Date: Wed, 12 Apr 95 15:10:18 PDT
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: Republic Dogs
Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: Jim Thompson <jim@Tadpole.COM>
Forwarded-by: email@example.com (Gareth M. Evans)
Forwarded-by: "Karen Mercedes" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
By Nathaniel Daw
copyright 1994 and all that.
[Thrasymachus is tied up in a chair. Socrates is brandishing a gun in his face]
Thrasymachus: Don't kill me, man!
Socrates: Are you finished, fucker?
Thrasymachus: Look, look, man, you can have my ten yoke of oxen. My
virgin daughters? My pomegranite orchard?
Socrates: You like pomegranites? Shit, motherfucker, I hear they've got a
fuckin' all-you-can-eat special going on on pomegranites where you're headed.
Thrasymachus: Don't do it, Socrates. Be fair.
Socrates: [Suddenly contemplative] Fair?
Thrasymachus: [Sees an opportunity for survival] Yeah, fair... think about
my wife and children --
Socrates: Would you say that to be fair is the same thing as to be just?
Socrates: Well, I'm just a dull, wandering street philosopher, so I don't
understand quite where you're headed with this particular line of
reasoning. Perhaps [motions with gun] you could further elucidate your
theory of justice.
Thrasymachus: My theory? Of justice?
Socrates: Yes. You do...have a theory of justice, don't you?
Socrates: Or perhaps you'd like to hear my theory.
Thrasymachus: Oh, yes, yes, yes, of course, your theory. You have a theory?
Socrates: Well, yes, I have been thinking a little about justice--not of
course, so deeply as could a wise sage like yourself. But I've had a
little idea, an insignificant but troubling little idea, and it's been
bothering me a little, and I thought that maybe someone as smart as
yourself could help convince me that it was wrong.
Thrasymachus: Of course, I'll do anything I can to help.
Socrates: So you'd like to hear my theory?
Thrasymachus: I'd be honored.
Socrates: My humble little idea goes something like this. [He is suddenly
extremely loud and violent. Roars:] Justice is only the will of the
stronger. What do you think about that, asshole? [Slaps Thrasymachus
across the face with his gun]
Thrasymachus: Uh, uh, uh ...
Socrates: Come on ... come on, you wanna try and disprove my theory, you
weak little shit? Yeah? Yeah? Shit, I think I feel a proof coming on.
[Shoots him.] Why, thank you Thrasymachus, you've certainly opened my eyes.
Narrator: Thrasymachus. Alcibiades. Aristotle. Socrates--are Quentin
Tarantino's Republic Dogs.
[Enter Alcibiades and Aristotle]
Aristotle: So you're saying you'd give Helen of Troy a foot massage?
Alcibiades: Fuck yeah, in a minute.
Aristotle: You'd touch her feet? She might be the most beautiful bitch
since fucking Aphrodite, but trust me, her feet stink. And her armpits
stink too. Just cuz she's beautiful don't mean she don't smell like the
rest of us. And don't you go telling no deodorant story, either, cuz you
know and I know it wasn't invented during the Trojan war.
Alcibiades: What, you wouldn't do her?
Aristotle: I didn't say I wouldn't do her. I said I wouldn't give her a
foot massage. I don't dig on feet.
Alcibiades: Well, what if before you did her you'd have to give her a
foot massage to get her in the mood?
Aristotle: Allow me to inquire, Alcibiades. What if you had to massage
her armpits to get her in the mood?
Alcibiades: Fuck you, Aristotle.
Socrates: You guys have got it all wrong.
Alcibiades: What, you don't like foot massages either?
Socrates: No, motherfucker, the Iliad, you've got the Iliad all wrong. Do
you wanna know what the Iliad is about? Well, I'll tell you what the
Iliad is about. It ain't about no bitches, that's for fucking sure.
Alcibiades: Sure it is. You're saying Helen of Troy ain't one hot bitch?
Socrates: I'm not saying Helen of Troy ain't a hot bitch, I'm saying the
Iliad ain't about her. She ain't even in it.The Odyssey is about bitches,
I'll grant you that. But I'll tell you what The Iliad is about. It's
about big boats. Didn't you ever read the second Canto? Boats boats boats
boats boats boats boats. Hence, the Trojan War.
Aristotle: You're full of shit.
Alcibiades: Fuck yeah you are; the Iliad is about Achilles' struggle with
his own homosexuality.
Socrates: Maybe I should frame my theory a bit more emphatically.
[Drawing his gun.] Didn't you ever hear of the face that launched a
Socrates: Well, how'd you like me to launch your face?
Socrates: Ahh, I guess that example cleared up all your objections then.
[Points weapon at Aristotle] You don't have any problems with that, do you?
Aristotle: Hey, man, it's cool. Cool. Boats are cool by me. I was just on
a boat recently.
Socrates: [Putting away his gun.] Well good for fucking you. This makes
Aristotle: From Mycinea.
Alcibiades: What's it like? I hear they do some crazy-ass shit there.
Aristotle: Man, that place is like Mount-fucking-Olympus. Every night,
they gather round the fire in certain legally designated areas, where
government-licensed civil servants throw the roots of a domestically
cultivated plant in the fire.
Socrates: So fucking what?
Aristotle: So the smoke makes them giddy and lighthearted as if they had
drunk on wine, only they don't have a headache in the morning, that's
Socrates: That's it, I'm fucking going. It's the perfect fucking city.
Aristotle: It ain't the perfect fucking city.
Socrates: You know a better city?
Aristotle: No, I don't know a better city, motherfucker, but that don't
mean fucking Mycinea is fucking perfect. "Perfect" doesn't mean that
there ain't nothing better, it means perfect.
Socrates: Can you explain that lofty idea in terms a base, wandering
street philosopher like myself might be able to understand?
Aristotle: Well, allow me to demonstrate. Let's say there was an
imaginary city, and all the people were divided into three groups. Let's
say I represent the Gold group, I'd be Mr. Gold, you, Socrates would be
Mr. Silver, and, you, Alcibiades, Mr. Bronze.
Alcibiades: Why do I have to be Mr. Bronze?
Aristotle: Because it's only a demonstration. So me, Gold, I'd be the
Alcibiades: But why can't I be the philosopher king? Look, Socrates, I'll
trade with you.
Aristotle: [Draws a gun, fires a shot into the air, and points it at
Alcibiades] Interrupt me again, motherfucker. Interrupt me again.
Nobody's trading with anybody. This is my allegory.
[Alcibiades gestures submission.]
Aristotle: [Putting away gun.] So as the philosopher king, it would be my
duty to keep seditious literature out of the city--
Socrates: I got it. I understand.
Aristotle: Shut up, motherfucker, how can you understand my perfect city
when I haven't explained it yet?
Socrates: No, dickhead, not that, I understand what you were saying
before, about perfection. It's all about forms.
Socrates: Yeah, motherfucker, forms. Like, something don't have to
physically exist for it to be perfect; it exists as the perfect ideal,
the perfect form, beyond mortal comprehension.
Alcibiades: Socrates, you're supposed to pour your libations on the
ground, not drink them till you're talking like a crazy Bacchae bitch.
Socrates: Normally, I'd be pouring libations with your spinal fluid right
now, but since I'm feeling at peace with the universe I'll try to
enlighten your sorry ass instead. Imagine there's this dark, underground
Socrates: And there's this rapist-motherfucker, and he's got this gimp,
right, tied up in the cave. See that?
Socrates: And this rapist, he's a sick motherfucker, so let's say one day
he sends down a coupla pipe-hittin' negroes to cut the gimp's ear right off.
Alcibiades: Cut his ear off?
Socrates: Yeah, and gouge out his fucking eyes. Now wouldn't you say that
the ear and eye are the proper receptacles of the senses of sight and
Alcibiades: Clearly so.
Socrates: So, moreover, would you not agree that this gimp's senses are
Aristotle: Why, yes, Socrates, I suppose they would be a trifle damaged.
Socrates: And what do things look like to someone with imperfect senses?
Socrates: No, motherfucker, nine letters, begins with "I."
Socrates: Bingo. So you'd say this gimp, you'd say this gimp motherfucker
would be unable to perceive true perfection--but that don't mean it don't
exist. Now if you brought him out of the cave, into the light, things
would be less dark, and his eyes might heal a little, he might begin to
see a glimmer of light, thereby gaining the idea of true perfection--
Aristotle: What kind of argument is that? Your theory of the forms rests
on an arbitrary and vicious act of violence.
Socrates: [Draws his gun.] Aristotle, you're Plato's student, I respect
you, but I will put fucking bullets through your heart if you don't take
back what you said about me being violent now!
Aristotle: [Also drawing gun] You shoot, you'll be dining with Lord Hades
tonight. I repeat. You kill me, your ass is eating pomegranite fucking
casserole for the rest of eternity.
Alcibiades: Shit, man, you're acting like a bunch of fuckin' Spartans. Am
I the only philosopher around here?
Socrates and Aristotle: [To Alcibiades] Shut up!
Alcibiades: Guys, guys, calm down. Look, I've got it. Let's have a
symposium--we can all drink wine and make speeches in praise of love.
Aristotle: What are you, some kind of pansy?
Socrates: Shoot that dipshit.
[Socrates and Aristotle turn in unison and shoot Alcibiades, then turn
back and again aim at each other.]
Socrates: [To Aristotle] Don't think you're getting off that easy. You
ever read Plato?
Aristotle: Of course.
Socrates: There's this little passage I got memorized that I like to
recite in situations like this. It is a tale of a brave man, Er, who once
died in war. On the twelfth day, as he was already laid out on the
funeral pyre, he revived, and told what he had seen yonder. He said that
after his soul had left him it travelled with many others until they came
to a marvellous place, where there were two openings upward into heaven,
and between them sat judges. These, when they had given judgment, ordered
the just to go upward through the heavens by the opening on the right.
The unjust they ordered to travel downward by the opening on the left.
For all the wrongs they had done to any person they paid a tenfold
penalty. Savage men, all fiery to look at bound their feet, hands and
heads, and threw them down and beat them, tortured them on thorny
Aristotle: What the fuck was that all about?
Socrates: So, motherfucker, prepare to test the hypothesis! See, I've got it
figured out, I'm the just man, and you're the unjust man, my gun is the
thorny bushes, and Mr. dead pansy here is the judge. Now DIE MOTHERFUC--
Aristotle: But what if I'm the just man and you're the unjust man and
this dead dipshit is the thorny bushes?
Socrates: Oh, uh ...
Aristotle: Or what if Alcibiades is the just man, and we're both unjust
men. And the thorny bushes are the judge?
Socrates: Shit, well I guess that all depends on your definition of justice.
Aristotle: Exactly my point. That was what I was working up to with my
description of the perfect city, before I was so rudely interrupted.
Socrates: Shit, I'm sorry. I don't suppose you could explain it to me now?
Aristotle: Only if you stop pointing that thing at me.
Socrates: Well...all right [Both of them holster their guns.]
Aristotle: Whew. That was exciting. [Patting him on the back,] Could I
interest you in a drink?
Socrates: One minute. I'll meet you there.
[Aristotle starts to walk off]
Socrates: [drawing his gun and pointing it at Aristotle's back] But
first, how'd you like to hear my theory of justice?
[they both freeze. the end.]
© 1995 Peter Langston