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A Post-Marxist Preview

Sex Sans the City

by SUSIE DAY

Many capitalist roaders say the Left is out of touch with popular culture. Well, I say NYET to that! Here, for instance, is an episode of "Sex and the City" that I translated for my Marxist-Leninist study group, so that we may better throw off our Tiffany chains.

[Scene I: Chic, Upper West Side restaurant]

SAMANTHA: [Striding in elegantly and sitting at table where the girls are waiting] Greetings, comrades! How glad I am that I – sexy, 50-year-old blonde girl, being fabulous and having much sex with men – meet you in favorite haute bourgeois bistro for sex talk. Look at dick of sultry, ethnic waiter – is not fabulous?

MIRANDA: Rummaging impatiently through briefcase] Waiter dick unimportant for proper ordering, comrade. I, being caustic, hard-driven attorney with bright red hair, styled to evoke Great Mistakes in Hedge Trimming, no have time for frivolity. Must get back to office to shill for corporate capital –

SAMANTHA: Ooh, "shill" – sounds sexy, comrade!

MIRANDA: It is, comrade! Today, I defend sexy Fortune 500 Company owning Indian Point – nuclear power plant making much electricity for city – from selfish, unsexy officials who warn of nuclear disaster. My logic: Why upset capitalist system?

CHARLOTTE: [Sighing pertly] For myself, comrades, I – token person of dark hair color – esteem the finding of Perfect Monogamous Soul Mate as most high goal in consumerist free market society. This is exalted dream for which masses labor, regardless of increasing work hours, fear of layoff, dwindling surplus profit, endless war – and possible nuclear disaster. Heedless, heedless masses!

CARRIE: [Flexing highly toned abs, set off to perfection by jaunty, $5,000 Christian Dior ensemble resembling clothes of Carmen Miranda after werewolf attack] Ah, comrades – how good it is to exploit our lives in my column, earning many thousands of dollars more than other writers who, unlike me, have college vocabulary and knowledge of world history! [She signals waiter]

Greetings, comrade bit actor of exotic descent who is destined to receive five dollars each time this episode is played in rerun! Please give us four of your most costly watercress omelets, removing yoke and other caloric nutrients. Hurry – before more radioactive groundwater leaches from Indian Point into Hudson River!

CHARLOTTE: Comrade! This is too much food! Is not anorexia neoliberal pre-condition for true female happiness?

CARRIE: You are mistaken, comrade. We must order many expensive things – regardless of whether we shall actually consume them – so that our power may grow! Profit motive of late capitalism dictates terms of feminine value and we must obey.

CHARLOTTE: Agreed.

MIRANDA: Carrie, I am loving of your shoes!

CARRIE: They are foot-warping, spine-crippling Manolo Blahniks, costing $765! You see, comrades, glamorous allure of destructive footwear comes not only from physical sacrifice to wearer, but also from labor of anonymous, underpaid peasants who toil in abusive, outsourced factories. It is suffering of all classes that creates societal clout of Manolo Blahnik – brand name you can trust!

ALL: [Toasting] Carrie is our leader! Long live vanguard of post-industrial alienation from means of production!

[SCENE II; Carrie at home. Posed on her bed in the adolescent contortions of a 12-year-old with a stamp collection, she types on her sleek Mac laptop, now available online for under $13,000.00. Her voiceover narration:]

CARRIE: Later that night, I wonder why virile mogul boyfriend, Mr. Beeg, refuse to commit. Could this mirror my own sublimation of need for basic human contact into acquisition of designer commodities?

[Close-up of glowing computer screen, as Carrie types:] "Commodity fetishism: good or bad – and what if meltdown occur at Indian Point?" [Suddenly, sirens blare; horrific explosion is heard]

[Scene III: Back at stark ruins of Manhattan bistro; the stunned, disheveled four are staring, in bleak, Chekhovian fashion, into a dimming sun setting over the roiling Hudson.]

MIRANDA: Men are annoying.

CARRIE: Men are peegs.

SAMANTHA: I try lesbian sex. Too much talk.

CARRIE: Gay men better. Make good pets.

CHARLOTTE: I, with Jewish husband, for whom I convert, have adopted child from faux-Communist country. Husband is kind; we are happy. Yet we never speak of Palestine.

MIRANDA: Please halt unsexy talk of Middle East, comrade.

SAMANTHA: Say, does anybody know why we are only four left alive after tragic – and totally unexpected – disaster at Indian Point?

CHARLOTTE: Perhaps something about Carrie’s shoes?

CARRIE: Correct, comrade! Thanks to healing power of Manolo Blahniks – commodity onto which we magically project desire to survive – we are, for now, protected.

CHARLOTTE: [Clutching stomach] Comrades, I don’t feel so good.

CARRIE: You must believe, comrade – believe in the brand.

MIRANDA: Must get her to shoe store, quick!

SAMANTHA: Ooh, "store" – sounds sexy, comrades…

[Holding one another up, they hobble off in search of Fifth Avenue.]

SUSIE DAY can be reached at: sday@skadden.com

©  SUSIE DAY, 2008