In some fairly empty, high-ceilinged room I can't really place -- an art gallery? -- a bunch of people are sprawled around, mostly on the floor, a few on the rare chair or sofa. There's some kind of balcony, with some people sitting on the edge with their legs hanging through the railings. A guy is saying, "Government doesn't care, because power only cares about itself. Corporations don't care, because they're too busy gouging you. So what's this all about? This is about us." Hmm. Gentle reader: I have been to many, many anarchist meetings and this one? Not so convincing. I spent several of my early adult years in the anarchist community so I know that most people have an incredibly addled, misinformed idea of what anarchism is about. Mind you, I've seen much worse representations than this, so I'm not going to carp too much. Luke wanders in at this point, looking for Grace. Me: "I bet this is going to be 'The Gift of the Magi,' Arcadia style." The guy continues, "It's about you and me. It's not about hierarchies, it's not about authority…" Luke spots a blonde woman in a black leather jacket and steals over to her, tapping her on the back: "Grace." She turns with a somewhat fierce look; it ain't Grace. Luke shrinks back, surprised. He approaches another woman with a similar jacket and hairstyle: "Grace?" That's not her either. Frink: "He should know by now what the back of Grace's jacket looks like, since she's got stuff painted all over it." Luke asks this one if she's seen Grace Polk. NotGrace#2 asks, "Yeah, well, what does she look like?" Luke hesitantly explains that her jacket and hair are kind of like NotGrace#2's, summarizing: "Well, kind of like you. Um -- and her, and… well everyone here, I guess." NotGrace#2 takes offence: "Are you saying we're conformists, dude?" Luke backpedals: "No! No, no, no, no! You all have very subtle differences, very distinctly subtle --" Peeved, she turns back to the speaker, who's now noticed Luke -- and unfortunately for Luke, his shoes. "Dude…those sneakers were made in Central America by children working twenty-hour days in rat-infested factories." Okay, this part is convincing. Luke: "My mom got 'em for me." The guy tells everyone to look at "the dude's" shoes. There's muttering about "selling out to the man." Luke says, "I'm just looking for my friend…" The cold reception doesn't change. Luke starts to slowly remove his shoes: "To give her these shoes…for you to burn." He tosses them on the floor. The peanut gallery murmurs, "Righteous."
Meanwhile, Grace is at the theatre, looking for Luke in an audience full of space-helmet-wearing geeks who are reciting dialogue along with the movie. She whispers, "Girardi?" She sees one blond, bespectacled pencil neck and leans in: "Girardi?" Wrong. She creeps along the aisle, pausing to quickly snatch up one kid's latex mask and then remark, "Thank God," when it turns out not to be Luke. Professor Frink refers to the fake Lukes as "fLukes." She keeps going, stage-whispering, "Girardi! Girardi!" Friedman turns around and stands up to face her: "Missing someone, Marge?" He eats popcorn. Grace enjoys some hot buttered crow. ["I don't know why, but something about the way Friedman dramatically ate his popcorn at that moment was hilarious. I rewound it about five times. I think it was the way he was sort of firing it over the transom of the helmet. Hee, Friedman." -- Sars]