Six Feet Under
Grinding The Corn

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Once Upon A Time In Mexico

This feels like one of those episodes that they were in the middle of shooting when they discovered that it was going to end up waaaaaaaaaaay too short so they added a stage direction that read "and then they banter, or whatever" for five lines in every scene. Here, particularly, you can almost feel the actors peering off-screen and seeing the director doing that international sign for "pulling taffy," when five sets of fingertips meet in the middle and then pull outward indicating, "Longer, more, keep going, this is gold, people, I'm telling you it's gold." Claire walks through a hallway at LAC Arts, where she spots Russell. This is their exact conversation:

Claire: Hey.
Russell: Hey. Did you hear?
Claire: Hear what?
Russell: Professor Pope just got in a car accident.
Claire: She's dead?
Russell: No. No, she just suffered internal injuries. But she's gonna be out for at least a month.
Claire: But she's gonna be okay?
Russell: Yeah. Well, I mean, that depends on your definition of "serious internal injuries."

I mean, it's not awful, as filler dialogue goes, but SHUT UP. They do not shut up. Instead, Russell vamps on about the uselessness of the gall bladder, hoping it wasn't Pope's lungs that got punctured: "What if it was her labia? Wouldn't that be totally tragic for her?" They share a frozen moment, which Russell breaks with the question, "Why are you looking at me like some kind of retard?" Claire tells him, "I swear, Russell, sometimes you are. And for your information, labia are not internal organs." Man. You think about licking one pussy and all of a sudden you're Doctor Vagina. Which is totally Keith's superhero name. While we're playing.

Claire turns around in disgust and makes toward the classroom. What Claire needs is a real man. An older man. A man she really understands, and who understands her. Someone who doesn't mock her sexual awakening. Someone who isn't in her rapidly-dissolving clique. Preferably someone who's spent a whole bunch of time in a mental institution. Hey, there's one! Claire walks into the class to discover that her substitute teacher is good ol' Billy Chenowith. Their lock eyes. They smile. My college also had a furlough program where former inmates of insane asylums were left to preside over classes of ten to fifteen college students. It's why I found myself so often constructing sentences during my college education with sentiments such as, "Though I agree with the contention that the late Victorians excoriated Oscar Wilde on account of his subversive literary leanings, I find it somewhat unlikely having read De Profundis that he would have been so shabbily treated by those who consumed his plays if he hadn't also lived a subversive life outside of the strictures of that work, which is why I argue that historical contextualization of any work is as essential of a hermeneutical reading of the text itself. I hope that answers your question, Professor Dahmer." Man, I hated having that class right before lunch wakka wakka.

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Six Feet Under

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