Friday, November 4, 2011

Sam Shepard and the 99%

WESTON: I remember now. I was in hock. I was in hock up to my elbows. See, I always figured on the future. I banked on it. I was banking on it getting better. It couldn't get worse, so I figured it'd just get better. I figured that's why everyone wants you to buy things. Buy refrigerators. Buy cars, houses, lots, invest. They wouldn't be so generous if they didn't figure you had it comin' in. At some point it had to be comin' in. So I went along with it. Why not borrow if you know it's coming in. Why not make a touch here and there. They all want you to borrow anyhow. Banks, car lots, investors. The whole thing's geared to invisible money. You never hear the sound of change anymore. It's all plastic shuffling back and forth. It's all in everybody's heads. So I figured if that's the case, why not take advantage of it? Why not go in debt for a few grand if all it is is numbers? If it's all an idea and nothing's really there, why not take advantage? So I just went along with it, that's all. I just played ball.

-- from Curse of the Starving Class by Sam Shepard (1976)
edited to note: I read Curse of the Starving Class for the first time this week and this monologue really struck me as appropriate to our current era. As it happens, Charles Isherwood also quoted this speech in his review of the 2008 revival of the play at ACT, but I didn't read Isherwood's piece until after writing this blog post.

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