Far Out Theater

  Juanita: Americans don't share. They live at a frantic pace, like
           little mice in a treadmill, yepyepyep... until they gasp
           for air, and collapse, isolated and furious. They even
           consider respect as a limited quality.

Moulton: Are you saying that Americans even compete for respect?

Rodney:  I get no respect.

  Kaibosh: I know it can be more difficult to make certain points without
           this sort of generalization, but....imo.... this broad brush
           paints *far* too wide a swath.

Moulton: Yes, far too wide a brush.  I know of quite of few people who
         don't compete for respect.

Rickles: Oh look, here's that pathetic railroad engineer.  Back to
         drive Kaibosh nuts with more Boxcar Theater?

Rodney: Kaibosh gets no respect.

 Juanita: Ok, I amend that: There are some Americans who share, but
          sharing is not considered a national virtue, because it
          limits your independence, which is placed above everything

Moulton:  Freedom and independence?  We compete for that too?  Come to
          think of it, we do.

  Juanita: The independent-minded Americans hate feeling indebted to
           anyone. It's thoroughly stupid.

Moulton: It's not the only stupid thing Americans compete for.  And
         it's not the only feeling they hate.

Rickles: Somebody ought to send this loser up the river in one of
         their spare canoes.

  Kaibosh: I will admit that I will be buying a canoe or two for our
           family when I can afford it.

Rodney: I don't have a good feeling about this.

Moulton: Don't you enjoy Kaibosh's raptures about the joy of canoeing in
         American backwaters?

Rickles: Away from all those railroads.

  Juanita: As I was reading your descriptions of American culture and
           youthfulness, etc, I was feeling defensive.

Moulton: That's what a competitive culture does to people.
         Competition is a threat.

Rickles: Moulton is such a thinker!  NOT!

  JoeDee: What it takes to survive in one place is very different from
          what it takes to survive in another place.  Sometimes those
          differences are cultural constructs.

Rickles: Oh now look who's pontificating about cultural constructs.

Rodney: Cultural constructs get no respect.

  JoeDee: Language is a double-edge sword.

Rickles: What's this gibberish?  Is he another Moulton-clone?

Rodney: Moulton-clones get no respect.

  Pete: Juanita: Don't you think there is a difference between live
        communication and what we do here in Boxcar Theater?

  Juanita: My spoken English is a bit rusty. I 'm thinking of
           enrolling in a debating course, or something like that.

Moulton: Debate is competitive.

  Juanita: Utne for me is primarily a forum to practise my English...
           in a quasi-live setting. I can experiment with various
           styles and expressions, with different levels and
           approaches, ranging from chatty-familiar to quasi-academic.

Rickles: Chatty-familiar to quasi-academic. Try doing real-time
         theater, toots.

Moulton: Be nice. She's European.

Rodney: I don't have a good feeling about this.

  Juanita: The other thing I was wondering about was education. I take
           it that a forum like Utne would attract an unproportionally
           highly educated layer of society: The privileged elite. Is
           that the case?

Rickles: Ask Moulton.  He's the pointy-headed intellectual.

Rodney: Educators get no respect.

Moulton: Forums like Utne both attract and expell the highly educated.

  Juanita: And,... there is the problem of honesty and feedback. What
           level of feedback do posters expect? If I say something
           extraordinarily stupid or inaccurate I'd expect the other
           posters to point it out to me.

Rodney: Stupid posters get no respect.

Moulton: That's painting with too broad a brush, Rodney.  But if
         you're not 100% accurate, you could be in trouble with Kaibosh.

Rickles: What is this gibberish?  Get a life!

  Juanita: And there is the issue of abuse: Why do so many posters
           point out that they've been abused in their childhood....
           whatever that means. Judging from Utne... which is mainly
           comprised of the most privileged stratum of society, one
           could conclude that abuse is a problem of truly epidemic
           proportions.... especially when one considers that most
           people must feel embarrassed about it?

Moulton: Verbal abuse is at epidemic proportions in America.

Rickles: What's wrong with you people?  Can't you take some ribbing
         without freaking out?

Rodney: That's not funny anymore.

Moulton: No it's not.  It's time we took a close look at what we're
         doing to ourselves.

Fade to public service message...

Announcer:  Be sure to buy this great book... Hyde Tanner's insightful
            look at American culture:  The Taunting Culture: From
            Insults to Bombs.

Moulton: *sigh*