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Saturday 25 August 2012

The Therapy Zone

The General

Number 2
Height…. 6 feet {approx}
Weight….170 lbs {approx}
Hair…….. Light brown, with a moustache
Age…….. Late forties {approx}
Nationality…. British.
Chief administrator
Chairman of the village
Attire double breasted black blazer, grey polo neck jersey, brown flannel trousers and deck shoes.
      This Number 2 has been brought back for a second term of office, which is some what surprising considering his failure during ‘A, B & C,’ though having said that, his failure of ‘A B & C’ was not due to his own immediate fault, but that of the doctor Number 14. So perhaps under such mitigating circumstances, this particular Number 2 was then given his second term of office. He still drinks milk which indicates that he is still suffering form an ulcer, and still tries to be in control.
   The general information is that as in ‘A B & C.’ He still wears a signet ring on the little finger of his left hand.
    However this time, Number 6 is something of a secondary importance this time around. Instead Number 2 has returned to the Village in connection with probably the most important human experiment ever to be conducted, Speedlearn.
    He is totally preoccupied with both the General and Speedlearn.
    There is a question over the length of time which has expired since this Number 2’s return to the village. I mean the previous Number 2 did not simply depart the village and the new number 2 simply walk into Number 6’s cottage. He must surely have been overseeing the speedlearn experiment from its very beginning, hence his great enthusiasm for Speedlearn and The General. Which in turn raises the question {one which has not as yet been raised here before}, what happens between the time of each new Number 2’s term of office? What happens in the Village that we do not see?
    Returned to the position of Chairman of the Village he still drinks his milk, still suffering from an ulcer problem, but he is somehow more confident and self assured this time around than last. He assures his superior that there is no problem and that were giving it 100 percent from everyone and is anticipating a truly exciting result. In fact he thinks he can say in advance, that experiment is going to be a 100 percent success, so full of confidence is he.
   He even questions his superior muttering under his breath “probably the most important human experiment were ever conducted and he treats it like a military exercise!” Such is his level of confidence, that he would not have dared think such a thing during his previous term of office, let alone say it!
Probably this new found level of confidence stems from the fact that he is not here with any direct result of Number 6.
    However this experiment in many ways is far more important than gaining Number 6’s resignation secret, and the stakes far greater it seems. What price failure this time round?
    He’s certainly nobody’s fool, but enjoys a rapport with Number 6, and shows little or no interest in seeing Number 6 at the seminar “Really, how very odd!”
   “You don’t have to explain my dear, Number 6 and I are old friends” he tells the Professor’s wife.
    So even though Number 2 has not been brought back as a direct result of Number 6, he is only too aware of his presence and is fully aware of Number 6’s capabilities.
However this is a new and confident Number 2, who possibly sees himself as a match for his past adversary.
    But as Number 6 does become involved, Number 2 is not averse to offering Number 6 a deal in return for the professor’s tape recorder with all his notes upon it.
Such a submissive message from the professor himself, Number 2 cannot allow the citizens to hear. That would surely ruin everything for him.
      He has a real personal belief in not only the experiment, but also in the capabilities of The General. “There is no question that The General cannot answer, given the basic facts.”
    Such is Number 2’s confidence in The General and Speedlearn as a whole. For the moment all they have to teach the students/citizens is past history. But soon they will be writing their own, such is the belief of Number 2.
     But Number 2 still needs the professor and the Professor’s wife, the one for the other. They are both necessary, even essential. The general itself is not enough.
Even though the Professor and his wife came to the Village voluntarily, Number 2 uses the professor’s wife against her husband in order to get the professor to do what he wants, in order for him to achieve his own ends.
    “A lovely woman, warm, sympathetic she’ll talk him into anything to keep him alive.”
    As much as Number 2 uses the professor’s wife, he is also quite charming and assuring towards her, as far as her husband is concerned, anyway. When asked when she might see her husband number 2 tells her “of course, as soon as he has completed the first phase of the next instalment. He’s performing so well it seems a pity to disturb him now….. how long? Oh, who can tell. But not long my dear, he needs you.” So he even manages to keep the Professor’s wife dangling on a wire.
However that in itself is not enough, ‘mild therapy’ is the order of the day, and ordered by Number 2.
   This Number 2 is a great believer in technology, and is an unbeliever of “old fashioned slogans” he sees that Speedlearn will replace the need for learning by tedious rote.
      We observe for the first time, Number 2 wearing Top-Hat official garb, of black top hat, over coat, suit and dark glasses. Interesting to observe how he manages to get those dark glasses over his own steel rimmed spectacles! This of course is separate dress from his normal everyday village costume of double breasted dark, plain blazer, grey polo neck sweater and grey flannels.
      His assistant in this case is Number 12, an official of administration. But does he ultimately trust number 12? After giving Number 12 an order to go and tell the doctor to hurry up, he changes his mind, deciding instead that he will do it himself. He also warns Number 12, ‘that his opinions about the professor should be closely guarded’.
So then, what are we to make of his own muttered words against his superior? And during that phone conversation between
      However we see that Number 2 this time does not simply have to contend with Number 1, but also The Board members of administration. And it seems that Number 2 maybe overstepping the mark, concerning the transmission of the lectures.
    “Has this been passed by the board?” queries the projectionist.
    “It will be” Number 2 assures him.
So not only does Number 2 have Number 1 to contend with, but also The Board members. This would strongly suggest that in some cases of administration, Number 2 does not have the ultimate say where decisions are made.
      As far as the general is concerned, it had apparently not occurred to Number 2 that if the relevant information and details regarding Number 6’s resignation had been programmed into the general, then perhaps the reason for the prisoner’s resignation might have been calculated by the general!
    After all the village had a fully detailed file on Number 6, and all such basic facts and information. And after all there is no question The General cannot answer, given the basic facts! However he has a question of a different kind to ask the General, there is a traitor in the village!
    Well Number 2 is nobody’s fool. Number 6 could certainly not have obtained the garb of a “Top Hat official”, nor the pair of “security pass disc’s alone. He would have had to have an accomplice, someone inside Administration.
Would that not have been a feather in number 2’s cap? After all there is no question that the General cannot answer, given the basic facts!
      Number 2’s mistake was allowing Number 6 to ask his question, but then his confidence in the general had been challenged, as well as his arrogance! Number 2 did not really have any choice, after all he wasn’t afraid. Was he?
   Number 2 cannot believe it when the general begins to short circuit and blow a fuse! In fact Number 2 is devastated by the destruction of the general.
“What was it, what was the question?” he demands.
   He has allowed himself to be out witted by Number 6 for a second time, and in doing so had failed for a second time! There will be no third chances for this Number 2.

Number 12
Height…… 5feet 10inches {approx}
Weight…... 145 lbs {approx}
Hair……… light brown
Age……… 25 {approx}
Nationality…  English speaking
      Village attire, dark blazer with light blue piping, grey polo neck jersey and fawn slacks and deck shoes, later, black over coat and suit and white tie, together with black top hat and dark glasses with black shoes.
Number 12’s position lies in administration, an official. A cog in the machine!
    He has been with the village for quite some time, but has strong opinions about the professor, he sees the professor as a trouble maker, in fact he thinks the professor to be ‘a crank!’ He is warned by Number 2 that such remarks must be closely guarded!
Possible that he is not trusted 100% by Number 2. When asked to get over and tell the doctor to get on with it, he is stopped, Number 2 having changed his mind and is told by number 2 ‘that he will do it himself’.
      Number 12’s loyalty to the village seems unquestionable at first meeting. However when told by number 6 that his only subject of interest is getting away from this place, number 12 replies ‘join the club’. At that moment there is extreme doubts regarding the mans loyalty. This becomes even more apparent when in the evening number 12 comes face to face with Number 6 and hands over the professor’s tape recorder. He even brings Number 6’s attention to a flaw in the general, “What was the treaty of Adrianople?”
   Number 6 replies “September 1829.”
    Number12 then corrects Number 6, he said “what” not “when!”
    It is quite obvious that number 12 has been putting himself about, having a great deal of freedom within the village. Because he must have been watching Number 6 most carefully, as he knew where to go and dig up the tape recorder.
    He appears to have chosen his man well, his confederate to be Number 6. Working in administration Number 12 would have free access to all personnel and prisoner files. And no doubt Number 6’s reputation would go before him.
   But he would have watched Number 6 very carefully, before making his move. A very careful and calculating man this Number 12. However at the same time, he is aware of his own limitations. Hence the need for a confederate, he needs a man of Number 6’s calibre to help carry out his plan.
    He offers Number 6 his passport out of the village, the Professor’s tape recorder.
    Number 12 is also a dab hand at sabotage, a deliberate short circuit across the contacts of a light bulb in Number 6’s cottage. He orders number 6 to report to his office, there he supplied number 6 with the uniform of a Top Hat official, and instructions regarding the inside of the Town Hall. Security check points and the projection room. Together with how to exchange the one lecture for the other! Having already provided Number 6 with a micro reduced reproduction of the professor’s speech from the tape recorder, as well as a pair of Security Pass discs.
Number 12 knows the technical workings of Speedlean, he explains this to members of the Board. So he must have been heavily involved in the experiment right from its commencement.
However he sees Speedlearn as nothing more than another form of brainwashing
      However at the end of it he is about to be unmasked by Number 2, and is saved only by the quick thinking of his confederate. In the end he shows his bravery by attempting to save the Professor’s life as he was being electrocuted and in so trying, becomes another martyr on the conscience of the Village. But there is an ambiguity about this scene, because looked at another way, it could be interpreted, not as an act of bravery, but one of suicide on the part of Number 12.

The Professor – Number ?
Name…… unknown
Height…… 5feet 10inches {approx}
Weight…..  160 lbs {approx}
Hair……… Grey
Age………  Mid fifties {approx}
Nationality…. English speaking
Occupation. Teacher
Marital status. Married
     Village attire, red smoking jacket, a cravat and black trousers and slippers not in the usual village costume, one of the privileges perhaps!
    He does not wear his penny farthing badge, and is allowed not to do so. Something he has in common with Number 6.
    He came to the village voluntarily and has certain privileges. Even so there is only a certain amount of freedom which the Professor is allowed, certainly not as much freedom as his wife seems to enjoy! And no doubt the village wasn’t quite what he had been expecting.
     Why he and his wife came to the village of their own volition is unknown. Perhaps his government would not take him up on Speedlearn of the General. It could be that the village was the professor’s only option!
    He is pressed into working ever more constantly upon the lectures. This is done through rest and mild therapy and carried out by a very attentive doctor. However much of the persuasion comes from his adoring wife, she would do anything to keep her husband alive!
     And he is lovely fellow, people love him and will take anything from him. It is the image which is important, the kindly image!
    The Professor cuts something of a tragic figure. Not only a victim of the Village, but also that of his wife! A man with a conscience, who is being manipulated by Number 2 to achieve his own ends and that of the Village. However the professor treats the lectures as though his very life depends upon them. Nothing could be further from the truth.
     The Professor informs the students before his lecture, that Speedlearn is quite simply the most important far reaching, most beneficial development in mass communication, since the beginning of time.
    The Professor is a great man, he treats lectures as though his very life depends upon them, which if course it does.
    A three year course impressed upon the mind in three minutes. He thought that impossible until he was introduced to The General. However Number 2 infers later that the General is the Professor’s own work. “He gave birth to it and loves it with a passionate love. Probably hates it even more!” And that was proved to be the case, judging by the important message upon his tape recorder. “This is the professor speaking. I have an urgent message for you. You are being tricked. Speedlearn is an abomination. It is slavery. If you wish to be free, there is only one way. Destroy the general! Learn this and learn it well. The general must be destroyed!”
   Number 2 might have said that the Professor gave birth to the General, but the Professor sees it slightly different, he stated before the camera, admitting to his students before one of his lectures, that he was introduced to the General, causing some ambiguity.
    So here is another who in the village who is against the general and Speedlearn, the professor. When he decides to run away from the village, his students chase him along the beach and manhandle him back to the village.
    How far the professor thought he would get, is anybody’s guess. But no one can guess the actions of a desperate man!
    However strong that hate is, it is not strong enough to stop him from trying to save the general at the end as it begins to short circuit. An act which ultimately costs him his life, it is sad to say that the professor was an unfortunate casualty.

The Professor’s Wife – Number ?
Name……. unknown
Height……. 5feet 4inches {approx}
Weight…… 140 lbs {approx}
Hair……….. Black
Age………... 40 {approx]
Nationality…..  English speaking
Occupation.. artist
     Village attire, usually in an orange skirt with an ornate blouse of white, orange, red, brown colours, sleeve or sleeveless and high heel shoes. But not the usual village costume, nor does she wear the penny farthing badge of the village. Perhaps one of the privileges allowed her and her husband.
    She came with her husband to the village of her own free will, however this act of free will does not mean that freedom is to be found within the village itself, only the resulting few privileges which they have given. But even then, she seems to enjoy a certain freedom that her husband does not! However, like her husband, she found the village not to be quite, what she had been expecting.
    A handsome woman, it can be said certainly not unattractive and with a fine figure, a lovely woman who is married to a man more than her own age. She is also warm and loving.
    Being an artist she holds art seminars in the garden of her home, modern art being her own particular subject. The house being either another of these privileges we hear about, or an exact replica of their own home. Their home being one most elegant, books, paintings and a very beautiful garden.
   Apparently she and her husband have everything they need and are perfectly happy.
    Apart from the seminars, the professor’s wife is also a sculptress. Inside the drawing room, mounted upon columns are several busts or rough exercises according to the Professor’s wife, are unveiled by Number 6. Among them are Voltaire, Number 2 and of course Number 6 himself. But one other really stands out from the nondescript at the back, a bust of number 2. A previous Number 2 that is, from ‘The Chimes of Big Ben.’
    A simple case of a bust left over somewhere from the Arts and Crafts Exhibition?    
   After all as an artist she would have been interested in such a find. Or could it be a shade of something more sinister? Is it possible that this innocent looking wife of the professor have known this former Number 2.
      It is quite apparent that she loves her husband very much and will talk him into doing anything in order to keep him alive. However in doing so she is allowing herself to be used by Number 2. Perhaps in fear of the consequences, were it otherwise.
    It is plain that she actually realises the pain which she is putting her husband through, that is through the love she has for him. Perhaps the consequences she may fear are for her husband, she doesn’t want to lose him.
    She must feel frustrated when asking to her husband. He works so hard on his lectures, the rest of the time he is either resting or sedated!
     One peculiarity, if the Professor’s wife had made the plaster bust of her husband, why did she scream when Number 6 brought down the heavy cane upon it? Her reaction would seem to confirm that she knew nothing of it, thinking it was her husband lying in the bed. So was she screaming for her husband, or her masterpiece which Number 6 was about to destroy?
      In the end one can only feel sorry for the now grieving widow of the professor as she sits outside the French windows of her home. And then wonder what is to become of her? As she must surely do, now that she is all alone in the village. Is
there really anything which she has to offer the Village now that her husband is dead? Surely they cannot just let her go, not with the knowledge which she has. One thing is certain, the Professor’s widow will spend the remainder of her days, a prisoner of the village. Not perhaps in the house she has come to love, but certainly with little or no privileges!    

The General continues next time

Be seeing you

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