The Lowest-Rated Jerry Springer Show Ever
Crowd: Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Jer-ry!
Jerry: Today's guests are here because they can't
agree on fundamental philosophical principles. I'd
like to welcome Todd to the show.
Todd enters from backstage.
Jerry: Hello, Todd.
Todd: Hi, Jerry.
Jerry: (reading from card) So, Todd, you're here to
tell your girlfriend something. What is it?
Todd: Well, Jerry, my girlfriend Ursula and I have
been going out for three years now. We did everything
together. We were really inseparable. But then she
discovered post-Marxist political and literary theory,
and it's been nothing but fighting ever since.
Jerry: Why is that?
Todd: You see, Jerry, I'm a traditional Cartesian
rationalist. I believe that the individual self, the
"I" or ego is the foundation of all metaphysics. She,
on the other hand, believes that the contemporary self
is a socially constructed, multi-faceted subjectivity
reflecting the political and economic realities of
late capitalist consumerist discourse.
Todd: I know! I know! Is that infantile, or what?
Jerry: So what do you want to tell her today?
Todd: I want to tell her that unless she ditches the
post-modernism, we're through. I just can't go on
having a relationship with a woman who doesn't believe
Jerry: Well, you're going to get your chance. Here's
Ursula storms onstage and charges up to Todd.
Ursula: Patriarchal colonizer!
She slaps him viciously. Todd leaps up, but the
security guys pull them apart before things can go any
Ursula: Don't listen to him! Logic is a male hysteria!
Rationality equals oppression and the silencing of
Todd: The classical methodology of rational dialectic
is our only road to truth! Don't try to deny it!
Ursula: You and your dialectic! That's how it's been
through our whole relationship, Jerry. Mindless
repetition of the post-Enlightenment meta-narrative.
"You have to start with radical doubt, Ursula."
Post-structuralism is just classical skeptical thought
re-cast in the language of semiotics, Ursula."
Crowd: Booo! Booo!
Jerry: Well, Ursula, come on. Don't you agree that the
roots of contemporary neo-Leftism simply have to be
sought in Enlightenment political philosophy?
Ursula: History is the discourse of powerful centrally
located voices marginalizing and describing the
Todd: See what I have to put up with? Do you know what
it's like living with someone who sees sex as a
metaphoric demonstration of the anti-feminist violence
implicit in the discourse of the dominant power
structure? It's terrible. She just lies there and
thinks of Andrea Dworkin. That's why we never do it
Ursula: You liar! Why don't you tell them how you
haven't been able to get it up for the past three
months because you couldn't decide if your penis truly
had essential Being, or was simply a manifestation of
Todd: Wait a minute! Wait a minute!
Ursula: It's true!
Jerry: Well, I don't think we're going to solve this
one right away. Our next guests are Louis and Tina.
And Tina has a little confession to make!
Louis and Tina come onstage. Todd and Ursula continue
bickering in the background.
Jerry: Tina, you are... (reads cards) ... an
existentialist, is that right?
Tina: That's right, Jerry. And Louis is, too.
Jerry: And what did you want to tell Louis today?
Tina: Jerry, today I want to tell him...
Jerry: Talk to Louis. Talk to him.
Tina: Louis... I've loved you for a long time...
Louis: I love you, too, Tina.
Tina: Louis, you know I agree with you that existence
precedes essence, but ...well, I just want to tell you
I've been reading Nietzsche lately, and I don't think
I can agree with your egalitarian politics any more.
Crowd: Wooooo! Woooooo!
Louis: (shocked and disbelieving) Tina, this is crazy.
You know that Sartre clarified all this way back in
Tina: But he didn't take into account Nietzsche's
radical critique of democratic morality, Louis. I'm
sorry. I can't ignore the contradiction any longer!
Louis: You got these ideas from Victor, didn't you?
Tina: Don't you bring up Victor! I only turned to him
when I saw you were seeing that dominatrix! I needed a
real man! An Uber-man!
Louis: (sobbing) I couldn't help it. It was my burden
of freedom. It was too much!
Jerry: We've got someone here who might have something
to add. Bring out Victor!
Victor enters. He walks up to Louis and sticks a
finger in his face.
Victor: Louis, you're a classic post-Christian
intellectual. Weak to the core!
Louis: (through tears) You can kiss my Marxist ass,
Victor: Herd animal!
Louis throws a chair at Victor; they lock horns and
wrestle. The crowd goes wild. After a long struggle,
the security guys pry them apart.
Jerry: Okay, okay. It's time for questions from the
audience. Go ahead, sir.
Audience member: Okay, this is for Tina. Tina, I just
wanna know how you can call yourself an
existentialist, and still agree with Nietzsche's
doctrine of the Ubermensch. Doesn't that imply a
belief in intrinsic essences that is in direct
contradiction with the fundamental principles of
Tina: No! No! It doesn't. We can be equal in
potential, without being equal in eventual personal
quality. It's a question of Becoming, not Being.
Audience member: That's just disguised essentialism!
You're no existentialist!
Tina: I am so!
Audience member: You're no existentialist!
Tina: I am so an existentialist, bitch!
Ursula stands and interjects.
Ursula: What does it [bleep] matter? Existentialism is
just a cover for late capitalist anti-feminism! Look
at how Sartre treated Simone de Beauvoir!
Women in the crowd cheer and stomp.
Tina: [Bleep] you! Fat-ass Foucaultian ho!
Ursula: You only wish you were smart enough to
understand Foucault, bitch!
Tina: You the bitch!
Ursula: No, you the bitch!
Tina: Whatever! Whatever!
Jerry: We'll be right back with a final thought! Stay
Commercial break for debt-consolidation loans, ITT
Technical Institute, and Psychic Alliance Hotline.
Jerry: Hi! Welcome back. I just want to thank all our
guests for being here, and say that I hope you're able
to work through your differences and find happiness,
if indeed happiness can be extracted from the dismal
miasma of warring primal hormonal impulses we call
(turns to the camera)
Well, we all think philosophy is just fun and games.
Semiotics, deconstruction, Lacanian post-Freudian
psychoanalysis, it all seems like good, clean fun. But
when the heart gets involved, all our painfully
acquired metaphysical insights go right out the
window, and we're reduced to battling it out like
rutting chimpanzees. It's not pretty. If you're in a
relationship, and differences over the fundamental
principles of your respective subjectivities are
making things difficult, maybe it's time to move on.
Find someone new, someone who will accept you and the
way your laughably limited human intelligence chooses
to codify and rationalize the chaos of existence.
After all, in the absence of a clear, unquestionable
revelation from God, that's all we're all doing
anyway. So remember: take care of yourselves-and
Announcer: Be sure to tune in next time, when KKK
strippers battle it out with transvestite omnisexual
porn stars! Tomorrow on Springer!