The following interview was conducted on October 10, 1998 at DuPar’s restaurant in Studio City, CA. (The subject was known to “hang out” there on a regular basis.) I had been forewarned that in the past, the subject had denied all requests for interviews; moreover, he had even been known to “attack” interviewers, particularly if they were carrying cameras. As I did not have a camera, I approached him … tentatively. To my surprise, he agreed.
Basically, the subject was polite, well-mannered and respectful throughout the interview. At times, however, his demeanor would change, whereupon he would become visibly hostile for no apparent reason. However, the subject also has a well-earned reputation for “putting interviewers on.” As he has mastered the art of the poker-face it’s impossible to tell whether he’s being “serious” or if you’re being toyed with. The interview is transcribed in its entirety, except for long stretches of rather unpleasant banter between the subject and the waitress (an elderly woman with a beehive hairdo and a hearing aid), who apparently wasn’t refilling the subject’s coffee cup quickly enough to suit him.
Q: Isn’t this highly unusual … conducting an interview with yourself?
A: Well, I was hoping that, given my newfound stardom on the Internet, Time or Newsweek would come calling, but I’ll have to settle for you. As for it being unusual, no way. I love to hype myself. It’s basically a riff I stole from Norman Mailer’s “Advertisements For Myself.”
Q: You’ve been known as someone who dislikes certain groups of people … including blacks, homosexuals and women. Is this true?
A: Certainly not! Actually, I’m quite fond of blacks, though I don’t particularly like their music or their food. As for women, I think they’re swell. I think we get along with them just fine — as long as we remember five basic rules: We hate them. They hate us. They’re stronger than us. They’re smarter than us. And, most important — they don’t play fair.
C’mon, let’s have some better questions … please! Ask me if I’m an anarchist, or if I believe that we’re all gonna be running around with 666 tattooed on our wrists in a couple of years.
Q: You used to be a critic for what could be termed several “leftist” papers. How is it that you’ve strayed so far from your former political beliefs?
A: Back then (late ’70s) I didn’t have any political beliefs. I didn’t know “left” from “right,” or Republican from Democrat from Libertarian. I was just happy that somebody was willing to pay me to write. Ultimately, as my “beliefs” took shape — and began to appear in print — I was fired, one by one, from each of these papers, the last one being that bastion of liberal dogstink, The Los Angeles Times.
Q: In a recent column, you were quoted as saying that sex is one of the most overrated things in the world. Could you explain what you meant by that?
A: Well, I don’t want the ladies out there to get the wrong idea. I have a sex drive — and a pretty healthy one at that. But the thing is, I’m not gonna let it run my life. I’m certainly not gonna go into a bar and fight some redneck over any woman! No way! He can have her! See, guys go totally insane over sex. People murder one another over this most ridiculous, over-rated, temporal little moment of pleasure! Frankly, I just don’t get it. It’s absolutely, 100 percent insane … not to mention incredibly stupid.
Q: Would you care to elaborate on that?
A: Lemme put it this way. Did you ever have one of those moments when you were able to “watch” yourself while you were having sex? You know, where you get outside yourself and just … observe? Try it sometime. From that vantage point, one immediately sees that the sex act itself is ridiculous … not to mention hilarious. We’re just like a bunch of senile old German Shepherds humping away at each other. See, sex has gotten blown way out of proportion because it’s a way to get high. It’s a drug, and we’re all addicted. We love that high — we need it — because it’s the easiest way to forget how empty we are. Sex is the ultimate escape.
Q: Much of your material is very dark, and you seem particularly attracted to violence. Why is that?
A: I’m not particularly attracted to it. I just accept it. Like, I’ll be at a boxing match … and I’ll look around and see all these people — mothers dads, kids, little old ladies with blue hair — screaming at the top of their lungs for the blood of some poor guy who’s getting his face beaten to a pulp — some guy whose never done them any harm. And then I’ll realize that I’m screaming too. We’re still in the Gladiator Days. We’ve got the bloodlust. Nothing’s changed one whit over the course of history. I find that interesting.
Q: Switching topics, what authors do you read?
A: As far as fiction, I don’t read anybody. I don’t have time. My brain is too full of my own ideas. The only thing I read anymore is non-fiction..computer books, real estate stuff. … and the racing form.
Q: But surely you read other columnists, if only to see what the competition is doing?
A: Yeah, I check people out. To be honest with you, I don’t get much of a bang out of any of ‘em. But what gets me is why people want to read any of these guys at all! Who cares what anybody has to say? Why do we attach importance to someone’s opinion, just because they’ve managed to get their byline into some newspaper or magazine?
Q: Do you apply that to yourself as well?
A: Well, I’d be lying if I said that I’m wasn’t my own favorite columnist. In fact, I’m my own favorite character. I’m completely self-obsessed. But then again, I’m doing something quite different from what most other columnists do.
Q: And just what is that?
A: From the getgo, I tell the reader “Don’t believe anybody. That includes me. Stop listening to what the experts have to say and look at yourself. Find out why you think the way you do.” In a way, that’s the only “message” I have. and I say it … in different ways … over and over and over. The funny part is, it gets people really mad. So I just keep doing it more! Lately, people have been referring to my columns as “sermons.” I kind of like that.
Q: In a recent, column, you told your readers to quit worrying about Bill Clinton’s lies because they were all liars too.
A: That’s right. And judging from the amount of hate mail that column got, I think that I must’ve hit ‘em square between the eyeballs. Macbeth, wasn’t it? “Methinks thou doth protest too much …”
Q: Are you saying that people shouldn’t be concerned with what Clinton did?
A: I never said that! For the record, I think Bill Clinton is an extremely evil individual who should be horsewhipped within an inch of his life, then made to wander naked in the desert for the rest of his life, with that ugly little succubus of a wife of his at his side. Both of them deserve to have serious damage inflicted upon their souls. That goes without saying. But what got people mad was that I said that it’s more important to find out about what makes oneself tick than to spend time yammering about Clinton … or Princess Diana … or some stupid movie star. All that stuff is just a distraction. It’s entertainment. Whether it’s the O.J. Simpson trial or the Clinton scandal, it all amounts to the same thing. People want to be entertained.
Q: What about you? What do you do for entertainment?
A: I watch people. I observe my fellow human being. It’s a source of constant amusement … not to mention the purest form of education.
Q: So, you don’t watch TV, listen to the radio or go on the Net?
A: I take a “news bath” every day … that is, I spend maybe an hour flipping from one channel (or one net page) to the next. That’s all I need in order to keep up with what’s going on in the world. Other than that – do I read the headlines everyday? Do I watch the Senate hearings on CNN? No way, Jack. Life is too bloody short.
Q: Don’t you ever watch TV just for fun?
A: What do you mean? Like Jerry Seinfield? Or wrestling? No. … I haven’t watched a “regular” TV show in about five years — with the exception of cooking shows. I love cooking shows. Especially that “Galloping Gourmet” guy.
Q: Does that mean that you like to cook?
A: Nope. I’ve got no interest whatsoever in cooking. In fact, I have no interest in food. Eating is a pain in the ass. I just like watching cooking shows — I have no idea why. I guess it’s because it’s the only time I find true peace of mind.
Q: Speaking of peace of mind … I understand that though you were raised in an Orthodox Jewish family, you’ve recently converted to Christianity. Would you care to discuss that?
A: What for? I mean, if I tell you I’m a Christian, what does that really tell you about me? Not much. People tell me they’re Christians all the time. Or they’ll sign “God Bless” on their letters. Does that mean I believe that they’re my brethren and that we’re all one big happy family? Of course not! I don’t believe what people say. I watch how they act. The fruits of the tree, buddy. … that’s what tells the story.
Q: Tell us about your conversation to Christianity.
A: I accepted Christianity on June 5, 1975. It happened during a kickboxing match in Las Vegas.
Q: A boxing match? That sounds rather odd. What happened?
A: Well, my friend Blinky Rodriguez was fighting for the title; he lost. After the fight, I went up to his room to console him … and for some reason when I walked in the room, this… thing … hit me. I fell down on the ground, and I couldn’t stop crying. Blinky– who was a long-time Christian — asked me to pray with him. During the prayer, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. And that was that, really.
Q: Would you say your life changed radically after that experience?
A: To be honest, nothing changed at all. I dabbled around for about 10 years. … going to church now and then, occasionally reading the Bible. But I never changed my behavior. Ultimately, I finally “surrendered” and gave myself over to God. I started learning the meaning of the word “obedience.” Then things started happening real fast.
Q: Back to your new internet column … I understand that the bulk of your e-mail has been highly negative.
A: Actually that’s not true. I’ve received a lot of very lovely, thoughtful letters from people. But if I didn’t get angry mail, I’d feel I was doing something wrong. After all, people tend to get very upset when they’re confronted with reality. My contention is that the function of the writer — that is, the critic — is to disturb people. If he doesn’t do that, he’s just another PR shill. Which is what nine-tenths of the so-called “critics” today are.
Q: That sounds awfully harsh. Surely you must think there are some good writers around?
A: Oh yeah? Name ‘em, Anyway, it’s easy to be a writer. Now with Internet, everybody’s a writer. The only qualities you need to be a writer today are — you must be inaccurate, cowardly, a congenital liar, an inveterate ass-kisser, and have the overwhelming desire to make a quick, dishonest buck. Anybody can write an article or a screenplay, or a book. There’s no talent involved. I’d be embarrassed to say “writer” if somebody asked me what I did for a living.
Q: If you’re not a writer, then what are you?
A: I’m a for-hire killer. A paid assassin. I like to stick the knife in and twist it around real good. C’mon … better questions, man! I’m beginning to get bored.
Q: What’s your beef with Matt Drudge? Why do you constantly pick on him? After all, some people say that Drudge is the model for the New Journalism.
A: Look, I don’t know the guy personally. I’ve certainly got no “beef” with him. All I’m saying is, let’s not confuse Matt Drudge with a real journalist. This guy isn’t a writer. At best, he does a pretty poor impersonation of a gossip-columnist. I mean, that’s all he talks about. … “our sources” this, and “our sources” that. Which means that the dude’s got a bunch of snitches out there feeding him story leads. That’s all. Look, I worked for the tabloids for about three years. The people that work for these organization are the absolute scum of the earth. Amazingly, they actually referred to themselves as “journalists” and “investigative reporters,” instead of what they actually were…bottom-feeders. And so is Drudge. But the guy’s managed to become the poster boy for the “right,” thanks to people like David Horowitz and others. It’s OK though. In five years, nobody’ll remember who Matt Drudge was.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: Well, like every other bozo out there, I’m in the process of putting up a new web site….not that stupid thing that’s up now … that’s just me goofing around. But my site — which should be up and running in a couple of weeks — isn’t going to be like anything else that’s out there.
Q: What do you mean?
A: One of the most discouraging things about the web is that despite the new medium. … it’s the same old crap. Basically, all you’re getting … whether it’s some college kid, or one of the so-called “experts,” is somebody’s opinion about something or other. And like I said, my position is that opinions are completely worthless…. I don’t care who the source is. My website — in addition to featuring my writings – both fiction and non-fiction — has only one purpose. To make people wake the fuck up. And that’s why it’s going to be cool…because people don’t want to be woken up.
Q: I know that you made over six-figures last year selling your book, “How To Find Out Anything On Anybody,” on your old website, The Tongue. Are you still interested in making money on the internet?
A: Of course I’m out to make money! I’m not a goddamn philanthropist! Right now, people get to read my stuff for free. But after the site gets hot – and that won’t take long – you’re gonna have to ante up, if you want to read the whole story or column. I might add though, that the price will be very “reasonable.” I mean, I can’t believe that some of these poor chumps are paying fifty bucks a month and upwards to go on some of these porn sites! Like that jackass that invented “Girls Gone Wild,” … the cat is a multimillionaire! Can you believe that shit? Come on, man! Tits are boring!
Q: Back to your belief in Christianity. Do you think we are in the End Times?
A: Hell, I don’t know. I hope so…I mean this whole deal is getting pretty tiresome, don’t you think?
Q: I know you currently live in Los Angeles. Do you have plans if everything starts to go crazy in the your city?
A: Yeah. I’m gonna hop on a plane and head to straight to Vegas. Check into my favorite suite at Caesar’s. I figure that in either case … if the End really goes down, or if nothing at all happens – that’s the perfect place to be.
Q: What is your prediction for the future?
A: You mean, like … for the world? Good God, man!. You’re asking me? I have no bloody idea. Basically, there are only three choices in life. You either get a day job … you die tragically … or you sell out.
Q: Who are your heroes?
A: Cal Worthington, Muhammad Ali, General Douglas McArthur, Hank Williams … and myself.
Q: For someone with “religious” beliefs, you seem awfully pessimistic about humanity. What is your basic attitude about people when you first meet them?
A: My basic attitude? I don’t like them. That’s my attitude.
Q: Wouldn’t you say that’s rather hostile?
A: No, I’d say it’s smart. Actually, it’s not that I don’t like them so much as I simply don’t wanna get involved with most of them. Why should I? Most people are extremely dull. Of course there are the exceptions — Elvis, Al Jolson, Lenny Bruce, Ruby Rob Fitzsimmons — who was a white boxer that was prematurely bald and had an extremely long reach for a heavyweight — these people were all special. The problem with people is, most of them are just terribly, horribly ordinary. It’s really depressing.
Q: Do you have anything to say to your enemies?
A: All I can say is that I’m not a very nice person to have as an enemy. I never forget a wrong that’s been done to me. Also, I’m quite big on revenge … I’m talking blood-redemption, on a Biblical level. My favorite adage is “revenge is a dish best served cold.”
Q: That certainly doesn’t sound like a very Christian sentiment.
A: Oh, really? Have you checked out your Old Testament lately?
Q: Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?
A: Keep those cards and letters comin’, gang!
Q: How do you see yourself?
A: I’m an extreme individual living in a mediocre world.
Q: Did you ever stop to consider that you might have a depressive personality?
A: Oh for God’s sake! Skip the third-rate psychobabble, pal. I’m not depressed in the least! I like being here. I like waking up every morning. It’s just that sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong time. This is a very dreary period in history, despite all the technological hoopla. As far as I’m concerned, most of the great ones have checked out. I mean … there are no real heroes left anymore. The roll call today is pretty barren. Who’ve we got to look up to? Arnold Schwarzenegger? Kobe Bryant? Lindsay Lohan? I mean, today people have sports figures and movie actors as their heroes! Go figure!
Q: You know, for someone who calls themselves a critic, I don’t hear any answers coming from you.
A: I never said I had any answers. Good God, man … you guys are all the same. Questions … answers. I mean, why don’t they clean up the ghettos? How did a low-rent hoodlum get to be our President? Why is Oprah Winfrey so popular? Why do elderly Jewish men get enlarged prostates? How have blacks gotten away with making an entire culture illiterate through this dreck called “hip-hop” or “rap” — or whatever the fuck they call it? Who is this “Diddy” guy? What does he actually do? Why do people watch the Superbowl? Why in God’s name would anyone waste two seconds watching an idiotic show like “American Idol?” You get my point? Do I really need to go on? The world just seems to be completely nuts to me … and why that is … well, your guess is as good as mine. But I certainly never said I had any answers! My whole gig is simply to point out what’s going on. That’s it. Uh, look, man … it’s been swell, but I’ve really gotta get going. …
Q: One more question, please.
A: Yeah … sure. Just make it quick, all right? I feel a major anxiety attack coming on.
Q: If you had one wish, what would it be?
A: Wow! The Big Question, huh? OK, I’ll tell you what it would be. I’d like to have an audience — I’m talkin’ pre-death — with God. Just a real short one. I’ve got one question I’d like to ask Him.
Q: And just what is that…?
A: Who do I have to fuck to get out of this movie?