Sunday, 21 January 2018

Another Enlightening Dialogue


After the earlier, enlightening monologue, everyone has now gathered for another enlightening dialogue.


Act One. Scene One.


Plato:
When you appear on The Social Media Show, do you usually perform monologues or dialogues?

Socrates:
Who wants to know?

Xenophon:
Posterity.

Aristophanes:
And your enemies.

Antisthenes:
Though your fans already know your answer.

Plato:
You often mutter to yourself, Socrates, but I thought it best to tell posterity you prefer dialogues.  My own career in posterity depends on your reputation.

Aristophanes:
I've always said Socrates is a basket case.

Plato:
And I've always said your judgement is clouded, failed playwright.

Xenophon:
Everyone needs good advice.

Antisthenes:
That is why I'm one of your greatest fans, Socrates.  You taught me about living within my means and not going into debt.  Aristophanes probably wrote comedy in an attempt to clear his own debts.  Perhaps you, Plato, stole my ideas to pay off your own.

Plato:
I make no apology for my defence of an uncorrupted person.

Socrates:
I'm hungry.  Let's find something to eat in Mr Twitter's Coffee House.


Act one. Scene two. 


Antisthenes:
I'd prefer a nice cup of tea with a cheese and tomato sandwich, but I'll have whatever you have, Socrates.

Aristophanes:
I currently prefer a newer drink.  It's called Chocolate Thick Shake.  I'm not really hungry.

Anachronism:
Well, hurry up.  I must take your orders now.  There are Cleon tell waiting.

Socrates:
There are spies everywhere.  When did you start your latest waiting job, Anachronism?

Anachronism:
Yesterday or tomorrow.  I can't remember.  What do you want to order?

Socrates:
A hemlock and egg mayonnaise roll would do nicely.  I'll have a soda water with that.  Where is Mr Twitter, anyway?  He usually takes our orders when we tweet.

Anachronism:
He's in the gymnasium.  He's been struggling to throw out unruly characters, even during daylight hours.

Plato:
He has always looked a bit too scrawny.  If he builds up a bit more muscle, he might be able to take on that Facebook giant next door.

Xenophon:
We all need to take on giants and other tyrants.

Aristophanes:
Poppycock!  Winning requires inferior arguments and plenty of money.  That is how democracy works in the 21st century.  The giants and other tyrants have the money.  You, Socrates, Plato and Antisthenes have the inferior arguments.

Anachronism:
I have inferior arguments, too.  But I'm only a waiter.  What good is it for me to learn from comedy or a thinkery?

Socrates:
It you have curiosity, there is much to learn from knowledge stored in clouds.

Aristotle:
Waiter! We need service!

Anachronism:
Are you willing to pay for it?

Alex:
I have some selfie coins, a few credit cards and a big army.

Aristotle:
I'll give everyone an IOU and the chance to buy my latest book at a discounted price.

Anachronism:
The last time you were here, Alex, I asked for a tip and you pointed a spear at me.  You'll have to wait for the boss or leave now.  Mr Twitter told me not to serve bullies or their friends.

Plato:
Will I be able to order a plate of spaghetti soon? 

Anachronism:
I can open a tin for you.  Do you like tomato sauce?

Plato:
What happened to the last waiter, Aristippus?  He knew I preferred fresh spaghetti with plenty of garlic, parsley and hot chillies.

Anachronism:
Aristippus ran off with the takings, set up his own school of philosophy in Blogopolis and now appears on television chat shows.

Plato:
Does anyone still watch television?

Socrates:
Only those who don't know how to use a smartphone properly.


Act two, scene one


Dante:
Did you attend the monologue this morning?

Shakespeare:
No.  Who gave it?

Dante:
I'm not sure. I was elsewhere.

Shakespeare:
So was I.  Where were you?

Dante:
In exile, as usual.  Whenever I try telling politicians and religious leaders they will end up in hell, they blocked me from following their social media accounts.

Shakespeare:
Me too. They won't attempt dialogues of enlightenment when I, or anyone else, asks them important questions.

Dante:
Do you think anyone is listening in to our conversation?

Shakespeare:
My phone is off.  There are no microphones above my head.

Dante:
I know what it's like to be tapped. 

Pepys:
Hello friends.  I didn't see you at the monologue.  Where were you?

Dante:
We were both in exile.  Who gave the monologue this time?

Pepys:
Not someone I know much about.  Hold on a minute while I refer to my digital diary.  I wrote the name in code.

Shakespeare:
I've written quite a few code names in my diary, too.  Maybe there will be a link.

Dante:
Codes tend to be part of the logic of good drama, and a part of poetry.

Pepys:
Ah!  Here it is:  Apple Pie the Apple.

Shakespeare:
I'll just put that in an App.

Newton:
Hello everyone.  Who took note of the gravity of this morning's monologue?

Pepys:
Dante and Shakespeare were exiles and unable to attend.  I was there but I'm having difficulty remembering the name of the speaker.

Newton:
Oh dear.  I was hoping you could tell me who is was.

Shakespeare:
I've tried switching on my apple but now it won't work.  It must be bruised.  I dropped it on my way here.

Dante:
Pepys, there must be an important message in your code.  It appears to me, therefore, that the person in question is a lady.  In according with your prior patterns of behaviour, that personage is likely to have aroused your interest towards a more intimate acquaintance.

Anachronism:
Does anyone mind if I jump in here?  I couldn't help overhearing your conversation from the side of the stage.  The Pythia told me that 21st century audiences often forget her name.  Does anyone want some apple juice?

Pepys:
That's it!  That's the name.  Apple Pythia.  I remember now.  I must be almost as clever as Socrates.

Shakespeare:
I'll have some apple juice, please.  Who is Apple Pythia? 

Newton:
Her correct name is The Pi Theia, as far as I am aware.  I'd like some apple juice, too, please.

Anachronism:
Her name is The Pythia.  I should know.  She is a very good friend of mine.

Dante:
Anyway, what are you doing here, Anachronism?

Anachronism:
Apparently, I am to be the main protagonist on act three.  I'm not sure if I can wait that long.  I'm already bored with my social media hospitality job.


Act two.  Scene two.

The Pythia:
An apple has much symbolism,
Even out of season.
The future I must grapple here,
With little rhyme or reason.

Socrates:
Oh Pythia, my spruiker!
You've helped my career, it's true.
Wise words are always likelier
When they pop up out of the blue.

Dante:
To create an enlightening dialogue
In this ethereal, weird world of ours,
Warns ordinary people not to mistake
Silly idiots for stars.

Anachronism:
Remember we are here now in 2018.
The political world is, unfortunately,
Still blatantly obscene.
It's time for another interval.