This is a rough draft I wrote the other night trying to introduce a new character that will be Adolai Shungyosai’s new friend, but since he is manipulative and arrogant he will automatically be moving to see him as his sidekick- type-of-deal. He’s never had a real good friend but the character may allow for more discussion of ideas rather than internally monolguing everything. As well as making him think through some of his positions in relation to Crystal. This is a first draft, need to rework, including having better set up to the conversation and the class/professor.
M.I.T. SURVEY COURSE – TECHNOLOGY IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY – OPEN DISCUSSION
“Timothy Leary brought down Nixon with nothing more than an odorless tasteless chemical -teeny tiny compound- and a winning smile!” Shungyosai mouthed off vehemently to his survey course.
He always became passionate when an authority attempted to gloss over large historical maneuverings in general terms. His map, he was sure, was always the correct version and he did not think twice about spreading it out in full across the front seat of the car, even if he was definitely on the passenger side, and even if he should block the driver at times.
But one student seemed to have his back, “Right on, man!” said a kid slouched back in dark olive drab fatigues. “Turn on, Tune in, Drop out!”
The Professor had walked over to the chalkboard, and continued with the outline of the planned lecture unperturbed, seemingly bemused at the enthusiasm for the subject. It was an exchange of ideas she had wanted and so…
“G.- Gordon- Liddy-” she wrote in large script on the chalkboard. “Where does he fit into our discussion of technological trends in the 20th century? If the 20th Century is the realm of science-driven holocausts and bombs that annihilate entire cities in the name of ‘peace’, who can tell me about this man?”
“He was a fascist!” yelled one young woman. The professor turned in her direction, beckoning for more.
The young woman spoke up as the class turned, “He committed crimes on behalf of a corrupt regime and did so at the detriment… to the function of democracy.”
“A-ha. Democracy- versus- Fascism”, the professor wrote on the board next to Leary.
“He was a man with a code,” said the, now mysterious, kid in the army fatigues. Shungyosai turned to focus on him. Noting his dark sunglasses dangling from his shirt pocket, his shaggy black hair, his way of carrying himself. “That whole ‘hand over the flame’ thing. If you want to talk about mankind in a technological age. Liddy was an anachronism. Some axe-swinger from the middle ages trying to prove his mettle. Meanwhile he’s eating the same frozen dinners as every other assho- dude on the block, he’s just making a big show of not wearing a seatbelt cause he thinks Ralph Nader is a fag. Sorry to offend those with delicate sensibilities. I’m pretty sure, I can say it.”
“What was his code?” the woman who called Liddy a fascist wanted to know.
“Besides ‘Omerta’, that gangster vow of silence and not selling out the crew, once he actually got caught? I guess it was some kind of strange individualism-collectivism antagonism where he wants everyone to contribute to society, but only if you do what he likes. The usual boring conservative world order shi- nonsense.”
“This is actually very good stuff, folks,” the professor said. “This is one of the central antagonisms that growing populations, ramped up industrialization, people crowding into cities and international interconnection has brought to the fore. This idea of how much does a person owe to society, and how much does society bend to the individual’s.. proclivities.” She tried not to nod at the army kid when she said this.
“You,” she addressed Shungyosai, “What’s your name again?”
“Yes, so you are praising Leary as a figure who deliberately set out to change society. Specifically through drug use. He’s a counter-culture figure, a kind of revolutionary, if you’ll grant this.”
“I will,” said Shungyosai.
“How much right does he have to push this onto the community, the world at large?”
“Ken Kesey was once asked a similar question, and he responded, ‘I feel a man has a right to be as big as he feels it in him to be.’”
“Alright then,” said the professor, and wrote on the chalkboard, “Be All that You Can Be.”
Then she spoke to the young man, “you in the army outfit, what’s your name?”
“Your full name please, we’ll be getting to know each other a little over the course of the semester I hope.”
“MmHmm,” she said, and gestured almost to write on the chalkboard again, but stopped. “Do you see any problem with a world where people run at their personal agendas, by any means necessary, whether it be Timothy or G. Gordon Liddy, or perhaps, for whatever reason, some combination of similar forces, perhaps?”
“I’m pretty much an anarchist.”
“Well there you have it.”
“I take issue,” said the woman who had called Liddy a fascist.
“Daisy,” she said when prompted by the professor.”
“And what is the issue as you see it, Daisy?”
“The way I see it, it’s like that power, poem, sorry, I mean– that poem by Yeats.”
“Which poem is that?”
The professor wrote Yeats on the board.
“The Second Coming.” Daisy paused for a moment, as if she was silently loading something into the barrel.
“The best lack all conviction, while the worst. Are full of passionate intensity.”
Shungyosai saw how sincere she was, but he felt no sudden urge to laugh. He was focused on Mark Dawn. Mark caught his eye, and was now chewing on his rockstar sunglasses. He put them on, class was ending.
“Thank you class, we’ll continue our discussion next time on the ethical implications of the bombing of Hiroshima. Please be sure to do the Kierkegaard readings.”
The bell rang. Mark, looking at Shungyosai, sensing his desire to speak, popped up and all but shouted, “Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world!”