Cocktails Before Dinner
|Work In Progress|
|Original Broadcast Date|
|Serious Monologue, Absurd Monologue, 59 minutes|
|Preceded by:||Case Studies|
In this modern technological age, we humans have more than made up for our physical inferiority to animals.
0:20: Joe compares human abilities with those of animals. Humans compensate for their inferiority to animals with tools (clothes, cars, makeup…)
4:40: Breakfast at Charlie's, on the boardwalk (Venice?). Joe is unhappy that the plate and table are too small. He pays and walks down the promenade, tries to read the paper, but it's too cold to sit still. Joe's unhappy with the day.
6:00: Joe enjoys washing dishes.
6:20: One afternoon in September, Joe takes a cab to the hospital. On the way they pass a small park, Joe sees 2 female students; Joe remembers when he was their age. Joe gets examined at the hospital.
8:10: Joe talks about the 22 caliber pistol in a shoebox in the back of his closet; he bought it as a young married student in Iowa, during the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962, to protect himself and his wife from the aftermath of a nuclear war. Joe liked practicing shooting it, the way it felt; he still likes the way it feels.
10:10: 'The Earth is 1 of 9 planets that revolve around the sun…' Joe describes the vastness of space, how small our lives are compared to it.
12:00: Joe tells story of Alexander the Great at the gates of paradise. They won't let him in, but they give him a human eye. A wise man weighs the eye, finds it has infinite weight open, an eye's normal weight closed.
13:40: Joe asks which is sadder: a jukebox or a coffin. Joe asks whether time is linear or circular.
15:20: Joe asks if you've attended a play in which an actor is in the audience, how he dislikes this. On his way home after such a play, he imagines that all the audience is acting in a play.
17:10: A beautiful woman invites Joe to a performance of a play in which she has a role. Concerned that she watches him, Joe is self-conscious, puts so much effort into his role that he pays no attention to the play. He thinks about the roles we play, the performances we put on, in life.
20:00: Each person is a star in his/her own life, a bit player in everyone else's.
24:40: 'The Earth is 1 of 9 planets that revolve around the sun…' Joe describes the vastness of space, how small our lives are compared to it.
25:30: Joe asks what the obsession of the week is, how we lose interest so quickly.
26:20: Houdini was the greatest escape artist. He was the son of a rabbi.
27:40: Joe asks which is sadder: a jukebox or a coffin.
28:00: Joe quotes some lines from 'The love song of J Alfred Prufrock'.
30:30: Joe talks about teaching at a private school, how he doesn't pay attention at meetings. The school supplied him with women. He was attracted to female students, and they to him, but he didn't have a relationship with any of them. He catches students making love.
35:50: John Painter was chairman of the history department, the Don Juan of the faculty. He seduced more women at the school than anyone. His wife left him for another woman. Joe played chess and baseball with him. He was fired for sleeping with a student, later died in a motorcycle accident.
39:30: Joe likes doing the laundry, describes the process. He uses Wisk.
42:00: At the Moldavian film festival Joe gives a seminar with Polanski. Joe talks about all the recognition his films have gotten, all the offers he's been made. He's going to make a movie about Saint Florence.
48:50: 'The Earth is 1 of 9 planets that revolve around the sun…' Joe describes the vastness of space, how small our lives are compared to it.
49:20: Joe hates going to hospitals. He imitates the behavior of others.
50:40: Joe describes unlikely dance moves with a partner.
51:40: Joe describes the distance between stars, how many Palomar has identified, how small we are compared to the size of the galaxy.
53:50: Each person is a star in his/her own life, a bit player in everyone else's. Your body is the house you live in. Houdini was the greatest escape artist. What is the obsession of the week? His gun feels like a natural appendage.
- Making up for our inferiority to animals with technology.
- Our relationship to our bodies.
- Experiencing the moment of sleep, death. Ways to die.
- Breakfast at small tables.
- Remembering youth in a cab on the way to a hospital.
- Buying a gun to prepare for nuclear war.
- Our inability to comprehend the dimensions of the inverse.
- Alexander the Great finds a walled city, weighs a human eye.
- Being uncomfortable when an actor at a play emerged from the audience. The audience, everyone, as actors. Everyone as a star of their own life; life as recognition. Tonight's program from the viewpoint of his life, the audience's life.
- Houdini examined.
- "A jukebox or a coffin."
- Joe's past as a teacher: experiencing department meetings in the manner of a student. Sex among teacher and among students, the school's playboy sadist.
- Joe the filmmaker. A film about St. Florence, patron saint of the unexpressed, funded by dressmakers and shot in Iceland. Filming in white and black.
- Second person dialog with a hitchhiker.
- Mimicking those one visits.
- Description of a dance.
- "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" - Simon & Garfunkel (from Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme, 1966) | YouTube [7:16]
The original broadcast credits state: "Technical production by Tom Strother."
- The private school in Manhattan at which Joe taught was Dalton School. Notable faculty whose tenures coincided with Joe's include Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Barr.