The guiding principle of Six Ridiculous Questions is that life is filled with ridiculousness. And questions. That only by giving in to these truths may we hope to slip the surly bonds of reality and attain the higher consciousness we all crave. (Eh, not really, but it sounded good there for a minute.) It’s just. Who knows? The ridiculousness and question bits, I guess. Why six? Assonance, baby, assonance.
1. If you were a Martian, what sort of Martian would you be? Would you be good or evil? An emperor or a worker bee? Warrior? Scientist? Magician? Please base this on solid research such as Bugs Bunny cartoons and hundred-year-old movies with terrible special effects. Go
Funny, my nickname growing up was Marv because I ate a lot: Starvin’ Marvin. So I would definitely be a Marvin Martian. He’s black too. Afro-Futurism—he was Sun Ra, Parliament, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, and OutKast. I like to think I am too. And he always had that Acme Disintegrating Pistol. I’m all about a futuristic black folks disintegrating bullshit. The whole squad would have Acme Disintegrating Pistols. Blacme Disintegrating Pistols.
2. Say you dwelt in the Transformers Expanded Universe, which is also known as “What Hell would be if Michael Bay were the Devil.” What would you transform from and into? What would your name be? Would you be Autobot or Decepticon? Assuming that El Diablo Bayo was willing to afford you some creative control, who would you choose to co-star with in Hell, Shya LeBoeuf, Mark Wahlberg, or John Cena? Why?
I would transform from a 1981 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham to Marvin Martian. And I wouldn’t co-star with none of them clowns. I’d pull out my Blacme Disintegrating Pistol and disintegrate the fuck out them, including El Diablo Bayo. The new film will say: Transformers Expanded Universe: Written and Directed by Issa Rae, Barry Jenkins, Spike Lee. Starring: Marv Dunn, Andre 3000, Missy Elliott, Loretta Devine, and Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.
3. What do you think James Joyce would have to say about Lady Gaga? How about Beckett?
Joyce, “I was utterly moved by her performance in Transformers Extended Universe. She sat at the window watching the evening invade the avenue. Her head was leaned against the window curtains and in her nostrils was the odour of dusty cretonne. She was tired.”
Beckett, “Did James say he was moved by her performance?…Oh okay. Well I was also utterly moved by her performance in Transformers Extended Universe. She sat at the window watching the evening invade the avenue. Her head was leaned against the window curtains and in her nostrils was the odour of dusty cretonne. She was tired.”
4. Donald Trump: Please explain. I’m not looking for the usual socio-politico-econo-answer-o here, but rather the sort of explanation we’ll be able to feel good about. Meaning, complete bullshit, of course. Example: He is a product of an illuminati plot involving the splicing of human and reptile DNA, something along those lines. Please be creative and specific!
Blacme Disintegrating Pistol. Oh, you voted for him? Blacme Disintegrating Pistol. You too? Blacme Disintegrating Pistol. And you? Here you go, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta—get your people.
5. It’s a broadly posited theory that cats meow as a way of communicating with humans. They are, purportedly, mimicking the sounds human babies make, having rightly deduced adult human caregivers as being willing to do just about anything to appease their squawking progeny. Given another million years of evolution, do you think cats will completely subjugate humanity? Discuss.
Yes, because they’ll probably figure out how to use Disintegrating Pistols. Well, maybe no, because I don’t know a lot of black people who have cats. So most of the white people who move to whatever planet to get away from non-white people on Earth will be subjugated by cats. But we’ll be good here. Part 3 of the movie will be me, Andre 3000, Missy Elliott, Loretta Devine, and Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta defending Earth from Space Cats. It’s a ruse though, because we’d already moved to another planet because this one is fucked, so we’re pretending to fight so the cats will think it’s valuable.
6. Tell me all your thoughts on god.
If there is a god, god is probably not pleased with the terrible that folks have done in its name. But also pleased with the good that folks have done in its name. But I do wish god an extended Sabbath because I’m sure that would be a tough job, even for an all-powerful being who has infinite love.
Steven Dunn, aka Pothole (cuz he’s deep in these streets), is the author of two novels from Tarpaulin Sky Press: Potted Meat (2016) and water & power (2018). And a chapbook, Our Migrations (Business Bear 2018). He was born and raised in West Virginia.
Kurt Baumeister has written for Salon, Electric Literature, Guernica, The Weeklings, Entropy, The Nervous Breakdown, The Rumpus, The Good Men Project, and others. His debut novel, a satirical thriller entitled Pax Americana, was published by Stalking Horse Press in 2017. He is currently at work on a novel, The Book of Loki, and a hybrid collection of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry entitled Superman, the Seven Gods of Death, and the Need for Clean, Romantic Poetry. Find him on Facebook, Twitter, or at www.kurtbaumeister.com.