Interviewer So, Dingenom…
Interviewee Please, let’s do Ms. Potter this time…
Interviewer Sure… So, Ms. Potter, so glad to have you back for another interview! Now…
Interviewee Thank you for having me a second time.
Interviewer Yes… Now, a lot has happened since our last encounter, and I wanted…
Interviewee Indeed. My Dad died. He was 96. I was appointed CEO of our successful Taiwan expansion, in addition to my combined C-suite positions in the Board of HQ. I managed to have a very nasty employee axed, which is next to impossible in our HQ’s jurisdiction, even if you are three-fifths of the C-suite. My personal wealth grew with almost 25%, to $ 4.75 million, give or take a k or two, in spite of certain pandemic constraints bugging the economy. I ordered the Model S Plaid. I…
Interviewer I mean, like, in the WORLD?
Interviewee [In no time flashing a global map on her laptop] The WORLD? Can you point it out on this map for me?
Interviewer [having pointed out the world on the map] To some readers, definitely to me, it may seem that the world turns around Dingenom Po…
Interviewee Please, Ms. Po…
Interviewer …ter, yes! …turns around Ms. Potter.
Interviewee Well, they’re wrong. As you just pointed out to me (thank you!), the world is on Earth. Earth turns around the Milky Way galaxy’s Sun and it rotates on its own axis. I rotate on mine. There is no interaction between me and the world. If you core Earth as if it were an apple, then Ms. Potter, unlike the likes of Bazos, Modi, Musk, Putin, Trump and Zuckerberg, will not be found squirming in the drill core.
Interviewer Pray, do not get all geological on me! I’m not college educated. I’m a simple general interest reporter doing gigs she’s asked to do. You are aware that except in arts and literature, science, finance and economics, journalists don’t know anything about anything except how to make facts, or what they take to be facts, fit the article that has to be on the editor’s desk next week? It’s not an intellectual effort. It’s slogging! The part about there being no interaction I understand though. Definitely an impression your readership is being given… So, Ms. Potter, is it all a front? Are you hiding something?
Interviewee Do I exist, you mean? Which, since we’re having this interview, is equal to the question: Do you exist? Are you so deep in self-denial that you allow this question to be on the table even?
Interviewer You certainly have a talent for deviation and deflection. I mean, of course, looking at your posts: what are you hiding?
Interviewee Oh, so now it is WHAT, not IF?
Interviewer There’s only so much time allowed for this interview. Let’s skip some of the niceties. So, yes, WHAT are you hiding?
Interviewer That’s a lot. Can you give some examples?
Interviewee Name, country of origin, country of exile, nationality, age, number of Teslas, anything and all that you and others like you, unaware that no so thing exists, would call “truth”.
Interviewer Your father?
Interviewee I’m certainly not hiding him! He’s dead, for fuck’s sake. Are you looking for material for the next film in the Psycho franchise ?
Interviewer I mean, his passing, the things you wrote about him, the walks in the park, taking out an empty wheelchair after his demise, speaking to his ghost, your love and care for him.
Interviewee All as much a fact as this interview taking place, or perhaps more, to some extent, or less, to some extent.
Interviewer [Having regained her composure] In PERSONAL WAR you advance a view on warfare which may strike many people as extreme…
Interviewee I’m listening.
Interviewer If we take the Second World War as an example, should the media have remained silent on a genocide being committed against Jews. Should people, nations have just let it happen?
Interviewee [heating up to the argument] Oh, but they did! You see, the Second World War was not about the Holocaust. It was about the same stupid things that all wars are about. To make the Second World War about the Holocaust, and to contextualize the Holocaust as a World War II aberration, is to close one’s eyes to the vileness throughout the ages into present times that broke down boundaries of humanity to a point where the Holocaust, in all its unimaginable horror, could happen, and may happen again if a similar perfect storm of circumstances that converged during the 1930s were allowed to build up again.
Interviewer What vileness is that?
Interviewee [in a rare display of verbosity] By defeating Germany the Allied Forces did not defeat anti-Semitism. They buried it. Germany buried it. Historians and politicians bury it. It was buried and it’s being buried in war stories, laws and constitutions, policy statements, history textbooks, museums and memorials, rhetoric. It’s buried in fake emotions, fake mourning, fake tears, in malarky, bullshit and hogwash. All this burying is in vain. You cannot bury hate and disgust of people for people, for groups of people. You must personally fight it until you win or break down. I can only fight it with my personal innocence, the personal naivety, that is appalled at people avoiding using certain words for certain groups of other people, because, as innocent as such words will be to an ingenue like me, it confronts them with their own instinctive dislike of such people. People conceal their hideous bigotry behind political correctness. Most of the time we’re just papering over cracked walls. The fight against hate and disgust isn’t worth anything if it is not personal. No army can fight my personal fights for me. Or anyone’s. And they don’t. They fight wars and battles.
Interviewer So the vileness is in the disgust and hate of people for people?
Interviewee Essentially, yes. Definitely, yes.
Interviewer But let’s imagine for a moment the nazis had not been stopped. That they had been left to take the Lebensraum they claimed was their natural birthright. Then, surely, the genocide on Jews would have continued and the Jewish people might have all but disappeared from the face of the earth!
Interviewee [continuing to pontificate] Ah, there’s the rub. You see, this is where it gets complicated. And delicate. I observe that other people seem capable of distinguishing black, white, kaukasian, Semitic, native, Asian, Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, Hispanic, Nordic, what not. I have no such capability. I don’t see any difference, I mean I actually, sensorily, don’t see it, don’t sense it. If a pack of brownshirts could subject half the world, it is because people condone the structures that make the unimaginable possible, topical, debatable. It’s because they see differences in the first place, then theorize about it, then act on it. It’s because something as vile as anti-Semitism will have been rotting inside them all this time. Brownshirts do not descend upon us from some exoplanet. Nor do their leaders. They are the tangible stinking fruit of the underground decay that was there to begin with.
Interviewee [winding down somewhat] I see the argumentative strength of your question. I am finding myself outside the conventions of discourse where such questions are valid and can be validly answered. I have not been able to learn to lean into those conventions. I must have been a very young girl when I shut myself out from that discourse, once and for all, for good. Everything is personal to me. I have nothing but the sacrifice of my own life to make up for the least of injustices, for not being the most unfortunate, the worst afflicted, of any fellow human-being anywhere in your world.
Interviewee So let me take you through a scene instead. I was in this room, where we did this interview. There’s a towel around my head. You’d see the wall behind my head. Then the first detonation, and its awful flower. Then a beat, then a moan and a shudder. Then the second shot. Then a beat, a gulp, a sigh. Then the third.
Interviewer Martin Amis, NIGHT TRAIN.
Interviewer [emotional] …. Thank you.
Interviewee [her hard-boiled self] A pleasure.