like to play with one day expect I’m exceptionally lazy. When you hear “creative non-fiction” think Mary Roach or Malcolm Gladwell. Anyway, this was the first time I’ve heard someone self-identify that way and I got all giddy about it.

By now - assuming you’re still reading this - you’re wondering what the point of all this is. Spoiler alert: there isn’t much point to it. This is more of an observational post. Families have little rivalries. That’s what struck me tonight in class and that’s what struck me so very long ago reading books about fighter pilots.

I read once that the people who annoy you the most are the people who are most like you. I think about that a lot when I’m around other writers and my spidey senses start to tingle in an unpleasant way and I have to ask myself, “Why am I annoyed by this person right now?” I have found that it helps me understand things better when I remember that most of the rivalries we deal with on the day-to-day are with people who are close enough that we encounter them on the day-to-day. I know that the biggest fights I’ve ever had have been with the people I chose to be around the most. We need to remember that. We need to keep that idea a little closer to our hearts.


Thoughts on a TV Show that Isn’t on TV Anymore.

This is going to be one of the more obscure posts I have ever written and that is saying something.

I am a huge fan of the long-off-the-air TV show called The West Wing. It was a show about the trials and tribulations of a fantastically liberal US President and his staff. Since I recently moved into my own little apartment and have been finding ways to adjust to what I believe is clinically referred to as “loneliness” I have been on a week-long marathon West Wing bender (all seven seasons are up on Netflix).

The West Wing is a show that I return to every so often the way that other people return to Star Wars periodically. I know these episodes in and out, I know the characters up and down and having them going on in the background while I unpack my pots and pans has been very comforting; like having some old friends around.

However, everything I just said is only true of the first four seasons of The West Wing. And this is why this is interesting(ish).

In addition to simply being a very good and grown-up television show, The West Wing was unique because it was created by a man named Aaron Sorkin who did almost all of the writing for the first four seasons and none of the writing for the last three. The shift in the writing is tectonic and I think that is a very interesting thing to be aware of on a writerly sort of level.

You know Aaron Sorkin whether you know you do or not. He wrote A Few Good Men (“You can’t handle the true!”) and The Social Network (“You know what’s cooler than a million dollars ..?”) as well as a bunch of other stuff you have seen, but The West Wing is probably always going to be his opus if only because it was on for so long and so consistently good when he was writing it.

So he wrote the first four seasons. My understanding of why it stops there has a lot to do with the fact that having one guy writing everything caused expensive production delays and also the A.S. had some drug problems which caused some legal problems which caused even more and even more expensive production delays. So he and the show parted ways and the people behind the show assembled an army of TV writers to take over. Whether or not they did a good job has been debated (in Entertainment Weekly, I guess), but I will spare you the suspense and just tell you that they did not do a good job.

The show had a very specific tone and style and rhythm when Sorkin was writing it. It wasn’t just specific, it was unique. Obviously a room full of people couldn’t replicate what one guy had been doing himself for four or five years.

What is interesting is what they did. Once they took over - suddenly and immediately - as season five begins, there is an effort to replicate what had been going on before. The show was known for very fast and heavy dialogue and the ability to distill complex and abstract issues of politics and bureaucracy into cogent ideas and dramatic storylines (There is an episode in the first season that makes the census seem both interesting and dramatic. The. Census.) and so for an episode or two the new writers tried to do that, only they had no idea how to do that. What they did instead was watch all of the old episodes of The West Wing, notice that there were very few explosions, very little gun fire, no car chases and virtually no sex, and determine that what THEY should do is downplay all of the climactic moments. They end up burying all of their dramatic moments because they made the assumption that that was what a show with no explosions, gunfire, car chases or sex must have been doing this whole time.

That play didn’t last very long though and by the third episode of this newly-committee-written show, they opened with some jumpy/jittery flashback bullshit about a character falling off her horse as a girl and that - yes, THAT - is supposed to provide some sort of thematic backbone to a storyline about a woman dealing with trauma. To which I have to ask, “Really?!” This was a show that previously did not have ANY metaphorically-dramatic horses! Also, flashbacks were never treated as flashbacks, but as fully integrated concurrent storylines.

By the fourth episode of The Season of What The Fuck? there is a storyline that involves a mean-spirited gag of a presidential speech accidentally - yes, ACCIDENTALLY - being loaded into the President's teleprompter.

All of this is just my fancy way of saying that the show went from being kind of amazing to being not even good. I remember all of this as it happened in real time when the show was on TV and I stopped watching it. So right now - tonight - this is all very exciting for me because there is a season and some change of this show which I have never watched. I’m told that it blows for another season and that there is an episode which blatantly rips off Michael Bay’s epicly craptacular Armageddon.

What is additionally interesting is that by the final season of the show, that roomfull of writers had actually figured out how to replicate Aaron Sorkin’s mojo and they got things back on track. I have watched that final season and it is pretty good. It (accidentally) foretells the 2008 Presidential campaign in that it has an energetic and idealistic minority Democrat candidate running against an older by maverick liberal Republican.

What is additionally - writerly-ly - interesting about that last season is that the storylines start to recycle from the original seasons. That room full of writers found their groove by recreating the work that Sorkin had already done.

If you take away for a moment the fact that I am being a total fanboy right now - we might as well be arguing about whether the the USS Enterprise B had a more efficient Dilithium Crystal arrangement than the USS Enterprise D - there is something worth being aware of when you watch this show that has such a marked rift right in the middle of it. Sure, it is something that most people in the world don’t care about, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth being aware of; what is on display here is how important good writing can be. Not just in making a TV show good or not, but in conveying ideas, or not. Go0d writing can make the census exciting and dramatic, or not. Good writing can be vital. It can be alive like blood pumping down an artery, or not. It can teach us about the world we live in. Or not. And understanding how and why that works is important. Not just to fanboys, but to all of us.



Monday, August 26, 2013

Grad School, Day 1. Also, a Pet Octopus.

Hi, howdy, ahoy!

Today was my first day of grad school and I am more than a little exhausted, but I wanted to jot some things down so that there’s some record somewhere about the fact I started grad school today.

First of all, all I had today was an orientation for the English grad program and then my first class (at 7pm).

Here are a few quick things about the day. These are in absolutely no order of any sort:

- It was extremely and unbearably hot today. Like ninety-some degrees. I have always said that I prefer 110 degrees to 90 because once you get to something like 110, there is nothing to do but give up and give in and everyone is suffering. At 90 degrees I am sweating out all of my liquids but not everyone is. Some people seem built for it. Me, I have always felt that I am built for more northern latitudes. I think I have gone through like four shirts today.

- There may be some problems with my financial aid, which freaked me the fuck out for a bit today. I’m still kind of pissed about it, but will work on it some more tomorrow.

- I heard a woman today say “sub-quentially” instead of “sequentially” and it really knocked me back a step. How in the holy hell does that neural pathway even form in someone’s brain?

- I also heard someone say, “theoretical lens” as in the theoretical lens of a particular literary theory that one brings to the reading of a text. For instance, “It is easy to find Miley Cyrus’s performance at the VMAs demeaning and an example of the enacting patriarchal sexism when viewed through the theoretical lens of Feminism.” Anyway, it has been a long time since I’ve heard anyone talk about the theoretical lens.

- I felt old today. Comparable to many of the students around me. But I expected to feel old. It wasn’t until about halfway through the day that I realized I didn’t actually feel old, I felt unaccomplished. I was shocked to discover that people younger than me and starting the exact same program I’m starting are already working as tutors through the school’s Student Instructor program (which is usually a pathway toward being a TA, which is a pathway to getting teaching experience). Some of them have also presented papers at conferences. I wanted to stand up and shout, “Look, I have been very busy and important working in the REAL WORLD these last few years!” It was also made even more clear than ever that these academia people don’t realize that academia is a zoo; it looks like the real world and feels like the real world, but it is significantly easier and safer when you’re a zebra. Not to make fun of anyone, but I met a lot of zoo-raised zebras today.

- A guy in one of my classes looks exactly like a young Fred Savage if you look at him dead-on, but looks exactly like Ryan the Intern from The Office if you look at him in profile.

- A guy in one of my classes wasn’t sure what country Beijing is in. This is his last semester in grad school. He is going to have a Masters degree before me and he didn’t know what country Beiling is in.

- I pointed out during a class discussion that a question being discussed was unresolvable. I made the point that it was - basically - academic. And only later did it occur to me that this was a deeply ironic thing to say given where I was sitting right then. It made me realize that these past few years - which have been admittedly pretty difficult for me - may have fundamentally changed me a little. The same way that time, heat, and pressure fundamentally change coal. I had gotten used to working in a situation where facts and numbers could be bent to support predetermined truths. Part of me forgot that that’s backwards; I had forgotten that one of the real joys in life - and one of the things that I actually DO ENJOY - is talking it out, whatever ‘it’ may be. Talking out unresolvable issues, talking them out in big round loops, is not a vice, it is in fact a virtue.

- I realized today that grad school is not so much about what one does in class, but rather about all of the stuff one does outside of class (please see: presenting papers at conferences).

- I realized today that what I really want to do is write. This idea of buying into the academic world is great and all (and may somehow provide a career path), but even that is a Plan B. I’m not sure that I really want to teach. What I want to do is write. So I better get on that. I have sucked at it as of late.

- In non-school-related thoughts: one of my cats, The Kitten, has a little red and white octopus toy. She has had it for years and when she thinks I’m not looking she carries it around in her mouth. The thing is that when I try to play with her and toss it across the room, The Kitten doesn’t run after the octopus (the way she does with other toys). Well this morning it occurred to me that The Kitten doesn’t think of that octopus as a toy, she thinks of it as a pet.



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Whose Rowboat is This?

I have Regina Spektor’s song “All the Rowboats” stuck in my head, which is weird because I had to stop listening to Regina Spektor after my breakup a few years ago. This is also weird because a few nights ago I met a woman who looked exactly like Regina Spektor and when I said to her, “Hey, you look exactly like Regina Spektor.” She said, “Who?”

This woman who was a dead ringer for Regina Spektor had NEVER HEARD OF Regina Spektor! I made her google Regina Spektor and even she had to admit that the resemblance was spooky.

But I am left befuddled: how does a person go through life looking like someone else and be completely oblivious to the fact?!

Here is the song that’s in my head right now:


An Idea!

I think I may have had an idea!

But SSSSSHHH! I don’t want to scare it off. Ideas are like little birds that way.

This is not just an idea. I don’t waste your time telling you about every idea I have, like the time I conceptually invented the telephone only to then realize that I had come up with an idea that someone else had had a hundred years ago.

This is a writing idea!

See, I have been wanting to work on a small novel, both because I have some time right now and because I would like to knock something out before school starts and before I lose all of my free writing time. Only I didn’t have an IDEA!

To be clear, I have a ton of little ideas: moments, visuals, descriptions, all the stuff that one keeps in the mental tool box, but I didn’t have the unifying IDEA that I needed. I was lacking that one central thing that you tell people about when they ask what you’re working on.

Well a few days ago I was having lunch with my friend Mike The Director and we were riffing on Ashton Kutcher for some reason and we determined that whenever people do something awful or rude or embarrassing in public they should immediately run away while yelling, “I’M ASHTON KUTCHER!” and that over time this would catch on and it would be something that people just do and poor Ashton Kutcher would keep getting questioned by the cops:

COPS: Did you pee in this woman’s rose bushes last night?
AK: No.
COPS: Did you shave this man’s dog last night?
AK: No.
COPS: Did you steal all of the salsa from that Rubios?
AK: No.
COPS: Then why did the thief run out screaming, ‘I’m Ashton Kutcher’?
AK: Because that is something people have started doing.
COPS: Oh, like as karmic retribution for Punk’d?
AK: I guess …
COPS: That’s kind of funny actually.

Whether you find this funny or not, what I think is interesting about it is the idea that identity theft can be used to add to one’s life rather than just steal from it. Also, I have always kind of thought that there is some sort of existential story telling potential in the idea of identity theft. And I’m not just talking about that episode of Friends when Monica’s identity is stolen by a woman who makes Fake Monica far more interesting than Real Monica, though there is something to that too.

We live in an age of digital paranoia and existential dread and I think that modern identity theft is a pretty good emblem of that. Also, it offers the opportunity to explore the nature of the lives we lead and what makes us us. What is life? And what is our experience of it? And in a time when the abstraction of a credit score is arguably more important than interpersonal behavior, what the hell are we doing?

If it seems like these are just a bunch of poorly-formed ideas and questions, that’s because they are. Like I said, I am just now having this idea. But I am a little excited. See, when you’re looking to embark on a piece of writing of a respectable length (say something in the 50k word count range) your central idea is going to be like a christmas tree; it needs to be tall and stable and with many branches. You’re not going to use all of the branches, but they need to be there. You’ll hang things on some of the branches. These are the little ideas, the moments, the visuals, the descriptions that I was talking about before. If you do it right then when you’re done you have a coherent whole and you can step back and say, “Yep, that is a pretty good christmas tree.” Or not, depending on whether or not you have fucked the whole thing up. BTW, it is shocking how many ways there are to fuck up.

Anyway, I think that I have the beginning of an idea. The sort of idea that I can hang all of the other ideas on. This is exciting.


Saturday, August 10, 2013


I feel strange about the fact that this simple, sad, lonely blog has outlived most of the e-zines that were publishing my stories a few brief years ago.*




** I have found that blogging my small, misanthropic thoughts from my phone (BLOGGING FROM MY PHONE!) is so easy that it virtually guarantees that nothing good will come of this.


Discolored Carpet.

The truly terrible state of the carpet in my (about to be) old apartment makes me feel like a bad person.

I like to tell myself that this discoloration is the result of a life lived vibrantly and well, but that is probably just what I tell myself to make myself feel better.

However, I take solace in the fact that the saddest thing would be to move out of a place and to have left it in pristine condition.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Breakdown? Or breakthrough?

I’ve spent the last few days trying to break through a particularly nasty (and long) stretch of writer’s block. Below you’ll find a bunch of very fresh and very raw and not very good writing. Those of you who have visited here before already know that the editors here at standardkink don’t have anything that could even laughably be described as “standards” and I have always enjoyed that about them.

If you like your blog-o-sphere undercooked and poorly edited, then this is basically going to be the best day of your life.


Disclaimers, Caveats, and Provisos.

Below is a short play that I have written. You’re welcome America!

A milion years ago I used to write a lot of plays and I always find that it is a fun medium to slip back into. I like it because I think that the largely dialogue-driven nature of playwriting lends itself toward experiments in absurdity. Because it is more like life, which is pretty absurd.

This short play happened because: 1) the other day I read that most people can’t tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi in blind taste tests, and 2) because I was in the mood to write a short play.

Disclaimers, caveats, and provisos:
- I don’t mean to pick on punk rock, it is just an easy target.
- I do mean to pick on Metalica because I’m still pissed about Napster.
- If, as Arthur C. Clarke said, there is a point when technology becomes indistinguishable from magic, I think that there is also a point when Capitalism will become indistinguishable from religion.
- If you need to buy a car, just get a Subaru.
- Also, this play is not very good.


How to Buy a Car.

How to Buy a Car
a short play
by james bezerra

LIGHTS FADE UP from black. VINCE and STAN are sitting in two folding chairs on an otherwise bare black stage. They are successful but aging musicians. STAN is wearing a denim vest with metal and patches on it. VINCE is wearing black leather driving gloves. It would be great if they have mohawks, but that’s really not required.

There are some musical instruments. There is pushbroom on the floor.

STAN: I know that we’re a famous punk rock band but now that I have kids I am seriously considering buying a Volvo and a house with a two-car garage.

VINCE: I don’t know man, a Volvo doesn’t sound very Punk Rock.

STAN: You drive a BMW.

VINCE: What’s wrong with a BMW? It has heated seats.

STAN: I’m just saying that a BMW doesn’t seem terribly Punk Rock.

DELBERT (enters): Hey guys, sorry I’m late. What did I miss?

VINCE: Well Stan here is thinking about selling out.

STAN: That’s not cool!

DELBERT: Selling out? How much are they offering you?

STAN: I said that I was thinking about buying a Volvo because I have kids now and it just doesn’t feel right to drive them around in the back of a windowless van with no seats in it, you know? It doesn’t seem safe.

DELBERT: Oh, sure, well I understand that.

VINCE: No! No! That is selling out to The Man.

STAN: Dude, you have a house with a swimming pool and a jacuzzi. You have a guy who works for you whose only job is to clean the pool and the jacuzzi.

VINCE: What’s your point?

DELBERT: Oh wait! I think I get it! See Vince, the point that Stan is trying to make is that we have all gotten rich and famous by embracing a certain amount of discontent, aggression and social non-conformity, but that by simply becoming rich and famous we have engaged in the same social power structure and economic ladder-climbing that we got famous by being opposed to. And, as an example, Stan is pointing out that while you still write songs about rebelling against the class system, you seem to be hypocritically enjoying the benefits of being at the top of it.

STAN: Yeah, that’s exactly what I meant. What he said.

VINCE: Well that’s not true at all. In fact, I think I know what this is REALLY about; you guys are both just jealous that I got invited to P. Diddy’s place in the Hamptons for New Years.

STAN: No. No, that is not what this is about.

DELBERT: Yeah, I think you have basically misunderstood everything I said.

VINCE: You know what, I don’t have time for this. I have a tee time at the club. I’m playing with some movie stars and investment bankers. At least those guys are Punk Rock. They don’t give a fuck about anything. Or anybody. Not even their own kids, or puppies, and certainly not humanity in general. Yeah, so fucking Punk Rock.

STAN: No. No. Look, there isn’t any way that investment bankers can be Punk Rock. It is antithetical to the fundamental ideology of Punk Rock.

VINCE: No, these guys are pretty cool.

DELBERT: You know Stan, it is possible that Vince makes a good point. If the real nature of Punk Rock is simply nihilism, then it would be possible for investment bankers to be Punk Rock. In fact, by holding onto an outdated idea of what Punk Rock is, it would then be you who is not being Punk Rock.

STAN: What?!

VINCE: See? What he said.

STAN: No, that is ridiculous. I am wearing a jacket with a bunch of metal stuff on it and patches safety pinned to it; I am clearly the Punk Rock one.

DELBERT: Oh, I don’t know. That seems like a pretty superficial way to define what something is.

VINCE: Yeah! See Stan? The new Punk Rock is driving a BMW to my private club and playing golf with bankers before going into the studio and recording a song about being anti-establishment. What about that is so difficult to grasp?

DELBERT: Actually, I’m pretty sure that isn’t Punk Rock either ...

STAN: Wait, if both of us are wrong then how do I prove that I am more Punk Rock than Vince is?

VINCE: Not by buying a Volvo …

DELBERT: Well, you know, it might be possible that this entire conversation is pointless because the very soul of Punk Rock has been dead for decades, seeing as how it was really just a teenage social and musical movement in parts of Great Britain after World War II. And maybe what we all think of as “Punk Rock” is really just an aesthetic that has been packaged and marketed to us over the years; almost as though the entire anti-establishment philosophy has been commoditized and sold to us like any other kind of branded product.

VINCE: That is a really interesting idea, but all of this talking has made me really thirsty. Stan do you have any Coca-Cola?

STAN: I only have Pepsi. Is Pepsi okay?

VINCE: No. I only drink Coca-Cola.

DELBERT: Guys, they’re both just syrupy carbonated beverages. Most people can’t actually even tell them apart.


DELBERT: Its true. In blind taste tests most of the population can’t tell the difference. The brand loyalty you feel is just because of a hundred years of marketing.

VINCE: Do you think I’m stupid? Is that what you’re saying? That I can’t make my own decisions?

DELBERT: No, but I think that the people who are trying to sell you things think that you’re stupid.

VINCE: See? You just called me stupid again. Questioning any of the things I believe in is the same as calling me stupid. I’m not a status-symbol whore! And you’re lucky that I’m really looking forward to playing twelve holes with my new Titleist clubs today, because if I wasn’t in such a hurry I would take off one of these new leather BMW driving gloves that I am wearing and smack you across your lying face.

STAN: Wait, wait! Don’t get violent. Maybe he is just saying that most of the things in our lives that we think we need, we only think we need because we have been convinced by advertising and society that need them!

VINCE: That’s ridiculous.

DELBERT: I think that maybe we would all be a little bit happier if we stopped buying things in order to define ourselves.

STAN: That is a very interesting philosophy and I will pay you to tell me more about it.

DELBERT: I think you’re missing the point …

STAN: Well now I’m just confused; should I buy a Volvo or not?

VINCE: Don’t buy it unless you can put rims on it and a tow package for your boat.

STAN: I don’t have a boat.

VINCE: You can borrow one of mine.

DELBERT: No, look, guys, I’m just saying … Stan you should buy a Volvo if you think that is the car that is best and safest for your family … and Vince I think that you might need to deal with the fact that you really like buying shit. And that’s okay, if that’s what makes you happy, but perhaps you should really look inside yourself to figure out why that is so important to you.

All are quiet for a beat; thinking.

VINCE: Did I mention that one of my boats has a pirate flag on it?

STAN: Ooooooh, well that IS totally Punk Rock!

VINCE: I know, right?!

STAN: You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to buy the Volvo, but I’m going to put a Black Flag bumper sticker on it.



STAN: And one for The Locust, if I can find one.

VINCE: Even better!


VINCE: And instead of a Volvo, you should get a Ferrari.

STAN: That just makes sense to me!


VINCE: You know what? Why don’t you come golfing with me? I’m playing with these multi-millionaire businessmen who used to be a band called Metallica.

STAN: Sounds good.

STAN and VINCE exit.

DELBERT: Guys … GUYS! … (Turns to the audience) They don’t ever listen to me because I’m not in the band. I’m just in charge of finding all of the six thousand dollar guitars that they break onstage during the shows. I’m also the janitor because that’s the only way I could get good health insurance (picks up the broom and begins sweeping the stage). We’re all done here ... the play is over ... I have to finish working though. (After a beat he turns back, sticks his tongue out, hisses and throws the devil-horned rock-out hand gesture.)