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 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 de-scribing the subaltern!
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.
Crowd Wooooo!  Woooooo!
Louis (shocked and disbelieving)  Tina, this is crazy.  You know that Sartre clarified all this way back in the 40s.
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 Über-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 arms 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 Übermensch.  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. 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) .
Jerry 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!

[Source:  unknown, bearing only the notation, "making the rounds".  The immediate source was my daughter, Cathy Blood.]

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