SA: I’d like to interview you for my peculiar little Lit page. Art Thou game?
GJ: Sure, I’m always game but I never know what I’m gonna say. I seem to be containing more multitudes every day. Hey, that’s a pome.
SA: That’s the spirit! I’ll send the questions along before the weekend…
(days go by)
SA: I’ve fallen a bit behind in schedule…questions coming before Monday eve!
GJ: Oh, don’t worry about it, I ain’t going anywhere. You’ll probably get in trouble for having anything to do with me when you read the latest chapter in my new little book. I’ve got Anthony Burgess’s agent reading GG. Something might come of that, but I doubt it.
Disclaimer: GJ’s politics are very much his own and not to be confused with those of the interviewer’s
Gerard Jones IntraView Part One
SA: So, the thing about this interview is I want to avoid doing a typical, dry, straightforward ‘literary’ interview…I’d rather your views on reading and writing come out indirectly in broad responses dealing with your experiences as a creative thinker on earth. You’ve done and seen a lot and I’m curious how that formed (forms) the artist…there’s an easily recognizable Gerard Jones flavor to your writing that mere questions about craft or literary influences won’t get at the roots of. Some of the questions are slightly ambiguous…some may seem flippant or bizarre…but all the better.
I won’t edit what you write in response (not even a typo), so make sure that you’re comfortable with whatever you send me being read as is by the buxom, thin, rich widows comprising my target demographic.
GJ: The trouble with interviews is they only say what was going on with the guy who got interviewed at the time the interview took place. Tomorrow my answers will be completely different. Oh, well.
First, as an introduction, tell us who you are, please, and describe what you do:
Like my name? Gerard Jones. I’m old. I’m forgetful. I have more aches and pains than I would prefer but Shakespeare had been dead for ten years when he was my age. I write stuff. Which means I edit stuff and rewrite stuff. A lot. I do what I like to do the way I like to do it. I’m stubborn and sickeningly sensitive and go to a lot of trouble to not to be full of shit and to tell the truth as best I’ve been able to figure it out. What I know so far seems to change less and less, so that’s progress, I guess, but I’m always up for a good surprise and still get one now and again. I’m an excellent putter but can’t hit a golf ball far enough. I used to be cute. I’m not that cute now. That pisses me off. I only write about stuff that’s not stupid. I’m pretty “inner-directed.” Popular opinion is silly. I like who I am. I like people who like me and I don’t like people who don’t like me, but it doesn’t seem to be on any sort of strictly tit-for-tat basis.
I wrote a book called GINNY GOOD, am writing a book called THE BOOK OF ISAAC, and made up a website called everyonewhosanyone.com, which has been pissing off around twenty thousand of the most influential literary agents, talent agents, publishers, independent movie guys, movie studios, media guys, publicists and booksellers, creative writing teachers, and blogger dweebs in the US, UK and Canada for the past five years or so.
1. Are the talents you have the ones you needed?
For what I do, yeah. Being who you are is sort of self-limiting.
2. When did you wake up and smell the coffee?
Falling in love when I least expected and taking acid the first few times was, um, eye-opening.
3. Whose ring would you kiss?
Ring Lardner’s. Celine’s. Nabokov’s. Grace Paley’s. Shakespeare’s. A bunch of holy guys, Jesus and Muhammad and Buddha and Lao Tzu and Sri Ramakrishna. Lots of people’s rings I’d kiss I’ve already kissed and still have the taste of gold or silver or copper in my mouth.
4. Do you believe in the existence of Evil?
Oh, yeah, and I get down on my knees and thank heaven for it every day.
5. Art or science?
Both. Things have to make sense but mechanics doesn’t mean much without a healthy dose of ineffable stuff.
6. Sex or dinner?
I’ve never been much for fancy dinners.
7. Artistic or professional high point?
Making the audio book of Ginny Good. I did it all on my own so it’s not as “professional” as it could have been but that was part of its charm. That it can’t make money is another thing I like about it. It’s the definition of art for art’s sake. Nobody but a blockhead makes art for anything but art’s sake. Plus I got to rewrite the whole book all over again and listen to a ton of music I hadn’t heard in awhile…most of which didn’t make the final cut.
8. Spiritual low point?
Oh, a bunch. However high the high point was, that’s how low the low point goes. The highest and lowest are equally indescribable. The beauty of truth lies in them equaling each other out: “…his flawed heart- ‘Twixt two extremes of passion, joy and grief, Burst smilingly…” sums it up.
9. Some advice on how to write a sex scene in such a way as to avoid winning a prize for worst sex scene, please
Same as you write anything worth writing, don’t be full of shit, know the meanings of the words you use. Read it out loud. If you can’t do that without feeling like an idiot, chances are what you’ve written needs to be fiddled with some more.
10. Name an obscure artist (of any discipline) we should be aware of
11. The best sentence(s) you’ve ever written?
Ah, there’ve been so many. The beginning sentences of GG were pretty good. “I’m using everyone’s real name. They can all sue me. I hope they do.” You can go almost anywhere from there, word by word, sentence by sentence, and pretty soon you’ve got a whole book which you can then edit and rewrite a hundred times until it says what you want it to say. It’s like “Call me Ishmael.” Why Ishmael? Why “call me.” Ishmael’s not your real name? What gives here?
12. The best bad thing about you?
Hm. Seeing too many sides all at once.
“The centipede was happy, quite,
Until a toad in fun
Said, ‘Pray, which leg goes after which?’
This worked his mind to such a pitch,
He lay distracted in a ditch,
Considering how to run.”
–Alan Watts (I think)
13. What question would you pose to the next interviewee?
Why are you doing this interview?
As a parting gift, would you leave us with your favorite recipe? (for food, drink, or disaster)
Oh, disaster’s the simplest recipe of all:
“It’s a-hard and it’s hard, ain’t it hard
To love one that never did love you?”
SA: Beautiful, GJ! Give me a few days to edit…
GJ: Interviews is such fun. You’ve read no doubt the old Paris Review interviews. A bunch of guys are doing ’em now, but their questions suck.
While editing the first interview, it struck me that my attempt to ask “unusual” questions that would improve on the standard had failed, in a way. I realized that such questions were better suited to an interview for a glossy magazine, the proper subject of such an interview being a household name. I toyed with the possibility of getting depressed about the futility of trying to do anything here that would improve on the standard formula. After all, doesn’t the general public interest (to the extent there is any) in literary interviews derive entirely from the celebrity status of the writers being questioned?
I mentioned this crisis in confidence to GJ and we decided to continue (or redo) the interview in the form of a conversation.–SA
Gerard Jones IntraView Part Two
SA: For years now you’ve been fighting some kind of battle online, and you’re as well known as a fighter of this battle as you are as a writer. I’d call your battle quixotic (in the noblest sense of the word) but “quixotic” means nobly futile, in a way, and your battle has scored some victories. Before I live another (possibly) shamefully ignorant day pretending that I know what this battle of yours is all about, can you explain it? Define it, I mean…how and when it started and what you think it’s all about.
GJ: It’s part of my personality. When I was five my family moved to a new neighborhood in Michigan. The first thing I did was go over to where Bobby John Davies, Jimmy Mattern and Paul Grey were standing around with hockey sticks and say, “Wanna fight?” They kicked the crap out of me and that was that, we were buddies for the next thirteen years. That turned out to be kind of a paradigm. The “quixotic online battle” is the same general idea, but the guys who run media and entertainment are passive-aggressive pussies who don’t fight back. Here’s an e-mail exchange I just had that might answer the question better, but the short answer is that moneygrubbing media and entertainment moguls have turned the good old US of A into the most fascist police state there’s ever been and that pisses me off so I say so:
Some Guy wrote:
Mr. Jones, On your web page entitled “Advice to Writers, Reviews, etc.” you write: “How someone who makes the commodity can get intimidated by the guys who hype it I don’t quite get.”
Because the hyper-guy/grl makes the difference between being Yeats or The Friend to whom Yeats writes his lamentation you have posted elsewhere on your site. Are you saying you never wanted to be Yeats all along? Just the friend? Be honest, Mr. Jones. It’s not too late for a confession, contrition, and to do penance to the all-powerful hyper-guy/grl media conglomerates who make or break us little writer people. Deep down, me thinks you resent their power as the crux of the problem here. Envision Mel Gibson as Wm. Wallace on the cross-shaped rack at the end of Braveheart, where he’s asked to confess his allegiance to the source of power at the time. That’s all you have to do; then the humane media ax will fall swiftly upon yee neck. No more suffering.
Now all the truth is out,
Be secret and take defeat
From any brazen throat,
For how can you compete,
Being honour bred, with one
Who, were it proved he lies,
Were neither shamed in his own
Nor in his neighbours’ eyes?
Bred to a harder thing
Than Triumph, turn away
And like a laughing string
Whereon mad fingers play
Amid a place of stone,
Be secret and exult,
Because of all things known
That is most difficult.
“To A Friend Whose Work Has Come To Nothing.”
–William Butler Yeats
Loved Ginny Good. You are not alone. Remember what the 60s represented, too much knowledge among the citizens, thus too much social unrest. How can an ordered society that depends on buying and selling markets risk another chaotic decade like that that? It loses money. Social unrest is expensive and costly to repair. Stay on message and you’ll get your next book published. A’ght?
“Yeah, it is too late. What you’re saying is that Yeats wasn’t Yeats until the Hanes underwear lady said he was Yeats. What I’m saying is fuck the Hanes underwear lady. She’s gonna act all coy and it might take her awhile to figure it out but in her heart of hearts that’s what the Hanes underwear lady really, really wants. Nice e-mail. Thanks. G.”
SA: What strikes me is how your struggle for or about or within Art is inseparable from your struggle for or about or within the notion of freedom in modern America. The political “sheep” and the literary “sheep” are as one. Those who buy the party line buy also the bestsellers, or buy the blandness of the concept of bestseller, wholesale. Some of them even want to be well-paid and popular writers…I imagine them having lots of discipline, sitting down every day for a few hours to visualize their book-jacket photos…visualize the blurbs, the readings, the royalty cheques…
The ’50s are remembered as a “square”, conservative, socially and politically repressive era. But it’s always been my understanding that repressive eras breed interesting countercultures, and as “square” as the Eisenhower years were, they spawned The Beats, for example…a loose association of rebels which brings to mind names like Ginsberg, Burroughs, Kerouac and even Paul Bowles, who, although clearly too suave to have been one of the scruffy Beats, was a kind of aesthetic godfather to certain aspects of the movement.
Does Bush-era America have its own “Beats”, in your opinion? Are there new Corsos, Burroughs’s, Kerouacs or even Keseys out there, do you think, thriving under the iron rule of the Neo Square? If not, why not?
GJ: I remember being at a “gathering” of some sort at a place called the Blue Unicorn on Hayes Street in San Francisco in around 1966 or so and getting into a fight with Kenneth Rexroth about the silliness of politics. He said it wasn’t silly. I said it was. Nobody won but I worried that he was gonna have a heart attack ’cause his face was all red and he spit when he talked and his eyes bugged-out like his head was gonna explode. Maybe it was a stroke I worried that he was gonna have. He must have been sixty or so at the time. Poor old fuck, I said to myself. Now that I’m sixty or so I don’t get into fights with little snotnoses ’cause I don’t want ’em thinking I’m gonna have a heart attack or a stroke.
As long as the mechanisms by which ideas are spread are owned and operated exclusively by moneymaking ventures (as they all are except for a few unnoticed corners of the Internet) all you’re ever gonna get to see or hear or read is stuff that promotes, protects and defends the art of making of money. It’s complicated. I’m trying to figure it out in my Isaac book but it ain’t an easy thing to simplify. People just think you’re nuts. What gets written and read is what some moneygrubbing agent or editor or book critic thinks will make money, period. The highest praise a book can get is how long it’s on the NY Times Bestseller List so squirrely little “writer” boys and girls try to please agents and editors book critics by passing themselves off as the next Dan Brown. Yikes. I can’t imagine anyone or anything more grotesque than to try to pass yourself off as Dan Brown, but I don’t make any rules but my own.
Politics is superfluous. It’s a sop, a distraction, a soap-opera, a Harlequin Romance, just another form of mindless entertainment. The “Bush-era” might have some significance as an eight-year period of time but otherwise it’s meaningless. Which sectors of the economy are booming is what defines an era. “Big oil military industrial” seems to be holding sway at the moment. That’ll change. Things have to change in order come up with different ways of making money. A different sector will take over. As for “Art,” yeah, it’s showing up all over the place but until someone figures out a way of making money off of it, you’re not going to hear about it. If you don’t hear about it, it’ll show up anyway, as therapy, as a hobby, as an end in itself, as art for art’s sake. Virtue really is its own reward. I do what I do without much hope of pleasing anyone but myself. That sort of underground, inner-directed “spirit” has always been around. Sometimes it gets noticed and sometimes it doesn’t but whoever has it doesn’t give a shit one way or the other.
SA: So you think that what America (or the Western Hemisphere) is going through right now is part of the normal cycle of things…the natural ups and downs of the sine wave of history? I was under the impression that things were especially dire. And I can’t tell if the theory that all ‘this” is natural (i.e., has happened before in some ways and will happen again) is more optimistic or more cynical than my feeling that the crap pile has gone nuclear of late?
Or, put it this way:
Are you a nihilist, a Buddhist, or an art-for-art’s-sake purist, above the fray?
GJ: I think the world isn’t defined or limited by what America or the Western Hemisphere does. The guy who said, “Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!” wasn’t an American, was he? The glory that was Rome is of another day and all that. I don’t think “Western Civilization” in any way we’ve know it so far will last another hundred years; fifty, maybe, tops, but its final throes might last a while longer than that. So, yeah, things are especially dire, but that doesn’t mean some other culture won’t rise and fall the same way we have. I suppose I’m closest to a Buddhist of the three choices but here’s what the guy I call Abraham Lincoln has to say on the subject:
“Oh, kind of a Buddhist variation of Christian, I guess. Jesus is God. God is love. ‘Before Abraham was, I AM,’ Jesus says. Give him a few hundred years and the Dalai Lama could tell you what that means. Alpha and Omega. Beginning and ending-is, was and what’s to come, all at once. What more do you want? What more does anyone want? What more is there? You want some kind of winnowing? A judgment day? The separation of wheat from chaff? You want bad guys to go to hell and good guys to go to some kind of personal everlasting life in some kind of nonsensical heaven? Why? So you can stick in your thumb and pull out a plum and say, ‘What a good girl am I?’ Pfssh. Every day’s judgment day. Every minute of every day you’re either entertaining yourself making love or you’re entertaining yourself making money.”
“And one is good and one is bad?”
“Yep,” Abraham says. “It’s the difference between heaven and hell.”
SA: So, when the shits hit the many fans, you’ll be hitting the road…and then the Ocean…and paddling to an island haven to live post-apocalyptically among dusky, bra-less sylphs, feasting on breadfruit and bathing whenever it suits you. I’m impressed, by the way, by how slangily up-to-date Mr. Lincoln could sound when he wanted to, if the passage you cite is anything to go by. Ahem. Speaking of Lincoln….
…you’ve always impressed me as a Walt Whitman figure. We’ve never met face to face, but I think we spoke on the phone once while Clinton was still in office. We’ve “known” each other for almost ten years, and in that time I’ve watched you go from the rough beginnings of “Ginny Good,” your wonderful novel, to causing a stir with your “Everyone Who’s Anyone in Publishing” website…and then getting “Ginny Good” published and taking on Hollywood with that other infamous site of yours. These accomplishments have a Whitmanesque aura about them…the work of a visionary outsider, willing his life into Art and willing his Art to attention. You aren’t literally walking the open road, but your literary journey is a lonely one.
What kind of price have you paid to speak in that voice you speak in and produce your strange works? Are you a martyr to Art or a free man thumbing his nose at the masses?
And please tell me something about your experiences in various Creative Writing classes of the early days…
GJ: Abraham Lincoln was an arbitrary name. I had no idea what I was doing with the Isaac book until I did it…and I still haven’t finished the son of a bitch. It’ll be fun to fiddle with it more when and if I finally figure out how it ends.
We’ve “known” each other for seven years.
GG (Ginny Good) got published ’cause the publisher read about the website in Publisher’s Weekly and thought the book might come with some built-in publicity. He was wrong. The thing took me forty years to write and has sold 340 copies in three years. That’s part of the “price” I guess I’ve paid. People really hate my guts for reasons I haven’t quite figured out yet and they take it out on the poor book without reading it. Oh, well. Kafka sold one short story in his lifetime. People with half a brain who do read the fucker usually have nice things to say, but I’m not terribly impressed by that, either. I’m pretty much only impressed by my certainty that it was a hard book to write and I wrote it and got it published the way I wanted to do both of those things. I was done with it by the time the publisher came along. I turned the whole “selling” process over to my agent but after I actually started seeing galleys I fiddled with it some more…and fiddled with it even more when I made the audio book, which I adore and have complete control over. I won’t let another book get published unless I have the kind of control I have of the audio book of GG…which means I won’t get another book “published.”
The only “writing” classes I ever had were those two semesters of night school and the seminar with Gordon Lish I talked about in Chapter Eight of GG. He was good, though. Any other classes would’ve been superfluous. I’m totally uneducated except for hanging out with smart chicks which contributes to the “loneliness” of my “literary” journey, I suppose, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.
SA: Is there something you’ve ALWAYS wanted to “say” and never got around to, or avoided because a sense of decorum held you back? Probably not, though…you more than likely say things whenever you’re moved to, tender ears be damned…
GJ: Oh, I pay attention to tender ears. I even believe it or not have tender ears. I’ve had in mind a million tons of stuff I never said, most of which I’ve long since forgotten. What’s stuck in my mind seems by definition to be what matters. I made a discovery playing golf with Max the Rasta Man yesterday. He doesn’t do much of anything fake at all. His hair weighs ten pounds. When it gets in his way he puts it in a pile on top of his head. I gotta go talk about Oprah’s hairdo.
After concluding Part Two of Gerard’s interview, I went back and read more from his new novel, The Book of Isaac, where it’s posted online and found, to my surprise, quite a bit that I took exception to. Inasmuch as a good part of Gerard’s interview responses seem, in retrospect, to refer to The Book of Isaac, and I concurred with some of those responses because I interpreted them differently from (or innocent of) their apparent intent, I felt there was a danger that my admiration for Gerard’s struggle as an artist would be confused with admiration for his politics. To which Gerard replied, in one email, “Those specific politics are, to me, THE battle.”
I’d always assumed Gerard’s battle was against America’s general indifference to Literature (with a capital “L”), but this was something different. We decided to extend a discussion of this matter into a third part…
Gerard Jones IntraView Part Three
SA: Well, before getting into this meaty matter, let me preface my comments by saying I don’t see this as a “debate”…I doubt very much that either of us will or can change the other’s opinion, or the opinions of any of the people who might have read the interview this far. My only interest (as ever) is in voicing the clearest version of my view on the topic, and I’ll assume that’s your interest as well.
In any case, you get the last word.
GJ: Well, a little debate might figure into it…how about we just see what happens?
SA: Isn’t saying anything about “The Jews”…lumping together I’m not sure how many millions of people on the planet who are connected only by the slim fact that their mothers were Jewish by “blood”…and ascribing to them a unified agenda (or beliefs or actions)…isn’t that automatically a flavor of anti-Semitism?
GJ: The words “automatically” and “flavor” both raise red flags. If you’ve been conditioned by every educational resouce you’ve encountered since birth to have an aversion to anti-Semitism, you’re gonna get all huffy when you hear stuff that sounds like what you’ve been taught is anti-Semitic. You’re super-sensitive ’cause that’s the way you were brought up. That’s what power gets the people who have it–the ability to determine how people are brought up.
SA: That may be so (though I think it’s more that I’ve been conditioned by my upbringing to get huffy when I hear stuff that sounds like prejudice), but I only wanted to establish that what you claim is “perceived” anti-Semitism is simply anti-Semitism. I don’t see how you can (or have) come up with the distinction that separates your position from that factual description. I think you’re narrowing the definition of anti-Semitism in order to define your position away from the term, but my desktop Random House Webster’s College Dictionary defines it as “discrimination against or prejudice or hostility toward Jews”…don’t you think your position meets at least one of those criteria?
GJ: No, actually, I don’t think I’m anti-Semitic, I think I’m anti-fascist. I just watched Mr. Smith goes to Washington after I got done doing huge golfing (which I won, yippee!) and my definitive position is that I have hostility toward the guys who run media and entertainment ’cause I think they’re fascists and the fascists who run media and entertainment are mostly Jews or guys who kiss up to Jews. That’s kind of hard to dispute, isn’t it? I have no discrimination against or prejudice toward Jews, only hostility toward fascists. Maybe it’s different in Germany but there’s no such thing as a free press or free speech in the good old US of A—you get what you pay for, period, and predominately who you pay is the fascist Jews and guys who kiss up to Jews who run media and entertainment. That sounds like anti-Semitism ’cause everyone who swallows the fascist bullshit media and entertainment spews out has been brainwashed to think it’s anti-Semitic, but it’s not. It very simply that nothing that even sounds anti-Semitic, whether it is or not, ever gets any kind of “reliable” credence. Free speech and a free press are utterly nonexistent ’cause the means of all credible expression is owned, controlled, operated, protected and defended by a bunch of fascist assholes.
SA: As long as we’re generalizing about “The Jews”, what other group can we make sweeping statements about? Certain elective clubs, cliques, movements, followings, clans, societies and fraternities can be reduced, to some extent, to the charters or manifestoes behind which they voluntarily cluster, yes. But a whole religion/demographic/postal code?
What other vast and amorphous groups would you feel comfortable making such far-ranging accusations against? Or is it only “The Jews”?
GJ: The only vast amorphous group of Jews I’m talking about are the ones who run media, entertainment and education. Do you think it’s not predominately Jews who run those entities? In the Isaac book I make room for “guys who kiss up to Jews,” so there are non-Jewish exceptions, sure, but if you piss off Jews you don’t get anywhere in media, entertainment or education. You can add politics to that, too, but to me politics in nothing but entertainment anyway.
Look, isn’t saying anything about “The Jews”…lumping together I’m not sure how many millions of people on the planet…
20 million, give or take…three-tenths of one percent of the total population, one out of every three hundred people or so. In the US its one out of fifty, a solid two percent of the population. “Illegal aliens” are four percent.
First, I’ll willingly agree that well over 19.9 million of the Jews in the world are as sweet and humane and clueless as you and me and have no unified agenda except to take care of their families. Lots more than that (along with the vast majority of the two billion people who were raised in a Judeo-Christian Western country during the last sixty years) react in a knee-jerk negative way to anything that smacks of “anti-Semitism.” It’s not them I’m worried about, nor do I think they have a so-called unified agenda. It’s that tenth of a percent, a hundred thousand or so powerful, influential Jews who worry me, i.e. media guys, entertainment guys, education guys, etc., and they worry me ’cause they HAVE the unified agendas of (1) staying in power, (2) maintaining their influence, (3) making money and (4) promoting the well-being of the State of Israel.
SA: Except for point number (4) don’t those agendas apply as readily to non-Jews with influence? Are non-Jews with power and influence somehow nicer than Jews with power or influence? Where are the hard statistics about A) the number (or proportion) of powerful Jews vs the number of powerful non-Jews? and B) the deeds/misdeeds of the powerful Jews?
GJ: The people who run media and entertainment are overwhelmingly Jews or guys who kiss up to Jews, that’s all I’m saying and it’s KNOWN information. Ask Sol Stein. Jews and guys who kiss up to Jews run media and entertainment, it’s axiomatic, big whoop. You want a list of lit and talent agency bosses, studio bosses, publicity moguls, newwork bosses, newspaper and book publishers, sports agents, commissioners, etc., etc. i.e. the movers and shakers in media and entertainment? I’ve got one. Go look at it. Media and entertainment is almost completely controlled by Jews and guys who kiss up to Jews and they’re both closed shops. If you’re not Jewish and/or don’t kiss up to Jews, what you say or write or sing or portray or produce, etc., is going to be excluded from the canon of American culture. Perceived anti-Semitism is the third rail of gaining or NOT gaining an audience in in America and in the world America inordinately influences…which is a lot of it. No politician will ever get elected who’s perceived as anti-Semitic. You have to kiss up to Jews or you have no voice, no speech, no press, no forum in America. That’s the price you pay. I ain’t gonna pay it ’cause it’s contrary to the truth as best I know it. Whether anyone hears what I say or not is invenereal; I get off on saying it…art for art’s sake. Heh.
SA: Consider Hollywood, for example: have you never heard of “Scientologists”? This is just one non-(I’m assuming)-Jewish group with some supposed power in Hollywood. Are you really tracking all the various special lobbies and self-interest groups and powerful cabals in Media, Entertainment and Education (hello, Rapture-advocating anti-Darwinist Baptists!), or are you only really bothered, for some reason, by “The Jews”?
GJ: Hey, as long as you kiss up to the predominately Jewish bosses in media and entertainment, any kind of whacko crap you wanna do on your own time is up to you. They even put up with Mel Gibson while he was making ’em money but some things are more important than money…like, don’t rag on Jews, for example.
SA: And how is promoting the “well-being” of the state of Israel worse, by default, than promoting the well-being of France, for instance, or the U.S.? Don’t nation-states, acting in “self-interest”, shatter, as a matter of course, the moral and ethical codes we apply to individual humans? Is the KGB nicer than the Mossad? Is Savak nicer than the Mossad? Is the SDECE (Service de Documentation Extérieure et de Contre-Espionnage) nicer than the Mossad?
GJ: Protecting and defending the State of Israel has cost the 98% of the people in America who aren’t Jewish and have no stake in Israel a hundred trillion dollars over the last fifty years. I don’t think it’s been worth it but I’m a minority ’cause I’m not brainwashed to believe that we have to protect and defend the State of Israel at all costs. Anyone who questions Israel’s divine right to do whatever it wants to do gets eviscerated. Look at Jimmy Carter or them Mearsheimer Waltz guys…the full force and credit of the media and entertainment industry came down on them poor bastards, for what? Telling the truth as best they knew it.
I remember you getting all up in arms about a woman in Sudan who was stoned to death under Sharia Law for adultery. Ragging on Sharia Law is pure anti-Muslim propaganda; anti-Muslim propaganda is propagated and allowed to propagate, anti-Jewish propaganda isn’t. There are no outlets in any Western countries for any propaganda other than Judeo-Christian propaganda. You only get to hear or read or know one side of every story there is. That sucks. I want to be able to know and say more than what the people in charge of public enlightenment allow me to know and say. Don’t you? And yeah, Sharia Law sucks, but so does U. S. Law and Israeli Law and Borneo Law….
…As long as we’re generalizing about “The Jews”, what other group can we make sweeping statements about? Certain elective clubs, cliques, movements, followings, clans, societies and fraternities can be reduced, to some extent, to the charters or manifestoes behind which they voluntarily cluster, yes. But a whole religion/demographic/postal code?
…I think Jews have inordinate power and influence in the media, entertainment and education industries. There are way mroe rich assholes who are way shittier, have more money and more power, sure…Masons, Catholics, the military-industrial complex, etc…but a relatively few powerful Jews do their propaganda for them. Just ’cause I think Jews in media, entertainment and education are closed-minded, self-serving assholes doesn’t mean I don’t know there are a hundred times more non-Jews who are way worse.
SA: Speaking to that last sentence: then why focus on “The Jews”?
GJ: ‘Cause Jews and guys who kiss up to Jews run media and entertainment which provides the nonstop, unassailable, insurmountable, lying fascist propaganda that brainwashes the Bejesus out of ordinary people–Jews and non-Jews alike–and that pisses me off. It offends and sickens me to see how brainwashed everyone is. Hitler’s propaganda brainwashed ordinary Germans. Look at the people around you next time you go for a walk. Sixty or so years ago they all would have been brainwashed Nazi fascist assholes. Wouldn’t that have sickened and offended you? Think they would’ve listened to you if you told ’em how brainwashed they were? Nope. You would have been called crazy and if you would’ve persisted you would’ve ended up in Dachau.
SA: Isn’t it a complex irony, calling “The Jews” the “New Nazis,” when accusing “The Jews” of anything (and everything) was a habit of the Old Nazis?
GJ: The way I say it in the book is: “Muslims are the new Jews. Rich guys are the new Nazis. Jews are the new propaganda peddlers…”
SA: Re: the immortal Jews-and-money connection. Are you claiming with a straight face that American culture, high and low, black and white, male, female, shemale and other, from the beginning, hasn’t placed an absolute premium on money-making? Isn’t the “American Dream” essentially materialistic? Did “The Jews” make that one up?
GJ: That might be a chicken-and-egg thing. Did making money come from a Judeo-Christian tradition? Did Jews come first in that tradition? All I know is that Jesus ragged on people who gained the whole world and lost his or her own soul.
SA: Are you saying “the Jews” influenced the Chinese on this money issue?
GJ: Sure, why not, but it might have been the other way around. I have no idea where the love of money came from all I know is that it’s the root of all evil.
SA: I think that’s the same old game: you accuse a minority of humans of doing what humans tend to do; it makes a convincing point if you conveniently ignore all the examples of other types indulging in exactly the same behaviour. It’s quite the same way that Reconstruction-era demagogues painted a special association between black males and rape, when, the fact is, it’s pretty obvious that males of every ethnic persuasion do it (with no special talent or frequency to be discovered among blacks).
I’m thinking of Quack Science, in which, as you know, a pet theory comes first, and the evidence to support the theory is dutifully gathered and adjusted to fit the premise, and evidence that doesn’t fit is conveniently excluded (whereas, of course, the theory itself should be excluded if any evidence contradicts it). It’s my sense that anti-Semitism is an enduringly popular Quack Science; Phrenology is on the wane but anti-Semitism is robust as ever.
GJ: I’m not anti-Semitic, I’m anti-fascist, so the questions are moot unless you think anti-fascism is Quack Science.
SA: If Hollywood is run by “The Jews”, and “The Jews” in media do the bidding (by your calculations) of the Big Boys in Government (by propagating the government’s propaganda), why is Hollywood perceived as anti-Bush?
GJ: Quite the contrary, the “big boys” in government are owned and operated by business, including but not limited to the media and entertainment businesses. All the politicians in the country have way less sway than Sumner Redstone, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Rupert Murdoch.
SA: I like to avoid talking politics because it’s a shell game, in my opinion…follow the little ball as closely as you like, whatever you “see” isn’t actually what’s happening, even if you’re seeing something that others don’t, for the same reason that proving an existential negative (“there is no such thing as a free lunch”) is usually very difficult: you can’t be everywhere, all the time, seeing everything. You don’t have the security clearance, for one thing.
In order to come up with an irrefutably morally correct view (in my opinion) of conflicts such as Israeli vs Arab, Tutsi vs Hutu, Catholic vs Protestant, Blood vs Crip and McCoy vs Hatfield, I always say that the bad guys are the people with the guns and bombs…
GJ: …might makes right, yeah, that’s a big theme.
SA (cont’d): …and the good guys just want to live and let live, and settle their differences bloodlessly…
SA (cont’d): …So, for example, in my worldview, that makes Israeli soldiers and Palestinian suicide bombers (and the “generals” and groupies behind either) equally culpable…
GJ: Well, does unequally armed make one more culpable or less culpable? Somehow killing someone from the cockpit of an Apache gunship seems more egregious than killing yourself to kill someone else.
SA (cont’d):…while the without-a-doubt innocent good guys are dead children on both sides of the fence.
GJ: You won’t get any argument from me on that. In Vietnam there were 400 Vietnamese killed by Americans for every American killed. In Nazi Germany there were a hundred thousand Jews killed by Nazis for every Nazi killed by Jews. In Iraq it’s around thirty to one. In Darfur it’s a thousand to one. In the Palestinian Territories it’s around three to one. In Lebanon it was 200 to one. In Mao’s China it was around a million to one. It seems to me that the less mighty deserve more consideration–which is precisely why people are so touchy about anti-Semitism. Jews in Nazi Germany were among the least mighty…but they’re not anymore. Jews are powerful. Israel has more nukes than China. It could destroy every country in the Middle East in a day. Jews in Nazi Germany had no power. That’s not the case anymore. Jews are now among the most militarily and financially powerful people on the planet, so why do Jews still have to be treated as victims of the Holocaust? I don’t think they do and I say so and I get called anti-Semitic. Is the truth anti-Semitic? According to the way you and I were brought up it is, yeah. Doesn’t that sort of suck?
SA: From my standpoint, it’s Death and Death’s collaborators I prefer to avoid, and it’s the people who wouldn’t hurt a fly (or want a fly hurt) I have to side with. And you can’t tell me there are, proportionally, for some reason, less “Jews” than members of other groups represented on the peaceful side of this dichotomy.
GJ: I side with the ones who who wouldn’t hurt a fly or wouldn’t want a fly hurt, too. It’s power that hurts, getting it, keeping it, using it, profiting from it. Jews in media, entertainment and education are among those who during the past sixty years got the power, keep it, use it and profit from it…and in the process have eliminated free speech and a free press and freedom of expression in more ways than we can ever know and that totally pisses me the fuck off so I say so…then I get called anti-Semitic and nobody gives a rat’s ass what I say ’cause to be perceived as anti-Semitic is to be ignored. It’s the way people were brougnt up.
SA: Aren’t the “bad guys” you’re talking about, in fact, a world-wide rainbow coalition of races, religions and creeds?
GJ: Sure. Take a look at the Forbes list of Billionaires.
They’re everywhere. But my interests are mainly in media, entertainment and education and Jews mainly run those things so I mainly rag on Jews.
SA: What I’d like to do is bring this discussion away from the murderous banalities of politics and back towards the inspiring technology of Literature.
You’ve mentioned a liking for Louis-Ferdinand Destouches…otherwise known as Celine. Do you think Celine’s anti-Semitism, as it surfaces here and there in his text, is inseparable from the overall beauty of the text…a necessary component of his Art…or does it distract from the beauty, or even contradict it?
GJ: He is who he is and manages to convey that gloriously. He rags on Jews here and there, sure, but that’s who he was in the times he was living. His honesty (or his ability to convey honesty) is what makes him one of the greatest writers who ever lived. That he got pissed off by a Jew or two seems to me just to be the truth as best he knew it, as well as he was able to convey it. I get pissed off at fascists, lots of whom happen to be Jews, and I say so as well as I’m able…which judging from your conviction that I’m anti-Semitic isn’t very well. I’ll work on it. Ezra Pound was a raging anti-Semite but he wrote some pretty good pomes.
SA: Do your political views contradict your stated admiration for such writers as Philip Roth, Saul Bellow, Bernard Malamud, Joseph Heller, et al?
GJ: I don’t like Roth much, but Bellow, Malamud, Heller and a million more Jewish writers, I adore.
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