Q Pick a number from 1 to 10.
A That's just plain stupid.
Q C'mon. Pick a number.
A Oh, all right.
Q It's four, isn't it?
A Of course it's four.
Q I read your mind.
A Don't be an idiot. We're the same person.
A So? This is like some drunken high-school kid's spoof of Tom Stoppard.
Q I knew it was four, because this is your -- our -- fourth anniversary here at Pillage Idiot.
Q Four years is a long time to be doing this stuff . . . whatever it is you're doing.
Q Can you explain what it is you do -- I mean, why you do it?
A Sure. As I've said before, I'm kind of a compulsive wise-cracker.
Q So I've heard.
A I'm a little like that kid in your sixth-grade class who shouts out a wise-crack while bouncing up and down in his chair. Then, everyone turns and glares, and he slinks down under his desk.
Q Except for those rare times when someone laughs.
A Yeah, "don't ever laugh" is my advice. Laughter is the nectar of the gods for people like us. One laugh can keep us going for weeks. And if you've emailed someone a link to what I've written? Nectar of the gods with caffeine.
Q You mean, laugh once, and we're stuck with you for a while?
A Even if you don't.
Q What do you mean?
A This kind of forum with anonymous readers lets me pretend that people actually enjoy the humor.
Q But . . .
A If they don't, they're usually too polite to say so.
Q I notice the "Plaudits" section on the right sidebar. You seem to revel in the impolite criticism.
A Not really. It's just that I recognize there's an element of truth in what they say.
Q Like the whole immaturity shtick?
A Indeed. Like the whole Pillage Idiot Advisory System up at the top right.
Q OK, I get it. But why are you still at it after four years?
A No one will talk to me in real life.
Q Not even Mrs. Attila?
A Mrs. Attila talks to me. But then again, she doesn't read Pillage Idiot.
Q Er, OK. Let me ask you a few questions that some readers may be wondering about.
A Go ahead.
Q Who are you?
A Look in the mirror.
Q No, I'm serious.
A You don't want to know.
Q It sounds like you don't want me to know.
A I'd prefer that you not know. I like to keep my real life separate from my Pillage life.
Q Why is that?
A I'm no one special in real life, but I don't think it would be wise to be associated with the immature stuff I write here. I once had a reporter call me at work to ask about something we were doing, and during our conversation, he mentioned something he had found by googling me.
A It was something that was perfectly appropriate, but after he hung up, I googled myself, and one of the top items I found was a political contribution I'd made as a one-time deal in 2004. It got me thinking that I really wouldn't want posts from the world's most idiotic blog showing up under my real name.
Q You mean, you wouldn't want Supreme Court justices asking you about photo comics of them that you've posted here?
A I don't argue cases in the Supreme Court.
Q You know what I mean.
A I guess so. Yes, I wouldn't want that.
Q OK, what's your most satisfying accomplishment at Pillage Idiot?
A Probably the fact that we have over 50 members of the Maryland Blogger Alliance, a group I started as the only member, with a note on my sidebar asking people to email me to join my basically non-existent group.
Q What's the least satisfying aspect?
A My inability to tell the fools who google for "Helen Thomas Jew" that she's NOT Jewish, damn it; she's Lebanese.
Q What was the weirdest thing that's happened to you here?
A I did a post making fun of a Maryland congressional candidate and got an email from him complaining about it.
Q What did you do?
A I emailed him back.
A Yeah, I told him, politely, that he wasn't going to get anywhere if he spent his time obsessing about a stupid little blog that no one reads. And then, a few days later, the Washington Post did a profile of him, and my post was no longer the worst thing written about him. So I think he's moved past me -- although I still get press releases from him fairly often. This incident gives you another reason, by the way, that I don't want to reveal who I am.
Q What's your favorite post over the past year?
A May I give more than one?
Q I'm asking the questions here.
A Yeah, right. First, I did a spoof of Hillary's claim to have encountered sniper fire when she landed at Tuzla. In my spoof, she was describing her dangerous trip to the Chappaqua 7-Eleven. Second, toward the end of the primary season, Bill Clinton was taking hits from all over, and he seemed to be losing his patience. He did an interview with college journalists in which his answers barely concealed his hostility. So I did a spoof interview of Clinton conducted by a six-year-old girl for her elementary school newspaper. In it, Clinton verbally abused the poor girl. Third, when the Clintons were being attacked for injecting race into the primaries (and I think there's actually some basis for those attacks), I did a photo comic called "Hillary engages in some racial healing," in which she complained about the race accusations but also confirmed them by being way less than subtle about it. She ended by singing "We shall overcome."
Q You sound as if you can't stand the Clintons.
A Actually, not true. I developed some compassionate feelings toward them during the primaries, but the fact is, they were just begging to be made fun of.
Q One last question: How long are you going to continue to write Pillage Idiot?
A I don't know. I've been thinking about stopping since about December 2004, my third month, and I'm now entering, what, my 49th month. Go figure.
Q A presidential term is only four years.
A There are no term limits on stupidity.
Previous: Three years, two years, one year, no years.
October 05, 2008
Q Pick a number from 1 to 10.