“If someone has decided, ‘I’m going to commit this crime,’ they will find a way to get the gun to do it.”
– US Senator “Little” Marco Rubio
Wow! Only 10 or so people in Japan decided they wanted to shoot someone with a gun.
Clearly 3,000 times as many violent people live in America. Well, adjust for accidents and multiple-victim shootings: say a generous 1,500 times as many violent folks. How about we even go per capita and just call it 500? That’s rounding in the US’s favor each time we calculate and with the original figures.
Americans are at the very least 500 times more likely to decide, “I’m going to commit this crime.” That’s what Marco says.
So, then America has just WAY MORE KILLERS than all these other countries.
So why don’t we let the country with the most killers have the MOST GUNS!
Or maybe for some reason, some of the Japanese people who would otherwise have liked to kill someone with a gun… didn’t… find a way to get one?
BUT HOW CAN THAT BE?!
Or maybe Marco means if an American decides, “I’m going to commit this crime,” they’ll find a way to get the gun to do it.
That’s right, folks:
“Gun control won’t work here, because we don’t have gun control now, and people still get shot.”
– US Senator Marco Rubio, paraphrased
I wonder what he drives.
This is about as nutty a post as I will ever write, but waaaaait for it…
I am a scientist.
PART I: Pew Research
Pew Research is an American organization that self-describes as, “a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.” They, “conduct public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research,” and, “do not take policy positions.”
To try to put it simply, Pew aims to measure and document various aspects of global society.
So when they published a study in 2009 that detailed the proportional representation of Americans who do not believe in evolution and those who do believe in evolution (with the subcategories of evolution as a result of a natural process and evolution guided by a god), Pew was not trying to make a statement about the legitimacy of either category or either subcategory of those who believe in evolution.
PART II: Teach the Controversy
“Teach the Controversy” is a movement that exerts political influence to try to force American schools to brainwash children with the idea that evolution is a theory, which the movement’s patrons intentionally conflate with speculation, and that equal or greater weight should be given to the idea that a big salacious dick lurks over his toy planet and moves his little action figures (us) around as he sees fit, predicated of course on how well we behave.
They want to throw the cumulative data of all human observation — from the discovery of fire to the age of landing rockets on barges after launching them into space more than once — into the ring with ghost stories written more than 500 years before humanity really started getting close to possessing the technology to make glass windows a reality, and then let people who think Africa is a country in South America figure out which of the “controversial” “theories” is true.
One is a theory and is true; the other is folklore and is false.
PART III: The Science of Evolution (in the form of common sense)
The science of evolution does not require leaps of faith (“I see God all around me.”), and it does not require circular reasoning (“Then explain why in Genesis it says…) or feelings-as-proof reasoning (“If you find a wristwatch on a sandy beach…”) in order to be believed. It requires a simple conversation about sex and shit.
Below are two examples of natural selection.
Or more specifically, sexual reproduction…
Perfectly normal. We’re all products of it. Settle down.
Reproduction allows for the passing of genetic material to subsequent generations. The catch, though, is that a genetic code is not passed exactly as it exists one parent. Obviously, that is because it is combined in sexual reproduction to create offspring that posses some genes from each parent.
With the understanding that every child has genetic material from each parent, it must be accepted that no child is an exact copy of either parent.
That doesn’t mean anything on its own, though. This combination of genetic material could be imagined to just recycle a finite gallery of traits. The real kicker is selective breeding, a key element of natural selection and driving force of evolution.
Natural selection, in 2018 human terms, could be crudely explained by saying, “The most attractive (not necessarily physically) people get to reproduce the most.”
In prehistoric and ancient times — and even modern times in the cases of perhaps all other animals — attractiveness could be likened to physical superiority. That’s the meaning of the term “survival of the fittest”.
If there is a group of prehistoric primates walking around, and one of the males is a foot shorter, slower, and weaker than all the others, the female primates are more likely to chose the other males for sex, which would make it harder for his genetic material to survive.
Undesirable traits (not to as significant an extent in civilized human society in 2018) negatively affect the chance of reproducing.
But it’s not just lack of game that removes your genes from the pool; lack of fitness for environment stops your line too.
Long story short: reproducing beings can and do reproduce in a way that eliminates features, and though it happens unfathomably gradually, the incomprehensible longevity of humanity and botany among other realms allows microscopic changes to be stretched and stretched into small changes.
We don’t eat shit because it smells bad, right?
Right. And eating shit makes you sick, so thank god it doesn’t smell like churros!
Or what if we find the smell unpleasant because eating shit makes you sick?
Suppose there was a male primate who found the rank heat of another specimen’s dead lunch to be the choicest spice, and couldn’t keep his hands off. Do you think he dodges E. coli long enough to have children?
If there was a trait available in the human genome that allowed for the birth of folks who crumbled at the aroma of a Filet of Squish, do you think it would ever survive a generation?
Now, if 10,000 years ago half of all homo sapiens were genetically pre-disposed to swoon at the scent of stool, do you think that particular characteristic would have made it to the 21st century? Even with all the pestilences we’ve faced and the level of disease in our discharge? No way.
Nobody is making it to adolescence with a diet that includes scat, let alone finding a mate. But how, Steve, does this prove evolution?
Obviously it doesn’t. But it is an imaginary illustration of how a trait could be removed from a species. There may never have been a case of people who loved to eat poo, and I don’t even know if olfactory preferences are hereditary, but the simple principle — unaffected by the question in the prior clause of this sentence — is that if there are traits that cause the specimen carrying them to be more likely to die of illness or unfitness, the traits are less likely to be passed on. Replace love of log with fragile femurs and repeat the train of thought above.
It’s a cruel world, and disadvantageous characteristics or predispositions can make specimens unfit. And if you ain’t fit…
Humanity is, in some ways, beyond this due to our intelligence — the intelligence we posess because due to physical inferiority to predators, only the smartest survived.
To wrap up this odd section, if certain specimens are undesirable, they are less likely to pass on their genetic material, as are those whose genetic material leads to unsuitability for their environment. It doesn’t have to be eating poo; it could also be not having the hand strength to open the shell of your primary food source.
If you can’t survive or you can’t breed, your genes will have a hard time moving forward, and the future of the human race will look less like you. It will evolve away from you, if you’ll excuse the cloudy over-simplicity.
According to Pew’s study, only 32% of the American public believed in evolution by natural process (like natural selection). Thankfully a further 22% aren’t completely blind, but they do see a divine hand in evolution. 31% of respondents believed that evolution doesn’t happen, or more specifically, “Humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.”
Almost a third of Americans (as of 9 years ago) believed that if no woman on Earth ever mated with a man under seven feet tall again, the normal range of human height would continue unchanged.
So if you believe the statement, “Evolution is just a theory,” exposes a lack of verification, or if you believe we should, “teach the controversy…”
why don’t you go eat some shit?
Paul Ryan says, “We’re going to take on welfare reform, which is another big entitlement program*, where we’re basically paying people — able-bodied people — not to work**, and we’re depriving them with all these disincentives from going into the workforce.”
*Learn to speak.
** The assumption is that all people on welfare are ready to work, but because they are receiving money, they won’t. That frames the problem as the enterprise and spirit of these Americans rather than the difficulty of actually finding work or the fact that a single parent working full-time for minimum wage will not reach the poverty line.
So Paul, let me get this straight. We have a group of people who are capable of working, but can’t be bothered? We are paying them? That takes away their incentive? WAIT; that applies to everyone on unemployment benefits?
So just humoring you in regard to your assertion that all these people can actually work, which surely some of them can…
Is the disincentive the financial support itself?
Or is the disincentive the fact that even if these people do go out and work, they will never make much money and won’t see an increase in standard of living?
You think the answer is cutting out the safety net and dangling people by their collars over the cliff that is the prospect of having zero money.
Paul Ryan might say, “Why maintain a system to assist people when you could just fundamentally alter their human nature?”
I think the answer might be to leave that safety net in place for those who truly need it, then instead of threatening desolation, dangle the carrot of more money, purchasing power, and financial liberty in front of those who could theoretically join or rejoin the workforce.
Leaving the minimum wage argument aside for now, I will conclude this rant with a translation from Ryanese to simple English of what Paul “Penis” Ryan was really telling the American public.
- “take on welfare reform” – work to end support for the unemployed
- “big entitlement program” – system we as a community installed to guarantee a standard of living for all citizens
- “able-bodied people” – candidates for work
- “depriving (people)” – turning work candidates into non-candidates
- “disincentives (to) work” – similar reward with no effort or downside
“Republican legislators will work to cripple or destroy the support measures we Americans created as a country to guarantee a standard of living for all of our people, because it costs money. None of these people really need it anyway, and actually, they’d be better off without it.“
-Paul Ryan (translated and paraphrased)
Fuck you, Champ.
I don’t think I’m needed for this one, but…
FUCK Ajit V. Pai.
There will be a fight on the grounds that these proposed actions are an attack on three of the freedoms granted by the First Amendment of the US Constitution. If that process fails, it’s all over; get out of Dodge, because the fire will have jumped the river and reached town.
Why aren’t people this hot about health care?
My maternal grandfather William was a brave soldier and a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Officer. He went to Cathedral High School, which stands to this day, but has a new next door neighbor: Dodger Stadium.
My paternal grandfather Edward was also a brave solider who stormed the beach at Normandy on D-Day. He was from Massachusetts, and lived for the Boston Red Sox. He was born in the spring of 1918, the last year his Sox won the World Series (he was too young to remember at age 0), and he passed away in 2000, having lived over 80 years without really seeing his Sox win it all. They did Papa the favor in 2004, less than five years later.
I loved and respected both of my grandfathers, and as I grow up and learn more and more about them from candid conversations, I love and respect them even more. However, I do not want to carry on the legacy of my father’s father, at least not by taking a grenade to the ass for the people or never celebrating my team winning the World Series.
Sometime in the late 80s: Something happened and my parents were happy. They came to pick us up at the home of Grandpa (William, LA guy) and Grandma (Barbara, LA gal). I was happy too, but not really sure what was going on.
Also in the late 80s: I got an autograph from Mike Marshall, framed with his picture and a message. I kept it around for a long time, despite not really remembering the guy.
Late 80s: I went to my first games at the stadium. I started playing T-ball, or at least playing catch in the back yard.
1990ish: I was collecting baseball cards, and I started finding the periodic Ted Williams. Not knowing they were valueless, I saved them for my grandfather Ed, because Ted was his guy. This may have been the first selfless or considerate habit I developed. When Ted Williams came up, I tucked him away for the next time I saw Papa.
Early 90s: I was definitely playing T-ball, and probably already afraid of the ball, an affliction that ended my career prematurely.
Early 90s: I started remembering the lineup and the names and positions of players; I never really cared much about jersey numbers.
Early 90s: The event about which I spoke in my co-best man speech at my brother’s wedding took place. We watched a game from the stands, and I bugged my family relentlessly by talking, prodding, and whining, I’m sure. Dad took the boys to the bathroom, came back down to Mom and said, “We have to go. Jim hit Steve.” The guy behind our seats asked, “Which one is Steve?” My dad said, “The little one.” The man said, “Good.”
Early 90s: I started planning for Halloween a month or so in advance. My number one idea was “Mikey P.” That’s Mike Piazza.
1995: I was obsessed with Hideo Nomo and his weird name, interesting look, and wild delivery. By this time I was a fanatic about a Dodger winning Rookie of the Year every year for the rest of time.
Sometime in the 1990s: Joel, Jim, and I finish throwing the ball around and come in to watch the game. Some sort of altercation occurs, and my mom threatens to turn off the game. Somehow holding the power, I stubbornly refuse to budge, and sacrifice the afternoon’s entertainment for my pride. We watch SportsCenter later and find out that immediately after the game was shut off, the Dodgers turned a rare triple play.
September, 1996: We’re going to the playoffs, but shit, I don’t want to play the Braves. All the Dodgers have to do is take one of three from the Padres, and the Dads will have to lay on the tracks as the flaming hot Atlanta club comes rolling through. Needless to say, Trevor Hoffman got the save in all three, and the Braves ran over Dodgers in a sweep. Still no playoff wins since 1988.
July 23, 1998: The Dodgers score 6 in the top of the first. My mom asks me and Sean if we want to go to Chilli’s. I think it was just the three of us. Maybe Jim was there too. My dad and Erin were camping on Catalina. Chilli’s sounded so good, and the Dodgers were stomping their opponent, so I said, “What the hell, there’s no school tomorrow,” so we turned off the game and went for beans and stuff. The Houston Astros sealed their legacy in my mind forever by scoring a run in the third, 5 in the eighth, and two in the tenth to win 8-6, after the Dodgers led 6-0 through one. I have never forgotten that, and it has always been one of my go-to examples of Dodger futility.
Back-to-back-to-back-to-back solo home runs to tie a game in the 9th, another home run to win in the 10th. I immediately called all my best Dodger fan friends and we screamed to each other over the phone. I was watching at the bar at Linbrook Lanes in Anaheim.
I was present for the first playoff win in nearly 25 years, watching the late Jose Lima shut down one of the best lineups in ages for an almost perfect game.
I was present for Alex Cora’s 18-pitch at bat that ended with a home run.
I was present for a Russel Martin walk-off 10th-inning grand slam.
I was there with Joel (huge Braves fan) when Mark Teixeira broke up Hiroki Kuroda’s perfect game in the 8th (he shut down the next six Braves in order).
I was there when Juan Uribe brought us back to life against the Braves just a few years ago.
I was there for Todd Helton’s final at bat. He was not a Dodger, but it was a moment.
I have gone to games solo, eating peanuts and keeping score.
I have had a beer on opening day at 5:00 a.m. before work because I lived in Japan.
I have a Delino DeShields jersey t-shirt.
I took my girlfriend to her first game (on her first in-season visit to the US) this year, and we watched Kyle Farmer slap a walk-off hit against the hated Giants in his first career plate appearance.
I want to say I have watched the team in person at the ravine 100 times, but I’m sure it’s closer to 50. I’ve definitely eaten 100 Dodger Dogs.
I fucking bleed Dodger Blue and every time someone says, “Yay, sports! Woo,” in an attempt to make me feel bad about it or at the very least express their own opinion while neglecting an inadvertent attack at my identity as just collateral damage, I think to myself, “I am a Dodger fan.”
I don’t just like the Dodgers. I don’t just love the Dodgers.
There have been times when I really tried to believe in a God, but there was never a time when I tried to change my baseball allegiance. I have never thought about it for even a moment.
My view of the meaning of life is far more fluid than my baseball devotion.
There was one time I rooted for a player to hit a home run against the Dodgers, but it was because I was at the stadium with a cute girl, and I didn’t want the night to end.
I have never known life without the Dodgers. My family loves the Dodgers. I grew up in a Dodger house. The pace of baseball is not relevant. The idea of athletics as a recreation of strictly physical glory that takes the place of raping and pillaging an enemy, a benevolent yet brute representation of all that is primal and nonintellectual about mankind is not relevant.
Every time someone smart brings me down for watching baseball, I imagine them appraising a Renoir and me walking up behind them and screaming, “Look at all the pretty colors! Oooooooo. How profound! Look at you looking at it! Oooooooooh. The paint is so dry!”
I didn’t watch a Dodger game and think, “Oh this is cool! Who are these guys? I like that shade of blue. That was fun!”
I slowly gained cognitive awareness and agency in a Blue house amid a Blue world. I came into being around my fandom, not the other way around.
I am as much a Dodger fan as I am a man.
I know they’re going to lose tomorrow, but for the first time since I became aware, the Dodgers are taking the field with the intent of bringing home the trophy.
Tomorrow will be one of the most memorable days of my life, no matter what happens. I have been waiting thirty years for this.
I’m not going to work. Da ba dee, da ba die.
“Part of the problem with Obamacare is that it was pushed through by one party.”
– Senator Jeff Flake (R, Arizona), 2017
“Part of the problem with vegetables is that my parents didn’t even ask me if I wanted them.”
– Steve Corbett (I, California), 1993
Who said it?
On civil rights in “not multi-racial”, but “biracial” America as a form of affirmative action in response to slavery and Jim Crow laws:
“Civil rights are for African Americans. They are not for people who arrived yesterday, or last week; we didn’t do anything to you.
“Republicans didn’t do anything to anybody.”
Two months ago, I got the opportunity to sit down with God. We discussed his personal life, science, philosophy, and hockey, among other things.
When I walked into Toro Sushi in Genoa, Italy on March 15th, God was standing awkwardly at a table for two, trying to stay on his feet without having to step out from behind the table. When he confirmed that I had spotted him, he fell back onto the vinyl booth and slid his rear end back to meet the backrest.
A waiter arrived to greet me as I reached my seat, holding a Californian IPA, one of my favorites from home. I had asked God to meet me there at 2:00, and it was 1:35 when I sat down.
“Have you been here long?”
“Nope,” God shook his head. “Just rolled in right before you. I figured you’d be showing up early, and I like to catch people off guard so I can sort of set the tone of the interview.”
“But it’s been a while since you did one of these.”
“Yes,” God told me. “I like to lay low, but shit has been pretty tense lately, so I thought I’d speak up.”
“With Trump and Brexit?”
“That’s a pretty white-ass question. But, well, among other things,” God hesitated, “Yeah.”
He asked that we eat first, because he had the sushi all coming up right then. I asked how he had placed the order if he’d just arrived. He told me he called it in ahead of time.
“You have a phone?”
“Haha, no I just tapped in to their—come on. Seriously?”
“But you speak Italian.”
“About as well as I speak English,” God said. “None of these joke languages are my native tongue, but I can get by with most of them.”
Fair enough. It was my first time speaking to God in person. We chatted a bit when I was in elementary school, and had exchanged several e-mails at the beginning of the year to coordinate schedules.
We had California rolls and a bunch of other stuff. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I was not a fan of sushi, but I got the feeling he just liked the stuff too much to care anyway. We went through all the food, and I had to choke down some of the apparently more obscure things he gave me only the Japanese words for, so I was diving in blind for the most part. It was fine, though. I made sure the staff connected our bill to my reservation. I had taken down two heavy brews and received a third before we got down to business.
I started with a little bit of personal history… before it all went south. The following is the full transcript of our conversation.
So you have been doing this for a while, now?
And boy, is it tiring. I’ve been taking some time off lately, but man…
Are you currently based here in Italy?
Haha, no; you’d think, though, right? Nono. I live in Indy these days.
Are you serious?
Dead serious, yeah.
I moved there because I like the way the government is run, and I started taking some classes at Butler to pass the time. Have some cool professors. Got used to the life there. I dig it.
Butler? Not Notre Dame?
I’m doing my best here. You are pretty guarded with personal information.
Yeah that’s fair. No. I’m a Bulldog. More into basketball than football, and I moved there in 2010, right after we lost to Duke in the finals.
I see. I like Indy well enough. Very different from California where I was born and Florida where I went to school. Believe it or not, I went to Indy every year for a while to cover the race for the Sentinel.
I know. So random. Out of the ordinary for you, eh?
So why here in Genoa?
What, you don’t like Genoa?
First time here.
It’s my first time in Italy, actually.
Well, I was in town for a conference and I’m starting a tour of Africa on Friday evening, so I didn’t want to fly all the way back to the states.
What will you be doing in Africa?
Just assessment. I haven’t been there in so long that I thought I’d get reacquainted with how things are shaping up. Be there about six weeks. Going all around. Well, not ALL around, but you know.
I noticed you’re drinking a Budweiser.
But you ordered me a Stone.
I hate IPAs.
Didn’t you create them?
Lufe can’t always… (God pronounces “life” incorrectly) What is that? Loof? LIFE. Life can’t always be fair. I needed to make it interesting. If it was all almond milk, hammocks, and Turkish women, it would be pretty monotonous, wouldn’t it?
A lot there. I’m going to take the safe road. Almond milk. You’re… kind of a vegetarian. Is that right? Pisc—
Pescetarian. I’m not just going to not eat sushi. You ever go to Jiro’s restaurant in Tokyo station?
Fool. Get there ASAP. It’s a religious experience.
I’m going to dodge that one too. Good sushi in Indy?
Brad, I have to be honest… no. I mean. I get out of town enough to where it’s not a huge issue, but I don’t have a go-to there.
So Indy is a cool enough city to outweigh the lack of good sushi…
Well again. Don’t want life too easy. A little adversity—
Not having easy access to good sushi is your adversity?
Haha yeah. I guess. Lack of sushi is my adversity.
Anyway, thank you for the invitation, and of course, thank you for getting in touch with me of all people.
I liked your work. The Obama interview was astounding. You think you have a guy figured out…
Yeah. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to untie my name or my legacy from—
From a US President? Not to be cocky, but…
Touché… Mr. God? Your holiness?
Just God is fine.
OK, God. If you don’t mind, I’d like to get to five questions from subscribers, and I think some subscribers’ kids, and then everything I’ve decided to ask you.
Question 1, from Tarik in Asheville, NC. Tarik is a fourth-grader at Greenlake Elementary, but this might be the heaviest of all of them: Which religion is right?
You mean a hundred percent right? None of them. Haha. Sorry. I can’t really go deeper than that. Well… not Scientology. I’ll give you that. (God let out a pretty good belly laugh and bumped his Manhattan enough for a bit to just breach the rim.)
2. Xiao in Harbin wants to know: Are there intelligent beings on any other planets?
Other intelligent beings in the solar system?
I think Xiao means the universe.
That’s all you’re going to give Xiao?
Sorry Xiao. Well, no, I guess we can read into that a bit. Next. 3. I’m going to butcher this…
Little D sound. Wah. Lay. aDWAlay.
Thanks. Adewale from Lagos wants to know: What should I study in college?
Mechanical engineering or some kind of computer programming.
Just like that?
Just like that. Another beer?
I don’t know if I can take it. I want to make sure not to stray from the script too—
(God orders another round) You’ll be fine.
4. Here’s an exciting one. Former US President George W. Bush wants to know if the current turmoil around Israel will be resolved in his lifetime.
Pretty self-important, isn’t that? Anyway… nope.
Direct. 5. This was good, and it was from an anonymous subscriber, or perhaps someone who stole the entry form from a subscriber, but we liked it. How do you justify the amount – they mean the number – of infants who die before they make it out of infancy?
Alright, Brad. That’s kind of a cheap shot. Obviously, babies dying before maturity is not ideal. Let’s move on.
Let’s move on, guy.
Bonus fan question: My mom wants to know next week’s Powerball numbers.
2, 9, 27, 29, 42, 9
Get on with the shit you want to ask me.
[Note: Obviously, he was serious. Obviously, I told my mom and she did buy the ticket. I’m sure you heard about what happened.]
Just so you know, I’m not too pleased about that. I’ve got my guard up now.
Understood. I apologize. This is a fair question. So, we have a lot of religions and a ton of religious history in human civilization. A lot has been done in your name, or in the name of some interpretation of your existence. Do you see this stuff, the good included, and how does it make you feel?
Look. I have had a policy of non-intervention since the games in ’80…
…and it has served me well. I don’t have the attention, energy, or patience to get involved in everything, and as much bad news as has come out, the world is doing OK. The nukes happened in the 50s—
Whatever. Did you see any more?
We saw a second one.
Listen Brad, can we get back to the—I told you we’d talk hockey, my music, and some philosophy. I’m not going to sit for an ambush.
I’m sorry. How about hockey, then. Who do you like in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year?
Well the regular season isn’t over, but I like Anaheim if they can get past Nashville, and Ottawa otherwise.
Who’s the playoff MVP?
It’s going to be a good year for goalies, but I like a kid named Rickard Rakell. Ducks. It helps that I’ve known his family for a while, but he’s pretty good.
You know his family? Is that why you’re going with the Ducks?
Well, they can play, too.
OK. You’ve knocked me off track a bit with the beers. I don’t typically drink when I do these, but you’re persuasive. I’ll try to pull myself together. There are a lot of very smart atheists around. People like Dawkins, Hitchens, etc. Their books are hugely successful. They get around the internet. What do you think?
It’s fair. I put a lot of work into this. These guys and ladies are not stupid. I just didn’t reveal myself, really. They use the information available, and that’s commendable. Those two you named are some of my absolute brightest ever.
Who is the smartest?
You wouldn’t recognize her name.
I guess that makes sense. Lot of people in the running.
Right. But those people are not wrong to deny me given the lack of evidence, but I find their lack of faith disturbing.
Darth Vader quote?
You a Star Wars guy?
Well, yes, but… and you should know, I’m not a guy, per se.
OK. I’d like to get back to the bigger questions.
Let’s do it. I only have until 4:00, by the way. Another 45 minutes.
Sounds good. So there has been a lot of talk about Mars lately. SpaceX wants to go there. Elon Musk. It comes up in science fiction every 30 seconds. People think it’s humanity’s destiny, or at least an existential imperative to get there and become an interplanetary race. What are your thoughts on that?
I think it is a wildly exciting goal. I, personally, would love to see it happen. I think great progress is being made, but anybody alive now who thinks they are going to eventually live on Mars, let alone comfortably, is going to be disappointed if they put any sort of emotional stock into the idea. It’s cool. I want it to happen. I am confident it will. But I want you to take better care of Earth first.
I’ve heard that last part before.
Yeah from people who are thinking. You have a planet right here that is millennia ahead of Mars in terms of habitability.
Well it’s only been around for six of them.
So, I guess the next question. So many people live in despair, and many of them turn to you for help.
Hang on. This world has so much to offer, and so many people who don’t benefit from those offerings.
Brad, I’m warning you. We had an agreement.
No. You sit there in your living room in Indianapolis while people sing your name as they tear apart with fire and shrapnel others who had been singing your name hours… minutes prior—
Fuck this shit. Thanks for the shitty sushi.
… and you watch hockey and— you picked the restaurant, your holiness. I don’t know Genoa.
Thanks for lunch you fucking piece of shit.
Yeah. No problem… God. Thank The New Yorker.
FUCK THE NEW YORKER, ASSHOLE.
[End of tape]
I would like to note at this point that I have a signed and notarized contract with God in which permission for the publication of this interview transcript is explicitly given. All audio files were deleted, as per contract.
All content property of The New Yorker.
Who said it?
On the social welfare programs:
“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”