A TED Talk

I’ve been thinking about TED. It basically says that if someone is an expert about something, we don’t have to worry about it ourselves. That box has been ticked. Really smart people are doing something about it, so I can go back to Etsy or Wife Swap USA. This is a monologue I wrote when I wanted to write a show about the West’s attitude to Africa. I’m not so interested in this form anymore, but this was a starting point for something more performative. 

JENGA: Oh, God this is exciting. It’s so wonderful to be here with you all. I can’t thank God, but I do want to thank something, because this is a privilege. This is so heartening. I’m just going to take a deep breath and make a mental picture. The next time I’m down or low, I’ll remember your presence here and the gift of communication.

This is the true work of humanity, right here. And when i say humanity, I mean with a capital ‘H’. Give yourselves a round of applause. No, I mean it. It’s beautiful what I’m seeing here today. I wish you could all be up here and we could be as one. Not this leader and follower mentality. Can we do that? No, they’re shaking their heads. No, that’s not possible. You know, we have the power to change the face of the planet, but we cant get some audience members onstage.

I’m just kidding, I’m kidding. You know, lets just be thankful. Lets be thankful that we’re here today. That you were selected to be in this room. You got your lanyard and you shake that lanyard around like its the most important object in your life. And it is. That lanyard means you get to meet people. You get to talk and communicate your life experience. And that is such a precious gift. A precious gift friends. There are people in this world who can’t read. There are people in this world who cannot speak. They are voiceless. They are speechless. They cannot speak. They are dumb. We, we here, we’re gonna change all that. Tonight. Okay. We’re gonna change that. You and I, and the stage manager over there who’s still shaking his head.

I want you to cast your mind back. We’re gonna do a little thought experiment. I want you to cast your mind back to the eighties. I want you to remember a little film called ‘Three Men and a Little Lady’. Don’t laugh, this is important. Okay three men and a little lady. If it wasn’t for that vaguely homosexual family environment, that little girl could have been in an orphanage. And orphanages, we all know are bad. Yes. They’re bad places. Almost without exception. What we can learn form that film is that if you don’t have some kind of support system for children, they can end up in Africa and they can be dirty and have al kinds of diseases and they can sometimes die. People die in Africa. Children die in Africa. But we can change all that tonight. Yes we can. And I’m gonna show you how.

Imagine a world with no crying. Imagine a world with no pain, no tears. Can you do that for me? I want you to put your hand on the person next to you. Touch the person next to you and tell them that they are a good and kind and decent person. They deserve love. Tell them now, ‘You deserve Love’. I can’t hear you guys. That’s what I’m about. I’m about more communication. Because its though communication that we can comprehend the bigger picture. What is the bigger picture? I gotta tell you, I’m pretty myopic. I wake up, I get my coffee. I can’t see over my dashboard, I’m so myopic. Does this sound like you? You like existing in the little bubble of your car? You own a car? You do? Well, you’re a bad person.

I’m just kidding. I don’t think you’re a bad person for owning a car. I think you’re a lazy person, I think you’re a self satisfied person who can’t see themselves in the bigger picture . I think you’re self satisfied. And I am trying so hard up here. I am trying. I think you deserve what you have. I think you deserve your car. But what you have is stolen. It’s stolen property and you’re all thieves.

Who’s seen the Smurfs? You’ve all seen the Smurfs, they’re one of those things. My lord those little guys have cut through. You know, you’re like Gargamel. You’re stealing from little blue guys who just want to sing and dance. And you’re chasing them and chasing them and you have a cat. And you’re just really pissed off and you’re bald and you have this snaggle tooth that everyone knows is fucking rank. You should get that seen to. You don’t even need braces these days. You can get these invisiline things that gradually realign your teeth over thirteen months. You should look into it. You’re disgusting.

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