John From Cincinnati
His Visit: Day Five

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Mr. Sobell: B- | Grade It Now!
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Preach On. And On. And On Some More.

After a quick shot of Butchie fumbling with a cell phone -- presumably to call Tina -- and promising to himself that he is going to get high, we go out to where John, Joe, and Bill are sitting in a van down by the border. A commercial on the heartbreak of shameful flooring is blaring on the radio. Do I have to tell you which of the three people in the van starts imitating the commercial? (Hint: Joe is busy surveying the landscape with his binoculars, and Bill is too preoccupied with looking uncomfortable.) "I would like to know our motive," Bill says, "and our specific purpose. And I will not directly ask a moron." Guess you're going to have to field the question then, Vietnam Joe. They're at the road where Joe came across John's stabbed body, and since John has been repeating words like "vato," Joe assumes that this is as good a place as any for the stakeout. And on that note, Joe suggests that they all enjoy a good spliff. "On that, I take no position," Bill huffs. Though he is adamant that the radio -- still in the midst of the longest flooring commercial ever recorded -- be turned off. Done and done.

Tina continues driving -- this time without the interjections of her fanbase, thankfully -- when Butchie finally manages successfully to punch seven digits into his cell phone. Tina answers. "Where the fuck have you been?" Butchie screams. The conversation sort of degenerates from there, with Butchie using a vulgar term for women you really should never use if you hope to keep all of your teeth, as well as a common racial slur against African-Americans that you should also not use in conversation, even if you're recording a rap song. This repeats a couple of times -- Butchie calling Tina, getting agitated, spewing vulgarities to the point where Tina hangs up, and then calling her back to apologize before he apologizes again and then works himself to spewing the same vulgarities. It's sort of funny, but not so much as to mitigate the ugliness of the language. Yeah, I realize that the coarseness of the language is supposed to say something about Butchie's character, but I don't find it particularly inventive or daring -- it's just crude and easy and unchallenging. I guess that makes me a square, but really, I could care less. And my TiVo agrees -- during this scene, the hard drive stuttered and froze with the picture sticking on Butchie mid-slur. You owe me a goddamn TiVo, Milch. Anyhow, the long and the short of it is that Butchie asks Tina to come back to see Shaun, at Cissy's request, and that Tina asks Butchie not to get high, and that it is very uncomfortable watching a predominantly white cast toss off racist words as easily as if they were using adverbs.

(The rest of this episode comes courtesy of technology, a friend who would rather remain anonymous, and a very liberal definition of fair use under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.)

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John From Cincinnati

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