The Corporatorium: The Ernestness of Being (Season 2, Episode 1)

Nigel Gale @MannequinMan
Have you seen ernest!’s column today?

Barbara @Harvard06
No, not before my morning tea!

Prometheus Jones @Theus
I just read it. You may want to read it on an empty stomach

Just Plain Terry (JPT) @FierceQueen
Honestly, ernest! is always seeing racists under the bed.

Prometheus Jones @Theus
Well, in his defense, when your only tool is a hammer, everything tends to look like a nail.

Barbara @Harvard06
Well, for someone with a degree in journalism, he doesn’t follow any of the rules of impartiality.

ernest! had gone to the same Ivy League institution as Barbara the first, but he’d managed to circumvent accusations of privilege and access by casting his undergraduate years not as a stroll through hallowed, ivy-covered halls, but rather as an unavoidable incarceration in a PWI—Predominately White Institution. Barbara wore her Harvard degree like a gold star; ernest! wore his like a Purple Heart.

ernest!’s eponymous biweekly blog, The Ernestness of Being, routinely triggered rashes and fits of shaking. He used no last name, only his first name and that he spelled in all lower case letters in open rejection of the power dynamic of the white patriarchy, which was codified in the power differential between upper and lower case letters—and by an exclamation point which he fancied was as emphatic as he, himself, when in actual point of fact, he was less an exclamation point than a line drawn in the sand, subject to the vicissitudes of tide and wind.

His ego was larger than his reach, but it had been a slow news cycle, and everyone was weary of reading about Donald the Menace. Besides, anyone with a Twitter account and a pulse knew everything Donald the Menace thought, did, and thought about doing, before the exhausted media could report. And so ernest!’s post, in which he accused the Corporatorium of not just racism but “anti-blackness,” and homophobia, grew legs and ran like a first grader; the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal picked up the story.

Leadership was thrown into a loud reactive panic, less because the accusations troubled them than because it had caused our stock price to tumble and it was looking increasingly likely it would go into freefall if something wasn’t done.

Leadership promptly wrote large checks to small organizations battling racism and homophobia, and hastily appointed a Director of Diversity. Plucked, almost at random from their closed ranks, her only qualifications appeared to be: an inordinate amount of guilt at her staggering wealth and position; an inchoate anger that despite having it all, her life was not easy; an earnestness that couldn’t be faked or denied; sterling silver wishes that remained tarnish-free even as, one by one, they failed to come true; and, an inability to say “no.”

To her credit, after her appointment, she did a thorough Google search and promptly created affinity groups for every imaginable demographic. The problem was the Company had no employees in entire demographic categories; for others, such as the Asian Group, there were only two people and one of them actually lived and worked in an Asian country so did not understand what an affinity group was, or the need for one, once it was explained to him.

The size and number of checks the company wrote rose in inverse proportion to the company’s stock price. This fever of check writing led to magnificent photo opps where Lizzie Borden, dressed in darkness even in the bright summer of frenetic giving, presented oversized checks to small, understaffed nonprofit organizations whose grateful directors of development waxed rhapsodic about her, pinning to her cold bosom accolades for Christ-like attributes she did not possess. One especially grateful director mid-praise ecstatically laid her hand on Lizzie Borden’s chest where her heart should have been; and, finding the echoing chamber empty, stepped back, and fell off the makeshift stage, breaking her femur, her hip, and her elbow.

“Theus can you meet tomorrow at nine?” TWO asked.

“Let me check,” I responded.

“You can’t,” Nigel said, “We have the African American network meeting tomorrow at nine.”

TWO stared at him in astonishment, then pushing her lips into a tiny moue of dissatisfaction asked, “How about 10:30?”

“Nope. I have the LGBT & Allies network meeting at 10:30.”

“How many networks are you on?” TWO demanded.

“Don’t blame Theus—it’s not his fault he stands at the very intersection of intersectionality!” Barbara the second said disingenuously.

TWO glared at no one in particular.

“Nigel, I don’t understand why you’re on the African American network,” Ivy said., “I mean you’re only half black.”

“Well they could hardly invite half of me, now could they?” Nigel snapped; his rare show of temper, caused his voice to rise to a nearly audible level. “Besides I’m also a member of the ‘blended’ network.”

“Why don’t they have a networking group for white people?” Ivy wondered aloud.
TWO and the Cerberus looked at her with horror.

“Actually,” I said, “They do. It’s called the board of directors.”

Diana Prince-King @TAFKAP
Well even as production meetings go—that one was pretty bad.

Nigel Gale @MannequinMan
Can you believe that bitch Ivy questioned my being on the Africa American networking group?

Just Plain Terry (JPT) @FierceQueen
Don’t whine to me—I’m still mad you got a President before we did!

Diana Prince-King @TAFKAP
“I miss Obama!”

Prometheus Jones @Theus
“I miss the America that was.”

Barbara @Harvard06
Ivy must be off her meds again.

Nigel Gale @MannequinMan
Ya think?

Prometheus Jones @Theus
What’s eating TWO?

Diana Prince-King @TAFKAP
Oh, she’s pissed of she wasn’t asked to lead the women’s networking group.

Prometheus Jones @Theus
But she’s not a woman—she’s just a whiteboy in girlface!

Copyright © 2018 Larry Benjamin

The characters and events described in this blog post exist only in its pages and the author's imagination.

Read Season 2, Episode 2: Gala here
Missed Season 1? Catch up here.  


  1. Well, this is a glorious surprise! Witty and acerbic as ever, Larry.

    1. Why thank you. I'm just warming up. ;-) Wait till next week's episode.

  2. Yay it's back!! Love how you zing with these characters, can't wait to read more.

    1. Hi. Thank you. I'm so glad you like it. I'm hoping this season will be full of zing.


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