Academic journal article TheatreForum

Vodka, Fucking, and Television

Academic journal article TheatreForum

Vodka, Fucking, and Television

Article excerpt

HERO: I'm an old man. I'm 33 and according to science I haven't been able to learn anything new for the past eight years. After 25, people don't change. Everyone knows this, but the hero is the only one who accepts it. I, obviously, am the hero. Studying after the age of 25 is a waste of time. Not long ago, someone suggested I take a course-a freebie, with classes four times a week. I went with the fool, but later I wasn't even able to recall what they taught there. It might have been English, or how to scrawl some special tantric forms. I can't remember to save my life. I wasted three months on it. So here's how it is-I have to make a choice. I'm not some ageless fag! In order to live in harmony with my refined sense of beauty, I have to renounce something. When an old fart makes himself out to be an Ophelia, it's not pretty. But when he honestly and calmly declares-I am an aging aesthete who's been beaten down by life-that elicits, at a minimum, respect. And so now, at this very moment, I will decide-what I shall renounce. In order to...Well, you get the idea.

FUCKING: I'm Fucking. What he wouldn't say there is that he'll hold onto me to the end. That's why I'm so calm. I'm not threatened by anything.

HERO: As I said, everything will be decided openly. A choice is a choice.

FUCKING: Go on...

HERO: Plug it, will you. I hardly have any principles. But if you raise doubts about my integrity-I might start to lose my shit.

FUCKING: I could shut up, or I could spout off, like Putin-it doesn't fucking matter. People don't voluntarily renounce fucking.

HERO: Are you that certain?

FUCKING: Yes, I'm that certain.

HERO: So certain even that you won't hide?

FUCKING: What do I have to hide from?

HERO: Fine. We'll see.

FUCKING: We'll see.

HERO: Now where are the others?

VODKA: We're right here.

TELEVISION: Good evening. Good evening. Good evening.

HERO: Take a seat.

FUCKING: Guys, are you aware that one of you has got to go?

VODKA: Hold on. It was clearly stated that one of the three has got to go.

TELEVISION: That's what I heard too.

FUCKING: Well right...But that's a... formality, like "fair elections." In point of fact, one of you is on the outs.

HERO: Gentlemen, don't listen to this nympho. I'm facing a difficult, sobering choice. But goddamnit, I swear by my mother-I will decide fairly...

FUCKING: In brief, if I were in your place I'd cut a deal.

VODKA: Meaning what?

FUCKING: Well, each one gets reduced by 50 percent and everyone stays.

VODKA: Do I understand you correctly-you're proposing to cut us in half?

FUCKING: That would be the wisest thing to do. He's being serious here.

VODKA: And you would stay as you are?

FUCKING: I'm staying regardless. That's not under discussion.

VODKA: We'd better think about this.

TELEVISION: I disagree. They don't show shit on me as it is.

HERO: That's not true. There's the news, the Simpsons, boxing, championship soccer...

TELEVISION: Compared with last year, I'm on the outs.

HERO: Let's be fair. Last year I was on the dole at the Red Army Theatre. These days I have to engage in piracy in order to support you all.

TELEVISION: Television doesn't cost you a single cent.

HERO: My little friend...In order for you to stick your slim adaptable plug into an outlet, someone has to pay for an apartment where an outlet exists. And he has to do it without dying from hunger.

VODKA: And without dying from thirst

FUCKING: No comment.

HERO: You've sucked up my whole brain, like that monster from...uhh... that movie...

VODKA: Starship Troopers.

HERO: Right, Starship Troopers. You really have destroyed me.

TELEVISION: In other words, you've already determined who the scapegoat will be.

HERO: I haven't determined anything. …

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