Jumping in Pools is proud to present the 92nd interview in our on-going series. Today we are happy to have "Comrade Red Square" of the People's Cube answer some of our questions. The People's Cube is a conservative humor site with cutting satire and laugh-out-loud comedy. Comrade Red Square is a writer for the site. I'd like to thank him for an excellent interview:
Who started the People's Cube and when?
We didn't start the People's Cube; it started us. The Rubik's Cube with all sides equally red has always existed as a Platonic ideal, a beautiful dream of the humankind symbolizing a world without risk or failure, where no matter what you do and how badly you do it, you will always have a smashing success and reap equal rewards. This also happens to be the goal of the progressive movement (whose adepts we are endearingly calling "progs").
To say "I came up with all this" would be wrong and individualistic. To be a true "prog" you have to believe that no idea can be called good, bad, new, old, owned, or stolen from someone else, because all ideas are equal inside our common collective consciousness. Our thoughts belong to no one and to everyone at once - an entity also known as The People™.
But the sound of The People™ talking all at once will make an awful noise, won't it? There must be an elite vanguard, a group of progs who can correctly read collective consciousness and articulate The People's™ thoughts while the rest of them shut the hell up. Having identified this massive demand, I launched ThePeoplesCube.com and volunteered my services as the People's Director in charge of Redistribution of Speech.
It happened in the wild and turbulent year of 2005, when the international progdom was waging a victorious war against Bush's Doctrine to Invade Everyone and Steal Everything. The launch was gloriously implemented on April 1st, which since has been renamed into International Workers' Fools Day.
I was quickly joined by scores of like-minded comrades who aspired to serve The People™ by redistributing Time, Gravity, and other forces of nature, as well as man-made dry goods and appliances. In a sense, we are functioning as the World Government in Exile, preparing for the advent of the Progressive World of Next Tuesday™. And Laika the Space Dog is heroically orbiting the Earth, transmitting our signals to the tinfoil-hat-wearing masses around the planet.
Today our members live in the US, Canada, South America, Europe, Australia, South Africa, and Japan. Literally, the sun never sets on the People's Cube. The glorious Party organ is awake at any hour of day or night.
Do you consider the People's Cube to be a conservative Onion?
Marx forbid! We are a Stalinist version of the Onion! This has even been confirmed by Rush Limbaugh, whom I consider today's most talented and prolific working satirist in the English-speaking world. I also admire two great working satirists in the Russian-speaking world, whose wit, alas, can't be adequately reproduced in English. I'll name them for the sake of my fellow ex-Soviet immigrants: Zhvanetsky and Shenderovich.
Some say that Zhvanetsky was a major force behind the collapse of the Soviet system. He opened the nation's eyes to the absurdities of socialism so forcefully and with such disarming hilarity that no one could take the communist propaganda seriously any longer. His jokes did more damage to the Marxist ideology than a well-financed political think tank ever could.
As for the Onion, I have tremendous respect and admiration for it as well. I only wish its editors weren't occasionally blemishing it with inane leftist messages. Unfortunately, comedic talent doesn't always translate into great philosophical insights.
How's the President doing so far?
President Obama's image is an interesting combination of pop-culture memes, ranging from National Geographic to popular TV shows like 24 and Start Trek. Many Americans apparently thought that by voting Obama they were electing Jack Bauer's friend David Palmer, a noble black president who would defend them from terrorists while also protecting their liberties. But an even bigger number of voters mistook him for Star Trek's time-traveling Commander Sisko, who they hoped would bring them straight into the 24th century. The latter put Obama's critics in an especially difficult situation, because who in his sane mind would argue against ending the pre-warp-drive era and joining the United Federation of Planets?
A Star Trek fan himself, Obama does not disappoint. Only he gets the two shows confused. He sends Jack Bower through the wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant, while he himself stays in Washington and acts as if he is the Emissary of the Bajoran Prophets. Remember those Star Trek replicators that instantly made food, clothes, and equipment out of thin air? They were crucial to Obama's plan to transform America. Imagine his shock when the science czar told him the replicators hadn't yet been invented. No wonder the President has been so aloof lately. That, and the mandatory trips to the backward 21st century have been a drag on his ability to be an effective commander on Terra Prime.
Your political commentary is stinging and on-point. Why go with comedy instead of straight journalism?
I've also written serious pieces. See them on Pajamas Media, American Thinker, Big Hollywood, JWR, etc. But sometimes a silly cartoon or a one-page parody has a greater impact than a ten-page essay. Humor is a shortcut to understanding reality. My propensity to take this shortcut has spared me the stress of writing hundreds of analytical articles, which could potentially lead to anxieties related to running a syndicated column, publishing a book, and hitting pay dirt prematurely.
And if you want to become an underpaid blogger like me, I can show you how. Register at ThePeoplesCube.com today for free and become a member of the glorious collective that creates hilarious and on-point parodies and graphics, all the while neglecting to attend Hollywood junkets, appear on Oprah, dance with the stars, or play squares with celebrities.
Tell our readers how you guys uniquely celebrated Draw Muhammad (pbuh) Day.
To paraphrase a Zen proverb, "If Mohammed draws a self-portrait, does he get to receive death threats from his followers?" On a related note, why waste a thousand words if you can click here for the picture?
In your opinion, what is the funniest article or piece the People's Cube has ever run?
As progs we strive for equality of funniness. The highest praise we dispense on our authors is "most equal." Our readers, however, are not all equally progressive, which results in an unequal number of page views. Such glaring inequity is something I have yet to understand, let alone predict. How can we promote guaranteed equality of results in real life if we can't achieve it on our own pages?
One way to make people laugh is to expose the crack between words and reality. But herein lies a problem. While the reality always stays the same, the ways to spin it are many. Just ask CNN. One good spin can show multiple diverging "realities," resulting in a diversity of "truths." It's the kind of diversity the media celebrates the most. So merely exposing the crack between words and reality is not enough. For your truth-based joke to be funny, the audiences must see the reality the way you do. If they aren't tuned in to your version of the truth, they won't laugh. It is for a reason that our editorial section is titled The Current Truth.
Americans are roughly divided into two major groups with two different cosmologies - "conservatives" and "progressives." They see two different versions of reality, one of which is "more equal" than the other. That is why they rarely laugh at each other's jokes. The only force that can equalize them is political correctness. The goal of political correctness is to achieve unanimity by making all opinions equally absurd. If allowed to run unchecked, it will remove funniness from all jokes, rendering both liberals and conservatives equally humorless.
To those living within the confines of the "progressive" metaphysics, the People's Cube represents a secular version of the Devil. Just as Islamist fanatics are angered by the mockery of their faith, zealous progs are angered by the People's Cube mockery of utopian dogmas and their absurd moral code. They see such jokes as soulless, sacrilegious and sinful. There is nothing funny about blasphemy.
There also doubters and agnostics. I recently received a bunch of compliments from a "liberal" college professor who found the site absolutely hilarious. But then he almost begged me to reassure him we were "progressives" masked as "conservatives" who mock "progressives." It seemed that the "liberal" academic conditioning had encircled his tormented mind with mental barbed wire and thoughtcrime-preventing safeguards, disallowing him to accept the possibility that non-progs were capable of writing on a super-prog level. The cognitive dissonance then spurred his imagination to paint a chimera of "posers posing as posers." He found such rationalization more probable than the existence of rational thought outside the academic progdom. It's fun to make circles around progulous academics.
What is your favorite part of running a successful website?
Receiving a big friendly hug from Michelle Malkin (she had been linking to the Cube long before we met in person). Or having Pamela Geller give me her card asking to call her. Publishers are now sending me advance copies of their books for review. I just got Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One from Sentinel (Penguin Group). Even if I never read it, it's still cool to receive a book from a group of penguins.
I also like reading fan emails, especially the messages attached to PayPal donations. They range from "best site evah" to heartfelt narratives about how the People's Cube helped them to open their eyes, clear their minds, quit drinking, and start a new life.
But nothing can beat knowing that I'm part of the wittiest and the most informed group of people ever to hit the Internet - the People's Cube commissars and commissarkas - most of whom are now my good friends. Readers in foreign countries admitted to me they hadn't expected Americans to be so smart and so consistently funny without being gross or obscene. Which also means it's possible to improve America's image in the world without being apologetic.
Is there anything you would like to add?
It's getting too long already, so let's wrap it up.
I also changed the order of the questions so the interview would end on a positive note.
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