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Hey, remember The Fourth of July, 2003? We don't, but found this in our archives:

Fourth of July Fourthiness.

Independence is on the march, patriots.

& Recently . . .

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Sweet Christ, that prostitute is really a man!

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Wednesday, April 6, 2005   |    Fiction

Raskolnikov Meets Dr. Phil

by James Warner

Dr. Phil: My first guest tonight is a man who has some impulse-control problems.

Raskolnikov: What do you want? When will you leave off tormenting me?

Dr. Phil: Hold it right there. Seems to me you need an attitude adjustment.

(Raskolnikov turns abruptly and stares at the wall.)

Dr. Phil: Says here you murdered an old lady for her money. You murdered her, and then you murdered her sister. What were you thinking?

Raskolnikov: (Making a violent effort to understand what it all means) I murdered myself, not them! It was the Devil that killed them. Enough, enough! I killed a noxious insect of no use to anyone, so what is the object of these senseless sufferings?

Dr. Phil: You need to get a grip on yourself, and you need to take some responsibility and make healthier choices.

(Applause from studio audience.)

Raskolnikov: (Breathing heavily, his upper lip twitching.) My choice was to be a great man dedicated to improving the lot of humanity. The vast mass of mankind is mere material, and only exists in order by some mysterious process to bring into the world at last one man out of a thousand with a spark of independence.

Dr. Phil: Let’s talk about the independence thing, since you brought it up. You’re still receiving money from your mother, isn’t that right? And you have a college degree but no job? And recently you’ve embarked on a life of crime?

Raskolnikov: The extraordinary man has the right to find in his own conscience a sanction for murder, if it is essential to the practical fulfillment of his idea. Our rulers destroy men by millions themselves and look on it as a virtue. They are knaves and scoundrels.

Dr. Phil: Ho ho, well I’m not an expert on politics, but don’t you think you have enough problems of your own to keep us busy here? I understand you’re in love with a prostitute?

Raskolnikov: Sonia is a woman of the utmost purity whom I love with a Christ-like intensity that drives me to torment and humiliate her.

Dr. Phil: Be honest with me now. Don’t you think she’d prefer a relationship in which two healthy people come together because they complement each other on an equal footing of respect and love?

(Applause from studio audience.)

Raskolnikov: (Grinds his teeth.) A dull animal rage boils within me.

Dr. Phil: We need to extinguish these self-defeating behavior patterns of yours.

Raskolnikov: Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart.

Dr. Phil: I one-hundred percent disagree. You can do better than that. Now I understand Sonia can’t be here tonight because she’s ministering to the needs of plague victims, but once you get out of prison for those murders, supposing this Sonia’s still waiting for you, what do you think
you’ll have to do to repair the damage you’ve already done to the relationship?

Raskolnikov: My mind is clouded and I am almost unconscious of my body.

Dr. Phil: I’m sending you to the green room to do some figuring.

Raskolnikov: Why must you persecute me with kindness, when I would rather boil over with a rapturous agony. (Laughs insanely.) Perhaps I am really mad, and all this happens only in my imagination.

Dr. Phil: Nope, you ain’t getting you off the hook that easy. Fact is, you are accountable for your actions. What I’m asking you to do is take responsibility. Are you willing to give that a try?

Raskolnikov: (Bows down to kiss the earth.) Good God, man is a vile creature.

Dr. Phil: Do we have a deal or not?

Raskolnikov: I could strangle you at this moment. Why must you torture me? I feel a physical hatred for you, cannot bear you near me, and am becoming convinced that you are the most aggravating bully on the face of the Earth.

Dr. Phil: You see, now we’re getting somewhere. Pain, once it’s acknowledged, can be a powerful motivator.

Raskolnikov: Be silent, I beg of you. (Shuddering nervously, a malignant expression in his black eyes.) I am a louse, a wretch, a fool.

Dr. Phil: It’s time for you to identify and confront the behaviors that are making you unhappy. I always tell people, you don’t need a diploma to hose down a mule.

(Standing ovation from studio audience.)

Raskolnikov: I feel sublimely indifferent to your opinion. (Walks toward the exit.) No, I retract everything I have said, your words make perfect sense, you are a seer, a god. (Bounding out of the studio, his voice carrying from afar.) If only I had met you before I became an axe
murderer, perhaps I would now be among the saints.

Dr. Phil: Oh boy.

(Raskolnikov returns after a tumultuous inner struggle, pushing his way through a dense crowd of peasants.)

Dr. Phil: We’re going to take a break now.

Raskolnikov: (Strikes Dr. Phil repeatedly on the head with the blunt side of an axe, then leaves overcome with remorse.)

James Warner was too busy to write a biography of himself. Y.P.R. assumes him to be someone very important, like a diplomat or superhero.