After the break, Mr. Rosso welcomes Ken to his "new office" (which he encloses in finger quotes), "courtesy of Big Brother"; it looks to me like a corner in the school library. Mr. Rosso makes a remark indicating his surprise that Ken is voluntarily speaking with him, and Ken admits that he can't believe it himself, but that he needs Mr. Rosso's advice: "Well, there's a...small, little, uh...chance...that, uh, I might be gay." Mr. Rosso mildly says, "I see. That's cool." Ken continues, "I thought you'd be a good person to talk to about it, since you're gay." Mr. Rosso says (without any particular emotion), "I'm not gay." "You're not?" Ken yelps. "No," says Mr. Rosso. Ken starts to say he'd always assumed Mr. Rosso was gay, and Mr. Rosso asks him why. Ken says, "You kinda have this way about you? And I've -- I've never seen you with a woman." Defensively, Mr. Rosso snaps, "Well, I don't bring dates to school! Look, there's nothing wrong with being gay. It's just not my personal preference." Ken looks confused and mumbles, "I think I'd better get going." Mr. Rosso invites him to "stay and talk about this," but Ken drawls, "No, I don't think I can."
At home, Ken listens to a David Bowie song I recognize but of which I don't know the title (sorry). He bobs his head wanly, clearly experimenting with his reaction to glam rock. Then he flicks a switch and switches to music that sounds a bit like it might be Megadeth (but, again, I don't know for sure -- hey, I was listening to Free to Be, You and Me back then!), and he immediately starts banging his head enthusiastically and picking at an air guitar. He shuffles some cassettes in his hand and puts a new one in the stereo, whereupon a disco version "If They Could See Me Now" comes blaring out of the speakers. Ken flicks his head with a confused expression, and then from under his mattress, he pulls out a porn mag with a pair of womanly legs on the cover, and a bag, out of which he slides a men's gay porn magazine entitled Playpen. He stares from one cover to the next, apparently not coming up with any definitive test results. I have to say that if I had to determine my sexual orientation based on my appreciation of either gay or straight porn, I would choose celibacy.
At school, Mr. Rosso is trying to break into what is presumably his own car (his briefcase is resting on the roof), muttering to himself, and then, when he is unsuccessful, loudly cussing (hee hee, using the word "mother-rammer"). Lindsay wanders up and asks what he's doing. Evidently, Lindsay's is a case where book-smarts and street-smarts diverge, which is essentially what Mr. Rosso's response indicates. She offers to help him, and he defensively tells her he can handle it. Stung, she makes to leave, but he calls her back to tell her that "Bush's people rejected [her] question, so they've written one for [her]." He hands her a slip of paper, from which she reads, "What is your favourite place to eat in the state of Michigan?" She demands to know what happened, and he tells her that the Bush people (of the Kalahari?) found the question she wrote to be "too sophisticated." She contemptuously asks what that's supposed to mean, and Mr. Rosso grumbles, "That's code for 'Nice try, but this is a glorified photo opportunity.'" Lindsay scoffs non-verbally, and Mr. Rosso says that he's disappointed, too, but that she should try to keep a positive perspective, bitterly informing her, "You actually get to interact with the Vice-President of the United States. That's historic." Sarcastically, Lindsay whines, "Ooh, maybe if I'm lucky he'll tell me which steak house has the best prime rib!" Mr. Rosso expresses his disillusionment that there will be no real political dialogue, and that "you can't win with these people. You know what all my protesting accomplished in the sixties, at Berkeley? Sixteen scars on my head from a tear-gas canister. We tried to get them to stop the war. They stopped the war when they felt like it. And now all my compatriots are gettin' rich workin' Wall Street, and I can't get my keys out of my mother's car!" Lindsay, in turn, expresses her disillusionment that Mr. Rosso is apparently giving up so easily: "Come on, there's nothing we can do?" Mr. Rosso mutters, "Yeah, there's something you can do. You can go get Brooksie the janitor to come out here and help me." Lindsay stares at him, heartbroken. Somehow, I have a feeling that this incident didn't actually convince Mr. Rosso that the sixties were over, since it's now twenty years later and most boomers still haven't figured that out. (This observation is brought to you by Wing Chun, new homeowner and therefore enemy to hippies everywhere.)