TRANSCRIPT OF DIAGNOSTIC INTERVIEW
PRISCILLA B. HOULE-EATON, B.A., M.S.W., Ph.D.
February 26, 2014
SUBJECT: HAROLD CAIDAGH
PRISCILLA B. HOULE-EATON, B.A., M.S.W., Ph.D.
February 26, 2014
SUBJECT: HAROLD CAIDAGH
Is this mic turned on? It is? How do I know? Oh. I see. Okay. The little red light. So if the little red light is on, the mic is on? And if the light is off?
Very well then.
PRISCILLA B. HOULE-EATON (PBH): Good morning. This is Doctor Priscilla Houle-Eaton speaking. It's February 26, 2014 and it's now eight-forty-five in the morning. I'm here at the Neuwestia State Mental Hospital to interview a temporary resident named Harold Caidagh for the purpose of establishing his mental fitness regarding his activities which have become the subject of a lawsuit filed in the Neuwestia District Court under the docket number and title... wait... give me a moment here... I've got it right here in my valise... just a second... oh darn, what's my combination again?
HAROLD CAIDAGH (HC): Prissy, the caption is "Gays R Heroes, LLC v. Universal Non-Stick Formula and Harold Caidagh" and the docket number is 2014-01485.
PBH: Oh. Thank you. I'm so bad at remembering things like combinations.
HC: Maybe you shouldn't use the locks on your briefcase, then. It's not like this is top secret or anything, the lawsuit is part of the public record.
PBH: Yes but this is my first time as an interviewing mental health expert and I don't want to mess things up. Oh gosh. Drat. That mic's on isn't it?
HC: Your first time? How long have you been working in mental health?
PBH: Since two thousand twelve. December of two thousand twelve.
HC: Isn't that sorta insubstantial? Fourteen months experience? You're still a rookie. How can you have enough experience to sort out what you learned academically and sift chaff from wheat?
PBH: I went to the finest schools in America and graduated in the top twenty five percent of my class at each phase of my schooling after twelfth grade.
HC: That's swell. Keen, even. So you're a grinder, then?
PBH: A grinder? Isn't that what they call submarine sandwiches in Connecticut? I'm not a submarine sandwich. I'm pate fois gras on an exquisite slice of an artisanal baguette. I'm refined, tasteful, and of the highest class.
HC: We'll see about that.
PBH: Mister Caidagh, as you know, I'm here to interview you for the lawsuit brought against you and your blog.
HC: That's nice and all, but you need to get something straight. The blog isn't just mine. In fact, there's been a long succession of authors since the blog was first established.
PBH: I'm sorry. I was under the impression that it's been yours from the beginning.
HC: You may want to talk to that incompetent hack lawyer Lyspe about getting his facts straight. Though I'm sure facts are irrelevant to someone who practices law as he does.
PBH: What does that mean?
HC: I think I'll let Redweld's handling of the case establish what that meant.
PBH: Mister Caidagh, I'm sure you're aware of the lawsuit.
HC: Which lawsuit?
PBH: The one we were just talking about. Brought against you. And your blog.
HC: As I said, it's not really my blog, and as my presence at this fine establishment suggests, I'm not even running the blog now.
PBH: So for how long was it your blog?
HC: Well, the blog itself will show which post I started with, but I'm pretty sure I started writing on October 26, 2013 with a post called "eerie unsubversive bull."
PBH: Okay. Let the record reflect that I've got my laptop here and it's connected via Wi-Fi to the facility's own internet connection, and I'm pulling up the October 26, 2013 entry called "eerie unsubversive bull." Okay. I've got that pulled up and it it's on the screen now. And I'm turning the laptop around so that Mr Caidagh can see it. Mr Caidagh, is this the entry you're talking about?
HC: Yep. That's it.
PBH: So that's when you started writing for the blog?
HC: Pretty sure, yeah. Though the blog itself is the best record of when.
PBH: And you wrote from that point until when, exactly?
HC: Again, the blog will show when it ended, but I'm pretty sure it was February 18, 2014 that Redweld took over under the court's order.
PBH: So that means you wrote for about four months?
HC: Give or take a week or two.
PBH: Can you tell us how you came to write for the blog?
HC: I was invited.
PBH: How were you invited?
HC: I received a telephone call from a man who identified himself as Walt Greenglen. He said he was a famous writer, political analyst, and constitutional law expert.
HC: Well, I hadn't ever heard of him, so I doubted his claim to being famous, but I guess it's possible he hangs around people who think he's something special, and for that reason he considers himself famous. Also I'd never heard his name spoken among writers, among political analysts, or among lawyers.
PBH: You know writers, political analysts and lawyers?
HC: Of course.
PBH: How did you come to know those groups of people?
HC: Being alive for several decades, meeting people, working different jobs, having many interests. That sort of thing.
PBH: Why don't you tell us about your background?
CHESTER B. REDWELD, ESQ (CBR): Objection. Mister Caidagh's background is privileged information that is currently sealed and not part of the public record here.
PBH: Would you please identify yourself, sir, for the record?
CBR: Chet Redweld, attorney for Mister Caidagh.
PBH: What do you mean his background is privileged and sealed?
CBR: Just what I said. It's not public knowledge and will not be made such. It's protected. It's secret.
PBH: Why is that?
CBR: I suggest you talk to Mr Lyspe about that.
LEWIS S. LYSPE, ESQ (LSL): I'm afraid he's correct, Doctor Houle-Eaton.
PBH: So what am I allowed to ask about?
CBR: The blog and its contents.
LSL: The blog and its contents.
PBH: Well this changes everything! I had an outline prepared and now it's worthless.
HC: Now you see what's so tough about being an inexperienced rookie, eh?
LSL: Objection. That's uncalled for, Caidagh.
CBR: What do you mean, objection? Lyspe, this isn't an episode of LA Law or Law and Order. You can't object to the deponent's comments given in response to your expert's interrogation. That's just showboating nonsense. Stop interrupting the flow. I know what you're trying to do here. You're trying to rehabilitate your expert, who thus far looks incompetent.
LSL: Objection! (shouted)
CBR: Listen, Lyspe. I know you would imagine yourself an actor of the highest calibre, but seriously, just stop this cockamamie showboating. You're going to make this simple interview take all day when it should be concluded within a couple hours. Just stop. Please.
LSL: Objection! (shouted)
CBR: Mizz Houle-Eaton, please continue with your questions.
PBH: Doctor. It's Doctor Houle-Eaton.
CBR: Yes, well then, please continue Doctor.
PBH: Mister Caidagh, in that October 26, 2013 entry you began with a reference to a movie by Gaspar Noe. Why did you raise that reference?
HC: Did you read the entry?
PBH: I'm reading it now.
HC: Why don't you read the entry before you ask me about it? Can you do that? I think it will help you make sense of things.
LSL: Objection! You can't command my expert, Caidagh. She's not your slave. She's not here to take orders from you. She takes orders from me.
CBR: Thanks for clarifying, Lyspe. Can we get back to the interview?
LSL: As long as it's clear that Caidagh can't boss around my expert.
CBR: Please continue, Doctor.
PBH: Mister Caidagh, what is the relevance of the french poodle images?
HC: They're fancy dogs, owned by people who think themselves fancy.
PBH: What does that mean, though?
HC: You'll have to use your imagination here.
PBH: And what is the meaning of this apparently made-up name "Ben Vereensballs"? Is that a reference to the African-American entertainer, Ben Vereen?
HC: I'm not following you. Who is Ben Vereen?
PBH: I thought that's who you were talking about. Ben Vereen. And his testicles, apparently.
PBH: You mean the name "Ben Vereensballs" is not an anti-Black, anti-homosexual slur?
HC: What? I don't know what you're talking about.
PBH: Isn't it true that by using the name "Ben Vereensballs," you are suggesting Ben Vereen is gay, and his testicles are something other gay men may want to play with?
HC: Honestly, I can't understand where that's coming from. Seems to me you're loading a lot of baggage into my simple choice of a name for fictional purposes.
PBH: So it's not true?
HC: Not even close.
PBH: Let me quote something. I'm going to quote something, and I'd like you to explain what it means.
HC: Okay. Go ahead.
PBH: Here's the quote: "In 2013, the only thing you need to be taken seriously as a "dissident" is to be a gay man."
HC: Yes, I typed that. What would you like to know?
PBH: What does it mean? Does it mean you hate gay men?
HC: Again, I'm not following you, and it seems you are loading a lot of implications onto my writing when I never intended anything like what you have suggested.
PBH: Are you homophobic, Mister Caidagh?
HC: Define homophobic for me.
PBH: Afraid of gay men, and probably due to being a gay but closeted man yourself.
HC: Using that definition, the answer is no.
PBH: Is there another definition you'd like me to use? One that would change your answer?
HC: If you use the literal definition via etymology, with "homo" meaning "same" and "phobia" meaning "fear," and thus you use "fear of sameness," I might agree with a qualification.
PBH: So you are a homophobe?
HC: I am somewhat anxious about lacking an individual identity, and therefore a bit reluctant to be the same as everyone else. In other words, I'm not much of a follower and not much of a "me, too" kind of person. That's what I mean.
PBH: So you are an individualist? Would you say you're a rugged individualist?
HC: That's not a phrase I would use. It's a cliche, and besides, there's always someone more rugged, no matter how rugged you may imagine yourself.
PBH: So you're not a socialist, then?
HC: What? I'm sorry, where does that come from? I haven't been considering socialism thus far during the interview. In what context are you asking about socialism?
PBH: Well, if you are an individualist, and if you take it to an extreme, you might be so individualized as to be violently opposed to socialism.
CBR: Objection. Doctor, Mister Caidagh is not here to have to guess along the lines of your creative interpretations of social theory or political alignment. Can we please have some questions that bear relevance to the blog that is at issue in this lawsuit?
LSL: Objection to your objection! I object! This is an objectionable comment from Redweld and my expert should not be taking orders from Redweld. As I said, she takes orders from me.
CBR: Very well then, thanks for clarification Lyspe. Doctor, please continue.
PBH: Mister Caidagh, what is your view on socialism?
HC: In what context?
PBH: In the context of American politics. Do you support a socialist agenda for improving America?
HC: Socialist in what way?
PBH: The very best ways. Progressive. Leftist, but still Democrat.
HC: I'm sorry. Are you trying to suggest that a person needs to be a Democrat in order to be judged as mentally competent in your view?
LSL: Objection! (shouted) Caidagh is here to answer questions, not ask them!
CBR: Calm down, Lyspe. It's obvious the Doctor's question wasn't clear to Mister Caidagh. Please continue, Doctor, but please rephrase the question so that Mister Caidagh isn't as confused on its implications. Perhaps break it down into components.
LSL: Objection! (shouted) She's my expert, not yours.
CBR: I think we need a break here. Can we please take a 10 minute break for bathroom and coffee?
PBH: That's fine, I could use a visit to the ladies' room.
CBR: Why don't we reconvene at nine-forty-five?
LSL: Let's make it ten, I have a few calls to make.
CBR: As long as we're actually starting by ten, that's fine. I don't want to take any longer than is necessary to finish this interview.
to be continued