Transcript of Sarah Jones on One Woman, Five Characters, and a Sex Lesson From The Future at TED
Sarah Jones – Polymorphic playwright
This is a play called Sell/Buy/Date. It’s my first since Bridge and Tunnel, which I did on Broadway, and this one, I — thank you — I’ve excerpted it just for you, so here we go.
Right. Class, let’s be absolutely certain all electronic devices are switched off before we begin. So class, hopefully you’ll recognize what you just heard me say as the — ? Very good, the cellular phone announcement. Right? This was also known as a mobile phone. So you’ll remember, people of that era would have had an external electronic device, right, something like this, and they all would have carried one of these around with them, and amongst their biggest fears was the sheer mortification that one of these might ring at some inopportune moment. Right? So a bit of trivia about that era for you.
So the format of today’s class is I will be presenting multiple BERT modules today from that period in history, right, so starting circa 2016. And remember, this was the very first year of the BERT program. So we’ve got quite a few of these to get through. Bear in mind, I will be living into various different bodies, different ages, also what were then called races, or ethnic groups, as you’ll remember from Unit 1.
And along the gender continuum, I will be living into males as well. It was quite binary at that time. Also, don’t forget, we are reading the book module for next week’s focus on gender. Now, I know some of you have requested the book in pill form. I know people still believe ingesting it is better for retention, but since we are trying to experience what our forebears did, right, let’s please just consider doing the actual ocular reading, okay?
And also, how many people have your emotional shunts engaged? Right. Please toggle them off. Okay? I know it’s challenging, but I want you to be able to feel the entire natural emo range, all right? It is essential to this part of the syllabus. Yes, Macy? All right. I understand. If you’re unwilling to — All right, well, we can discuss that after class. All right, we will discuss your concerns. Just relax. Nobody’s died and gone to composting. Okay. After class. Okay? After class.
All right. Let’s just get started, okay. This first subject identified as a middle-class homemaker. Remember, these early modules in these people’s full identities were protected, and this allowed them to speak more freely on our topic, which for many of them was taboo.
Okay honey, now, I’m ready when you are. No, sweetheart, I said, I’m ready when you are. I’m freezing. It’s like a meat locker in here in this recording studio. I should have brought a shmata. All this fancy technology but they can’t afford heat. What is he saying? I can’t hear you! I can’t hear you through the glass, honey! There you are in my ear. Oh, you can hear me? The whole time. Oh, yes, I am a little chilly. Yes, oh the cold is for the machines, the new technology.
Okay. Yes, now remind me again, you’re recording not only my voice but my feelings and my memories? Right. Yes, BERT, yes, I read about it. Bio-Empathetic Resonance Technology. Right, right, so people will be able to feel my experience and my memory? Okay. No, right, I’m ready. I just thought you were going to give me a test to see how my memory’s doing. I was going to tell you you’re too late, it’s already bad news. No, no, go ahead, honey.
Oh, that’s the first question? What do I think of prostitution? Are you soliciting me, young man? I’ve heard of May-December romances, but what are you, about 20 years old? Eighteen? Eighteen years. I think I have candies in my purse older than 18 years old. I’m teasing you, sweetheart. No, I’m comfortable with any question. Sure. So about the prostitution — oh, sex worker, sex worker. No, just in my day, they called it prostitution, not sex work. Oh, because it includes pornography also?
Okay. No, well, I guess when I was a girl, we didn’t really have a name for that either. We would have said dirty magazines, I suppose, or dirty movies. Well, it’s not like what you have with the Internet. No, well, I don’t mind sharing. My late husband and I, we were a very romantic couple. Lots of tenderness, you understand. Well, as you get older, you know, at one point I thought my husband might be helped by using some of the pills men can take, but he wasn’t interested in those, so I thought, what about maybe watching an adult movie on the Internet? Just for inspiration, you understand.