‘Captain Fantastic’ (Ben): “First off, Leslie practiced Buddhism”

'Captain Fantastic' by Matt Ross

From: Movie

Type: Dramatic

Character: Ben, a widow and father to 6 kids, is an activist disillusioned with American life. He has decided to take his kids and live off the land, teaching them survival skills and philosophy that they wouldn't get anywhere else.

Gender: Male

Age Range: 40's | 50's

Summary: Ben brings his kids to their mothers funereal, where he suddenly decides to eulogize his late wife.

More: Watch the Movie

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BEN: I’ll take that as my cue, if I may. First off, Leslie practiced Buddhism. Which, to her, was a philosophy and not an organized religion. In fact, Leslie abhorred organized religion, thought it the single most dangerous fairy-tale ever invented, used to strike fear and obedience into the hearts of the innocent and uninformed. She saw it not just as a source of injustice, but as a crime against humanity. To her – the only thing worse than death would have been the knowledge that her rotting flesh was to be trapped for all eternity in a box in the middle of a f— golf course. (At this, there are audible GASPS from the congregation. Jack pushes his way out of the pew and whispers to some ushers in black suits.) Though the absurdity of being eulogized by someone who didn’t even know her has exactly the kind of comedic flourish that she would have cherished. (Ben looks at his kids. They nod at him, encouraging him to continue.) If nothing else. Leslie had a sense of humor. (He takes a piece of paper from his jacket.) I want to read you all something. So you know what I mean. I found this after her death. It’s Leslie’s Will. And I quote, “In the event of her death, Leslie Abigail Cash, as a Buddhist, wishes to be cremated. Her funeral, such as it is, shall be a celebration of the life-cycle, with music and dancing. After, it is her expressed desire that her ashes shall be taken to a nondescript location, preferably public and heavily populated so as to be utterly unremarkable. At which point her ashes, promptly and unceremoniously, are to be flushed down the nearest toilet.” End quote. Now THAT’s comedy.

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