‘The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence’ (Merrick) – “I was like you. I was you”

'The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence’ by Madeleine George

From: Play

Type: Dramatic

Character: Merrick is a tall, balding small-business lawyer in an undistinguished upstate city. He's running for city auditor and is the type of person who's campaigning all the time but frequently drifts off-message.

Gender: Male

Age Range: 40's | 50's

Summary: Watson: trusty sidekick to Sherlock Holmes; loyal engineer who built Bell’s first telephone; unstoppable super-computer that became reigning Jeopardy! champ; amiable techno-dweeb who, in the present day, is just looking for love.

More: Buy the Play

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MERRICK: I was like you. I was you. I spent years standing on the sidelines with everyone else, just watching it get worse and worse, bitching about it at Chamber breakfasts and the locker room at the gym and then one day, I can pinpoint the exact moment if you’re interested, I was watching Noam Chomsky give an interview in a documentary, Noam Chomsky if you can believe it, because my wife at the time was into such things and she had it up on the instant streaming, and this guy says, “All politics are local,” or words to that effect, and suddenly it just gelled for me: I’m part of this. I’m not just watching my city through a sealed portal, through a, through a pair of binoculars, I’m in it, I am in my city, and if I don’t like the way things are going there’s a very simple thing I can do: I can participate. I can be the change I want to see. That one from a bumper sticker on her Volkswagen Jetta. My former wife. We didn’t see eye to eye on much but she did help me understand a lot of things. (he reflects) The hard way. But still.

And if you think it was hard work gathering the requisite number of signatures to get my name on the ballot, it was not. I had people in parking lots practically begging me to let them sign my clipboard, why? ‘Cause there’s a lotta people out there who feel the exact same way I do. It’s an epidemic of fed-upedness in this country. (he ticks them off on his fingers) Fire. Police. Ambulance. Snow removal. Trash and leaf pickup. The end. Everything else is none of their goddamn business, am I right? (no response from WATSON) I mean partly it’s generational. The demographics in this town skew Boomer, and you know what they say: if you’re not a liberal when you’re young you have no heart, and if you’re not a conservative when you’re old you have no…

 No, brain. You have no brain.

*culled

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