OHIO – Monologue (Janice)

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A monologue from the play by Nick Zagone

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted with the author’s permission. All inquiries should be directed to the author at: zagonenick@icloud.com


While we have a minute I thought I’d show you some paintings. This is a three part series of oils I painted called “Aliens.”

People immediately think the paintings are about extra-terrestrials. Which is fine! I enjoy different interpretations.

But to tell you the truth, I really don’t believe in extra-terrestrials, or UFOs. Well, maybe I do. I guess I really haven’t thought about it.

Anyway, these paintings are, I hope, a bit deeper than just UFOs and ET’s. What the paintings really represent or…

I guess the theme of the paintings center around the title. Which is Alien. The movie. The movie “Alien.” Well, the movies.

I guess the “Alien Trilogy” might be a better term. Yes! The movies with Sigourney Weaver! You’ve seen them, that’s good.

More women should see them. All women should see the Alien Trilogy. What do some sci-fi movies have to do with women you ask?

Well, these simple science fiction movies could very well be the verifiable, trustworthy reflection of the struggle of the American Woman in our society over the last thirty years!

Cross my heart. Each movie not only depicts the struggles of Ripley, the heroine, against the Aliens, but of Ripley the woman against man,

technology, and her role in society! Oh, I know, don’t get me started! These movies are the perfect measure of how far the American woman has come,

and in my paintings I have chosen to represent… this.

And here they are! Since the three movies span three decades I have painted three paintings to represent the sociological and political concepts that abound… in each.

In my first painting which I call Alien I, you can see the decade of the 70’s fully represented. The characters are rather passive and bewildered,

falsely led into believing government, technology and machines and also stumped as to what happened to their precious 60’s.

Meanwhile, the Alien… seen here dressed like Annie Hall with an Asian face and a gas can… which is a symbol of world economic problems,

the gas crisis, Vietnam backwash, and the changing role of the domestic woman… bears down heavily on the characters as well as our heroine Ripley,

who is shown with long, dark, bouncy and luxurious hair. Feminine hair. Hair worn for the pleasure of a man.

She must defeat the Alien in the white polyester leisure suit after the so-called superior men have failed. Okay. Are you with me?

In the second painting…which I call Alien II, it is now the 80’s.

We see the male characters who have become trapped and helpless in the grips of their own technology, employ our heroine, Ripley, to fight the Alien once again.

Only this time there are more Aliens than before. Here’s a Walter Mondale headed alien and a Gorbochov birth mark headed Alien…

which are symbols of communism and liberal thinking that Ripley destroys thinking they are the real problem.

But are they? Ripley’s hair is now short. She carries a gun. She fights side-by-side with the Marines. And she still looks sexy.

It looks like woman is now on the same level as man. It just looks like it. The problems still exist though as one can see by the half Alien,

half cockroach with George Bush’s head. Can you all see these? Okay. The last painting, Alien III. It is now the 90’s and hope is gone.

The Alien is still the same old economic, foreign and social problems, but bigger, faster and with great big nasty teeth!

The Alien even pushes the boundaries of religion as represented by an Alien crucified with a crown of thorns.

Get it? And Ripley’s hair? Is now completely gone. Shaved. She has been stripped of her most cherished female characteristic.

Ripley is now a living metaphor for a woman no longer trapped by her own body. She is not a woman, nor a man, nor an Alien.

She has transcended it all. She is herself. As represented by Ripley bursting from the stomach of an Alien with Bill Clinton’s head. [A beat.] 

I know. They’re not that good. I guess I was made to study art, not make it. I like ‘em though. They’re how I felt.

I feel like Ripley sometimes. But not enough. I’m not one of those woman haters. I’m not. I still like men.

But you know what’s funny? Women never like my paintings.

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