continued from part 1
PBH: It's now 10:15 AM and we are resuming the diagnostic interview of Harold Caidagh at the Neuwestia State Mental Hospital. Mister Caidagh, are you ready to continue?
HC: Yes, of course. I've been waiting here for 20 minutes, waiting for that hack lawyer Lyspe to finish his round-robin of phone calls spent trying to score some amyl nitrate for his amorous adventures tonight. I've been ready the whole time. It's Lyspe that you may want to ask.
LRL: Objection! I object to being called a hack lawyer, and I've never used my cell phone to find poppers.
CBR: Enough already, Lyspe. Let's get back to the interview.
PBH: Mister Caidagh, can you explain the perspective you used when writing at the universal non-stick formula blog?
HC: I just want to make clear that during the break, I heard Lyspe talk into his phone saying something about poppers. He practically shouts into his phone, like he wants everyone to think he's important. But anyway -- what do you mean, "explain the perspective"?
LRL: Objection! Caidagh is not here to ask questions and I'm getting tired of having to reiterate that fact. Plus he has no right to boss around my expert. Plus, and moreover, I was talking to my partner about jalapeño poppers. He asked me what I was going to eat for lunch.
CBR: Lyspe, one more interruption and I'll telephone the judge's chambers to get a ruling on your obstructions and detours.
LRL: Fine. I welcome it. Judge Flappe will probably laugh at you.
CBR: Please continue, Doctor.
PBH: Mister Caidagh, what I'm asking is, what are you --or were you-- trying to accomplish with your posts at the blog?
HC: What do you mean, "trying to accomplish"? What are you trying to accomplish with these questions?
PBH: I'm trying to conduct a diagnostic interview for the purpose of assessing your mental state, for the purpose of the lawsuit brought by Mr Lyspe on behalf of his client.
HC: Well, my writing at the blog had no such high-minded purpose.
PBH: What purpose would you say it tried to advance?
HC: I'm not really in a position to answer that accurately. It's not my blog and never was my blog. I was just someone invited to write entries there. Maybe you could call Walt Greenglen and ask him if he had a purpose or objective in mind when he called to invite me to contribute?
LRL: Objection! He's ordering my expert around again! Caidagh, she's my expert!
PBH: Let me try something simpler. Mister Caidagh, were you trying for comedy?
HC: When? Was I trying for comedy when?
PBH: While writing at universal non-stick formula.
HC: I'm not really sure I could honestly say I was trying for comedy. Maybe comedy happened unintentionally?
PBH: I notice that in the upper-right corner of the blog is a quote attributed to "Jack Crow." Can you tell me anything about that quote?
HC: I can tell you it's placed in the upper right corner. But you knew that already.
PBH: Do you know who this "Jack Crow" is?
HC: No idea.
PBH: Do you know if it's a real quote?
HC: No idea.
PBH: How does the quote read to you? Do you think it may be real?
HC: No idea.
CBR: Doctor, could we please avoid hypotheticals and stick to my client's concrete acts and confident knowledge?
PBH: I'm trying, Mister Redweld. Mister Caidagh is proving to be an evasive subject.
HC: I think it's more that your questions don't really point toward anything concrete. I find you're asking about things that are more imagined than actual.
PBH: Let me try a different approach. Mister Caidagh, I notice that several of your entries reference gay men. Are you gay yourself?
HC: No. I mean, not if you are referring to my sexual tastes and habits. If you revert 100 years and mean "gay" is the same as "happy," there are times in my day when I feel happy. But they have nothing to do with sexual desires aimed at sex with men.
PBH: So your constant references to gay men are not your way of seeking a mate or sex partner who is a gay man?
PBH: In my experience, bloggers use their blogs to find a mate.
PBH: When I say "mate" I don't mean someone to marry. I mean a sex partner.
PBH: So your blog is not designed to entice and court potential sex partners?
HC: Jesus. (laughing) You're serious here, aren't you?
PBH: Quite serious.
HC: Well excuse me for laughing at you. I think using a blog to find sex partners is a pathetic way to go about things.
PBH: So you've never used a blog for mate-finding?
HC: No. Maybe you have, but I haven't.
PBH: So your entries are not about comedy, and they're not about finding a sex partner. What, then, are they about?
PBH: Writing what?
HC: On a computer keyboard, as opposed to pen or pencil and paper.
HC: Writing things that can be published without using a traditional publication route.
PBH: Is there any more to it than that?
HC: Well, sure. I didn't just type random characters. It wasn't like an untrained chimpanzee was left alone with a keyboard to see if he could produce something legible.
HC: I tended to follow common American English styles of communication.
PBH: Does that include slang?
HC: I'm sure it did. I use a lot of slang myself in everyday communication.
PBH: Isn't that uncouth?
HC: Might be.
PBH: Rough, unrefined, and poorly educated?
HC: You seem to be, yes.
PBH: Mister Caidagh, are you familiar with the device known as satire?
HC: Can you give me an example?
PBH: Jon Stewart. Stephen Colbert.
HC: Who are they?
PBH: Famous satirists.
HC: I must be living under a rock. More famous than Jonathan Swift?
PBH: So you are familiar with Swift?
HC: Maybe. I know The Adventures of Gulliver.
PBH: You mean Gulliver's Travels, don't you?
HC: No, I mean the old TV cartoon.
PBH: Oh my. You watch television, don't you? This may explain everything.
HC: I watched a lot of TV in my youth. A lot. As did most of my peers in my neighborhoods where I lived while growing up.
LRL: Objection! That's hearsay!
CBR: Lyspe, we're not in court here, and his answers are not being offered as evidence. Please -- stop the showboating. There's no audience for your antics.
LRL: Objection! Your remarks are objectionable! You are trying to distract the court reporter.
CBR: Interesting. Please let the interview continue.
PBH: So when you watch TV, do you prefer Fox News?
HC: I don't watch TV news.
PBH: What sources do you rely on for news, then?
HC: What kind of news?
PBH: National and global political events?
HC: I don't follow those things. They are irrelevant to me.
PBH: Irrelevant? You mean they don't affect you?
HC: Not usually. Not on a day-to-day, what I'm doing now sort of way.
PBH: So you don't think oppression of women and gays in Russia affects you in any way?
PBH: So you don't think China freely polluting its lands in order to build its industrial power base quickly and cheaply affects you in any way?
PBH: So you don't think a wedding photographer refusing to work at a gay couple's wedding affects you in any way?
PBH: So you don't think a Chick-fil-A franchise manager's public vocalization of an anti-gay, anti-lesbian viewpoint affects you in any way?
PBH: So you don't think Republican mouthpieces challenging President Obama's citizenship status affects you in any way?
PBH: So you don't think a state's legislature working to pass a law mandating that all marriages be a union of a man and a woman could affect you in any way?
PBH: You don't take any of the issues I just listed seriously in any way?
HC: No. Why would I?
PBH: To be informed on the state of affairs in your world, as a start.
HC: Doesn't sound like a start toward any useful end point.
PBH: What about the Tea Party and Ron Paul?
HC: What about them?
PBH: Do they affect you in any way?
PBH: Aren't you incensed when you hear that Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are saying things that some people find misogynist, homophobic, bigoted, racist, or elitist?
HC: Nope. I don't see how that would affect me. I'm sure my neighbors say things to each other in the confines of their house, things that I may not agree with. I don't know why that would be my business. Everyone's got a right to an opinion. Free thought, and all that.
PBH: You haven't ever heard someone voice an opinion that sounded dangerous to you?
HC: An opinion? Dangerous? To me?
PBH: Yes. Like inciting people to riot, or behave sociopathically.
HC: I'm having a Tipper Gore flashback here. Concerned Junior Leaguers are rallying today at the state capitol to protest the dire threat to childhood found in video games and other aspects of childhood popular culture!
PBH: So you don't think it's a problem that the major entertainment vehicles in America are insufficiently diversified in their presentations? You don't have a problem with entertainment that includes only white male characters who are heterosexual?
PBH: You don't think Jason Collins is a hero for coming out of the closet? You don't think it's important that a professional basketball player admits he's homosexual?
HC: I don't know why I would care what gender an athlete prefers when it comes time for sex. I definitely don't think it's heroic to tell the world you like having sex with Gender A rather than Gender B. I don't know why anyone would care.
PBH: What if you were a young man in 8th grade, a blossoming talent in basketball, but you've just figured out that you might be gay. Wouldn't hearing Jason Collins admit he's gay be some kind of inspiration to you?
HC: Nope. I think if I were an 8th grade basketball player, I would look to the best players in the world for their basketball prowess, and not for their sexuality preferences.
PBH: You sound extremely selfish and insensitive toward young gay men.
HC: I don't imagine it would be a problem for me if you told me that Random Gay Dude in Anywhereville, USA didn't really care to learn about what kinds of women I am attracted to. I would not call him insensitive and would not think him selfish for feeling that way.
PBH: It seems we are back to your rugged individualism again.
HC: Not really. I don't use the word rugged.
PBH: So you don't look to other humans to get a sense of what kinds of thought and behavior are socially acceptable?
HC: Nope. I pretty much work toward the principle of Do No Harm as the only limit to personal freedoms.
PBH: What if someone found your entries at universal non-stick formula to be harmful?
HC: Harmful in what way?
PBH: Hurting someone's feelings.
PBH: Quite serious. Don't you think people should try to not hurt others' feelings?
HC: You must be kidding. Some humans look for reasons to be offended. If a person were to live his life by the principle of offend nobody, he'd be paralyzed.
PBH: Not if he was able to get a sense of what is offensive by examining the behavior of other humans in his society.
HC: So instead of living my own life, I should live the life that I somehow vaguely predict others want me to live, because I always check what others think or feel before doing something?
PBH: That might be a good start for you.
HC: Good start toward what end? Being a robot?
PBH: Not at all. Not robotic. The emphasis is on feelings here.
HC: I can see that.
CBR: Let's take a 10 minute break here.
LRL: No way, Redweld. My expert was just tearing your client to shreds. You're trying to stop that from happening.
CBR: Well, unfortunately I have to piss, Mr Lyspe, and so we're going to have to take a break here. We were more than accommodating for your overlong break earlier today. Kindly show us the same courtesy now.
LRL: Well, as long as the record reflects that I object to your interruption of the productive line of questioning we were just having.
CBR: Let's start back up at 11 AM sharp.
to be continued