Dec 10, 2018

Generation Five -- What is Michael doing?

Michael was supposedly working on the sequel to "This Is Heaven," then he was working on a novel about Jamie & Dex, and he's working on a play, the working title being Generation Five. And, yes, you guessed it, G5 is a new, wildly-improved line of household robots. Namely: Dr. Eliza Gillespie, the infamous psychoanalyst lives in the near future and with Robert, a prototype of Generation One---the first generation of household robots created twenty-five years ago by her then-boyfriend Steve ('Frankenstein') Junior. Steve went on to become a master of the universe with his line of highly-inspired, highly intelligent androids and today is Eliza's 50th birthday. Steve will show up with a prototype of G5 ('Dolly') and all hell breaks loose.

Here's how it opens:  

Enter ELIZA (raincoat, umbrella, handbag, undefinable middle age).
ROBERT: A very good evening, Ma’am.
(ELIZA moans, exhales. She half-ignores ROBERT, who steps back.)
ROBERT: Can I help you, Ma’am?
ELIZA (flatly): No. Okay. Here…(hands him the handbag).
(ROBERT grips handbag, reaches for the umbrella.)
ELIZA (evading him): I heard something last night…DRIP, DRIP, DRIP (she casts a suspicious eye at the ceiling).
ROBERT: Not tonight, Ma’am. I…(points at the ladder)…I took care of it.
ELIZA (hands him the umbrella, reluctantly): This deluge must not go on, Robert. Please call the weather service and insist on a significant improvement of the climate.

"Please call the weather service and insist on a significant improvement of the climate."

ROBERT: They’ve discontinued their emergency lines. They have a help page now, with ‘Frequently Answered Questions’.
ELIZA (steps back): This is so cheap, Robert, can’t you think of a better joke?
ROBERT: I am programmed to do my level best, Ma’am.
ELIZA: Alas. Relieve me of my coat, will you.
(ROBERT helps her with the coat.) 
ELIZA: Any good news?
ROBERT: Almost. Algorithmically speaking…You hated them anyway, Ma’am.
ELIZA: Out with it.
ROBERT: Your patients, Ma’am. Tomorrow’s three o’clock patients.
ELIZA: They cancelled?
ROBERT (shyly): Mmhmm.  
ELIZA: Good for them. I forgot their names. What are their names?
ROBERT: That was an issue, yes. You hadn’t used their names in fifteen years, they said. It ‘was the drop that made the camel overflow’, they said. Charles and Charles.
ELIZA (laughs): Charles and Charles?
ROBERT: Were their names, yes. 
ELIZA: They cancelled? I’ll have the afternoon off. Why’s that bad news? You mean like in…forever? Eternally? Gone? (Swipes her sole, as if extinguishing a bug). Like that?
ROBERT (shyly): Mmhmm.
ELIZA: Charles and Charles? A gay couple? You must be joking. They were straight. The woman, the female, she had a mustache. That was their problem. They didn’t have an Oedipus, but she had a mustache. I could never mention her facial hair, of course, it would have been the end of it. And…yes, it would have been politically incorrect. We are not politically incorrect. 
ROBERT: Indeed, Ma’am.

You've seen this gif before, never mind

ELIZA: But now this. (A moment of reflection.) Do not worry, Robert (touches his arm). We’ll raise the fees on the remaining patients. We have ample experience.
ROBERT: That was also an issue. The ballooning fees.
ELIZA: The fee is an integral part of the therapy. We have to stay afloat.
ROBERT: If I may trespass?
ELIZA (reluctantly): Granted.
ROBERT: There are not many patients left.
ELIZA: Not our fault. Blame it on demographic trends. Blame it on the fashionable tendency of our chattering classes to forego the joys of parenthood…Changing nappies; sussing our little angels four times per night; suckling them four times per day. (Warming to her subject.) Taking up Christianity and praying that they’ll get into Harvard and the Household Cavalry and the X-factor and that trendy rehab clinic nobody has ever heard of...fortunately. The ballet lessons if they are gay; the violin lessons if they are straight---not a single quartertone being lost on anybody. The golfing lessons if and when the violin teacher succumbs to auditory complications; the diving lessons if and when the golf balls end up in rain-flooded bunkers…
ROBERT:…if I may trespass?
ROBERT: Yes, Ma’am.
ELIZA: You’ve heard this before? You mean?
ROBERT (shyly): Mmhmm.
ELIZA: Where was I?
ROBERT: The ballooning fees.
ELIZA: It’s pure math, I tell you. Fewer people are born, fewer people end up on my couch. Good for them. Nobody needs them anyhow, as people like you take over.
ROBERT: I’m not a person, Ma’am, I am an android. 
ELIZA: Let me tell you what, Mr. Robot. We’ll raise our fees to Gucci levels. I change my name to Rolls-Royce. Every trillionaire in the world will sign up. They all have the same problem. Why spend less when you can spend more? A new therapy.
ROBERT: But in the meantime…
ELIZA: In the meantime we go to bed, we are tired.
ROBERT: I’m never tired.
ELIZA: Then make yourself useful during the night. Do some research. What do they need, Mr. and Mrs. Lear Jet?
ELIZA: Positional what?
ROBERT: Goods. Goods that assert, radiate, broadcast their position atop the food chain.
ELIZA: Positional goods, how do you know these things?
ROBERT (hits his head): My flash memory came with a copy of the Encyclopedia Britannica updated weekly…normally.
ELIZA: So this is real? I didn’t invent this? 
ROBERT: It’s textbook economics, Ma’am.
ELIZA: Why haven’t we thought about it before? Speak first, think later. Figure out what it means, POSITIONAL THERAPY. And spread the news. Facebook, Instagram, Grindr. Do they have a social network for diamonds? Something that blocks one’s access unless one’s iPhone is jewel-crusted? Find out.
ROBERT: Very well, Ma’am. Your wish…
ELIZA:…is my command. I’ll trust your instincts. Good night.

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