Monday, September 16, 2013

Ready for GTA 5!

Image from Game Informer 
Having read the Guardian review, I'm more excited about GTV 5 than ever. Here's my favorite quote:
"The world drags you in. It begs you to explore – and then it rewards you. You feel every millimetre of the landscape has been thoughtfully handcrafted with the curious gamer in mind. This seems an odd compliment – surely every video game landscape is crafted in this way. But so often, open worlds are built from architectural filler – bland unending landscapes and cardboard box tenements. San Andreas is a state of contrasts and extraordinary detail, there is always some interesting new nook to chance on, some breathtaking previously unexperienced view across the hills toward the capitalist spires of downtown. Designers often talk about rewarding the player for exploration, but usually do so with facile Easter eggs, hidden away in mundane backwaters. From the raging rivers running through the mountain wilderness parks to the beautiful modernist architecture tucked way in the Vinewood hills, Grand Theft Auto V is – like Fallout, Skyrim before it – a form of virtual tourism."

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lipstick Traces

Reading Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century (recommended by Kathleen McConnell), I am drawn to Greil Marcus's kaleidoscopic collision of paths and passageways, a détournement that conveys the confidence of that mythical cyberpunk author who powers a jet fighter straight toward the ground. Will he pull out in time?

Pregnant pauses, ragged references, and joyful noises sprawl through a narrative that starts with the Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the UK" and leads to multiple pasts and futures, each unified in the celebration/critique of modernity, "a voice of teeth ground down to points." Some big dots receive requisite name-checks -- Guy Debord, Henri Lefebvre, Hugo Ball and the dadaists, right alongside Johnny Rotten, Jonathan Richman, and Michael Jackson (with surprisingly good cause). Other ideas are more fleeting, like early-morning highway ghosts, but no less potent.

Modern spectacle

"A recurrent Situationist theme: the idea of 'the vacation' as a sort of loop of alienation and domination, a symbol of the false promises of modern life" (p. 21).

"In the spectacle, passivity was simultaneously the means and the end of the great hidden project, a project of social control" (p. 99).

"Capitalism left the essence of the old (hierarchy, separation, alienation) altogether in place, and raised instead a screen of continuous change, a show in which everything that was new was old as soon as it was pictured, and thus could be replaced by something even more falsely new" (p. 128).

"An ideology is dominant to the degree that it falsifies, to the degree that it can float free of all real-world referents… The hallmark of any ideology is its invisibility as such" (pp. 136, 139).

In the era of Haussmannization, "The separations between work, family, and leisure forced by the new map of the city were internalized by the newly atomized, autonomous individuals of the new Paris -- after all, the whole notion of "individualism" was a modernism, a function of one's subjective choice of what to do with free income and free time. The Commune was a comma in Haussmann's sentence; he had won" (p. 138).

According to the Situationists, "Modern capitalism dissuades people from criticizing architecture with the simple argument that people need a roof over their heads, just as television is accepted on the grounds that people need information and entertainment. People are made to overlook the obvious fact that this information, this entertainment, and this kind of dwelling place are not made for them, but without them and against them. The whole of urban planning can be understood only as a society's field of publicity-propaganda -- that is as the organization of participation in something in which it is impossible to participate" (p. 139).

Describing Le Corbusier's Radiant City: "a prison without walls" (p. 370).

Modern lament

"What could be more productive of an atomized, hopeless fatalism than the feeling that one is deadened precisely where one ought to be having fun?" (p. 50)

"Boredom was a haze, a confusion, and finally the ultimate mode of control, self-control, alienation perfected: a bad conscience" (p. 51).

"Here a miracle as strange as that claimed by any religion was repeated again and again, every day. What was, once, yourself, was now presented as an unreachable but irresistibly alluring image of what, in this best of all possible worlds, you could be" (p. 101).

"You are nothing unless you have everything: that was modernity" (p. 129).

"Pop culture is a product -- a show, a spectacle, a channeling of suppressed wishes into marketable form - and it is an impulse -- a production of suppressed wishes that once released can call their own tune" (p. 149).

"To believe that the present-day novel will be read in a hundred years is not to praise the novel but to condemn the world" (p. 247).

[Radically] incomplete pleasures 

In the ashes, "anything would be possible, and permitted: the most profound love, the most casual crime" (p. 18).

Real mysteries cannot be solved, but they can be turned into better mysteries" (p. 24).

"The original scene . . . was made of people who were taking chances and operating on obscure fragments of imagination" (p. 36).

"'Nothing is true; everything is permitted.' So said Nietzsche and Mourre, and numerous punks, and Dubord, quoting Rashid al-Din Sinan, Islamic gnostic, leader of the Levantine Assassins, Sinan as he lay on his deathbed… the words make up the first line in the canon of the secret tradition, a nihilist catchphrase, an entry into negation, a utopianism, a shibboleth" (p. 442).

Dadaist satire

Hugo Ball: "All living art will be irrational, primitive, and complex; it will speak a secret language and leave behind documents not of edification but of paradox" (p. 196).

"Dada was the notion that in the constructed setting of a temporally enclosed space -- in this case, a nightclub -- anything could be negated. It was the notion that, there, anything might happen" (p. 241).

On the post-dada world: "The dadaists never got over it: they saw the transformation of the world for a few days in a Zurich bar, and while they glimpsed fragments of that vision for the rest of their lives, they never again saw it whole" (pp. 240-241).

Dadaist truth: "the invulnerable sentence: one that could be understood but never explained" (p. 243).

Situationist remapping

"Now the city would move like a map you were drawing; now you would begin to live your life like a book you were writing. Called forth by a street or a building, an ensemble of gestures might imply that a different street had to be found, that a building could be redesigned by the gestures performed within it, that new gestures had to be made, even that an unknown city had to be built or an old one overthrown" (p. 166).

Ivan Chtcheglov: "Everyone will live in his own cathedral" (p. 172).

"As one turns the pages, the neighborhood becomes a labyrinth, where every chance encounter with a word, a picture, a building, or a person seethes with legend and possibility, opening into a secret utopia accessible to anyone capable of recognizing it" (p. 253).

"What if one created something that would simply go on creating of its own accord, a set of wishes translated by gestures, an ensemble of desires whose force fields would level all museums, habits, routines, all everyday walk and talk, until every moment had to be a new work of art, or nothing?" (p. 339)

"As a use of time it was the shifting of the city back into the primeval forest, then into a haunted house more modern than anything modern architects ever dreamed of, a game of freedom in which the goal was not to score but to remain on the field, to consciously position oneself between past and future" (p. 361).

Ivan Chtcheglov: "Architecture will be, at least in the beginning, a means of experimenting with a thousand ways of modifying life, with a view toward a synthesis today found only in legends" (p. 372).

"They saw that all cities were imaginary, complexes of desires turned into geography or suppressed by it, and they saw that all cities could be explored" (p. 385).

"During May '68, it had seemed as if the game had begun. If you looked you could see it happen: every gesture was extended, every street redrawn, every building demolished and rebuilt, every word part of a new language" (p. 440).

"I found a tale composed of incomplete sentences, voices cut off or falling silent… - a map made altogether of dead ends, where the only movement possible was not progress, not construction, but ricochet and surprise" (p. 446).

Situationist performance

Lefebvre spoke of "laying aside all mistrust, all ambition, all schemes . . . In an atmosphere of passionate oneness we would talk far into the night . . . We drank, sometimes there were other stimulants, and these nights had an earnestness, an affection -- it was more than communication, it was a communion" (p. 146).

"The SI was a group of critics; tipping back in their cafe chairs as others acted, they did not apologize" (p. 176).

"Spreading the bad paper of détournement until it began to turn up everywhere, the SI would devalue the currency of the spectacle, and the result would be a fatal inflation. Then a penny could be a fortune… [Of course] that bad paper is the only currency in this tale: lost children seek their fathers, and fathers seek their lost children, but nobody really looks like anybody else. So all, fixed on the wrong faces, pass each other by: this is the drift of secret history, a history that remains secret even to those who make it, especially to those who make it" (p. 179, 184-184).

Guy Debord: "Our situations will be ephemeral, without a future: passageways" (p. 182)

"The idea was that, to the degree aesthetic categories could be proven false, social barriers could be revealed as constructed illusions, and the world could be changed" (p. 188).

Norman Cohn's ignored warning: "It is characteristic of this kind of movement that its aims and premises are boundless . . . a true prototype of a modern totalitarian party" (p. 322).

"To be revolutionary is not a matter of degree" (p. 343).

"The construction of situations will be the continuous realization of a great game, a game the players have chosen to play" (p. 347, emphasis in original - see also James P. Carse's Finite and Infinite Games).

Sometimes the situation need be little more than "the right graffiti on the right wall, at the right time, in the right place" (p. 357).

"Leisure would soon be the axis of civilization: a realm of potential happiness so complete that it would test all the mechanisms of alienation to dominate it. A war would be fought over the meaning of life. If leisure was conquered, civilization would turn into a prison disguised as a pleasure dome. But if leisure was not conquered, it would serve as a base for a practice of freedom so explosive that no known social order could ever satisfy it" (p. 369 - see also Herbert Marcuse's The End of Utopia].

Guy Debord: "We need to work toward flooding the market -- even if for the moment only the intellectual market -- with a mass of desires whose realization is not beyond the capacity of man's present means of action on the material world, but only beyond the capacity of social organization as it stands" (p. 390).

"God would be dead, and everything would be sacred" (p. 397).

Punk style

"Because the Sex Pistols had no other weapons, because they were fans in spite of themselves, they played rock 'n' roll, stripping it down to essentials of speed, noise, fury, and manic glee no one had touched before. They used rock 'n' roll as a weapon against itself" (p. 57).

"'New Wave' was a code word not for punk without shock, but for punk without meaning" (p. 82).

Punk "was not history. It was a chance to create ephemeral events that would serve as judgements on whatever came next" (p. 82).

"It was a turning point in history where history refused to turn; as a beacon of the future it revealed nothing so vividly as the past" (p. 431).

Generative criticism

"The spectral connections between people long [are] separated by place and time, but somehow [they speak] the same language" (p. 4).

"If one can stop looking at the past and start listening to it, one might hear echoes of a new conversation; then the task of the critic would be to lead speakers and listeners unaware of each other's existence to talk to one another. The job of the critic would be to maintain the ability to be surprised at how the conversation goes, and to communicate that sense of surprise to other people, because a life infused with surprise is better than a life that is not" (p. 23).

"Theories cannot be kept on paper" (p. 274).

"Unfulfilled desires transmit themselves across the years in unfathomable ways, and all that remain on the surface are bits of symbolic discourse, deaf to their sources and blind to their objects -- but those fragments of language… are a last link to notions that have gone under the ground, into a cultural unconscious. All that remains are wishes without language: all that remains is unmade history, which is to say the possibility of poetry. [Of course] as the poetry is made, language recovers and finds its target: the history that has been made" (p. 308).

"Metaphors are transformative things, proofs of the arbitrary nature of language, grants of mystery to ordinary things -- they are in other words incipient utopias" (p. 397).

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Turkey 2013

Visiting Turkey was the highlight of the summer for Jenny and I. Here are some recollections from our adventures in Istanbul, Ephesus, and Cappadocia:

• Jenny's memories of Turkey

• Videos from our Istanbul adventures and Cappadocia balloon ride

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Book Review: Communicating Environmental Patriotism

Imagine that you live in a pleasant, leafy neighborhood blocks away from the downtown of a major city and you see your neighbor watering his lawn outside the period allowed by local conservation ordinances. How would you react? Maybe you'd talk to the guy, try to convince him that watering restrictions, while a hassle, are necessary to help fight drought. Perhaps you'd share your observations with friends and coworkers, hoping to discover effective strategies for persuading him to consider something beyond self-interest as a guiding principle. Anne Marie Todd pursued these options, and then she wrote a book. 

Professor Todd is a good friend; we teach together in the Communication Studies department at San José State University, and we have co-authored two essays. So I surely bring some bias to this review. Nonetheless I propose that anyone who takes environmental activism seriously, anyone looking for persuasive strategies to help heal our planet, should read Communicating Environmental Patriotism (Routledge).

This book offers a thoughtfully procured assessment of twentieth century milestones of American environmentalism. While Todd's project is historical, her focus is rhetorical. Analyzing campaigns that tackle such seemingly disparate topics as tourism, conservation, smoke abatement, and scrap metal collection, Todd argues that environmentalists must leverage patriotic appeals to connect personal sacrifice with sustainable living. 

To advance this broader narrative, each chapter marshals exhaustive archival research and compelling detail. Thus we learn that the “See America First” movement was launched by men who had never visited Europe, we catch conservationists meeting Teddy Roosevelt in a room adorned with a dozen stuffed game animals, and we are inspired to wonder if Adolf Hitler really did blame his battlefield losses on American housewives who hauled kitchen grease to their neighborhood butchers. Along the way Todd explains the rise and fall of American communitarianism before offering a rhetorical strategy for its return. 

The book is reasoned in its claims but unsparing in its critique of the obstacles to environmental patriotism. Those claiming to be conservatives today would be surprised to learn that Teddy Roosevelt once uttered, “[t]he freedom of the individual should be limited only by the present and future rights, interests, and needs of the other individuals who make up the community." And this is precisely the point of Todd's book, comparing that conservative sensibility to the consumer-society that followed World War II. The struggles to sustain environmental patriotism, as illustrated by presidents who espoused scientism over sacrifice, suffered for ill-fated fashion choices, and responded to national disaster by pitching trips to Disneyworld, are aptly summarized by Todd's appraisal of Americans who have asked “what their country could do for them rather than what they could do for their country.”

Her book is a well-crafted piece of scholarship, bulging with endnotes and references to justify her claims. At the same time Todd’s monograph is succinct, accessible, and surprisingly personal. She augments her prose with a fascinating set of artifacts, including a reproduction of artwork that conveys the American sublime, ghastly photographs of Pittsburgh citizens caught under a pall of smoke, and World War II posters that persuaded farmers to fight fascism with scrap metal. And there is detail piled upon detail. You may learn more about Gifford Pinchot's mother, J.P. Morgan’s nose deformity, and the deadly elevators of Madison Avenue than you ever wanted to know, but you will also learn an effective strategy for confronting our globe's environmental exigencies.

Communicating Environmental Patriotism concludes with a call for today's sustainability advocates to deploy prewar rhetorics of conservation, stewardship, and democracy to promote a new kind of American Exceptionalism, a progressive spirit in which "Americans are exceptional in their ability to heed the call for conservation." Todd's ultimate goal is to propel a grander "planetary patriotism," but she knows that quick action requires us to focus first on the national dimensions of our global problems. Toward that end she reminds us that pithy slogans such as “Think globally, act locally” are insufficient for the crisis at hand. We can no longer disconnect thinking from action. So I certainly encourage you to read Professor Todd’s book, as long as you remember her advice that reading is merely the first step. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Yo, Tartuffe!

Tartuffe image from Facebook
It’s been too long since I wrote a pseudo-script. Today’s topic: Molière's Tartuffe, a play that scandalized seventeenth-century French society for its ribald depiction of religious hypocrisy. The comedy stems from Orgon's ill-fated choice to bring a charlatan named Tartuffe into his household. Once ensconced, the impostor begins to woo Orgon's wife, Elmire, while working to seize the property through legal chicanery. Goaded by his mother, the holier-than-thou Madame Pernelle, Orgon persists in believing Tartuffe's claims of piety. What's worse, he insists that his daughter, poor, pathetic Mariane, break her engagement with local nice-guy Valère to marry their sleazy houseguest. Orgon's brother-in-law Cléante tries to warn him, as does a wisecracking servant named Dorine, but the foolish patriarch will brook no debate. Is there no hope for reason and romance to escape Tartuffe's web of lies? 

Madame Pernelle: Oh, I'm so glad that my son has invited Monsieur Tartuffe to live in his home. He is such a good man! 

Dorine: You really are an idiot, aren’t you?

Madame Pernelle: And you’re a miserable servant girl, so please shut up! Well, I've got to go now. See you at the end of the play!

Orgon: Hi ho! I'm back from wherever I was. So, Dorine, how's tricks?

Dorine: Tricks aren’t good, sir. Not good at all. You see, Elmire’s has been sick for days and –

Orgon: – The wife’s feeling ill, huh? Bummer! So, how's Tartuffe?

Dorine: Butthead...

Orgon: Shut up!

[Orgon’s brother-in-law drops by…]

Cléante: Say, Orgon, what’s this I hear about you breaking your daughter’s engagement with Valère?

Orgon: Well, I just think that she’d be better off with Tartuffe. He’s such a good fellow. And she needs some religious guidance anyway. She’s been hanging around those free-thinking fops for too long.

Cléante: “It's as if you think you'd never find / Reason and the sacred intertwined.”

Orgon: Huh?

[Mariane drifts into the room…]

Mariane: Welcome back, Dad! Say, I heard the strangest thing. Someone who had clearly tasted too much wine said that you want me to marry that weird old dude living in our house.

Orgon: Of course I do! Don’t you see? By marrying an old man with no personal income, you’re sure to live an awesome life!

Dorine: Sorry, sir, I couldn’t help but eavesdrop. You’re not really going to force your daughter to marry that creeper, are you?

Orgon: That’s exactly what I expect! And not that it’s any concern of yours, but Mariane would be better off with Tartuffe. That Valère fellow’s nice enough, but he’s got no ambition. He's just a poor nobody. But Tartuffe, well, since I’ve been lending him all my cash he’s dressing fine! He’ll make a great husband.


Orgon: Shut up!

[Orgon departs, leaving a cloud of Eau de Cluelessness in his wake…]

Mariane: Oh Dorine, I’ll just kill myself if dad makes me marry that pervy old fart.

Dorine: That’s your plan, to kill yourself?

Mariane: Pretty much. I’m just a girl, you know. Can’t do much else.

Dorine: Maybe it’s just as well then.

Mariane: Well what then?

Dorine: I dunno. Maybe you should speak with your fiancé. Maybe Valère will help you grow a spine.

Mariane: Only if that’s what he wants.

Dorine: Butthead...

Valère: Say, Mariane, what’s this I hear about you marrying Tartuffe?

Mariane: Where the hell did you come from?

Valère: Just off-stage, right over there.

Mariane: Ah, I see. Well, my dad wants me to marry Tartuffe, so there’s nothing else I can do.

Valère: Being just a woman and all…

Mariane: Yeah…

Valère: Well I guess that’s it then…

Mariane: Yeah…

Dorine: Buttheads! You can get married. Just give me some time to get things arranged!

Valère: Um, aren’t you, like, the maid or something?

Dorine: Yeah, but I’m really good.

Valère: I see.

[Time passes. The house grows dingier…]

Damis: I'm so pissed about that cad Tartuffe marrying my sister!

Dorine: Chill, little dude. I have a plan.

Damis: What, to polish the silver?


Damis: Shut up!

[Tartuffe arrives at last, finding Elmire alone in the house…]

Tartuffe: Oh, Elmire, I’m so concerned about your health! I heard that you’ve been quite ill. So, anyway, I’m wondering: Can we have sex?

Elmire: Um, I think I need to talk to my husband about this...

Tartuffe: Uh

Elmire: – But I won't – as long as you tell Orgon that Mariane’s wedding to Valère is back on.

[Suddenly Damis leaps from behind some sort of large object…]

Damis: Aha! I heard everything. And I will tell my dad about you trying to seduce my mom! And then I’m calling Maury Povich. This stuff is messed up!

Orgon: Hiya, folks! Back again. So, what have y'all been talking about?

Damis: Oh nothing. Just Tartuffe trying to do your wife!

Elmire: Jeez. What's your deal, Damis?

Orgon: Tartuffe, my chaste friend. Is this true?

Tartuffe: Yes. Every word. I feel really bad about it though.

Orgon: Of course you do! Your virtue knows no bounds. Chill, Damis!

Damis: Don't you see what a bastard this guy is?

Orgon: That's it. Tartuffe and Mariane are getting married. Tonight! And as for you, Damis, hit the bricks.

Tartuffe: Oh, Orgon, I feel so bad about this!

Orgon: There, there. That little bastard's gone now.

Tartuffe: No, I really should go too. I've caused too much of a ruckus.

Orgon: No, stay!

Tartuffe: Well, OK. But you’ll certainly insist that I stay away from that luscious wife of yours. I wouldn’t want to stir up any rumors.

Orgon: What, with those busybody neighbors of ours? Screw ‘em. I insist that you hang out with my wife – especially when I’m not around.  

Tartuffe: But 

Orgon: – And what’s more: I'll disinherit that good-for-nothing son of mine and make you my heir!

Tartuffe: Well, OK. So... I’d best be going. Time to find a decent suit for the wedding. If only I could find my wallet...

Orgon: Don’t be silly. Take mine!

Tartuffe: Oh, Orgon. You’re the best!

[Tartuffe departs...]

Mariane: Oh, dad. Please don't make me marry that skeezoid.

Orgon: Suck it. That's the plan.

Elmire: Are you crazy?

Orgon: I'm the only sane one around here!

Elmire: Husband, listen to me. Tartuffe is a straight-up super-skank. And I can prove it. Just hide somewhere in the house, and you’ll see what a scoundrel this supposedly pious guru-guy really is.

Orgon: OK, I could hide in the closet!

Elmire: No, this table is just fine. Just hide underneath and we’ll wait for Tartuffe to show up. It won’t be long before he starts trying to have his way with me. I'll make a loud coughing sound to alert you. That’s when you leap out to save me.

Orgon: Or listen for a while…

[Dorine takes a break from eaves-dusting…]


[More time passes. Then Tartuffe returns...]

Tartuffe: Excuse me. I just stopped back a minute to –

Elmire: – “light my fire,” I hope! See, I want you after all! That’s why I told you not to marry my daughter. I want you all for myself!

Tartuffe: Cool! Let's have sex!

Elmire: Definitely. But for now let’s just kiss. [Cough]

Tartuffe: Cool! Then let's have sex!

Elmire: Yes, by all means. But aren't you worried about my husband – or going to hell? [Cough!]

Tartuffe: Surprisingly, no.

Elmire: [COUGH!]

Tartuffe: That's some cough you've got there. Want some Licorice?

Elmire: Um, you know, my husband might be in the house right now. And let me add that if you and I have sex, on this table, where he could be hiding this very instant, well, it’d be his fault! [COUGH! COUGH!]

Tartuffe: Jeez. OK, I'll look around and see if Orgon’s hiding nearby. But I’m not up for any three-way action. The Ménage à-stuff is a sin.

[Tartuffe walks into another room…]

Orgon: That bastard!

Elmire: Oh, dear, did you hear something? Are you sure you don’t want to keep hiding under the table to enjoy the whole show?

[Orgon steps out from under the table…]

Orgon: I told you I should have hid in the closet.

Elmire: Yeah, I see your point.

[Tartuffe returns…]

Tartuffe: No sign of him, Elmire. Say, I’ve got a great idea: Let’s celebrate by having sex!

Orgon: Tartuffe, you bastard, you tried to seduce my wife!

Tartuffe: Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? I tell you, I've gotta plead ignorance on this –

Orgon: – Get out of my house!

Tartuffe: I will. But you'll be sorry…


Cléante: So, things are bad, huh?

Orgon: Worse. Turns out, I gave Tartuffe a box that contain some embarrassing papers – papers that would piss off the King.

Cléante: Strange how you never mentioned those papers before. Oh well. I guess you could say that you’re “royally screwed.”

Orgon [flashes Cléante a double-take]: Yeah, I guess. But at least I’ve learned that Tartuffe is a religious hypocrite. Moreover I now see that all religious people are evil!

Cléante: "Moderation": You should try it sometime.

Damis: Don't listen, Dad. I’d kill the guy!

Madame Pernelle: I'm back, folks! How are things with Tartuffe? Y’all must be real holy rollers by now!

Orgon: Hi, Mom. No, not so much. Tartuffe tried to hook up with my wife. And now he’s taken some secret documents, probably to the King. We’re gonna get tossed onto the street!

Madame Pernelle: Serves you right.

Orgon: Yeah... Wait, what? Aren’t you supposed to be my mother?

Bailiff: Knock, knock!

Orgon: Who the hell are you?

Bailiff: Local bailiff, sir. I'm the guy telling you that Tartuffe owns your house now.

Damis: That magnificent bastard...

Dorine: So boss, you’re learning your lesson now, huh?

Orgon: Oh my God, Dorine, why won't you shut up!

[Valère ambles by, a sweet, stupid look on his face…]

Valère: Hi folks. Say, I heard that Tartuffe stole your money and is taking your house. So, would you like some gold?

Orgon: [Derp]

Valère: Turns out, I’m rich. Yeah, me: the guy you accused of being a "poor nobody."

Orgon: Sorry about that. Um, thanks for the money.

[Tartuffe returns, bringing a servant of King Louis XIV…]

Tartuffe: Hey all! I’m back, and I bought an officer of the King to arrest you.

Officer: Yeah, about that. Actually I'm here to arrest you.

Tartuffe: What?

Officer: Do you think our king is a butthead? He's the freakin' Sun King, yo. He sees all, and he definitely sees through you. So it’s off to jail for you, Tartuffe. Oh, and Orgon, don't stress about that secret box. The King doesn't care about its contents. Just remember: Don’t screw with Louis XIV.

Orgon: Oui!

[Orgon turns a malicious gaze upon Tartuffe…]

OrgonAnd as for you –

Cléante: – Orgon, what did I tell you about moderation?

[Everyone in the family laughs, except for Tartuffe who really is royally screwed…]

Orgon: OK, now that this unpleasantness is behind us, it's time for a wedding!

Everyone: Oh, dad!

More Pseudo Scripts