You're wasting your time. I've been impotent
for years. (Barbara: "Rubbish") What the hell
is wrong with being impotent? Kids are more hung up on
sex than the Victorians. I got a son, 23 years old. I threw
him out of the house last year. Pietistic little humbug.
He preached universal love, and he despised everyone. Had
a blanket contempt for the middle class, even its decencies.
He detested my mother because she had a petit bourgeois
pride in her son, the doctor. I cannot tell you how brutishly
he ignored that rather good lady. When she died, he didn't
even come to the funeral. He felt the chapel service was
He told me his generation didn't live with
lies. I said, 'Listen, everybody lives with lies.' I-I grabbed
him by his poncho and I dragged him the length of our seven-room,
despicably affluent, middle-class apartment, and I flung
him - out! I haven't seen him since. You know what he said
to me? He's standing there on the landing, you know, on the
verge of tears. He shrieked at me: 'You old fink. You can't
even get it up anymore.' That was it, you see. That was his
real revolution. It wasn't racism, the oppressed poor, or
the war in Vietnam. No, the ultimate American societal sickness
was a limp dingus.
My God. If there is a despised, misunderstood
minority in this country, it is us poor, impotent bastards.
Well, I'm impotent, and I'm proud of it. Impotence is beautiful,
baby! POWER TO THE IMPOTENT! RIGHT ON, BABY!...You know,
when I say impotent, I don't mean merely limp. Disagreeable
as it may be for a woman, a man may lust for other things,
something a little less transient than an erection. A sense
of permanent worth. That's what medicine was to me, my reason
You know, Miss Drummond, when I was 34, I presented
a paper before the annual convention of the Society of Clinical
Investigation that pioneered the whole goddamn field of lmmunology.
A breakthrough. I'm in all the textbooks. I happen to be
an eminent man, Miss Drummond. You know something else, Miss
Drummond? I don't give a goddamn. When I say impotent, I
mean I've lost even my desire to work. That's a hell of a
lot more primal passion than sex. I've lost my reason for
being. My purpose. The only thing I ever truly loved. Well,
it is all rubbish, isn't it?
I mean, transplants, anti-bodies. We manufacture
genes. We can produce birth ecto-genetically. We can practically
clone people like carrots, and half the kids in this ghetto
haven't even been inoculated for polio! We have established
the most enormous, medical entity ever conceived and people
are sicker than ever! WE CURE NOTHING! WE HEAL NOTHING! The
whole goddamn wretched world is strangulating in front of
our eyes. That's what I mean when I say impotent. You don't
know what the hell I'm talking about, do you?...I'm tired.
I'm very tired, Miss Drummond. And I hurt. And I've got nothing
going for me anymore. Can you understand that?...And you
also understand that the only admissible matter left is death.
He blew up at her when she clinically analyzed
him as having a "familiar case of morbid menopause. It's
hard for me to take your despair seriously, doctor. You obviously
enjoy it so much." He yelled at her: "Bugger off!
That's all I need now is clinical insight. Some cockamamie
25 year-old acidhead is gonna reassure me about the menopause
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