Real World
La Misma Mierda, Menos Nieve

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La Misma Mierda, Menos Nieve

The sounds of a dialing phone and an activating modem find Jason inside of the firehouse, sitting in front of the computer. Now, I don't remember the dominant styles and fashions of 1997 with any great clarity, but I can only guess from Jason's unmatching denim duds and wide-brimmed ten-gallon hat that "Gay Cowboy Chic" was the latest in de rigueur poser gear for at least one brief, shining moment that winter. Jason stands up and speaks into an attached microphone, "Sean, can you hear me?" We cut over to the CCC to discover Sean and Syrus, sadly not dressed in a cop costume and an Indian costume, and Jason is clearly disappointed that his two un-fun-loving roommates have decided not to go along with the whole "Village People Reunion Tour" thing he seems so hell-bent on cultivating today. They are in the process of setting up a computer program called "CU-SeeMe" (say it together, naturally...Lionel Richie, call your lawyers), which will allow people to see and hear each other with the help of built-in cameras and microphones, communicating in real time over this crazy new invention we know today as "The Internet Machine." It's like living in the future, really. But just at this moment, technical difficulties ensue, and Sean worries that "this thing isn't set up right." Oh, Sean, I'd say it's set up just fine. The reason you're having trouble accessing Jason's image on your monitor is because the computer is actually smarter than you think: it simply refuses to process the visual information of his awful, awful hat. I wish my television were equipped with the same technology, but then again, my work -- as is the work of this inconspicuous non-profit organization quietly nestled in a small Boston suburb -- isn't fully funded by MTV. Yet.

Over in The Most Extraneous Confessional Ever, Sean village idiots himself into his usual corner with the sentiment, "The CU-SeeMe software is pretty cool. When we're gonna be talking to people, we're gonna be able to see them!" Which is probably one of the primary reasons that the creators of said software ultimately decided to strike "NotCU-Can'tSeeMe" from their shortlist of applicable names for the program. I mean, duh. Suddenly the program seems to work just fine, as the lucky members of the CCC team can hear Jason's hilarious quip, "All I can see is Sy's head, and it's blinding me." Oh, ha ha. Try not to get too rich mining all that comedy gold over there, Smartass McCleverstein. Considering your own corporate co-branding between B-M and the gay rodeo, I would seriously reconsider calling attention to the area of anyone's head, lest ye yourself want to be harshly judged.

At a meeting with the Somber Seven at some indeterminate time before or after the scene we've just finished watching, Poor Poor Anthony speeches the group the he wants "to hook up another computer" using the CU-SeeMe software in another school. They cannot even muster the enthusiasm to pretend they care about any of this (and let the record show I know exactly how they feel), until Poor Poor Anthony continues that the school is in "San Juan, Puerto Rico. And that's where you guys are gonna head." And so there is much jubilant celebrating throughout the land, though it's after this pregnant, awkward pause I'm really surprised wasn't edited out. Genesis and Kameelah scream the conditioned scream of a generation who learned about winning by watching Showcase Showdown winners whoop and holler and jump and run and kiss Bob Barker full on the mouth, while Montana sits in her seat gleefully repeating, "Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico." Elka looks glum in a purely "oh, daddy is so hearing from me about this" kind of way, collects her things, and pouts poutily out of the room in a pouty fashion. Kameelah, for some reason, interprets that gesture as a personal offense to her, indicated by her talk-to-the-hand posture and snarky comment, "How can she be unhappy about going to Puerto Rico? Oh, we're not going to Ireland." And, in the elevator, Elka admits as such to Montana: "I guess I just had my mind set on going overseas." Yeah, because it sure would be a shame to be trapped on that landlocked, continental mass called "a tiny island in the middle of a significantly larger ocean" on their one free weekend out of Tundra Central. Outside the CCC, the kvteching continues, and Montana decides to put a stop to it right now by verbalizing her feelings for Elka's ungratefulness and laying them all out on the line...to us: "I was kind of upset with her that she was so bummed about going to Puerto Rico. How ungrateful. She should just go and have a good time." Elka clarifies for Montana that she's "not complaining...just kind of disappointed." She's bummed that she's traveling and still won't get to see her Walter. Kind of strange, current mood considered, that no one ever considered changing her name permanently to "Sulka." Maybe now's the time, then.

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