A Hypothetical Interview with D. Oscar McKinley
December 7th, 2004
EW: What do you think is the biggest problem facing America today?
OM: Well Mitch, I don’t think nearly enough people are complaining about the nonexistent trend towards secularism. When that happens, I really start to worry. I don’t worry about the trend, of course, but rather the trend of people worrying about the trend.
EW: What’s a hep cat like you do for fun on the weekends?
OM: Mostly I think about the weirdness of existence itself, when you get right down to it. The ineffability of everything and grave implications of Gödel’s theorem. I’m also heavily into the Pittsburgh Steelers, the occasional psychotic episode, and an indie rock band called Spoon.
EW: What is your opinion of the most recent (U.S.) presidential election?
OM: Well like most levelheaded people, I get 90% of my news and opinions from various forwarded emails. So far they are undecided on the issue.
EW: In that case, do you think there is reason for hope? If so why so, and if not why not?
OM: That entirely depends on what you are hoping for. If you are hoping that the human race will not go extinct one day and the universe won’t end one way or the other, I’d like to point out that you’re a goddamn fool, Chester. If you are hoping that you can get a good corned beef sandwich for lunch today, the odds are stacked in your favor.
EW: It sounds to us like you’re avoiding the question.
OM: Poorly-phrased questions deserve vague and indirect answers.
EW: You seem to use the word “entropy” a lot. What the hell is that about?
OM: The way I like to think about it is as follows. Right now there are scores IF NOT hundreds of beer bottles on my computer desk. No matter how many of those I transport to the garbage can in the kitchen, throw out the window in disgust, or comically hide in my roommate’s pillowcase, there always seem to be more next time I come back. That’s what I’m talking about, in a nutshell.
EW: What is the most irrational thing you do regularly? Be honest, please, you’re among friends.
OM: I check the AIM info for dozens of people I have not spoken to in years, and have zero percent chance of speaking to ever again.
EW: What’s something that you find extremely funny?
OM: The names of legal cases. For the life of me I can’t say “Higgins v. Belsky” or “Bilquist v. Stewart” with a straight face. It’s cost me a $300,000 salary and three more years in college, frankly.
EW: You’ve thought about being a lawyer, then?
OM: Well only for spiteful reasons. I don’t have any independent interest in the law.
EW: Who are you deep down, Oscar McKinley?
OM: One part Gary Busey, one part Nick Nolte, one part floor sweepings.
EW: Is P the same as NP?
OM: Come up with a good corned beef sandwich and I’ll tell you.
EW: You’ve been an outspoken critic of the media. What the heck is your problem?
OM: I think the problem can be summarized by the fact that there are three news stories that you can COUNT [ed: Mr. McKinley shouted this word and wagged his finger toward the ceiling violently] on coming out at least once a year. The first is that unnamed scientists somewhere in Russia have discovered conclusive proof of ESP. The second is that there is an uncontrollable butter fire in Minnesota. And finally, the third is that some idiot called the police because his marijuana stash was stolen.
EW: What advice would you give to any budding eccentrics out there?
OM: I would advise you to develop a healthy, obsessive fear of boiling in Hell at an extremely young and formative age. Go through periods where you will only respond to questions in German and refuse to read any authors who have lived in the past 1,000 years for no apparent reason. Fall asleep in stairwells in absurdly public places. And of course, DON’T EVER GIVE UP!!
EW: Oscar old buddy, thank you for taking the time to talk to us.
OM: The pleasure was all mine, Steve.