This short scene takes place in the bedroom of a nameless teenager. In the bedroom there is a single bed and a mirrored sliding wardrobe that extends the length of the wall. On the other three walls there is a flat screen TV and two posters, a Pulp Fiction one and long framed poster of the New York skyline. The teenager, a gangly 17 year old Sixth Form student, is sitting on his bed reading his first Nietzsche essay as The Smiths plays in the background.
The time is around 10:30pm. Suddenly we hear a noise. The teenager sits up and looks at the window as a dark figure climbs through. The intruder is society. He wears a black cloak and black gloves. The hood covers his head but not his face, which looks middle-aged and almost an older version of the teenager. The teenager is not startled by the cloaked man, as he has had frequent visits from him in the past. Although lately he has been visiting more and more often. He begins as always:
SOCIETY: Hey kid, so I have some good news and bad news for you. The bad news is your childhood is officially over. That carefree lifestyle you didn’t appreciate? Yeah that’s gone now. There will be no more soaking up free education, sponging of your parents, and generally just taking from me. But the good news is it is time to get a job!
TEENAGER: Those both sound like bad news to me. Can’t I enjoy life for a bit?
SOCIETY: Nope! Here is an infinite list of careers available to you – pick one and do this for the rest of your life.
TEENAGER: Only one? That seems a bit unfair. What if I don’t know what I want at this point in time? What if I want to do more than one thing on the list? What if the thing I want now isn’t what I want in the future? Can you really trust a teenager who hasn’t had any work or life experience to make such a big decision?
SOCIETY: Stop thinking so much. Just choose a career. Work your way up the career ladder. Earn lots of money. Focus on material objects and satisfy your primal urges.
TEENAGER: But isn’t life too short to concentrate on all that stuff? Isn’t life for living? After all we are only alive for the merest moments on this earth, shouldn’t our main priority be experiencing everything we possibly can instead of spending our lives at a mundane job that doesn’t stimulate us or help us grow?
SOCIETY: Nonsense! Don’t worry about all that stuff.
TEENAGER: Okay then, if you say so. What should I do?
SOCIETY: Anything you want!
TEENAGER: Okay, well, I like movies. I’ve always wanted to be a movie director!
SOCIETY: Don’t be silly. It is very unlikely you would suceed at this.
TEENAGER: How about helping people? I’ve heard focusing on altruism is very rewarding and important.
SOCIETY: No. There’s no money in that.
TEENAGER: Aw. How about art? I love painting and I am really good at it. I could to be an artist!
SOCIETY: That’s not a real job. There is too much social stigma attached to the arts. You need a real job!
TEENAGER: I’m confused. What’s a “real job”?
SOCIETY: A stable 9-5 job that earns lots of money.
TEENAGER: But I don’t really care about money.
SOCIETY: You need to care. If you earn lots of money you can save up all that money and put it towards a retirement plan. Then you can use all them savings when you retire to relax and do whatever you want!
TEENAGER: But why do I have to wait till I retire to do what I want? Can’t I just do that now?
SOCIETY: No that’s not how things work.
TEENAGER: Well why not? Can’t we just change the system so things are more focused on enjoying life?
SOCIETY: Don’t be so foolish. Just go to university and pay them thousands of pounds and they will condition you into thinking this is the route you’re supposed to take. Everyone is doing it, everyone can’t be wrong. You will soon conform and forget. Then you’ll be happy. Just trust me.
TEENAGER: Okay, I’ll trust you. Don’t let me down.