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  • 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.

  • (Laughter)

  • 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 -- (Laughter) -- and along the gender continuum,

  • I will be living into males as well.

  • It was quite binary at that time.

  • (Laughter)

  • 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.

  • 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 Resonant 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.

  • (Laughter)

  • 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.

  • Well, at the time, neither of us were very good on the computer,

  • so usually, if we needed help with the Internet,

  • we would just call our children or our grandchildren,

  • but obviously, in this case, that wasn't an option,

  • so I thought, I'll have a look myself, just to see.

  • How difficult could it be?

  • You search for certain key words and you look --

  • Oh wow is right, young man.

  • You can't imagine what I saw.

  • Well, first of all, I was just trying to find, you know, couples,

  • normal couples making love,

  • but this, so many people together at one time.

  • You couldn't tell which part belonged to which body.

  • How they even got the cameras to capture some of this, I couldn't tell you.

  • But the one thing they didn't capture was making love.

  • There was lots of making of something,

  • but they took the love part right out of it, you know, the fun.

  • It was all very extreme, you know?

  • Like you would say, with the extreme sports.

  • Lots of endurance,

  • but never tenderness.

  • So anyway, needless to say, that was $19.95 I'll never get back again,

  • but it only showed up on the credit card as "entertainment services,"

  • so my husband was never the wiser,

  • and after all of that,

  • well, you could say it turned out

  • he didn't need the extra inspiration after all.

  • Right, so next subject is a young woman -- (Applause) --

  • Next subject, class, is a young woman called Bella,

  • a university student interviewed in 2016

  • during what was called an Intro to Feminist Porn class

  • as part of her major in sex work at a college in the Bay Area.

  • (Laughter)

  • Yeah, I just want to, like, get a recording of, like,

  • you guys recording me,

  • like a meta recording, or whatever.

  • It's just like this whole experience is just, like, really amazing,

  • and I'd like to capture that for, like, Instagram and my Tumblr.

  • So, like, hi guys, it's me, Bella,

  • and I am, like, being interviewed right now

  • for this, like, really amazing Bio-Empathetic Resonance Technology,

  • which is, like, basically where they are, like, recording, as you can see

  • from these, whatever, like, electrodes,

  • the formation of, like, neuropeptides in my hippocampus, or whatever.

  • They will later be able to reconstitute these

  • as, like, my own actual memory, like actual experiences,

  • so other people can, like, actually feel what I'm feeling right now.

  • Okay. Okay.

  • So, like, hello, BERT person of the future who is experiencing me.

  • This is what it feels like to be, like, a college freshman,

  • and also the, like, headache that you are experiencing through me

  • is the, like, residual effect of the Jell-O shots which I had last night

  • at the bi-weekly feminist pole dancing party

  • which I cohost on Wednesdays.

  • It's called "Don't Get All Pole-emical" -- (Laughter) --

  • and it's in Beekman Hall,

  • and, what else, like,

  • non-Jell-O shots are also available for vegans,

  • and, oh, okay, yeah, totally, yeah, we should also focus on your questions also.

  • So for your record, I am, like, a sex work studies major

  • but minoring in social media

  • with a concentration on notable YouTube memes.

  • (Laughter)

  • Yes, well, of course, like, I consider myself to be, like,

  • obviously, like, a feminist.

  • I was named for Bella Abzug, who was, like, a famous, like,

  • feminist from history,

  • and, like, also I feel that it is, like, important to, like, represent women

  • who are, like, sex-positive feminists.

  • What is sex-negative?

  • Well, like, I guess I would ask, like, what do you think

  • sex-negative is? (Laughter)

  • Yeah, because, like, the terms that we use are, like, so important, because, like,

  • we call it sex work because it helps people understand that, like, it's work,

  • and, like, you know, just like there are, like, healthcare providers

  • and, like, insurance providers,

  • like, we think of these workers as, like, sex care providers.

  • Yeah, but like, I don't think of myself like, providing direct

  • sex care services per se as, like, being a requirement

  • for me to be, like, an advocate.

  • Like, I support other women's right to choose it voluntarily, like,

  • if they enjoy it.

  • Yeah, but, like, I see myself going forward

  • as more likely, like, protecting sex workers',

  • like, legal freedoms and rights.

  • Yeah, so, like, basically, I'm planning on becoming a lawyer.

  • Right, class. (Laughter) (Applause)

  • So these next two modules are also circa 2016.

  • One subject is an Irishwoman with a particularly noteworthy

  • relationship to this issue,

  • but first will be a West Indian woman,

  • a self-described escort

  • who was recorded at a sex workers' rights rally and parade.

  • She was interviewed whilst marching in full carnival headdress

  • and very little else.

  • All right, you want me to start talking now.

  • Yeah, I told you, you can put those wires anywhere you want to

  • as long as it don't get in the way.

  • Yeah, no, but, tell me again what the name of -- BERT? BERT.

  • Yeah, I was telling you, you know, I think I have in all my time

  • I have had at least one client with that name, so this won't be the first time

  • I had BERT all over me.

  • Oh, I'm sorry,

  • but you got to get into the spirit of it if you're going to interview me.

  • All right? You can say it.

  • No justice, no piece! No justice, no piece!

  • But you see the sign? You get it? P-I-E-C-E. No justice, no piece of us.

  • You understand?

  • Right, so that's the part where I was telling you

  • is that when I first came to this country, I worked every job I could find.

  • I was a nanny; I was a home care attendant for all these different old people,

  • and then I said, child, if I have to touch another white man's backside,

  • I might as well get paid a lot more money for it than this,

  • you understand?

  • Pshh, you know how hard it is being a domestic worker?

  • Some of these men, they're heavy.

  • You have to pick them up and flip them over.

  • Now, I let them pick me up and flip me over, you understand?

  • Well, you have to have a sense of humor about it, that's what I think.

  • No, but see, listen,

  • you find me somebody who don't hate some part of their job.

  • I mean, there's a lot of things about this job that I hate,

  • but the money is not one of them,

  • and I will tell you, as long as this is the best possibility

  • for me to make real money,

  • I am going to be Jamaican-No-Fakin' if that's what they want to call me.

  • No, I'm not even from Jamaica. That's how they market me.

  • My family is from Trinidad and the Virgin Islands.

  • They don't know what I do, but you know what?

  • My children, they know that their school fees are paid,

  • they have their books and their computer,

  • and this way, I know that they have a chance.

  • So I'm not going to tell you that what I do, it's easy,

  • I'm not going to tell you that I feel -- what's that you said, liberated?

  • But I'm going to tell you that I feel paid.

  • Right. (Applause)

  • Thanks, that's lovely, and just the cup of tea, love,

  • and just a splash of the whiskey.

  • It's perfect, that's grand. Just a drop more. A splash. Perfect.

  • What was your name? Peter? Is that right, so, Peter?

  • Right. So that, that is the unique part of it for me,

  • right, is that I ended up in both,