Brian Cooper

(Ep 1 - "Pilot")

(Wayne is holding Kevin down in the street and hitting him.)
brian Hey Wayne! Knock it off before I do the same thing to you!
Winnie's brother, Brian Cooper.
(Brian stands near his car and lights a cigarette. Winnie moves next to him.)
He was nineteen and for us he defined "cool". He had this really great '59 El Camino, didn't run of course, but he was always out there working on it, sweaty, grease all over his hands...what a guy. That June he got drafted and packed off to Vietnam. But his car was still out front, up on kind of a reminder of who really ran things on our street.

(Kevin has gotten in trouble at school. Jack and Norma have picked him up, and they have just arrived home.)
Come on, inside.
(Jack is holding Kevin's arm and neck.)
And then it happened, I think we were about halfway to the front porch.
(Karen and Wayne come out onto porch. They appear on verge of tears.)
Brian Cooper was killed.
Oh my god! When did they find out?
(Karen shakes her head.)
I'm gonna call Evelyn and see if there's anything I can do. Oh my god, poor Evelyn...poor Jim.
(Norma hurries into the house. Karen follows. Wayne looks toward Kevin and Jack. Jack looks down and squeezes Kevin's shoulder. Kevin looks up at Jack.)

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(Ep 2 - "Swingers")

(The minister is speaking at Brian's funeral.)
We live in confusing times, times of change and of disagreement. There are those...who will say that Brian Cooper was a man who died defending his country, and there are those who will say that he was a child who died in vain! We must have faith that none of Gods' children die in vain! But through all the change there is one thing that remains constant, and eternal, and can never die, and that is the human soul.
(At the Cooper's.)
What was she thinking? What was I thinking? I was so confused, she was so close I wanted to grab her, take her in my arms, feel her 72 pound body next to mine!
Try the ham.
Oh God, I was an animal! Watching her eat the ham, I felt, how could I be having these feelings? Did it show? Could people see through me? What would Brian think?
brian So! You're at my funeral and all you can think about is jumping my little sister.
Of course, he would think I was scum!
(Smiles): You're a man after my own heart.
Wait a minute - that's right. Brian wasn't like that.
Kev, Kev, Kev! Not now...give her a little time.

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(Ep 4 - "Angel")

...and then one day, we all got to meet him. This...was Louis. He was a junior at the State university, an honor-student at political philosophy, active in student government and various non-profit social causes. But I didn't know that. All I knew was that he was on my sister like mold on cheese.
No chicken?
Louis doesn't eat meat, Dad.
Hey, just thought I'd mention it.
No meat, Louis?
No. Meat, uh, meat just doesn't turn me on, really.
No meat, huh? Imagine that.
I knew it! Dad would carve through this guy like a butcher carves through a pork loin.
Oh, I heard honey, why the Vandover's didn't go to Brian's funeral. They were in Chicago. Dick's mother had a stroke.
One of the boys on our block was killed in Viet Nam several weeks ago.
Oh, I-I know. I mean, uh, Karen told me. Another meaningless death.
I beg you pardon?
I-I just meant's just a shame, uh...a kid has to die for basically no reason.
More broccoli, anyone?
I don't think it's meaningless when a young man dies for freedom and for his country.
I just have a little trouble...justifying dying for a government that systematically represses its citizens.
Oh, honey. Try the potatoes - I put grated cheese on them. (Smiles.)
What the hell is that supposed to mean?
It means the United States government is responsible for the oppression of blacks, women, free speech...
Well perhaps, little lady, you'd like to go live in Russia for a little while, hah?!
Oh, uh...I think what Karen is saying is that -
Look, buster! I happen to believe that freedom and democracy have certain advantages that Communist dictatorships don't, and that is what Vietnam is all about!
No, man, that's what they brainwash you to believe it's all about. They...(sighs)...they turn people into brainwashed morons.
My hunch was that my father would not let being called a brainwashed moron at his dinner table go unremarked.
jack think I've been brainwashed, do you, Louis?
No, no. Look - I think anyone...who supports the American war effort in Viet Nam, is having the wool pulled over his eyes.
I see...
Just like they did with Korea.
What the hell do you know about Korea? I was in Korea. I lost a lot of good friends there.
Daddy, that doesn't have anything to do with what we're saying.
And they weren't brainwashed! They were brave men who weren't afraid to fight for what they believed in. Now if you're afraid to fight - why don't you just say so?! Why don't you just admit you're chicken?!
You're damned right! I am chicken. I don't want to die like your friends! What do you think that you achieved over there? Hmm? Do you think that those people are free? They're not free, man. Except to buy Coca-Cola, and...(smirks)...Nestle's Quik. Get loans from Chase-Manhattan National Bank...
That's crap!
You were used, man, and your friends were used.
That's crap!
notice Daddy, you never listen to what we say! Some of what we say is true!
Don't accept all this death and then justify it. It is wrong! Your friends should be alive - they should be...enjoying dinner, and arguing with their kids, just like you are.
What do you know about it?! Who the hell are you to say that?!
You see this, man? This is my draft notice. In two weeks - I can go to jail...I can go to Canada...or I can go get shot full of holes, like your friend Brian Cooper. You keep thinking the way you do, Mr. Arnold, and these two will be next. And I just hope that's what they want.

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03/12/05 23:15