Transciber’s note: This afternoon, Dan conducted an interview with Mr. Crankypants, his evil alter ego, and political commentator for this blog. A complete transcript of the recording of the interview follows.
Dan: Mr. Crankypants, you’ve been wandering around the apartment all day muttering strange predictions about the presidential race. I’m wondering if you could sum up your political predictions for our readers.
Mr. C.: We’re screwed.
Dan: That’s it? That’s all you have to say?
Mr. C.: The Republican candidates brag about how many people they’ve executed, they make jokes about erecting a twenty-foot electrified fence around America that will electrocute anyone who tries to get into the country, and people cheer them on and laugh at their jokes. We’re screwed.
Dan: That’s the Republicans. But what about Obama?
Mr. C.: The only thing that can be said about Obama is that he’s better at hiding his contempt for poor people than are the Republicans. But you can bet on two things: the hundred million dollars he’s already raised didn’t come from poor people, and when the special interests that gave him the money pull the strings he’ll dance to the tune of unfettered free-marketism. We’re screwed.
Dan: My God, I thought I was cynical, but you’re over the top!… So do you support either of the populist movements, either the Tea Partiers or the Occupy Wall Streeters?
Mr. C.: There was some hope for the Tea Partiers early on, in spite of the fake polyester Minuteman suits and tri-cornered hats, but they got taken over by potbellied retirees with pasty white skin the color of the grubs you see when you turn over rocks. As for the Occupy Wall Streeters, they look like the usual motley collection of naive leftists and anarchists who think you can fight corporate greed with street theater and protest songs; but their street theater hasn’t been updated since the mid-sixties, and their protest songs sound like bad rip-offs of Bob Dylan, who himself was a bad rip-off of Woody Guthrie.
Dan: You know what, you’re really bringing me down. Can’t you say anything positive?
Mr. C.: The best hope for American voters today is to support the Elder God Party in the presidential elections. Our presidential candidate, Cthulhu, has promised to devour all Elder God Party supporters immediately upon election, while leaving members of all other political parties to gibber with horror at the sight of its pulpy, tentacled head surmounting a grotesque scaly body with rudimentary wings. So you see, Elder God Party supporters will be comfortably dead while all other human beings go slowly insane while they await their turn to be eaten alive.
Dan: That’s the best you can offer us?… What happened to the American Dream?
Mr. C.: Politically speaking, the American Dream was probably lost as early as 1972, with Nixon’s reelection. Since then, democratic institutions have withered as American politics devolved into greedy self-interest. The only difference between Republicans and Democrats today is on minor wedge issues like abortion and gun control. But in their fundamental underlying political philosophy, the two major political parties both advocate a kind of neo-feudalism, an unfettered free market run by big corporations not for the common good but for private profit, in which the only moral code is naked greed.
Dan: This was supposed to be a humorous interview. Remember we talked about that? You were going to make light jokes about the presidential race — remember? We were going to help people laugh about it! Can’t you at least make a Nixon joke?
Mr. C.: Good thing we still have Dick Nixon to kick around. Ha ha ha.
Dan: Ha ha ha yourself. How about this: Even Dick Nixon sounds better than Cthulhu.
Mr. C.: That’s not funny, Dan.
5 second pause.
Dan: But why vote for the Elder God Party? All they’re going to do is eat people. That sounds like nihilism to me.
Mr. C.: No, it’s not nihilism. Nihilism is voting for politicians who are controlled by big corporations. The big corporations have pushed us into environmental collapse. Anthropogenic global climate change is going to lead to famines and droughts that have the potential of killing off a significant portion of the world’s poorest people. The obscenely wealthy people and their dependents will be able to claim and defend the resources they need to maintain their lifestyles, and they will be able to consolidate their control over whomever else survives.
Dan: Now wait a minute. It sounds to me as though you’re falling into the error of repeating the Biblical myth of apocalypse. There have been plenty of predictions of apocalypse in the past, none of which have come true, and all of which merely served to lull people into complacency instead of fighting back.
Mr. C.: You’re accusing Mr. Crankypants of committing apocalypse as the opiate of the people?
Mr. C.: Mr. Crankypants isn’t writing the plot to this script, he’s merely pointing out the script that is already being written by the big corporations. They’re the ones who are using an apocalyptic plot to further their own ends.
Dan: But consider what Robert Heinlein said: “You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity.”
Mr. C.: That can safely be applied to both the Tea Partiers and the Occupy Wall Streeters, but Mr. Crankypants sees far more villainy than stupidity in the heads of big corporations; they may be villainous, but they are not stupid.
Dan: Wow, now I’m really depressed. [sighing deeply] You’ve almost got me convinced that I should vote for Cthulhu in the presidential election.
Mr. C.: Don’t forget that Shoggoth is Chthulhu’s running mate! You’ll like Shooggoth, a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and un-forming as pustules of greenish light all over its huge mass as it slithers towards you.
Dan: Hey, that sounds like Rick Perry in the Republican debates!
Mr. C.: Now, now, Dan, that’s not really funny. Let’s not be too nastily cynical. Maybe we should stop talking about politics. Here, let’s drink this club soda and see who can belch the loudest.
Transcriber’s note: At this point, the recording basically ends; at least, all intelligible speech ends. The recording lasts for another twenty minutes, but the only things audible are giggling and other unidentifiable sounds.