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SEVEN

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT OF SPERR LANSING SHOW B/3/57. RECORDED BUT NOT USED. RESERVE 2 (AUSTRALIAN TOUR) PUT OUT AS LAST MINUTE SUBSTITUTE.


SPERR: Thank you thank you (No response to applause killer) thank you thank you well this is what Id call a real dose of the (Laughter and Applause) I didnt say that I didnt say no I didnt. Seriously though (Laughter) the rise in prices. I went to a new barber yesterday and before I even sat down he said thatll be one dollar fifty (Laughter). Thats cheap I told him for a haircut (Laughter). That he said is for the estimate (Laughter and Applause). Seriously though (Laughter) the way they speak English in New York (Laughter). I saw two men at Kennedy Airport the other day and one said to the other When are you leaving. The other said I am leaving in the Bronx (Laughter and Applause). I have a new tailor did I tell you or should I say I HAD a new tailor (L). I took the suit back and said this doesnt fit. Sure it doesnt fit he said. Youre not wearing it right (L). You have to stick out your left hip and your right shoulder and bend that knee a bit (L and A). Then it fits nice (L). So I did as he said (Visual. L and A) and was walking along 46th Street when two doctors came by and I heard one say to the other Look at that poor feller a terrible case of deformity (L). Right says the other. The suit fits nice though (L and prolonged A). Seriously though clients and customers anybody here tonight from Minneapolis and St. Paul (A and Jeers). I thought not (L). That means I cant say I went out with a girl from up there (L). She was called the tail of two cities (Prolonged L and A. SPERR shouts over). Be right back. A great guest list tonight folks desirable Ermine Elderley Jake Summers Prof (Premature start commercial break)


SPERR: So if you want to stay slim and feel overfed girls try it. My first guest tonight is a famous British poet at present visiting professor at University of Manhattan. Weve asked him to come and say something about a movie that was all his idea and is at present causing a riot in the movie houses of the civilized world. Ladies and gentlemen-Professor Fox Enderby (Applause card Applause. Visual unrehearsed guest trips on wire. A and L).


SPERR: Must say we all admire the suit Professor Enderby (A). A bit of Oldy England (A).


ENDERBY: (Unintelligible) right name.


SPERR: Oh I see just the initials. Pardon me. Well an O is a zero right. And a zeros nothing right. So its just an F and an X. With nothing between. Like I said. FOX (Prolonged A).


ENDERBY: (Unintell).


SPERR: Are you married, professor? (Headshake no) Do you have children? (L).


ENDERBY: A wise child knows his own (?)


SPERR: What I want to say is do you would you like children of yours to see a movie like Wreck of the Deutschland.


ENDERBY: Anybody can see what the hell they like for all I care. Anybodys children. Cluding (?) yours.


SPERR: I have a daughter of six (A). You wouldn't object to her seeing a movie of nuns being er (Prolonged A).


ENDERBY: Not the point. The point is to have a world in which nuns are not. Then it wouldnt be in films. Then thered be no danger of your daughter. Besides its adults only.


SPERR: Maybe. But there are disturbing reports of the young seeing the film and then committing atrocities (A).


ENDERBY: What the hell are they clapping for. Because of the atrocities. Would your six year old daughter go round raping nuns.


SPERR: No but shed be disturbed and maybe wake up crying with nightmares (A). We like to protect our children professor (Very prol. A).


ENDERBY: And wheres it got (?) you protecting them. More juvenile violence in America than anywhere else in the world. Not that I object to violence (Audience protest). You cant change things without violence. You baggers (?) were violence when you broke away from us in 1776. Not blaming you for that of course. You wanted to do it and were term into do it (??). You were wrong of course. Might still be a bit of law and order if you were still colonial territory. Not ready for self gov (Audience protest and some A).


SPERR: Your attitude ties up with your dress professor (Prol. A). I understand then that youre very patriotic. But youre not living in Britain are you.


ENDERBY: Cant stand the bloody place. Americanized. The past is the only place worth living in. Imaginary past. Lets get back to what we were talking about before you introduced irreverences (?).


SPERR: You did it not me (A).


ENDERBY: People always blame art literature drama for their own evil. Or other peoples. Art only imitates life. Evils already there. Original sin. Curious thing about America is that it was founded by people who believed original sin and also priesty nation (???) but then you had to watch for signs of gods grace and this was in commercial success making your own way building heaven on earth and so on and this led to American plagiarism (?).


SPERR: What words that professor.


ENDERBY: A British monkey called Morgan in Greek Plage us (??????) taught no national pensity (?) to evil. Errorsy (?). Evils in everybody. Desire to kill rape destroy mindless violence


SPERR: I thought you said you liked violence (Prol. A).


ENDERBY: Never said that you silly bagger (?). Never said mindless MINDLESS violets. Constructive different.


SPERR: Oh I see sorry. Take a break now. Be right back. Dont go away (Pro!. A. Music pomp circus dance (?)). (Commercial break)


SPERR: Oh there you are. Hi. My next guest is also a professor youve met often on the show. Expert on human behavior and author of many books such as er The Human Engine Waits will you please welcome back professor of psychology Stations of the Cross university Ribblesdale NY Man Balaglas (Applause card Applause. Prof Balaglas).


SPERR: Well hi. Its been quite some time professor.


ENDERBY: What did you say it was called.


BALAGLAS: What.


ENDERBY: This university where youre at. I didnt quite catch the.


BALAGLAS: Stations of the Cross.


ENDERBY: Catholic.


BALAGLAS: Theres Protestants there too. Jews. Fifth Day Adventists. What youd call ecommunionicle (?).


SPERR: And do you like violence too professor (A and some L).


ENDERBY: I never said I liked the bloody thing. Mindless I said.


BALAGLAS: Most emphatic no. The great scourge of our age and one of the most urgent of our needs is to laminate (?) it and that is what my own department along with others in other universities regards as research priority (Pause then some A).


ENDERBY: Youll never get rid of it. Original sin.


BALAGLAS: I would there most emphatic disagree an urgent problem we have to make our cities places where people can walk at night without getting mugged and raped and killed all the time (A).


ENDERBY: (Unintell) all the time.


SPERR: And how can this be done professor.


BALAGLAS: Positive rain forcemeat (?). Instructive urge is not killed (kwelled?) by prison or punishment. Brainwashing that is to say negative through fear of pain already tried but is fundamentally inhuman (e?). We must so condition human mind that reward is expected for doing good not the other way about.


ENDERBY: What other way about.


SPERR: Like he said professor. Psychology.


ENDERBY: A lot of simple (sinful?) bloody nonsense. You take the filament of human choice out of ethnical decisions. Men should be free to choose good. But theres no choice if theres only good. Stands to region there has to be evil as well.


BALAGLAS: I emphatic disagree. What does inhabited or unconditioned human choice go for. For too much rape and mugging (A).


ENDERBY: In other words original sin. Which leads us to the stations of the cross.


BALAGLAS: Pardon me.


ENDERBY: Youre not Christian then.


BALAGLAS: An irreverent question. Were all in this together (A).


SPERR: You think its possible then professor that people can be made to be good by er positive er.


BALAGLAS: Right. Its happening already. Volunteers in our prisons. Also in our universities. Stations of the Cross is proud of its volunteer record.


SPERR: Well thats just (Interrup by loud A).


ENDERBY: What you mean is that the community is more important than the individual.


BALAGLAS: Pardon me.


ENDERBY: Stop saying bloody pardon me all the time. What I said was that you think human beings should give up freedom to choose so that the community can be free of violence (A).


BALAGLAS: Right. Youve said it loud and clear professor. Bloody clear if I may borrow your own er locomotion (???). The individual has to sacrifice his freedom to some extent for the benefit of his fellow citizens (Prolonged A).


ENDERBY: Well I think its bloody monsters (?). Human beings are defined by freedom of choice. Once you have them doing what theyre told is good just because theyre going to get a lump of sugar instead of a kick up the ahss (?!) then ethnics no longer exists. The State could tell them it was good to go off and mug and rape and kill some other nation. Thats what its been doing. Look at your bloody war in


SPERR: Well be right back after this important message. Dont go away folks. Be right b (Prem start comm break) (Music. Band on Camera. Audience shots)


SPERR: This is the Sperr Lansing Show. Be right back after this station break.

(Station break)


SPERR: Were talking with two professors Professor Balaglas psychologist and Professor er Endivy British poet. Professor Balaglas


BALAGLAS: Call me Man (Pause then A). Representative Man (P then A).


ENDERBY: Whats that short for. I knew you werent a bloody Christian.


SPERR: Do you believe professor that movies and books and er art can influence young people to violence rape mugging and so on (A).


BALAGLAS: There is I would consider ample proof that the impressionable and not merely those in the younger age groups can be incited to antisocial behavior by the artistic representation of er antisocial acts. There was the instance in the township of Inversnaid NY not too far from Ribblesdale where as you know I am at present on the faculty of the university there of the young man who killed his uncle and said that seeing Sir Laurence Oliviers movie of Hamlet had influenced him to perform the crime.


ENDERBY: How old was he. I asked how old was.


BALAGLAS: About thirty. And very unbalanced.


ENDERBY: And had his uncle just married his mother (L). His mother. Not his uncles mother (L).


BALAGLAS: I dont recollect as much. It was just the killing of his uncle as in this movie. And also if I recollect rightly that also comes in the play on which the movie was based.


ENDERBY: Shakespeare.


SPERR: Thats right. And would you believe in the restricting of the viewing of professor.


ENDERBY: Of course not. Bloody ridiculous idea.


SPERR: I meant the other professor professor (L and A).


BALAGLAS: Well as we are committed to control of the violentment (?) and as works of art and movies and the like are part of it then for the sake of society there must be control. There are too many dirty books and movies and also violent ones (A).


ENDERBY: This is bloody teetotal Aryan (??) talk. You mean that kids wouldnt be allowed to see or read Hamlet because they might go and kill their uncles. Ive never in my life heard such bloody stupid actionary (?) talk. Why by Christ man


BALAGLAS: Thats right Man thats my name (L and A). Call me Man by all means but cut out the blasph (Very loud A).


ENDERBY: But bagger (?) it man you idiot I mean that would mean that nobody could read anything not even Alice in Windowland (?) because it says Off with his Head and the Wizard of Oz because of the wicked witch is


BALAGLAS: I do not know what standards of etiquette prevail in your part of the world Professor Elderley but I do most strenuously object to being called idiot (Very loud A).


SPERR: And at that opportune moment we take a break. Stay with us folks (A).


(Commercial break)


SPERR: Professor Balaglas made an interesting slip of the tongue folks which weve just been discussing during the break.


ENDERBY: I still say that he was trying to be bloody insulting. A man cant help his age.


SPERR: Right. Because if a girls name was ever improper that is to say not appropriate to what she is then the name of my next guest must be. Beautiful charming talented and above all YOUNG star of such movies as The Leaden Echo Mortal Beauty Rockfire and just about to be released Manshape here she is folks Ermine Elderley (Very loud and sustained Applause also male whistles as she comes on kisses Sperr and Prof Balaglas not Prof Enderby sits down).


SPERR: Wow (L and A).


ENDERBY: I see so youre Elderley. I thought he was trying to take the (Unintell piece? pass?)


ERMINE: Sure I am. How young do you like em (L and A).


ENDERBY: What I meant was (Not heard under L and A)


SPERR: Ermine if I may call you Ermine


ERMINE: Just buy it for me sweetie (L and A). I apologize. You always have done before baby (L and A). Called it me I mean (L and A).


SPERR: How would you like to be raped (Very sust L with A lot of visual L L and again L). I meant in a movie of course. Seriously (L).


ERMINE: Seriously yes. If I was playing that sort of part okay but I dont think I would oh I might if there was a kind of you know moral lesson and the guy gets his comeuppance after or before he really gets under way his teeth knocked out that sort of thing not shooting shootings too good. But I wouldnt have it if I was playing a nun like in this German movie. Thats irreligious.


ENDERBY: Look Im not trying to defend it. What she calls this German movie. As a matter of fact its not allowed to be shown in Germany.


SPERR: No Deutschland for Deutschland right (L).


ENDERBY: I have to make this clear dont I.


ERMINE: You should know brother (L).


ENDERBY: The film is very different from the poem.


SPERR: What poem is that.


ENDERBY: Why the poem its based on. By Gerald Mann Leigh.


ERMINE: You mean no rape in the poem (L). Well what do they do in the poem pluck daffodils (L).


The Clockwork Testament (Or: Enderby 's End)

Enderby, sweating hard under the lights and the awareness of his unpopularity, looked at this hard woman who exhibited great sternly supported breasts to the very periphery of the areola and was dressed in a kind of succulent rutilant taffeta. The name, he was thinking: as artificial as the huge aureate wig. He said:

"I grant its cleverness. The name, I mean. I should imagine your real name is something like let me see Irma Polansky-no, wait, Edelmann, something like that." She looked very hard back at him.

"Do you read much poetry, professor?" Sperr Lansing asked.

"Well, I guess I hardly have the time these days." This Professor Balaglas flashed glasses in the lights. He had the soft face of a boy devoted to his mother and wore a hideous spotted bow tie. "What with working on the problems that this kind of movie under present discussion gives rise to." There was laughter. The audience was full of mouths always, as it were, at the ready, lips parted in potential ecstasy. "I have a collection of rock records like everybody else, of course. It's the job of poets to get close to the people. We shall be able to use poets in the new dispensation," he promised. "Rhymes are of considerable value in hypnopaedia or sleep-teaching. A great deal of the so-called poetry they write these days-"

"Who writes?" Enderby asked.

"I don't mean you, professor. I never read anything you wrote. You may be very clear and straightforward for all I know." Laughter. "I mean, you've been using very clear and straightforward language to me tonight." Very great laughter.

"The point I was trying to make," Enderby said. "About her name, that is." He shoulder-jerked towards the star. "There you see the poetic process exemplified in a small way. Ermine-suggesting opulence, wealth, softness, luxury. Elderley-the piquancy of contrast with her evident near-youth, no longer very young, of course, but it happens to everybody, and the denotation of the name. The small frisson of gerontophilia."

Sperr Lansing did not seem to be greatly enjoying his job. He was a man adept at appearing to be on top of everything, ready with quip and oeillade, but the eyes now had become as glassy as those of a hung hare. "Get on top of whom?" he tried, and then saw he was being betrayed into unbecoming lowness. There was, rightly, no audience laugh.

Miss Elderley cunningly got in with "I used to know a poem about the wreck of something." There were relieved sniggers.

"The Hesperus perhaps," Professor Isinglass (?) brightly said.

"Naw, this went 'The boy stood on the burning deck-' "

A thing exquisitely coarse shot up from Enderby's schooldays. It was neat, too. Dirty verse depended upon an almost Augustan neatness. " 'The boy stood in the witness box,' " he recited, " 'Picking his nose like fury-' " There were loud cries of hey hey and Lansing picked up a packet of Shagbag or something from among the various commercial artifacts stowed behind the ashtray-and-waterbottle table. "I think," he cried, "it's time we heard another important message. Girls," he counter-recited, "is your fried chicken greasy?"

"-'Little blocks, And aimed it at the jury.' "

"Because if you want it to be crisp and dry as the bone within, here's how to do it." There were at once waving fat studio major-domos running around, and the monitor screens began to show hideous greasy fried chicken, oleic, aureate.

"All right all right," Sperr Lansing was saying, "it's going to be Jake Summers next. Look," he said to Enderby, "keep it clean, willya."

"I was only trying to keep it vulgar," Enderby said. "It's evidently a vulgar sort of show."

"It wasn't till you got on it, buster," Miss Elderley began.

"Well, damn it," Enderby said, "the amount of tit you're showing, if you don't mind my saying so, is hardly conducive to the maintenance of a high standard of intellectual discourse."

"You leave my bosoms out of this-"

"There's only one bosom. A bosom is a dual entity."

"I object to him using that word about me. I've met these bastards before-"

"I object to being called a bastard-"

"Either sex maniacs or fags-"

Sperr Lansing composed his face to beatific calm and told the camera and the audience: "Welcome back, folks. Now here's the man who pays for a moon shot with every Broadway success he writes. Somebody once said that there were only two men of the theatre-Jake Speare and Jake Summers. Well, here's one of them."

Underneath the applause and the shambling on of a small near-bald clerkly man in spectacles and sweatshirt, Enderby said to Miss Elderley:

"I suppose you wouldn't call that vulgar. Eh? Jakes Peare, indeed. And I'll tell you another thing-I won't be called a bloody fag."

"I didn't say that. I said the British are either fags or sex maniacs. Keep it quiet, willya."

For Sperr Lansing was now praising this Summers man lavishly to his face. "-five hundred and forty-five performances is what I have written down here. To what do you attribute-"

Summers was wearily modest. "Write well, I guess. Keep it clean, I guess. When they do it, they do it offstage." Applause and laughter. "No, yah. Let them hear about sex and violence, I guess, not see it." A and L. "Talking about poetry," he said, "I used to write it. Then I meet this guy on his yacht and he says give it up, there's nothing in it." Applause.

Enderby saw the tortured ecstatic face of Father Hopkins on top of the bugler and went mad. "Filth," he said, "filth and vulgarity."

"Aw, can it willya," Miss Elderley said. Professor Glass said:

"It is not my place, not here and now that is, to proffer any diagnosis of er Professor Endlessly's perpetual er manic state of excitation. Facts must be faced, though. The world has changed. England is no longer the centre of a world empire. The English language has found its finest er flowering in what he called a colonial territory."

"Attaboy," Miss Elderley said. "Wow."

"Be fair, I guess," Summers said. "Those boys with guitars."

"He feels his manhood threatened," Professor Elderglass went on. "Note how his dress proclaims an er long-dead national virility. He thinks man is being abolished. His kind of man."

"Bankside," Summers said. Everybody roared.

"Yes, the character or homunculus in your play. Man qua man. Man in his humanity. Man as Thou not It. Man as a person not a thing. These are not very helpful expressions, but they supply a clue. What is being abolished is autonomous man-the inner man, the homunculus, the possessing demon, the man defended by the literatures of freedom and dignity."

"That's it, you bastard," Enderby said, "you've summed it all up."

"His abolition has been long overdue. He has been constructed from our ignorance, and as our understanding increases, the very stuff of which he is composed vanishes. Science does not dehumanise man, it de-homunculises him, and it must do so if it is to prevent the abolition of the human species. Hamlet, in the play I have already mentioned, by your fellow-playwright, Mr. Summers, said of man, 'How like a god.' Pavlov said, 'How like a dog.' But that was a step forward. Man is much more than a dog, but like a dog he is within range of a scientific analysis."

"Look," shouted Enderby over the applause, "I won't have it, see. We're free and we're free to take our punishment. Like Hopkins. I suppose you'd watch him doing it with your bloody neat little bow tie on and say how like a dog. Well, he's been punished enough with this bloody film or movie as you'd call it, bloody childish. That's his hell. He was gall, he was heartburn."

"He should have taken Windkill," Jake Summers said and got roars. Enderby was very nearly sidetracked.

"Leave the commercials to me, Jake," Lansing said, delighted. "And talking about commercials it's time we took another-"

"Oh no it bloody well isn't," Enderby shouted. "You can keep your bloody homunculus, for that's all he is-"

"Pardon me, it's you who believe in the homunculus-"

"Man was always violent and always sinful and always will be."

"And now he's got to change."

"He won't change, not unless he becomes something else. Can't you see that that's where the drama of life is, the high purple, the tragic-"

"Oh my," Jake Summers sighed histrionically and was at once loudly rewarded. "No time for comedy," he added and then was not clearly understood.

"The evolution of a culture," Professor Lookingglass said, "is a gigantic exercise in self-control. It is often said that a scientific view of man leads to wounded vanity, a sense of hopelessness, and nostalgia-"

"Nostalgia means homesickness," Enderby cried. "And we're all homesick. Homesick for sin and colour and drunkenness-"

"Ah, so that's what it is," Miss Elderley said. "You're stoned."

"Homesick for the past." Enderby could feel himself ready to weep. But then fire possessed him just as Sperr Lansing said, "And now we let our sponsor get a word in-" Enderby stood and declaimed:


"For how to the heart's cheering

The down-dugged ground-hugged grey

Hovers off, the jay-blue heavens appearing

Of pied and peeled May!"


"Fellers," Sperr Lansing said, "do you ever feel, you know, not up to it?" He held in his hands a product called, apparently, Mansex. "Well, just watch this." Then he turned on Enderby, as did everybody, including the sweating studio major-domos. The band, which appeared to have a whole Wagnerian brass section as well as innumerable saxophones and a drummer in charge sitting high on a throne, gave out very piercingly and thuddingly.


Blue-beating and hoary-glow height; or night, still higher,

With belled fire and the moth-soft Milky Way,

What by your measure is the heaven of desire,

The treasure never eyesight got, nor was ever guessed what for the hearing?


SPERR: Well I don't think it can. You'd better get on to Harry right away.


ENDERBY: Fucking home uncle us (????) indeed. Ill give you fucking home uncle as (?????). Degradation of humanity. No, but it was not these the jading and jar of the cart (?) times tasking it is fathers (?) that asking for ease of the sodden with its sorrowing hart (art?) not danger electrical horror then further it finds the appealing of the passion is tenderer (?) in prayer apart other I gather in measure her minds burden in winds (????????)


| The Clockwork Testament (Or: Enderby 's End) | EIGHT