Jerry Springer on Philosophy

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.

Crowd: Ooooohhhh!

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 I exist.

Jerry: Well, you're going to get your chance. Here's Ursula!

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 further.

Ursula: Don't listen to him! Logic is a male hysteria! Rationality
equals oppression and the silencing of marginalized voices!

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 sceptical
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 de-scribing the sub-altern!

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 any more.

Crowd: Wooooo!

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 Mind?

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.

Crowd hushes.

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 the 40's.

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? 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, Reactionary Boy!

Victor: Herd animal!

Louis: Lackey!

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 with the
fundamental principles of existentialism?

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 with us!

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
human relationship.

(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 each other.

Announcer: Be sure to tune in next time, when KKK strippers battle it
out with transvestite omnisexual porn stars! Tomorrow on Springer!