SPEAKER: "As a shiny thing you are aware you’re the subject of a lot of people’s attention, in fact that you are in your very shininess DIVERTING attention from things/people/situations that are often much more important than you through no fault of your own. Is it your duty to provide some sort of moral guiding light to the people distracted by you, or is it not your fault that their decision to look at you causes a car accident / divorce / 20-story plunge into hard, unfeeling concrete? After all, you didn’t ASK to be a shiny thing. And you can hardly dull yourself—that’s the shiny-thing equivalent of becoming a nun, without the religious-salvation angle. But still, there's some part of you that feels guilt when that guy drives off the bridge because something sticking out of the crevice in the passenger seat caught his eye & he just had to find out what it was before his curiosity could be satisfied enough to drive.As a shiny thing, this is the moral quagmire you wake to every morning, if you fuckers ever sleep, that is--"
[a warning cough fat with cigars & unexercised / exorcised lungs is heard from the moderator, and the speaker moves on obediently to his next index card]
SPEAKER: "Then there are those people who move through their lives aimlessly except for the "progress" of chasing one shiny thing after another. This isn’t strictly money we’re talking about—besides, money usually has all sorts of other concepts embedded in it, sort of like an existential fruitcake of ambition, & is rarely shiny these days anyway. We’re talking instant-gratification-dealing stimuli—things that grab your attention & absorb it immediately without any thought except the most reflexive on the part of the viewer. To wit: “Ooh, shiny!” Is it possible to go through life according to the dictates of “Ooh, shiny!” ? Do we have a volunteer to try? Don’t all jump up at once now. No, seriously, don’t, our floor can’t take it you fucking fatasses."
[threatening gestures around the throat area are made by the moderator]
SPEAKER, winking impishly & perhaps unwisely at his captive audience: "Now let’s address the shiny things again before we go too much further. Does the idea of the pursuit of “happiness” being interpreted as the pursuit of the Next Shiny Thing make you uncomfortable? Proud? Nervous? Do other people’s curiously stark and impersonal life goals give you stage fright? Is it the good kind of stage fright that means you’ll be a damn excellent shiny thing thankyouverymuch, or the bad kind that means you’re going to stutter & forget your lines & maybe piss yourself while the audience chokes on its popcorn laughing at you? Again, remember, as a shiny thing you aren’t doing any WORK except being, literally, yourself. You don’t have to perform or give back to these unambitious individuals, but merely to stand/sit/lie in place, reflecting whatever light should hit you. Which is an involuntary function for you anyway, sort of like breathing and sweating for human beings or photosynthesis for plants. Which well do plants sweat? I don’t think so. Anyway [that was the thought-equivalent of a shiny thing, people! Pay attention! Then pay me extra!] [if it comes in a bracket it’s not real. This is where I’m gonna put all the subliminal messages. Just, like, heads up. Don’t tell anyone lol!!!!!!one] you can no more help but shine than a person can help but perspire. There are now surgeries to get sweat glands removed from certain parts of the body—sweaty palm surgery, says the near-illegible scrawl in the back of my notebook—but these are bizarre & unnatural & only carried out by extremely weird people. Likewise, removing the shiny from yourselves as shiny things leaves you merely a Thing, at best an ex-shiny Thing, with little or no other characteristics that separate you from the primordial junkie soup of the cosmos. Can you handle the demotion / divestment of all that you once held dear? Can you hold a deer? No seriously I think it would make a great shot. Shiny Thing: Deerholder. It could be like the next huge blockbuster. Think of your fame! The camera could like SWOOP--"
MODERATOR, speaking in a booming telepathic voice that causes all present to uselessly place their hands over their ears [or would-be ear-areas in the case of shiny things] & give little whimpers like puppies being stepped on: ""Ladies & gentlemen we’re sorry, but our speaker seems to have taken ill. We are going to escort him to the bathroom & inject him with a fatally large dose of heroin & call it a suicide. Please stand by while we find someone willing to step into his, uh, shoes [briefly eyes outlandish pink pointed alligator footwear on still-babbling speaker, who has been grabbed by the arm from either side by beefy bald men with no necks whose black t shirts could fit a family of five normal-sized people as, like, a tent].""
. . . to be continued, when I am not a lazy fuck & see fit to import the rest of this