February 10 & 11: Dinner with Interlocking Oppressions
Intellectual, however she decides to embody that
Bohemian, however she decides to embody that
Chorus, 24 background diners, mostly men, from a spectrum of social classes
Dinner with Interlocking Oppressions
A bustling restaurant. Intellectual and Bohemian sit amidst the background diners, immersed in the ambient chatter of the chorus.
Bohemian: Mostly it’s just exhaustion, I think. There’s just so much: The climate. Political corruption.
Intellectual: Inequality. Patriarchy. Bigotry.
Bohemian: Ugh. So much bigotry.
Intellectual: It’s what intersectionality is for.
Bohemian: Do you ever feel like that’s a nice thought, but since the idiots don’t so much play by the rules, it doesn’t really mean as much as you’d like? Like, I understand that our oppressions intersect, but we still have to keep fighting them all. And you have to keep fighting them all against idiots who won’t listen to scientific arguments and think rape threats constitute rebuttals.
Intellectual: A) It’s just systemic justification. Nobody wants to give up the things they have, even if having them in the first place is unfair. B) What the hell else are we going to do?
At “systemic oppression” the chorus begins to slowly, rhythmically snap their fingers.
Bohemian: I know. But sometimes- just sometimes- I think about how richly we’d deserve it, y’know as a species, if we managed to turn the Earth into a planet-shaped microwave.
Intellectual: Actually, it’ll be more like a planet-shaped broccoli steamer.
Bohemian: There it is… The temperature slowly rising. The oceans gone sour and rank, all the little seabird corpses littering the shore. The air ripe with smog. I’d like to dedicate that vision to us: To oil company CEOs, and their political patsies- to the mega-wealthy dodging income taxes-
Underneath their dialogue the men have begun to hum a swingy, 50s style song. There’s some foot tapping, a few small, dance-like movements.
Intellectual: -and all the misogynists and bigots-
Bohemian: Ugh. So many bigots. (Beat.) But at least, if they’re stupid and greedy enough to end our world, they end theirs too.
Intellectual: Cold comfort.
Bohemian: What the hell else are we gonna do?
Behind them, the chorus rises in an lyrical explosion of movement. In what looks as though it might be half-dance, half-fight, they elegantly strangle each other with cheap bling and smash each other with briefcases, falling one by one into an enormous heap, which the last man climbs, exhausted and triumpant, before he too collapses.