And thus walks Generical Man. He is like the ghost of the Neanderthal in our genetic heritage, a silent force that lives among us. Our modern selves look away from his aura of brute strength, we fancy he is not good, not refined, not pretty enough and we banish him from our presence. He sucks in his breath and lets it out again … just like you and I. But he is not generic man. No, he only seems to us to be the plain, the ordinary, the everyday man. He is generical man. He could be you, he could be me, but he is not Everyman.
Abiding and preserved in him is the heritage that keeps us human – not, as in the case of Neanderthal, a natural genetic inheritance, but of that inheritance of thought that fights against nature, the creedal genetic code that man has built through reasoning about himself.
Many have tried to exterminate him. Vast pogroms, Herod-like, seek to destroy this creature in their nets of murder and excommunication, but you can no more erase him than you can remove the Neanderthal shadow from our genes; he is the binding agent that the human species now carries within its very meaning, and to destroy one you must destroy the other.
Look how brutish is Neanderthal, you say, and my how out of fashion. But Generical Man continues to live his life of rectitude and integrity and passes beneath your contempt.
Generical Man: No, cut, cut, cut!
Director: You can’t say cut, that’s my job.
Generical Man: Who wrote this garbage?
Director: Your amanuensis.
Generical Man: You?
Director: Depends on how you slice it. I would say it is you. I’m actually just the director listening to thoughts in my head.
Generical Man: Who’s the writer, then?
Director: Us. You and me, baby.
Generical Man: Well, it’s garbage. 98% crap. Take it out.
Director: Take it out of what? It’s all we have now.
Generical Man: So what?
Director: So … what’s wrong with it?
Generical Man: Too pompous. Generical Man would never be that pompous.
Director: As in talking about himself in the third person pompous?
Generical Man: Good point. But I’m not a person, I’m an idea.
Director: So you’ve said but you’re still a pain in the ass.
Generical Man: That’s my job, sir.
Director: I hate that smile. Well lord, heavy sigh and all that, what should we say?
Generical Man: I don’t know, you’re the one who is supposed to conceptualize all this bull hockey. That’s what I brought you in for.
Director: Ok, how about this?
Generical Man, what is he? He’s a pain in the butt.
Generical Man: That’s it?
Director: About sums it up as far as I’m concerned.
Generical Man: But I liked that part about the Neanderthal.
Director: You would. Ok –
He’s an embarrassment, a royal pain in the butt. He’s the Neanderthal genes in Queen Elizabeth, a sight to be avoided at all costs. He is the slope-headed brute sitting at a tea in Buckingham Palace, belching and farting while everyone looks away.
Generical Man: Not too crazy about –
Generical Man: Well no … but it would be funnier if the Queen was doing the belching and farting.
Director: Then –
He’s an embarrassment, a royal pain in the butt. He’s the Neanderthal genes in the Queen of England, the slope-headed brute that leads her to fart and belch at her own tea in Buckingham Palace. And everyone looks away …
Generical Man: Oh, no, but don’t look away!
Director: But don’t look away, because Generical Man is like really, really important.
Generical Man: Well, like golly gee Mr. Director, what kind of crud is that?
Director: But don’t look away! This is your heritage, this is the strength that carries on within you. Generical Man.
Generical Man: But not Everyman …
Director: No, not Everyman, Generical Man. He only seems to be generic and common but he’s the most uncommon thing in the human race, he’s the trace mineral in the human body that makes it function.
Generical Man: I like that.
Director: He’s the heritage, the gift that keeps on giving –
Generical Man: Bleh!
Director: Wondered if I could slip that by. He’s the culmination and cultural heritage of the human race, the man who thinks. The man who builds his life on integrity and rectitude.
Generical Man: Getting there. We’ll work on it.
Director: Yeah, we’ll work on it. Like me an Pa shot that bear.
Generical Man: Ha ha, I like you.
Director: Is that supposed to be reassuring?
Generical Man: This is going to be a good partnership, I can see it already.
Director: Heavy sigh, and all that. Just remember, if they take me away you’ll be coming with me.
(Scene 2. Cut to picture of a Neanderthal in the “Thinker’s” pose.)
Voice of Generical Man: Poor guy. What a burden, to have me inside him. Of course everyone will think he is a pompous ass. I’m the pompous ass. I am the thing from the wilderness, wandering through his poor little mind. I am the archetype of everything wrong today. I am the ur of toxic masculinity.
The Guy: And you don’t even shave.
Generical Man: (Talking now as the neanderthal.) Nobody will get that joke five minutes from now.
The Guy: Yeah, it’s the price we pay for our wit and intelligence.
Generical Man: So you’re “The Guy” now and not the Director?
The Guy: There are many hosts but only one Generianderthal inside.
Generical Man: Generianderthal? The Guy: Just going with the neanderthal meme here.
Generical Man: So the host is black, white, brown, straight, gay, fat, skinny, urbanite, redneck, scientists, religionists, religious scientists
The Guy: Yup, any if those.
Generical Man: Politicians
The Guy: Let’s not get carried away.
Generical Man: Women
The Guy: Of course.
Generical Man: I want to see the woman.
The Guy: Of course you do. But this is not a porn site.
Generical Man: You injure me.
The Guy: The worst we can treat our fellow humans …
Generical Man: Just because neanderthal, um, sexually interacted with your ancestors doesn’t mean I …
The Guy: Is to tell the truth about them.
Generical Man: That’s a cliché.
The Guy: Oh nice, the accent mark and everything.
Generical Man: But you know that a lot of people don’t carry the neanderthal lineage in their genes. Hardly any black people do, for instance.
The Guy: Said like a perfect nerd. Are you concerned about hurting someone’s feelings.
Generical Man: Me? Thought you might be, though.
The Guys: It’s a concept, a schtick. It stands for a certain, oh, defiance or disregard that allows him to stand outside and look in.
Generical Man: On what.
The Guy: On himself, on the world, on the ancient patterns of mankind which we constantly default to.
Generical Man: Sounds like a lecture coming on. Should I get some popcorn.
The Guy: Ah, go back to your thinking neanderthal pose. We’ll get to it in the next scene.