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RADIO SCRIPT The Madness of Phineas Galen Opening
by David Ian
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Author requests article critique


(SCENE 1 Setting: Phineas’ mind. While PHINEAS rhapsodizes about his current state, sound bites of previous conversations with NEVILLE, ADVOCATE and CHRISTINE float across his consciousness, and we hear them all. PHINEAS is heard in the foreground, but softly as an aside, the other voices are heard coming from off and into the foreground as they finish. Ethereal MUSIC under all)

001. PHINEAS: Can we put a ruler up to Infinity?
Can we put Infinity on a scale?
Can we say any more about the nature of Infinity
Except that it is… infinite?

002. NEVILLE: Mr. Galen, I’ll come straight to the point. Your antics have caused quite a bit of disturbance with my constituency in the ruling body and within the Scientocracy as a whole.

003. PHINEAS: By its nature it confounds us, and yet,
We still try to control it by making it less than it is.
Shortsighted Man.

004. ADVOCATE: Just because I am your Advocate in the Court of Trials doesn’t mean I have to like you, Subject.

005. PHINEAS: To commune with Infinity
Is to break the bonds of the mundane
To experience infinity
Is to go beyond the realm of mere human understanding

006. CHRISTINE: I need to hear it straight from my husband. What is it that you thought you heard, Finney?

007. PHINEAS: It cannot be touched,
It cannot be tested,
And it cannot be observed
Except in only the smallest infinitesimal
Sample of its enormity.

008. NEVILLE: Oh, come, sir! You go strutting about claiming exceptional knowledge outside of Accepted Models, describe it to your class and then you claim your intent was not to cause a riot?

009. PHINEAS: And what if,
What if that Infinity
That we as temporal beings cannot grasp,
What if that Infinity had a name,
Had a mind,
Had a thought?

010. ADVOCATE: I believe the official docket term is, “Teaching those things in disharmony with the accepted models of prevailing thought within the applicable field.” It is a heresy of sorts, nonetheless.

011. PHINEAS: And if that thought were directed at us,
How could we even begin to receive it?
How could we comprehend its complexity?

012. CHRISTINE: Now you’re discredited in the Educator’s Cadre, not to mention disaster for your own wife and daughter, have you thought of them?

013. PHINEAS: The collective weight of even the smallest
Whisper of Infinity
Would crush us to dust.

014. NEVILLE: There’s been quite a stir created within the Scientocracy General. Murmurings, Mr. Galen. Palpable, definite murmurings.

015. PHINEAS: And what if this Infinity spoke
In only the way Infinity could?

016. CHRISTINE: (whispers) I should think it’s that kind of talk that got you into trouble in the first place!

017. PHINEAS: What would be our response?

018. NEVILLE: That you are insane in one category or another is a reasonable model I am not ruling out.

019. PHINEAS: Would we call it madness,
And shut it away,
Lock it up for our own good?

020. CHRISTINE: I think you’ll have a hard time getting reinstated back to your position in the Intelligia Collective.

021. PHINEAS: No! We would recognize it for what it was,
Instantly, without doubt or hesitation.

022. NEVILLE: To use vulgar vernacular, you claim to have heard the voice of God?

023. PHINEAS: Only afterwards would our mortal, limited mind
Attempt to reckon with Infinity in some other way
Than the sublime instant of contact.

024. ADVOCATE: One slip-up while under The Directive of Truth, Subject, and you hang yourself.

025. PHINEAS: Woe to the man that explains it away,
who gives it another name,
who makes Infinity into something it is not,

026. NEVILLE: Words are powerful things. They can disenfranchise a man, alienate him from his friends, and isolate him from the rest of the Intelligia Collective

027. PHINEAS: Something less,
Something mundane,
Something barren in comparison.

028. CHRISTINE: I won’t have my husband back from these Trials at the cost of his soul, or his integrity. That’s what I love about you, Finney.

029. PHINEAS: Pity the man who trades
The supreme mystery for the
Pale, common and comfortable

030. NEVILLE: I would be remiss in my duties without making an official case-study of your… current condition

031. PHINEAS: Pity me,
Who can give only the acceptable answer,
Or suffer dire consequences.

032. ADVOCATE: It’s as if they’ve hand picked the Academia of Justice seated at the Court of Trials to reside over this specific Inquiry, just for you.

033. PHINEAS: Pity me,
Who, in the backdrop of such sublime Infinity,
Must grapple with the tangles and webs
Of the sum of the full experience
Of man’s limited imagination.

034. CHRISTINE: It may only be my paranoia, Finney, but nothing about these proceedings seem at all like it appears.

035. PHINEAS: Who is the worse, I wonder?

036. NEVILLE: Out of the frying pan, into the fire, back to the frying pan, back to the fire -- ad infinitum, ad nauseum, ad exhausticum

037. PHINEAS: I, at least, have my moment of Eternity,
And in that inexplicable wonder of mystery,
I find my peace.

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Shari Armstrong  02 Aug 2007


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