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The Other Side
Original Broadcast Date
December 5, 1999
Larry Block, Joe Frank
Improv Actors, Absurd Monologue, Found Tape, 55 minutes
Preceded by: On The Edge (Remix)
Followed by: Clement At Christmas

"This young lady came to stay with us a couple of months ago."

Predator is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series The Other Side. It was originally broadcast on December 5, 1999.


Predator begins with Larry's account of a friend of his daughter staying with them in New York, her encounter with a suspect movie director. That lasts 33 minutes; the rest is re-used material from 8 different shows.

Zoe is 17. She's at a private school for dance in Washington DC, taught by Russian ballerinas. Larry and Jolly let her dancer-friend Rebecca (also 17) stay in Zoe's room while Zoe's out. Rebecca meets a suspect film director who, the Blocks think, is inappropriately interested in her. They object to Rebecca meeting him. Larry talks to the director, finds him charming, still has reservations about him. Larry talks to Rebecca's mother, Mary, who thinks Rebecca's meeting the director is a good idea; she thinks the director wants to sniff her up because she's a young girl, but it would be a valuable lesson for her. Jolly continues to object. Rebecca is unhappy about this.

On a visit to Zoe in Washington Rebecca is so cold to her Zoe no longer wants Rebecca staying in her room, so Rebecca moves out when her father visits on Thanksgiving. The families are irreparably riven.

33:50: Joe talks about power, how it has clarity, does what it wants, never asks permission, never apologizes; power rules the natural world.[1]

36:50: Joe quotes Dostoyevsky, 'If god didn't exist everything would be possible',[2] then about Camus's opinion of the Nazis.[3] Joe quotes Nietzsche, 'God doesn't exist.', says he was arrested as an accessory after the fact for god's murder, put under the care of Jung. He then says Freud said, 'The past determines the future', but now we know it's the reverse.[4]

39:20: Joe says Hegel wrote that our ideas are shaped by the time they are formed, which makes them invalid. Then Joe asks if we have ever felt a movement underneath our feet, points out the the Earth moves, that gravity holds us to the Earth.[5]

41:10: 'if you put an empty frame against a blank wall you suddenly notice the patterns of the wallpaper the color the cracks in the plaster…'[6]

41:50: 'We all hunger for meaning…' we look for it by researching our ancestries. Joe points out that the number of ancestors increases exponentially, 1,024 after 10 generations, 1,048,576 after 20, 1,073,641,624 after 40.[7] more than the population of the Earth that long ago.[8]

43:40: 'The ambiguities of life are infinite - life is impenetrable, it's opaque…'[8]

44:30: 'Some people can't believe that the world is the result of an explosion that took place billions of years ago…'[9]

45:30: 'The discovery that you have you lost your way in life can come upon you relatively quickly…' - but that it's easy to lose your way.[10]

46:30: A psychologist [11] talks to someone whom police officers allege threatened to kill his wife and children. He ends up praying that he not do anything crazy.[12]

50:50: 'I have danced spinning madly among the sacred cowgirls…' Joe tells all the dancing he has done, then a number of other amazing things.[13]

52:10: 'I have drunk gallons of Chablis…' - Joe lists accomplishments.[14]

Legacy Synopsis

Larry tells a story: while the friend of his teenage daughter is staying with his family, she becomes involved with an older film director. Larry's wife disapproves of the relationship, and the girl has a falling out with Larry's daughter. Monologue: the nature of power, the cruelty of the world, transcending tragedy by becoming part of it. Dostoevsky, Camus - morality without gods. Kant arrested and charged with causing the death of god. Jung, the immortal past, and eternal youth. Using Hegel to disprove Hegel. The earth moving beneath your feet. A frame placed on a blank wall. The geometric growth of number of ancestors and the futility of genealogy. Embrace uncertainty. Proponents of creationism. Organizing books according to color. The prison interviewer psychologist recording: don't trust angels and the save my ass daily declaration. "I have danced among the sacred cowgirls;" "won the limbo contest at the Vatican;" I have seen...


Shared material

External links


  1. originally aired in The Dictator (Part 1)
  2. Brothers Karamazov
  3. I'm pretty sure the letter of Camus to which Joe refers doesn't exist.
  4. originally aired in Five Part Dissonance
  5. originally aired in Questions
  6. originally aired in Case Studies
  7. it's really 30
  8. 8.0 8.1 originally aired in At The Border
  9. Joe says the same, but in first person, in Thank You, You're Beautiful
  10. originally aired in In The Dark (Part 2)
  11. a Black man?
  12. originally aired in Nightride
  13. originally aired in Sleep
  14. originally aired in Stories For Nothing