Back To School

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Lesson Seven: If You Can't Say Anything Well…

We get interview from Carolyn about how she doesn't even know what the hell they're talking about: is it a good idea to have sex in the workplace? A bad idea? "It's funny," she admits, "but it isn't educational." Alla takes the mic and is, of course, smooth as silk, all about how they're not going to be judging anyone, but just talking about how to address uncomfortable situations in the work environment. On the one hand, props for actually giving people something to hang onto, as far as a point to all this. But pans for not making that clear to anyone on your team. Carolyn's still going crazy with her the hell? faces, and fucking Markus takes out a yo-yo. Now, I would have stuck him front and center and given him free rein for five minutes, and gone to sleep happy with the fact that none of those people were ever going to have sex again because they'd all be in comas, but I can appreciate them sidelining him for the actual presentation, because God knows what that guy would come up with. No, because even God would be like, "Shut this dude UP."

Adam interviews that things were going well, "until Clay started with his comments." Now, I love you guys, and I know opinions on this run high, so all quotes from here to the end are verbatim, and all opinions expressed by yours truly are solely mine and nobody else's. Cut to Clay saying, "…Maybe I saw this amazing guy that came into work one day, and I was like, 'Oh my God, look at his ass.'" One woman blinks, one starts to chew her lip nervously, and I collapse. Clay, come on. Here's the thing on that: it's one thing to be judged and receive prejudicial treatment for being gay. It's a horrible thing. But what I cannot stand is this "I'm not touching you, I'm not touching you" approach to sexual equality: he's daring you to have a bias and freak out on him. And since he doesn't know anything about you, that's a guerrilla attack and has more to do with gearing up for future outrage than it does about the mistreatment itself. It's the "do I look fat in this?" approach to cultural change, and what it does is piss people off.

But that's not even the real problem here, it's mostly mine, because the real problem is: Gross me out, dude. Stop looking at my ass, you know? Picture this: Markus stands up and says the following: "…Maybe I saw this amazing woman that came into work one day, and I was like, 'Oh my God, look at her tits.'" Okay? So Clay continues, "There you are, and you wanna talk about it, but you can't." Can't just talk about her tits whenever you want? How is this a gay issue? How is The Man keeping you down by frowning on the ass talk? Carolyn gets distinctly unhappy, and Felisha and Adam are both getting more nervous, as Clay continues: "I had an employer once that liked to come up and slap me on the ass, and say, 'Hey, boy, you're doing a good job.'" Is that even on topic? Now it just sounds's not sexual harassment, it's not an invitation to love, it's not anything but...Clay's inability to shut up, I guess. "Sex At Work" is a bit tangential to "Clay's Experience Of Sex Or Whatever At Work."

Clay: "I'm actually gay...I don't have a problem saying that…" Dude, we know. Adam starts having a big problem here, and there's not a chalkboard to sketch all the math out on that one, because he's actually having one hundred distinct and separate problems at this moment. Clay then ties it all together with, "If you are gay you have the same problems -- and sometimes you have even more because you don't get the respect…" Which, I agree with his point, but he's kind of screwed the pooch on that, because while I think that in the course of an everyday conversation this basic issue of sexuality can come up, and in ways that flaunt your sexuality no more than introducing yourself as "Mrs. Donald Trump" (stop flaunting your sexuality!) or referring to your boyfriend or girlfriend (stop flaunting your sexuality!) or discussing your future allowed-by-law wedding (stop flaunting your sexuality!), the buck stops at the point where you start feeling that your right to talk about the new recruit's hot ass is being impinged upon by an unfeeling and rigid right-wing society. Felisha interviews that Clay was "the king of awkward moments during this presentation." This interview clearly took place before the Boardrooms, or else he'd have been demoted to Prince or Viscount or Secretary of State of Awkward Moments, but it does lead into the most contentious moment in the series:

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