R. E. Tard [555555d]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
My earliest memory of reading involves Mad Magazine, specifically the issue featuring "Florence of Arabia". I began to write, like everyone else, under duress in grade school, ordered to explain my summer vacation, as if a military tribunal demanded I defend myself. I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of the Communist Party! The first to read what I wrote were the next in line at the lavatory.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
The more tasteless the genre the better, and the best is "Limericks". My work has been published by those art connoisseurs at Poetry.Com., the latest being my immortal "Ode To A Taco":
There once was a taco vendor
Who was said to be a big spender
'Cause he never got laid
Unless someone got paid
Double for a rear-ender!
I understand it was also available on CD.
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
First, I need to read something I can steal from. Then I drink a lot of beer. Next, I sit down. Then I drink a lot more beer. Then I black out.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
News headlines about stupid things.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Compelling characters having bad things happen to them. Repeatedly.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
First person, always, as I am starved for attention.
What well known writers do you admire most?
I will always be grateful to William Peter Blatty for his immortal "Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kane", a book that helped make me the men I am today.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
To be believable requires one to be truthful. The Greeks had a phrase; "In Vino Veritas", which has always confused me, because I thought they spoke Greek, not Latin, but it means something about being drunk makes you tell the truth. So to create believable characters I get unbelievably drunk.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
When I tell stories orally, the dogs give me funny looks.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
Everything is a form of therapy in my house, and anything interesting usually involves conflict, and occasionally a lubricant.
Does reader feed-back help you?
I am so lonely. I would do any thing for reader feed-back.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
In High School I won the "Future Hack Award, 1972". Nothing since then.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Read my drafts, please! I'm so lonely.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
Being schizophrenic, I've found several voices!
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
If I can't get out of it, I do it.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
Many different types of beverages.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I always write on a computer, as holding a pencil or pen is far too physically demanding. Not having a printer narrows my readership potential to "random bored people on the internet". My process involves drinking until the table moves away from me, and I can't find it.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
"Pravda", "Yahoo News Of The Odd", and "Bartcop.com" are my main sources of information. I share with no one. Get your own.
What has been your experience with publishers?
In my experience, they charge too much for paperbacks.
What are you working on now?
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Keep it that way.
What is your specialty? How do you help people find harmony?
My specialty is "to thine own self be true". Do not lie to yourself. In other words, I try to help people see themselves as others see them. Mostly as assholes.
Can you provide a link to a web site or blog where we can learn more about you?
What were the circumstances that led you to choose the professional path you have chosen?
My unemployment benefits had just run out and I needed to find something fast, or face the prospect of not having money for beer!
What is happiness, and the main obstacle to reaching it?
Happiness is when you don't hate yourself. The main obstacle is...you are probably an asshole.
Do we think too much? Why is it so difficult to feel here and now?
Wow, what a loaded question! On the one hand, yes, people definitely think too much...about themselves! Being in the here and now can be most difficult, as the here and now are just awful. The future is horrifying, and the past, if one has any knowledge of history, is a litany of abominations. Wait...what was the question?
How do you deal with discouragement, despair, a sense of setback, etc.?
I drink. A lot.
Are meditation and prayer cultural variants of the same thing?
I suppose so. Now I know why I have never ascribed to either, as there is nothing to pray to, and meditation is just scantioned time wasting. Oh sure, you can try to repulse the monkey, but hey, face it. You ARE the monkey. Embrace your monkeyness, and be one with all the monkeys! Hey hey, we're the monkeys!
Is faith necessary for spirituality to work?
Well, Mr. Spock said one should have faith that "the universe will unfold as it should". I think that pretty much sums it up.
Is it necessary to have a teacher to find the way?
I have no Zen to give you. Some things you just have to figure out for yourself. It helps to have access to knowledge, though. Books are good! I guess it won't hurt to be around someone whose head isn't up their ass. I will always be grateful to PBS for allowing me to witness "Cosmos". But in the end, we have to find the way for ourselves.
Is it necessary to have a purpose to find meaning in life?
There is a meaning in life? No shit? What is it?
Is it wise to believe in things that do not exist if it helps you to be happy?
That is perfectly fine for persons under the age of 10. The rest of us must ask ourselves, is self delusion happiness? Socrates said "truth is beauty, beauty is truth". Whatever the hell THAT means.
How do you distinguish between spirituality and religion?
Religion is the opiate of the masses. Spirituality is oneness with all things. As Lao Tsu said, "There is no god when all is god". That guy rocked.
Is God an idea? Is God in the brain?
God is the manifestation of ego in the human mind. A story to quiet children.
What is your concept of free will Vs destiny, fate, karma?
I think Tyler Durden said it best: "You are the all singing, all dancing crap of the world". To think that there is some kind of perment record that follows you is the ultimate ego trip. Just try to make your mother proud.
Give us a simple proof for the existence of the soul.
What happens when you die?
It depends on what you're wearing.
What is in a temple that isn't anywhere else?
A special brand of confusion.
Do you believe in the law of attraction: that we attract what we think about?
Yes. I believe I am a loser, and I am surrounded by losers.
How does one maintain body-mind harmony?
My mind is an angry monkey, and my body is an overripe banana. To maintain harmony, I saturate the body with cheap beer and keep the monkey tipsy.
Do creativity and positive thinking slow aging?
Oh, just give it up. No matter how witty and creative you are, eventually you will look like Boris Karloff on a bad day. Oh, and you are going to die, too.
What is your short list of healthy habits?
Don't shoot heroin into your head.
In what ways has your spiritual practice affected your creativity?
Accepting the reality that all things are temporary has freed me to embrace the fact that I suck.
How do you define your political position? What is the ideology that inspires it?
I see myself as a neo-barbarian, ready to loot and sack after the crumbling walls of the American Empire have caved in under the weight of its excesses and corruption. Either that, or as a survivor of the Zompocalypse. Either way, I'm ready! Vote Zombie Party! Our slogan..."We'll eat your brains. You're not using them anyway!" You could vote for Me at http://www.u4prez.com/ProfileView.aspx?UserID=6230
What matters more in deciding your vote: the party, the candidate, or the ideas?
When deciding for whom to cast my ever so valuable vote, my decision is based on which candidate I could picture as the hero/heroine in a romance novel. Could I envision him/her with flowing blond hair or strong manly arms, crushing my heaving bosom against their legislative body? If not, then I just pick the one with the funniest sounding name.
Do you think religion has a place in politics?
Since politics is based solely on fiction, it is only fair to include religion. In fact, I think only mythological creatures should be elected to office. Who wouldn't respect Senator Zeus? Next election, I'm voting "Thor for President"!
Are high abstention levels a serious problem for democracies?
The main problem for democracies is not high abstention, but low IQ.
Should parties that want to eliminate democracy be allowed to participate in democratic elections?
Is it a democracy if anyone is excluded?
Are Right and Left obsolete concepts?
Yes. But dumb and dumber are not. Until everyone understands that we are all the slaves of our corporate masters and that we must unite to throw off the bondage of oppression...but we'd have to turn off our Televisions...eh, never mind.
Why does hunger continue to exist in the world? Is this the result of a deliberate policy?
If by deliberate policy one means greed, why yes, I suppose so. Human nature being what it is, there will always be "haves and have nots".
What type of information should a government be able to legally maintain on about its citizens?
Ha ha, I'm so old I remember when it was the citizen's government, and not the government's citizens.
What political figures in recent history do you admire most?
Isn't "admired politician" an oxymoron?
Two-party systems are on the rise: is this good for politics?
What this country needs is a Seven-Party System! Then we could stay drunk all week, and nobody would care what the hell they do!
Should any territory have the right of self-determination if a majority of the population votes in favour of doing so?
If we allowed shit like that, we might as well have let those damn Indians and Mexicans keep their homes, then where would this great nation be!?! Manifest Destiny or Bust, Dagnabit!!!
Does a state have the right to attack or intervene in another country that has not attacked said state, if the country has committed grave injustices or crimes against humanity?
Kill 'em all, let god sort 'em out!
Are we witnessing the end of the American empire?
Nothing lasts forever.
Why did the economies of communist countries fail?
You can shear a sheep many times, you can only skin it once.
What is nationalism?
Nationalism is when your head is so far up your ass you can actually see out your own mouth.
Do you actively or economically collaborate with any social organization, NGO, etc.?
I don't even collaborate with myself.
Do you believe in any of the conspiracy theories regarding 9-11?
What makes you think they are "consipiracy theories" and not the truth?
Are there peoples more civilized than others? Or is it merely a question of cultural differences?
Are we talking about eating human flesh, or harvesting organs for the black market? Perhaps civilization can be measured by what you'd do for money. Money as the yardstick for civilization...not a pretty thought. Or is civilization what you would do for others without thought for yourself? Now my head hurts. Maybe it all boils down to an episode of "The Twlight Zone" featuring Roddy McDowell on Mars, where he said, "People are alike all over".
No, wait! Orwell said it best!
"It was curious," wrote Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four, "to
think that the sky was the same for everybody, in Eurasia or
Eastasia as well as here. And the people under the sky were
also very much the same - everywhere, all over the world . .
. people ignorant of one another's existence, held apart by
walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same -
people who . . . were storing up in their hearts and bellies
and muscles the power that would one day overturn the
Are there too many taxes?
Only on the poor. Karl Marx said it best, "To each according to his need, from each according to his ability".
Do you believe in affirmative action?
I believe everybody should get a fair chance. Good luck with that.
Does globalisation help in the development of the world's poorest countries, or does it perpetuate conditions of exploitation?
This world is built on exploitation. As Dr. Thompson said, "Vicious theives have always ruled the world, and they always will".
Should a maximum limit of permissible personal fortune exist; and thereby, place limits on individual wealth?
Who would enforce this limiting of wealth, the wealthy elite who run the world?
Do you defend the ecotaxes?
Not only do I not know what "ecotaxes" are, I don't give a rat's ass. No matter what laws are enacted, a way will be found to make profits, no matter what the cost to everything else, until life on this planet is forced to flee into space or die.
Should consensual offenses such as drug use or prostitution be legalized?
All of life should be a "don't ask, don't tell" situation, because I don't want to hear about it.
Are you pro-choice or pro-life?
I am "pro-mind-your-own-damn-business-and-let-everybody-alone-to-live-their-own-life-the-best-they-can".
Are you in favor of or against the death penalty?
Life itself comes with a death penalty. However, before a life is taken, one must be sure of the facts. A virus is best disposed of, but innocent men have from time to time been executed. Oh well. Buy the ticket, take the ride.
Should homosexual couples have the same right to adopt as heterosexual couples?
People should make their own mistakes. On the other hand, what are we gonna do with all these excess orphans?
Do you believe that the world crisis can bring positive changes to social values?
If history has taught us anything, it is that people will never learn, no matter what happens in the world.
What significant changes do you think Obama can bring about along his presidential term?
The "significant change" brought about by the current President of the United Corporations of America is a shift in the "fear and loathing" paradigm. Otherwise, it seems to be business as usual; rape of the proletariat and the world by the bourgeois elite.
For you, what is "the good life"?
The good life is a winning lottery ticket and a personal Beer Valet, someone to bring iced mugs of beer, and return the empty bottles in the back of a stretch limo.
What is the secret to happiness?
Happiness is never having to say "my pants are too tight!"; therefore the secret to happiness is an endless supply of pants with ever increasing waist measurements.
What is a friend?
A friend is someone who will listen to you bitch for hours on end and never tell you to "lighten up".
Please list your philosophy of good health.
Good Health is when you are never too hungover to make it through a full shift at work.
Does the soul exist?
The soul exists, but only between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., and only if there is a substantial supply of beer in the fridge.
Where does science end and ideology begin?
Saddly, science never ends, not untill it has wiped out all life on this planet. Ideology began sometime before the invention of T.V., but got discouraged in the early 1970's, and has spent the last several decades drunk in a cheap motel somewhere in Southern California.
Your own definition for beauty
Beauty is that which makes one forget how totally shitty everything else is, if even for just a moment.
What is God?
"God" is a concept embraced by beings convinced of their own superiority.
If the ticket price for a football match is twice the regular price for those 12 years of age or older, and your child turned twelve yesterday, what age would you say your child is?
If he's not old enough to fetch me a beer, why would I even bring him along?
If you were a millionaire, what would be your charitable work?
I would set up a scholarship fund for people matriculating in the College of Hard Knocks.
Your sins and virtues.
My virtue is I don't point out the sins of others to them. My sin is simply that I exist.
Please list three important words for the world today.
The first to remind us of our origins.
The second to remind us of our earlier origins.
The last to remind us of an infectious disease of birds caused by a bacterium, marked by diarrhea and wasting, and transmissible to humans in whom it occurs as an atypical pneumonia accompanied by high fever.
What will your epitaph be?
"Now with 30% less fat!"
R. E. Tard
Roseburg, Oregon USA
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