[ToC]

 

DYSLEXIA ADVERTISEMENT

Woody Woodger

 

1. INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE. BABY BLUE TINT. DESK.

A DOCTOR slams the leather book shut that he was reading and looks into the camera.

DOCTOR

The stars have always spelled
out your future and, since
you were born, the only thing they
leaned how to spell were "knife"
and "Croatoan". Isn't there a better
way? Well now there is Dyslexia
is the fastest growing reading
dysfunction in the world! It's
estimated over 40 million adults
in America already have dyslexia,
and you could be next!

            (doctor's eyes turn black
            and you swear you can
            see your mother crying
            in them)

CUT TO

2. INT. PEWTER LIVING ROOM. A CRUSHING SENSE OF DREAD. BUT IN A NORMAL WAY.

A WOMAN sits sprawled out on a gray couch in the sexy, come hither way we all sit when we are trying to lure a national audience to our den.

WOMAN

But how do I know dyslexia is
right for me? I'm a working-woman
archetype. How am I supposed to
know that dyslexia will help me
achieve all the capitalistic
impulses masquerading as life
goals that Oprah hypnotized into
me?

 
SOOTHING VOICEOVER

Through three generations of
double-blindfolded studies, dyslexia
has clinically proven to scuff every
waking moment of one's world.
Your third grade spelling book will
look like cuneiform, your longest
friendships like an Edvard Munch
painting on Benzedrine.

 
WOMAN

Oh golly gee!
            (smiles, pan out to show
            she's scratching a giant
            rat wearing a Richard
            Nixon mask behind the ear)

CUT TO

B-ROLL OLD PEOPLE STARE OUT WINDOWS. DOGS RUN IN SLOW MOTION. SWEATSHOP WORKERS REUSE SAME DUST MASK.

VOICEOVER

Austin Learning Solutions says
dyslexia is the fastest growing
reality loss supplement on the
market today. They say 1 in 10
human people already have dyslexia.     
So it's basically already in your
drinking water!

CUT TO

3. INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE AGAIN

DOCTOR

When one suffers from dyslexia,
the user often hears how to spell.
Hears and hums their way toward
craft and considers words a
prittle-prattle to be cracked into
place. Sufferers...I mean proud
owners...can also never tell their
rights from lefts, which seems
weird and unnecessary. Nor can a
dyslexic decide if the word
consigliere sounds like a nice
desert tan or iridescent gray.

4. EXT. PARK. DAY. LENS FLARE.

A MAN shakes a rattle at a stroller and turns to camera.

MAN

I used to have back, knee, and
erectile dysmorphia, but now
that I've accepted the vacuous
stream of semen and gasoline
that craves through my body as
my lord and savior, I've almost
completely ceased emotionally
stunting my young. Dyslexia
helped me not read the note my
husband taped to the fridge
when he left, or those pesky
emails from work. It takes me
longer to read the clock than
anyone else. Dyslexia made the
teacher move me to Title 1
in third grade, pariahed me to a
kidney-bean-shaped table in the
corner. She forgot me as soon as
I left her class.

            (The riff from "All Star" by
            Smash Mouth begins to play)

The MAN gives the camera an empty smile and turns back to stroller. His head tilts, considers. His jaw unhinges wider than possible. Brows furrow as he leans in.

STAR WIPE

5. INT. POOL.

A senior water aerobics class is practicing. An OLD WOMAN boogie-boards up the edge to address the camera. A man in a speedo floats face down in the far corner behind her.

OLD WOMAN

But how can I afford dyslexia? I'm
on a fixed income, and I don't
have time for lengthy surgical
procedures. I want to blur the
line between mortality and
uploading my consciousness
to a flash drive now!

 
VOICEOVER

No need to worry! Thanks to
Obamacare, your government's
already adding dyslexia to the
chemtrails as we speak.

            (woman nods grimly,
            boogie-boards away)
            (floating man slips
            under)

CUT TO

6. INT. LIVING ROOM. GRAY LEATHER SOFAS

DEATH talks into camera while white family molests a golden retriever behind him. There's a tickling suspicion someone has had sex on this set cause you definitely saw it in a porn once. Same couches. The young boy sits in what must have been called "the splash zone" by the porn director.

DEATH

When you look in the mirror,
what do you see staring back
at you? Your hopes, dreams,
your father, your nation's
failures, all the dry mouth
ambitions you've let curdle?
Or do you see the more
blemished meat tube that was
in a Tide commercial that one
time and won't stop reminding
their friends about it?
Regardless, God has never
thought about you again since
he slopped you out onto this
earth.

CUT TO

7. EXT. ANOTHER OVEREXPOSED PARK. WITH EVEN MORE LENS FLARE BECAUSE WE WANT TO CULL THE EPILEPTIC.

WOMAN 2 crouches in front of a child and tousles the boy's hair.

WOMAN 2

Be warned: dyslexia is a quiet
embarrassment. You'll be dumb
enough to require practice
writing the word people for two
hours so you stop putting 9's in
it, but you'll be functional
enough to disappoint your
mother every time you get a
brain aneurysm over a
preschool crossword puzzle.
According to the Mayo Clinic
"dyslexia tends to ruin families",
which might be a misreading
of "dyslexia tends to run in
families", but that doesn't mean
misreadings are false. What is
false is the Austin Learning
Solutions website referenced
earlier in this commercial
because finding solutions in
learning, or to learning, has
proven to be baseless. Dyslexia
buys up real estate on your
plushest ocular nerve and
immediately begins fracking
whatever FEMA and the Taco
Bell sponsored Illuminati don't
want you to see. And, before
anyone knows it, they've been
gentrified to kingdom come.
Parents often don't know their
firstborn was mortgaged this way
until they seek help for the
second kid.

            (she laughs, smiles)

Isn't that right Timmy?

 
TIMMY (beginning to cry)

Who are you? How do you know
my name? What did you do with
my mom?

WOMAN 2 turns back toward screen and the audience knows they see spider eggs rustle behind her eyes.

CUT TO

8. INT. ME. AUTHOR. YOUR SELF-IMPORTANT LIAISON TO ALL THINGS DYSLEXIC. HE'S WHITE. SAD. IN A PITCH BLUE BUNKER.

AUTHOR

If you think dyslexia may be right
for you, well! You're in luck! The
world's already dyslexic. Proof?
Have you ever read a word
that's been spelled wrong and
still knew what it said. No
billboard in your memories says
what it did when you saw it.
Really. Science proved that to
be a plausible fact. Another fact:
your neighbor's neurotypical
cousin caught dyslexia. He was
so tired that night three Junes
ago that he omitted the whole
stop sign. More proof: we drive
on the wrong side of the road in
England, I'm not the first person
to look at flowers and see slow
moving jaws, a swimmer stared
at the word unconscious long
enough that it slackened into
consent, we've tacitly accepted
that 140 characters equates to a
proclamation, the skinhead's
little brother believed it was love
that drove a swastika into his
forearm, God believed Job,
sketch artists used to be
admissible, the dryer tries to
conjoin your clothes every
cycle and leaves a mess no
one can wear or understand.
Your author has oxygen in his
bunker, but, right now it's
crouching like lead right where
his plush things should be.
And, in a way, he deserves that.
In a way, he likes it. He's
special that way.

            (flips through ASPCA
            commercials, FEMA,
            CNN, more acronyms,
            all the ads sewn
            together by the static)

 
VOICEOVER

Side effects may include (but
are not limited to) tricking
your mom into thinking you
can read at a fifth grade level
at age four because you'd
memorize full books, your
second grade teacher telling
your parents potential is
relative, some are just born
plumbers, your parents do
not tell you this till later, later
existential grief consumes you,
if grief persists, you may be at
risk for ketoacidosis and
buying kitschy mugs with
Nietzsche quotes, suicidal
thoughts very likely, though
these may just be signs you
are a fragile white male who
hates himself because you
aspire to victimhood because
you lack a definable
personality, perhaps our
precepts of reality were
always unhinged like a loose
screen door that will some
day be the death of the cat
likewise, your inane
Schrodingerisms can
sometimes be a symptom of
a much larger issue, namely
a skinny-jean pretension
injected into you by Death
Cab for Cutie, if you begin to
experience fevers, night-sweats,
a distrust of the IRS, the urge
to care for another meat-sack,
or if you experience a growing
worship of Kurt Cobain, it's
already too late. Buy your stupid
mug, no one cares what you
read in The Atlantic yesterday
or about Portlandia, you secretly
hope you'll never be able to part
with the loaded pistol in your bed
stand, also, you don't think so,
but your doctor and mother have
know it's there for years.

 
AUTHOR
(shifting in his La-Z-Boy)

Every great mind in history, dear
viewer, has had some prickly
deficiency. And none of those
great minds are you. Talk to your
doctor if you think dyslexia might
be right for you.

 
TITLE CARD

Dyslexia: Your sarcasm and self-
righteousness can't save you from
death, you neoliberal commie poser.

 

 

 

__

At the heart of this piece is the anxiety of neoliberal economics—i.e. everything (products, ideologies, social positions) can and should be measured by how they can be consumed in the marketplace. By sort of "selling" my disability to the audience, the poem serves to accentuate the perverse and vapid ethos of neoliberal culture, as well as satirize neoliberal ideology's desire for a passive consumerist culture by selling dyslexia as a product used to willingly blind ones self from a horrific reality. On a meta level, I also wrote with the intention of critiquing contemporary art and how—in a similar way to neoliberalism—a writer's earnest tragedy or social position is used as a kind of capital to be sold or traded across the market of ideas, and consumed as entertainment for an audience eager for tragedy.