Application of the Critical Theory
From the Drama "God Bless America"
Cast in this scene is Frank and Frank's co-worker, Jack, played by Bryce Johnson. It starts about 13 minutes into the film.
Jack: So, what about you, Frank? Did you see that freak on "American Superstarz" last night?
Jack: Last night, the freak on "American Superstarz"?
Frank: No. I mean, yes, I saw that guy accidentally. I don't watch "American Superstarz."
Jack: You don't watch it, but you saw him. Yeah, right. What, are you too good for the show?
Frank: Yeah, I'm too good for a karaoke contest that makes stars out of people with no talent.
Jack: [Scoffs] You can't say that, dude! Some of those kids have real talent.
Frank: No, they don't. They have good pitch. They're relatively clean. They're non-threatening to little girls and old ladies. They have the ability to stand in line with a stadium full of other desperate and confused people. But I assure you, they are talent-free.
Jack: Yeah, well, I bet 32 million people would disagree with you, bro, 'cause that's how many people called in to vote last year on the finale.
Frank: [Scoffs] I wish I was a super-genius inventor and could come up with a way to make a telephone into an explosive device that was triggered by the "American Superstarz" voting number. The battery could explode and leave a mark on the face so I could know who to avoid talking to before they even talked. Yeah, I could look and say, "Mm, no, you're not gonna be saying anything that's gonna add any value to my life."
Jack: Yeah, but it's funny. I mean, you gotta admit that. Steven Clark, that's funny shit, Frank.
Frank: It's not nice to laugh at someone who's not all there. It's the same type of freak-show distraction that comes along every time a mighty empire starts collapsing. "American Superstarz" is the new Colosseum. And I won't participate in watching a show where the weak are torn apart every week for our entertainment. I'm done, really. Everything is so cruel now. I just want it all to stop.
[The conversation is halted as two female co-workers walk by]
Frank: I mean, nobody talks about anything anymore. They just regurgitate everything they see on TV or hear on the radio or watch on the web. When was the last time you had a real conversation with someone without somebody texting or looking at a screen or a monitor over your head? You know, a conversation about something that wasn't celebrities, gossip, sports, or pop politics? You know, something... something important or something personal?
Jack: You know what? "Tate and Jeff" were talking about that this morning. They were saying how their freedom of speech is in jeopardy. What, you don't listen to them, either?
Frank: No, I don't.
Male Co-worker: [Laughs] What, are you more of a "K.T. and the Snake Pit" type of guy? 'Cause those guys are pussies, Frank, all right? And they stole everything they got from "Tate and Jeff."
Frank: I really don't like any of them.
Jack: How can you say that, bro? So, maybe they're not "politically correct," but it's funny, Frank.
Frank: Well, seeing how as I'm not afraid of foreigners or people with vaginas, I guess I'm just not their target audience.
Jack: You don't get it. If you got it, you wouldn't be so offended.
Frank: Oh, I get it, and I am offended. Not because I got a problem with bitter, predictable, whiny millionaire disc jockeys complaining about celebrities or how tough their life is, while I live in an apartment with paper-thin walls next to a couple of Neanderthals who, instead of a baby, decided to give birth to some kind of nocturnal civil defense air-raid siren that goes off every fucking night like it's Pearl Harbor. I'm not offended that they act like it's my responsibility to protect their rights to pick on the weak like pack animals or that we're supposed to support their freedom of speech when they don't give a fuck about yours or mine.
Jack: So you're against freedom of speech now? That's in the Bill of Rights, man.
Frank: I would defend their freedom of speech if I thought it was in jeopardy. I would defend their freedom of speech to tell uninspired, bigoted blow-job, gay-bashing racist and rape jokes all under the guise of being edgy, but that's not the edge. That's what sells. They couldn't possibly pander any harder or be more commercially mainstream, because this is the "Oh, no, you didn't say that" generation, where a shocking comment has more weight than the truth. No one has any shame anymore, and we're supposed to celebrate it. I saw a woman throw a used tampon at another woman last night on network television, a network that bills itself as "Today's Woman's" channel. Kids beat each other blind and post it on YouTube. I mean, do you remember when eating rats and maggots on "Survivor" was shocking? It all seems so quaint now. I'm sure the girls from "Two Girls, One Cup" are gonna have their own dating show on VH1 any day now. I mean, why have a civilization anymore if we no longer are interested in being civilized?
First Posted 07-09-2012