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Sunday, 15 June 2008

Noah Cicero . . .

Here is an interview: Author Tao Lin interviews Noah Cicero. Noah's new novel is out now. I will be reviewing it soon. I think Noah Cicero might be a literary genius. Maybe.

1. What would Barack Obama say about Treatise?

Barack Obama would go up to the podium with that strange smile on his face. Like he just farted and tell everyone, "Last night I read a book by a person named Noah Cicero. A fine American. A good American. An American. (Applause) He says some very discourging things about Americans. He is typical of those who have lost hope. But with my health care program that will provide health care to like five people thoughts like his will end. (applause) (Barack Obama smiles) America will regain its once superpower status and Jesus loves you. (applause) (Barack Obama gets a drink of water.) Noah Cicero's problem is that he doesn't believe in change one can believe in because he knows that is a tautology and doesn't mean anything. Now I went to Harvard and I know what a tautology is. And I know it doesn't make any sense. But you don't. I'm tricking you. You're stupid. (applause.) Often I have thought about leaving everything and becoming blue collar, doing some work with my hands, being a normal person. (Barack Obama smiles at the union delegates in the audience.) But I have decided to go higher, to become president so I can help all these little sad people get things like, and because I've never actually worked a day in my life just like Hillary and McCain. Hmm, I don't know. I love America and Noah Cicero sucks and should be shot, and I don't understand why freedom of speech allows for this. (applause.)

2. If everyone in the world could have a magic tupperware container that materializes one piece of food each day would you want the piece of food to be a tomato, an apple, or a McDonald's apple pie and why?

It is early in the morning now. Birds are singing outside. The sun is out, shining, life is good. Many are up this morning worrying. About something like their future, or their relationship, or bills, or impressing someone or certain people. I am up this morning listening to the birds responding to this question only. Later I will mow the grass, hook up a garbage can to the gutter system on my roof to gather water for plants, and then go to eat. I have not gotten to those events yet, I am at this event. This event of typing with the door open, listening to the birds is a fine event, and I'm doing it, right now. I'm not going to worry, I was perplexed for a long time if I thought the tomato or apple was better. Both can be preserved as sauces, tomato as a soup. Apples can be caramelized into sugar and fermented which is plus. They would save me in a time of need. At night I listen to the frogs sing.

3. If Fernando Pessoa emailed you saying he's really lonely what would you type in your reply email?

Today at work the boss was standing there talking to us cooks. It was hot in the kitchen and we were sweating. The boss said, "What would you like to drink?" One cook said, "Jack and Coke on the rocks." Another said, "A cold bud weiser." Another said, "Hennesy and coke." Everyone listed their alcoholic drink of choice. All I could think was, "A cold starbucks coffee mocha." I didn't say it outloud. I knew only humiliation could result from that.

All the cooks were talking about how women were stupid and only good for sex, and that they drove them to drinking. I said, "Maybe if you talk to them without the intention of sex, you'll find out they are just like men." They looked at me like I was an asshole.

At Giant Eagle there a lot of bags of chips, a lot of bottles of 2 liter soda, that makes me feel really lonely.

4. What is Treatise's place in your oeuvre?

The Human War is my war book. My book about war, it doesn't take place in Iraq, it takes place nowhere near the war. It is better than The Naked and The Dead. If The Human War turned into an animal it would be a wolverine and The Naked and The Dead would be a small baby mouse. The wolverine would eat the baby mouse and shit it out without even digesting it because there is nothing The Human War finds nutritious about The Naked and The Dead.

The Condemned is my mother/sex/hell poem story. I made a mistake in The Condemned. I say a man found out about agriculture. That is wrong. They believe it was women. I am very sorry about that. It would have been better, it would have went with the woman being in The Warrior. A woman impowerment story. Impowered to do what I don't know. I wanted to say things about sex. I don't even have sex now. My penis is alone and is untouched and no naked woman sits on my lap and pumps. My view of sex does not sell books. Tom Wolfe's does though. I am better than Tom Wolfe also. He has long plots, but I have child beating.

Burning Babies is my poem to all that Youngstown and America. Sometimes I do not write well. That is true. But sometimes to show something for what it is, you can't write well. Hemingway wrote well in For Whom the Bell Tolls. No one reads that book anymore. The Trial and Good Morning, Midnight are not written well, we read them still. Revolutionary Road is written well, we love that. The Trial and Good Morning, Midnight are about convoluted horrible situations. Revolutionary Road is about a situation is that is very streamlined and perfect and well rounded.

Treatise was copied from MY LIFE. I always wanted to write a story about a rich kid who falls to blue collar standing and becomes that type of creature. Like Buck in The Call of the Wild. This is my philosophy book. It is not a novel, a philosophy book. Burning Babies is a poetry book. I wanted to write a philosophy book. But I cannot, because I do not have a doctorate of philosophy. And I can only really tell my ideas through the use of stories. I believe in context, in connecting, putting the pieces together, stringing things in order. Paul Fussel wrote a book called CLASS, I read it after I wrote Treatise, pretty much everything in CLASS is in Treatise. But he doesn't show them interacting. I wanted live interaction. I did not show a poor person becoming rich because that would be a different type of story, a different genre. Poor people who become rich disgust me because that shows me they hate their class. I think Bukowski hated his class. I don't hate my class. I don't care if someone enjoys four wheeling or fishin or country music. One day you said to me, "Noah, you eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken." I thought about it for a long time and concluded there was some worthwhile in rich people, they made things like Kentucky Fried Chicken, computers and produced movies like Scarface. I met people like you, Antosca who went to Yale, and some other wealthy people through the use of the internet. I realized it isn't class that matters when it comes to kindness and happiness. What matters is how much one wants power and control. Dick Cheney is rich and wants power and control at any cost. Gene Morgan or you who could have used your money and become a business man and sought power and control. Decided to become writers and help people get their things published based on ability not on class or color. There are poor people who work their way up at Wendy's and Taco Bell only to gain power and control and to torture the people around them. I know that everyone wants to have a sense of power over their life, I'm not fighting that. What I am fighting are those who want to control for the sake of feeling better inside. Courteous people can come from any class. Living a nice little life on planet earth can be done with little money. For me to condemn one or another is saying, "I believe in America and its Protestant German value system." I don't believe in it. There is a difference in money and power. Money buys things which is purchasing power, but you can choose to only buy things instead of controlling humans, which is the flesh trade. Many people have money in America but few have real power. The owner of Kentucky Fried Chicken does not start wars. The elite owners of oil companies, arms companies, and bankers have the real power. They are the makers of this world. I hear people fighting about politics all the time, about what should be done and how it should be done, on the internet there is a lot of this. I say to them, "That is a good idea but you aren't in power." Misail knows he grew up some money and the power of to go to a nice college. But he knows he is not part of the world of power.

5. Have you considered freezing yourself and coming back in 3100 to see what is happening?

I have always thought about freezing myself. I do not like the idea of death. I know it is nothingness. So I do not want to die. I would like to see what is going on. I like history. I like how things change. I would like to see how people handle the energy crisis. If it will return to some dark ages. It would be interesting. I think this whole energy crisis is a wonderful experiment. No one knows how it will turn out. It is unpredictable. It is like us humans are writing our own real life novel. With a million subplots going in different directions, but all connected around the protagonist of oil. People have been so obsessed with controlling their reality for fifty years that we have all become OCD in someway. We don't wash our hands, but we check the news and weather every day trying to gather information, to give one a sense of control over reality. I like watching and I like to watch myself be unable to gather information and how weird it can all get.

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