The Last Psychiatrist: When Was The Last Time You Got Your Ass Kicked?
America isn’t obsessed with sex and violence; it’s obsessed with authenticity (or avoiding it). It just so happens that sex and violence are the only two things that you can’t fake…
The Bully Dialogue– where they spend ten minutes chatting nicely even though both of you know you’re eventually going to get stuffed in a locker– is another Cognitive Kill Switch, which is about reversing power and dominance. The aggressive “Hi, what’s your name, that’s a nice shirt you got there” works because you’re not willing– you feel you’re not allowed– to respond to the situation for what it is: a bully trying to dominate the conversation. You feel obligated to reply to their words, and not the meaning. So the bully gets to bully the conversation for ten minutes, after which point it hardly matters whether you get stuffed in a locker or not…
When that [bully] appeared at his table, everyone knew why he was there. So this is how the scene should have gone, though I’ll admit it wouldn’t have been theatric enough for TV:
“Hi, my name’s Sean, what’s your name?”
“Get your punk-ass away from me, I don’t want to know you.”
Now the kid’s either going to fight you, or back down– which is the same thing that was going to happen anyway, but at least you stood up for yourself. She noticed.