Violence in training films

Lopsided Shoulder Macy, chief teacher of gifted toddlers at the Prairie School activates the rough cut of the new training video.

The scene opens in a classroom. Max (the prospective recurring character in the series) is being tutored.

“Can I eat it?” says three-year old Max.

“No,” says teacher.

“Watch it, like a movie?”

“No.”

“Play with it, or on it?”

“No.”

“Rub it against my penis?”

“No.”

“Then explain to me why I must experience it.”

	"Some things that give us pleasure are not always physical," says teacher.

	"This doesn’t give me any pleasure," says Max.

“Not now. But it might later. When you’re older, and more receptive to non-physical pleasures,” says teacher. “And the only way you can have pleasure from it later is if you start learning it now.”

“I see,” says Max. “So it’s a risk.”

“How so?” asks teacher.

“Sacrificing moments that could be spent exploiting proven sources of pleasure, in the present, because future pleasures might justify such sacrifices,” said Max.

“Trust me. It’s a calculated risk. And it’s just for an hour or so. Can you handle that?” asks teacher.

Blah, blah, blah…

“Max, were you listening before?”

“No.”

“You would understand it, if you listened,” says teacher.

“I was listening.”

“And what did you here me say, then, about coefficients?” asks teacher.

“I wasn’t listening to you. I was listening to a thought.”

“What thought?” asks teacher.

“A thought involving sensual pleasures. I can’t seem to get them out of my head,” says Max. “I would like a cookie,” he adds.

“Then will you pay attention to the lesson?” asks teacher.

“Yes. I will try,” promises Max.

Teacher gives Max a cookie and waits for him to finish eating. Close up on teacher’s twitching eyelid. They begin the lesson again. Teacher explains again the concept of equivalence. She writes 3=3 on a piece of paper and asks Max to explain the significance.

“Those two threes are not equal,” says Max.

“How so?” asks teacher.

“You drew them differently. This one is slightly bigger,” says Max.

“Let’s pretend I typed this on a computer,” says teacher.

“The pixels would be different,” explains Max.

The teacher jabs the pencil into Max’s eye. Dark, arterial blood drips onto the table. Max slumps over, body twitching, possibly dead. Freeze frame.

	SUPER: WHAT SHOULD THE TEACHER HAVE DONE?

The video ended. 

“What do you think?” asked the producer, coyly.

"Well, I think the ending is over the top, but that’s what they’re doing nowadays I suppose," said Handsome Lady Macy.

"Yes. But the psychologists are convinced of its efficacy...the violence. Strictly metaphorical, of course, clinically proven psych approach for this viewer type. Validating their frustrations, that kind of thing, very metaphorical," said the producer, coyly.

“Exactly. That’s why I DON’T debate this stuff, ever, unless someone else
tries to drag me into it or asks my opinion,” stated Gunnery Sergeant Macy. “Two reasons: (A) I don’t care what anyone else thinks. (B) On topics like violence in training films, once I’ve formed a strong opinion, it’s really unlikely I, or anyone will really do a one-eighty and change their mind.”

(Author’s note: Point A begs the question of why, unless B is her answer, and B also begs the question of why. In any case, I agree with Macy that all that happens is sluggish argumentation. Let’s proceed. Right after this cookie.)

The producer furrowed his brow and nodded as Macy Of The Flat-Butted Brigade continued…

“So all that happens is people who are friends or colleagues, and otherwise have a lot in common, get mad and argue and fight. So why bother?”

“Well,” said the producer, coyly, not recognizing the rhetorical nature of the question “maybe it doesn’t have to be that way, and progressive free-thinkers can help one another analyze various tenets.”

“No,” said Square Hair Macy. “No rational argument has made me feel more welcoming of the violence in the past, and no rational argument can make me feel less so. Trust me, I go back and forth on this daily.”

“Wait,” said the producer, coyly, “how can this be if you say it’s unlikely you’ll do a one-eighty? So then isn’t the very fickleness of your beliefs on such matters a good argument for further Socratic exploration?”

“Well…we’re getting off topic. I think it’s more transience than fickleness, but anyway, the video is a piece of genius, otherwise. Perhaps I’m being priggish. Try having children. Then see how much fun it is to see kids bleeding out from an eye wound.”

“Believe me, Young Bea Arthur Macy,” soothed the producer, coyly. “I’m not interested in depicting violence. I’m interested in solving it.”

“I know. And I mean it…the film is genius. It honors gifted children. It really does…the mythic characterizations, the in-your-face gore and brashness. I just worry about it getting in the wrong hands is all.”

(Cut to two lads at playground, dodecahedron climby-thing in background.)

“Ha! I have sneakily obtained the rough-cut of the newest Max series training video! Shall we view it?” asked Triangle Hair Jimmy, rhetorically.

“Indubitably…” replied Odd Gate Carl, nonetheless, for it was his signature reply, rhetorical or no.

They watch the film.

“Wow! I LIKE watching people win at evolution, which is really all this is, a strong grownup destroying a weak, irritating gifted child…a child who is a failing anomaly of the modern world.”

“Oh bull. You like watching evolution because you identify with its losers…which are all of us, except the one guy on top that you’ll never be,” replied Odd Gate Carl, igneous-faced.

“And who would that be?” asked Triangle Hair Jimmy.

“That would be me, fuckface,” replied Odd Gate Carl.

“Then you shouldn’t have said the losers are all of ‘us,’ if you weren’t to be included in said group,” said Triangle Hair Jimmy.

“Seriously,” said OG Carl, “our love of watching weak, gifted children get an eyeful of No. 2 pencil is based on one thing only: personal responsibility and freedom. We should be FREE to forge our own paths in life, and this freedom comes at the harsh price of being responsible for our own eye not being poked, punctured, or even scraped.”

“Or strafed,” said Triangle Hair Jimmy.

“Precisely,” snapped OG Cal. “Strafed is a wonderful word. It teaches us that sometimes eyes don’t only get punctured. They can get raked, or even scoured. Now, if teachers wish to help kids like Max as a charitable effort, which obviously this video is geared towards, that’s great, but the school should not exist to try to make everyone remain sighted in both eyes, much less without fatal puncture wounds to the parietal lobe.”

“Totally,” agreed TH Jimmy. “Children are NOT equal in their abilities to do X, Y, or Z. They ARE entitled to equal OPPORTUNITY to do X, Y, or Z. This is what teachers of annoying gifted children like Max fail to understand. Equality should be of opportunity, not results. Everyone should get the same chance to learn and grow if they want to. But if they don’t want to, we must allow for eye-stabbing with pencils, pens, etcetera, as a natural outcome.”

“Yes,” said OG Carl, “now…it seems, by the way, that annoying gifted children like Max are one or two notches closer to YOU then, say, me. But that black and white characterization muddies the water for me, and I only mention it to piss you off, rather than provide a salient support beam to what I am about to say…”

“We wait with bated breasts,” said TH Jimmy.

OG says: “Providing for the general welfare is integral to the constitution, and liberals are necessary to keep defining the fine line between that and ‘forced equality,’ which you must agree we’re in no danger of, even in a liberal government like Prairie School. I think the tug of war is helpful to maintain a much needed cowardly Centrism in a deliciously chaotic world, I just don’t know which side to tug on this year, here at Prairie School, as this issue relates to dealing with annoying gifted kids like Max. I can assure you, there’s been very little analysis of this topic on Teletubbies.”

“But of course” concurred TH Jimmy. “Even the best of our mainstream television productions shy away from some of the issues, some of time. The good news is that this tape has fallen into the wrong hands,” said TH Jimmy.

“Indubitably,” said OG Carl. “The wrong hands because we will air it on the Internet and garner bad publicity for the gifted program establishment. We may even manipulate a sort of temporary nervous breakdown in our Fat Pete Genius, a sort of clearing the decks in his sub-conscious prior to letting him loose on the world.”

“Not sure I track how that works,” said Geometric Hair Style Jimmy, “but perhaps it’s that one I.Q. point.” He was referring to the boys’ IQ scores…OG–189, TH– 188.

“It’s a stimuli with two prongs,” explained OG Carl.

“Yes, a catalyst,” said TH Jimmy, “an enzyme, if you will.”

OG Carl traded his signature closing statement “indubitably” for the phrase “Oh, I will.”

Oh my God I am one fucked up idiot. If anyone is actually reading this, you need help, as do I. Oh well, easy come easy go. Love Gamer

Wonderful! It was entreating and poignant to the end. I enjoyed it thoroughly…especially these select quotes:

Consider a different profession.

Don’t worry, I’ll manage, however I think this could have worked out better if you broke it into two separate posts.

it’s your fault… it’s impossible not reading your stuff to the end, you just have this… magnetic? writing style… if such a thing is possible.

I agree with Sheâ„¢ this is irresistable. It is twisted, but delightful. I keep wondering where the payoff is going to come, yet I am more than happy to take the journey along with you to get there. It reminds me a bit of Ender’s Game.

god, I love you guys. Only ILP geeks like you would like this crap. I’ll keep it coming, because I am starting to see my only talent is the furious typing of nonsense, and fiction is more amenable to that then philosophy.