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. You just died and your adoring public is so distraught they’ve decided to create a religion with you (not your corpse, but the you you used to be before you died) as its focal point. What should the new religion be called? What would its primary tenets be? Would it ultimately prove beneficial to humanity?
The more desperate people get, the more likely they are to believe. That said—can you imagine how desperate someone would have to be for them to look to me for spiritual guidance?
The primary tenet of Binder-ism is that the price of happiness is often cowardice and stupidity. There’s nothing wrong with eating well, having a roof over one’s head, and being able to afford to take one’s family on vacation, says the Book of Binder. If all the artists I knew (myself included) could swallow this rationale, they might be better off.
My adherents would be well-skilled in repeating idiotic sayings with sincere or a least feigned admiration and devotion.
I’d wager that Binder-ism would have a net positive effect on humanity.
2. What’s one profession other than your own you’re absolutely sure you’d excel at? Why? What’s one profession you’d be a complete failure at? Why?
I’m still holding out hope to make it as a professional ballplayer. I think what’s been holding me back all these years is that I never before had the right role model. Growing up as an undersized Jewish kid from Albuquerque, NM, I didn’t see anyone in the Big Leagues who looked like me. But now Alex Bregman exists in the world. He’s from Albuquerque, he’s Jewish, he’s roughly my size, and he’s absolutely tearing up professional baseball. Now that Alex has signed a $100 million-dollar deal with the Astros, I’m even more inspired to follow this dream. The critics will say that a slow, light-hitting, thirty-nine-year-old has no shot of realizing his dream of playing the Majors, but that’s because they haven’t read any of Marianne Williamson’s books on self-actualization.
For a brief time as a kid, I thought that I might want to be a politician in adulthood. As awful as that sounds, the worst part of it is that I only aspired to be the mayor of Albuquerque, NM. I never thought of being the governor, or a senator, not even a congressman. No politician worth two shits only aspires to be the mayor of Albuquerque.
3. Are you sorry you decided to do this?
I’m only sorry that I didn’t do this sooner.
4. Who would win a game of Rap Battle Twister (in which a rap battle and Twister game take place simultanesouly, obviously…) between Napoleon Bonaparte, Scooby Doo, Angela Merkel, and Frida Kahlo? (No one is drunk.)
Frieda Kahlo contracted polio when she was a kid, which left her with a bum right leg, so she would’ve been lousy at Twister. Angela Merkel’s charms are very muted, so I don’t imagine she’d have much rap game. That said—in her youth, she may have been quite spry, and I wouldn’t doubt that in her heyday she could’ve been quite formidable at Twister. Scooby Doo, although a coward by nature, always came through in a pinch with a sense of whimsical bravery. However, his language skills were underdeveloped. My money is definitely on Napoleon. Sidenote: As a child, I desperately wanted to be Napoleon Bonaparte. One of the most horrific moments of my childhood was the realization that I could never grow up to be him, which above all else is what I wanted.
5. Name something that we rely on in our day-to-day lives that will, in a hundred years, be so outmoded people won’t even remember what it was called. What will it be replaced by?
Think about how many men today already spend all their free hours playing videos games. Now think about Virtual Reality Sex. As soon as this technology is even mildly entertaining, I’m guessing that upwards of 90% of men will entirely forgo traditional sex for the VR-variety.
6. What is the meaning of life?
I haven’t understood a thing since I could remember.
Matthew Binder is an accomplished author and musician. Binder’s debut novel, High in the Streets, landed on multiple Top Books of 2016 lists, including Angel’s Flight Literary West. His second novel, The Absolved, reached bestseller status at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and received critical acclaim from Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, Sci-Fi Now, Guernica, Quartz Magazine, Spectrum Culture, Entropy, The Yorkshire Times, and more. Binder’s recorded music with Bang Bang Jet Away and Hotel St. George has been featured prominently in commercials, video games, and television.
Kurt Baumeister has written for Salon, Electric Literature, Guernica, 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.