Only got ten minutes to save the world...

Between the new baby and the Ph.D., this grad student only has ten minutes a day to philosophize culture. Bear with me as I tell you how to think...

all within a ten-minute writing limit.



Case Studies, part one. Customers.

Test administrator: Tests may involve toothpick geometry, cryptograms, Sphinx-like riddles. He has an MBA or occasionally a PhD to substantiate his paternalistic authoritarian tone. After determining you to be of moderate intelligence, in the tone of a high school principal presiding over a bad kid at a conduct conference he tells you: you could do something better with your life.

Power-reverser: An enigmatic mix of yuppie and darkness in a black suit: the maybe-villain of a David Lynch film. He provides you with a script; instructs you to study the script; returns hours later to enact the script—a script in which you demean him: calling him the “f” word, the “p” word, the “c” word, you defame him. “Why are you here, you fucking f*****, you don’t even like p****!” But oh he does; he does like it.

Middle-aged molester: Wears loose pants—how dare he!—jogging pants, windbreaker pants, cotton pants. Despite the strategic fashions, he spends vast money in the club that his Wal-Mart wardrobe belies. His bald head beading sweat, the lenses on his big glasses nearly fogged opaque with amused arousal, he whispers innuendoes so dank and perverse that you almost expect him to present candy as a lure into his windowless van. 

You dunno whash you’re mithin: It’s late. He’s young. He’s just enough drunk to want more to drink and recent years of teenage porn addiction drive a frightful hunger: student loans didn’t cover his appetite, not in any way, not tonight, and now he wants to eat for free. Most of his life he’s had it all for free. He can only imagine that you’re incorrect—that you are wrong, ignorant—that you are too dumb to give yourself to him, for nothing but his gaze in exchange, for nothing. When it costs twenty dollars.

<minute ten.>


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