Second prize is a set of steak knives


According to rumor, Alec Baldwin ad-libbed this scene for the movie adaptation of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, although I’ve also heard that Mamet created the monologue especially for Baldwin’s character, Blake, who does not appear in the original Pulitzer Prize winning play.  A transcription of the monologue can be found here

Blake strikes me as the ur-Father of Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents, speaking to the id-driven sales force.  In good times, Blake comes across as a parody of all bad managers with his A-B-C rules — he is Stephen Covey’s evil twin.   In a bad business climate, however, he is the bearer of profound Hobbesean truths, and one feels obliged to internalize him and let him whisper in the back of one’s mind, for his is the voice that drives industry.

3 thoughts on “Second prize is a set of steak knives”

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