5 Primary Dusk II
“This course is an introduction to Greek Rhetoric. If this is not your class, and I know it isn’t yours Corey, then please leave now before I start,” the professor said, writing the name and code on the board.
Four people, including the person the professor stared at, stood up to leave. Ansel tried to hold in a laugh. This was his first class of the day, and he was very excited. It seemed that most of the professors were more intelligent than him, and it was extremely humbling. In academia, it seemed, his intellect was far less unique. This did not discourage him; instead it became a driving force. Intellect is nothing without action, and most of these kids (older than him) hadn’t done anything. He had started a band.
And then she walked it, and it was like the first time all over again. Ansel nearly vomited, but he didn’t. He turned away and tried to act all cool. Alexandre Dirge passed by him.
He said, “Nice teeth.”
She froze in his periphery. “What?”
He looked up at her and she staggered, “What!”
“Do you two know each other?”
“Yeah, she’s my bitch.”
Lune gave Alexandre an incredulous look. As far as she was concerned, they were friends now, and men didn’t get away with saying shit like that to friends. Alexandre, to her confusion, blushed.
“Yes, and you’re my slut. And here I thought Degenerate culture was dead.”
“Can’t kill the Degenerate movement!”
Lunesca searched her mind. She had heard of this she had—“Are you Lussa?”
“Nope,” they both said.
“I’m a musician, you know? I played in the Lussa City, although I was centralized in the Djeb.”
“Yes, we go back.”
For the first time, Lune noticed that Alexandre’s teeth were silver. She didn’t feel like asking questions, so she didn’t.
The professor said, “Can you please sit down if you are in this course?”
“Right.” Alexandre said.
They sat next to Ansel, and shortly after the lecture began.
The professor spoke about how Greece was originally thought to be a fictitious or religious location lost in time, until they began finding documents from it. He then handed out the textbook. (All textbooks were free with classes; that is, included in tuition.)
Ansel looked at the publisher’s page first. He wanted to know how out-dated it was. It read 3910, and it was translated by Chloe Rhye.
“Alex… isn’t Chloe Rhye part of the royal family?”
“And isn’t she… pretty young? Like your age?”
“Then how is she the translator of a hundred year publication?”
“…I’ll explain later.”
The professor went on. He was called Dr. Fagen, and he seemed to already know some of the students.
“The Greek Rhetoricians were divided in three. First, there were the Sophists, who were almost universally hated. It seems to me that they were something like infomercials that sold themselves. The Sophist’s texts were all lost or destroyed—or not yet discovered. What we know of them, therefore, is second hand, and it seems that they were quite despised.
“Right, as I was saying, they were like infomercials. They were fairly interesting to the masses, they gave knowledge that wasn’t all that useful but was knowledge nonetheless, and they charged for their services. Most rhetoricians spoke for free, and tried to educate, so their methods were looked down upon by many. The other two were the rhetoricians that were loved, and the rhetoricians that spoke in the courts—usually these were the accused themselves. Later, we will also talk about the philosophers.”
Someone asked what the difference between a philosopher and a rhetorician was.
“Good question. You can be a rhetorician and say nothing as long as you do it in an interesting manner. A philosopher can be as boring as a block of wood and as long as he is pursuing Truth, he is a philosopher.”
Someone else raised a hand and asked why the professor used male pronouns to describe philosophers. It was a woman.
“So far, all the philosophers I have read about or met were men. If you would like to change that, please do. I’ve been looking, fear not.”
He was frowned at.
Ansel laughed, and then he too was frowned at. Lunesca decided to join in, and then Alexandre, and then most of the class was laughing at this strange answer. The professor waited.
He added, “I suspect it’s because women are less interested in pointless fights, about half of philosophy is exactly that. It’s a mark of intelligence in my opinion. Although as far as Sophist rhetoric—well I’d better not say that.”