Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Author of Liberty: An Interview

Last night, in announcing that he had figured out a way to achieve the victory he wants in Iraq, President Bush revealed that he is placing is trust in "the Author of Liberty" to guide him. In His first sit-down interview, we spoke with the Author of Liberty about this influential work, and His other publications.
Q: Thanks for doing this interview.
A: No problem. Thanks for having me.
Q: You've written quite a few books over the years, under several different pen names. Why is that?
A: Well, I like to have each book taken on its own terms. And, frankly, it's kind of funny sometimes to see a particular book develop its own fan base. Then you end up with people arguing over which author really knows what's going on. It's pretty funny, if you think about it.
Q: So, did You hear the president's speech last night?
A: Actually, I helped write it.
Q: Really? That's pretty impressive. Is this your first collaboration together?
A: Oh, hell, no. We work together all the time. It's really not a big deal. He'll kind of call me up, very casual, and just ask me, you know, "what are some of the fundamental concepts of humanity?" So I tell him what I think. I mean, who's he going to ask for advice? His lower father?
Q: Are you worried that Liberty might not be selling well in Iraq?
A: I think we've all seen the sales figures and, yeah, they're not where We'd like them to be. Some of the guys in marketing suggested that we repackage Liberty, try to sell it as part of a box set with Education, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Religion and Minority Rights, but I didn't write those, so the copyright issues are sort of tied up with the lawyers right now. We'll work it out. Eventually, I mean.
Q: What made You decide to write Liberty?
A: Oh, honestly, I was just noodling around with a couple different concepts and that one just really seemed to click.
Q: What other concepts were You thinking about?
A: Um, I guess just, uh, non-liberty.
Q: So You went with liberty.
A: Seemed the way to go.
Q: I can actually see in some of Your earlier works, You seem to be wrestling with those two ideas. Can You walk me through Your decision-making there, how You decided to go with Liberty?
A: Well, I may not have specifically articulated Liberty in the clearest way right off the bat, but that's pretty much where I've always been.
Q: In Your best-seller 2,000 years ago, "The Book," You actually seem pretty much at home with the idea of slavery and even counseled people to respect the reign of Caesar, paying him tribute and so on. How would that square with Liberty?
A: You know, those were really different times. I mean, ask Strom Thurmond. He'll tell you. Really, the kind of Liberty I was addressing in "The Book" was much more of an internal, individual kind of Liberty. A freedom of conscience, if you will. So, uh...well, that's pretty much it.
Q: And yet, throughout "The Book," You Yourself are kind of telling people what to do. You know, when to plant, where to plant, what to eat, who to sleep with, who to worship, when to worship, how to worship, to worship. When exactly did Liberty of conscience, let alone nation-states, assume such importance for You?
A: I suppose I'd have to say it was the 18th century. I really wanted to inspire the American colonies to break away for themselves. I guess I sort of shed my authorial objectivity and took a real personal interest. I don't want to take too much credit. Those guys really took the ball and ran with it.
Q: Wasn't the concept of Liberty really advanced back then by people like Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and, especially, Thomas Paine, who didn't attribute the concept to You so much as to a rational, moral view of the universe?
A: Uh...maybe. I guess.
Q: You guess?
A: I mean, you know, sure, if you say so.
Q: Are You sure You actually wrote Liberty?
A: Of course I wrote Liberty! Hello!
Q: All right, then, what's the ISBN number?
A: What?
Q: The ISBN number of Liberty. What is it?
A: The IS...? Okay, okay! Look, all right? I didn't actually write Liberty, okay? Satisfied? Jesus.
Q: Really? Wow? This is kind of big news. What about all those other books?
A: Look, have you ever heard of ghostwriters? I'm not the only one who does it, you know.
Q: Wait, so You're saying, You pay these people to write these books so You can put Your name on them?
A: Dude, they don't even ask me! They just write whatever they want and slap my name on the cover! No release forms, nothing. I don't even get a taste.
Q: Well, have You ever thought of writing something Yourself?
A: Do you know how disciplined you have to be to be a writer, especially when you don't even exist?
Q: So, what, You can't stop these people from putting out books with Your name on them?
A: Look, most of them are actually very flattering, so I really don't see the harm.
Q: Does that mean we'll see more down the road?
A: Oh, yeah, at this point it's like the Hardy Boys.
Q: You mean because it's for kids, and their favorite one is always the first one they read?
A: No, I meant, because they're always coming out with new ones, and updating the old ones to keep up with the times.
Q: So, what's next for you?
A: Same old, same old.
Q: Which is?
A: Not existing, remember?
Q: Well, good luck with that.
A: Yeah, no kidding. Peace.

No comments:

Newer Post Older Post Home