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DAMSELS IN DISTRESS

Damsels Topics
The major problem in contemporary social life
VIOLET Take Frank, my friend -- he's not some cool, handsome, "studly" macho-guy. No, not at all -- I can't bear guys like that! Frank's sort of a sad-sack really, wouldn't you say?
Rose and Heather nod.
LILY What's a "sad-sack?"
ROSE A loser!
(to Violet)
You like losers?
VIOLET Very much so. Do you know what's the major problem in contemporary social life?
LLILY What?
VIOLET The tendency, very widespread, to always seek someone "cooler" than yourself -- always a stretch, often a big stretch.
Why not instead find someone who's frankly inferior?
HEATHER Someone like Frank.
VIOLET Yes. It's more rewarding and in fact quite reassuring.
LILY You mean, someone you can really help? Not just thinking of yourself?
VIOLET Exactly! That's it. Precisely! But without the goody-goody implications -- our aspiration is pretty basic: Take a guy who hasn't realized his full potential, or doesn't have much, then help him realize it -- or find more.
Lifetime career goals
VIOLET I know that people can have useful careers in many areas: Medicine. Law. Finance-
ROSE --Education--
VIOLET Yes, even education -- but I'd like to do something especially significant in my lifetime, the sort of thing that changes the course of human history: such as start a new dance craze.
LILY Really?
VIOLET Yes. Something that might enhance the life of every one -- and every couple.
The Suicide Prevention Center
VIOLET You probably think we're frivolous, empty-headed, perfume-obsessed college coeds. You're probably right. I often feel empty headed--
Violet picks up the "Prevention" from the Center's sign from ground.
VIOLET (CONT'D) But we're also trying to make a difference in people's lives. And one way to do that is to prevent them from killing themselves…. Have you ever heard the expression, "Prevention is nine-tenths the cure?" Well, in the case of suicide, it's actually ten-tenths.
Rick, the Daily Complainer's editor, doubts their efficacy:
RICK You should know something about these girls -- they run the "Suicide Center" where their preferred therapy for seriously depressed and suicidal people is ...tap dancing. I kid you not.
VIOLET Tap is a very effective therapy as well as a dazzlingly expressive dance form. It's been sadly neglected for too many years.
RICK It's moronic and barbaric. You seriously expect tap dancing to solve these people's problems?
VIOLET No, we don't -- we're using the whole range of musical dance numbers which over many years have proven themselves effective therapies for the suicidal and hopelessly depressed.
Education T
HOR I don't know about you but I don't think anyone should feel embarrassed about not knowing stuff. What's embarrassing is pretending to know what you don't -- or putting down other people just because you think they don't know as much as you. I'm happy to admit I'm completely ignorant. That's why I'm here and plan to really hit the books. The next time you see me, I'll know more than I do now. I'll be older, but also wiser -- or at least know more stuff. For me, that's education. The Decline of Decadence
VIOLET Have you chosen a topic for your paper?
FRED Uh, "The Decline of Decadence."
VIOLET You think decadence has declined?
FRED Definitely. Big time. Major, major decline.
VIOLET How?
FRED "How" or "in what ways?"
VIOLET Either.
FRED Okay, take the flit movement in literature, or homosexuality--
VIOLET What?
FRED Homosexuality. It's gone completely downhill. Right down the tubes
. He makes the sound: "Whchht."
FRED (CONT'D) Before, homosexuality was something refined, hidden, subliminated, aspiring to the highest forms of expression and often achieving them. Now it just seems to be a lot of muscle-bound morons running around in T-shirts.
Violet looks a little shocked.
FRED (CONT'D) It's pretty disillusioning.
Violet pauses in thought for a long moment
VIOLET Are you gay?
FRED Not especially but in another era, it would have had more appeal. Now, I just don't see the point.

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