Six Ridiculous Questions: William Brandon III

William Brandon III

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.

Would you make a good supervillain? Why or why not? Describe a day in the life of your potential supervillainous self. Also, we need a supervillainous sobriquet (or two) for you. Also, also, a description of your “lair” would be nice.

The usurper, an agent of discord, claims no space, their work requires no foundation and thus they attack at will from any point on the globe. The usurper strengthens and expands underground mesh networks between like-minded citizens during the day, and by night uses those same networks to coordinate direct action and mutual aid. Villain to fascists and authoritarian bootlickers of every stripe, the usurper is driven at all costs, to undo their vile magic. What we see and what we hear are weapons against tyranny; their flimsy facade fades with each truth muttered and each fist raised in resistance. usurper is never capitalized, for we are legion.


What is the most annoying thing in the world? Why? Now, make a convincing case for why it’s not annoying at all.

  • being forced to download a mobile app to complete a task
  • it’s apps all the way down


Please solve this equation using only sentences:

    Dragon + Fedora – Theory of Relativity = (Beijing x Slinky)/(Bullwinkle + Gold)

D+F-E = (BxS)/(W+G) is equal to: 

  1. (D+F-E) / (BxS) = W+G
  2. (D+F-E)(W+G) = BxS

(D+F-E) / (BxS) = W+G

When you remove Einstein’s assertion that gravity is not a force from the infamous Scaly Singularity, and divide by Slinky instances of Beijing, it will always derive the Bullwinkle-Luxe constant. 

(D+F-E)(W+G) = BxS

Similarly, when you remove Einstein’s assertion from the Scaly Singularity, and multiply by the Bullwinkle-Luxe constant, you will derive Slinky instances of Beijing.


Tell me about your favorite book, film, painting, and/or album that doesn’t exist. You don’t have to be the (future, potential) creator though you could be.

A vast, five-mile long mural across myriad bodegas, apartment prisons, and municipal institutions that depicts—in stunning detail—a trilogy of films chronicling the unfolding events of Ortho ‘The Darkness’ Stice’s short employment at the Lenz Veterinary Clinic for Maladjusted Pets, whose soundtrack was provided by a supergroup composed of Anderson Paak and the reanimated corpse of James Joyce sharing vocal duties, Ian MacKaye with primary songwriting credits, Omar Hakim channeling the spirit of Neil Peart, and Armistead Burwell Smith IV providing a whimsical low end anchor. 


It’s 2040 and the world has changed. Most notably, in 2023, djinni were discovered to be real. A decade-long techno-magical arms race ensued, leading to the development of various djinni-location and -capture techno-magicologies. Predictably, Jeff Bezos used his vast fortune to corner the market on said techno-magicologies. 

Once Bezos located and captured every djinni everywhere, he imprisoned them in an unbreachable fortress hidden at the center of the Earth. (OK, it’s not hidden very well but it is, in fact, completely unbreachable.) Forcing his captive army of djinn to crank out wishes day and night, Bezos has completely cornered the market on wishes. But he’s not selling them. That’s right, Jeff Bezos is giving wishes away, as long as you fulfill a few modest requirements first. 

All aspiring wish recipients are expected to serve ten years in the Bezos organization beginning with a tour in the Bezos gladiatorial pits beneath Amazon corporate HQ. There, wish-aspirants fight robots for the right to work as unpaid interns in Amazon warehouses. Assuming you kill enough robots to qualify for warehouse duty and make it through the intervening decade of servitude—and, let me tell you, the robot gladiators were the least of your concerns, sister—you get a wish. Just one. What do you wish for? (Do I need to tell you to be careful with this?) Also, feel free to opine on the scenario in general. After all, it’ll be your reality soon enough. You should have some input!

Fortunately, this was a mass hallucination produced by the second wave of Neuralink sensors implanted in all human craniums at birth by Musk, the Mad Moron, and the Global Council for Directing Reason. Bezos rather liked the idea that humanity was finally trapped in an Amazon-only reality, but the Council successfully coerced Bezos’ pet sycophants to embed nests of spider-like nanobots in every packing slip sleeve leaving their shipping facilities. These pernicious pests formed a network of frequencies that fine-tuned the implants to bring the massive hallucination to a heart-wrenching end. Upon returning to the featureless capitalist hellscape of 2023, large swathes of human society began forming massive blood cults intent on raising the true djinn from the outer realm. Bezos made certain that all ceremonial robes, daggers, and temple cleaning materials were available at the lowest possible prices and shipped directly to your coven in fewer than 72 hours. 

My wish would be the permanent destruction of the Scarcity Myth. All needs can be met by our current practices, and then some. We destroy necessities when they are no longer profitable, and it’s calculated madness.


Obsidian toast: Please discuss.

We’re all terrified of this intergalactic Grindcore band running undercover seeding and apocalypse missions on fledgling planets. They often abuse their power, as the powerful are wont to do, but their service of the larger colonial mindset gives them implied immunity against all claims. We stay in our homes; to be exposed is to garner their lethal attention.


William Brandon III sees coercive relationships as the root of oppression. His novels, SILENCE & Selene (‘23), The Exile The Matriarch & The Flood (‘21), and Welcome to Spring Street (‘20), were published by Spaceboy Books. His first short story collection, Eternity: The Long and Short of It, will drop on December 25th, ‘23. Further synaptic meanderings have appeared on StatORec, The Rumpus, and in an anthology supporting Mines Advisory Group (‘The Atlantic’ – ‘13). From ‘13 – ’21, he served as the Managing Editor for Black Hill Press and 1888.

Kurt Baumeister has written for Salon, Electric Literature, Guernica, Rain Taxi, The Brooklyn Rail, The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, and others. His debut novel, a satirical thriller entitled Pax Americana, was published by Stalking Horse Press. Forthcoming are a novel, Twilight of the Gods, and a story collection, Cartoons for the End of the World. Find him on Facebook, Twitter, or at

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