Q & A with the Mayor of Zooathalon:

Q: How do you feel about the idea of interviewing yourself?

A: To be honest, I’m in two minds about it.

Q: Does it feel kind of schizophrenic?

A: We do not rush to label things in Zooathalon. Here, the question isn’t whether or not you are schizo, but whether all of those bitches are for you or against you. In any event, they all get a group discount. What you call schizophrenia just makes it easier to talk to yourself and be heard. Our employers also overlook it because they get a few more workers for the price of one. No harm, no foul.

Q: When were you elected mayor of Zooathalon?

A: Right before this interview request. It might be the only thing I am ever elected to, although in this case it helped that I was the only one voting. You don’t want to leave these things to chance.

Q: Is there a chance that you might be Governor one day?

A: Governor in Zooathalon is an honorary title that usually goes to one of our farm animals, since it is largely ceremonial, and it is felt in our communities that beasts of burden find governance less of a burden. In Zooathalon, politics are largely handled by the people themselves, since we do not patronize Zooathalon residents with the notion that anyone but themselves are better equipped to guide and lead them, it is a fantasy that others know better than you what is best for you. We teach at the earliest possible age, self-reliance and personal responsibility, which leads to greater communal trust and investment. Otherwise it just leads back to Leeds, and our taxes are voluntary and our basic essential services closer to heaven than earth. Our farm animals handle the job well enough that the Vice-Governor is a veterinarian. It also greatly helps that our animals can speak. Our last humanoid governor was in fact the legendary Luther Means. He now trains wild animals for government service.

Q: What about the Presidency?

A: There is no Presidency in Zooathalon, though we do have a Mr. P who is in a Residency program at the University, sometimes he gets a bit confused and we remind him that we do not have a President, But a Mr. P resident, he then calms down and resumes his Chiropractic studies, which in our schools also involve the study of practical life in Cairo. Again, our Zooathalon residents do not take well to governance. And we have a lot of political exiles from many different places where there was thought to be too much interference in their lives. People here love their lives enough to invest time in finding solutions to things BEFORE they become problems, to them that is the great advantage of evolution. Our relationship with spirit and nature is more than sufficient enough, that when we are told that something is being done for our own good, we run for the hills and hide.

Q: Is there a passport to Zooathalon?

A: If the citizen wishes for one yes, and it includes holographic images of all the places the citizen has been, and of all the people that they’ve met and wish to recall. It is a big responsibility since our passports also allow for time travel, once enough frequent flier miles have been accrued. For many of our good residents, scrotum tattoos are identification enough.

Q: Are guns allowed in Zooathalon?

A: Yes, we do not kill our children here nor use them to illustrate points. We never throw the baby in front of the train to get the train to stop nor do we throw babies out with the bathwater. Our citizens are not angry enough to use their guns against their neighbors and our pill factories produces all that mimics the very best of and in nature. We keep our guns mainly in case we are invaded again by the evil ZUGEBRIAN Time Lords, who like us have mastered time travel, but who are so evil, they actually went back in time and they killed the great blues savant, ROBERT JOHNSON, which we had to send one of our noted scientists, Robert Taylor Zippenhaus to undo, or our civilization could not exist. To our people Robert Johnson is as important to our community history as is George Washington to the Americans. The ZUGEBRIANS were envious that their culture never produced as eminent a scientific mind as Robert Johnson. ALL THINGS ARE ALLOWED IN ZOOATHALON, if it becomes a problem, the people are simply expected to adjust themselves so as not to cause great offense to their neighbors. And the children are too busy enjoying their wonderful fulfilling childhoods to be disturbed by adult themes before they are ready to assume responsibility for adulthood which for us doesn’t start until 25. And in teaching them, we do not tell the children what they want; THEY TELL US, and we make it happen. We try to steer each child towards the limits of their imagination and then encourage them to go beyond it to the next stage. We do not grade, which is degrading, we observe and advise. We do not presume to know better than them, their own hearts and minds. There are not many ‘sins’ in Zooathalon, though patronizing others would be chief among those we regard as evil.

Q: If the ZUGEBRIANS have mastered time travel then why do you need guns for defense?

A: Because even time travelers can feel a bullet in their ass. And it keeps us close to our ancestors. In Zooathalon we do not assume that time travels in one direction only so we do not assume with arrogance that we are better than our ancestors because we have different toys to play with, or different light bulbs and distractions. We feel that if they came BEFORE us, maybe they are much smarter than we give them credit for. Besides, we are aware that WE ARE OUR OWN ANCESTERS living the consequences of earlier ancestral choices, and that we are not better than ourselves.

Q: How about history, did Zooathalon ever have slaves?

A: Zooathalon still has slaves! The great majority are free, but there are a few who are bound by old laws that they are still in process of freeing themselves from, which is much easier here than elsewhere but that still requires effort and diligence. People here understand that no other person or actions can free slaves but their own desire to be free, because in being free there is a lot of responsibility involved, and with a large responsibility, fear revels. We do not have jails, but when citizens here do something that might be very offensive, they place themselves in the custody of the offended person and acts as an indentured servant until they both agree that the debt has been paid. We have still a few slaves. What we do not have is slave labor, which is the power of the state oppressing the odds for their own gain. In Zooathalon all gains are shared. If you have helped to turn the wheel, the wheel provides! We value people highly in the Zooathalon, so as a consequence we tend to draw people who value highly themselves, which works for us, works for them. We are a REPUBLIC and mighty proud.

Q: What does the position of mayor call for?

A:  Mostly missionary. And primarily as cheerleader for our way of life, inspecting foreign meats and settling disputes between foreign companies who like doing business here. We do not charge taxes for companies that employ at least 75% Zooathalonians. I also on all civic and religious holidays personally validate parking. And most excitedly, I get to pick the teams for the annual animals vs. people softball tournaments. Along with my good friend Victor Spoils, our most decorated Zooathalete.

Q: And the best part?

A: I get to call elections whenever I want and can in a state of emergency situation, keep the job until the situation diminishes. As you might imagine, I do try to keep close enough to a state of emergency as possible when I can get away with it, so that I can extend the job since I don’t really like campaigning, though campaigns here are only allowed to take place for only the month of February and by law, strictly between the lunch hours of 1-2:30 in the afternoon, and not at all on weekends which to Zooathalonians, are sacred.

Q: But you are the only one allowed to vote?

A: In a state of emergency yes!

Q: And there is always a state of emergency?

A: Yes, if I can arrange it without really disturbing our wonderful residents.

Q: Isn’t that a dictatorship?

A: Yes, when it is someone else doing the dictating, when it is ME, it is just good and clever governance. Listen, our residents trust me, I am a politician and they do not expect me to be anything more than that. We have priests when people are looking for that, here we do not expect our politicians to be anything but what we know them to be, opportunists, so they rarely disappoint us because we do not give our politicians the kind of power to disturb our dreams or way of life, nor do we make the mistake of mistaking our politicians for our leaders. We listen to our people and they lead themselves, we are merely facilitators, not their Gods. We also cannot but help notice that your governments that claim the most freedoms also seem to be those with the most restrictions and regulations, which means that people are only free in those things not already opposed by the state, but doesn’t that apply to any form of governance? When people recognize their greatness and right to it, they insist on representation that sees them as they see themselves. We politicians in Zooathalon can never get away with patronizing our citizens. We are asked to leave in Zooathalon if we forget what we are here to do and on whose behalf. Again, even our farm animals can do our jobs for the most part.

Q: And how many more are there serving with you in the Mayors office?

A: 3, including a hamster which turns on its wheel in my office and produces carbon credits made by one of our advanced factories on the outskirts of town. People in Zooathalon do not trust big government. The bigger the government, the less space there is for the people. And once ANY ORGANISM comes into being, for whatever reason, its next impulse is to secure its survival at any and all costs. The job doesn’t pay well, to insure that only the eager and not just the greedy apply. The perks are tremendous however, including all of the pig manure you can shake a stick at. I am an apple farmer by profession and I love pig manure for my little humble farm. As a politician, I get to step in it a lot, so fortunately for me, I love the stuff!

Q: Do you not find it strange that you and I are one, but 2 different people speaking to the other?

A: No, what would be strange would be you wearing the same ladies undergarments. Zooathalon is always parallel to you so I am simply on the other side of a frequency wall, separating the wheat as it were from the chaff.

Q: Does meditating help this process?

A: For sure meditating helps, though I prefer meditating AND medicating, a perfect left and right hand combination.

Q: It is odd to hear a politician talk on this subject; it is usually the kiss of death.

A: Honey, we do not listen to what people think, for we are the people and we are what we think. Nor do we take seriously any fool who would have us believe that they do not enjoy being high, even the animals enjoy being high, all of life and spirit does. We would assume that our intelligence was being insulted. Here, we would not take them seriously, if you are too good to get high, then you are too good for us, keep going, and thank you. Here in Zooathalon, our plants are alive and speak. They tell you what they are good for and in what amount. Our forests are literally exploding with life, and when one animal dies, another steps in to keep its spirit alive and moving ever forward. When you burp after eating a meal, the sound comes out, ‘thank you for absorbing my energy, lets kick some ass with it’. Even the food thanks you for allowing it to participate in your personal experience of life. Needless to say, we revere life and never ever take more than we need. Our air gets us as high as kites, our water is so alive it tingles as if it were carbonated, we actually burp in colors. Our coffee is so hallucinogenic we use it to see into the future AND we use it as one of our primary fuel sources for our spacecraft after we synthesize it with breakfast cereal. We live in plenty, and we are all of the mind that we deserve to, so we always will. There is never a shortage of anything here but boredom and apathy. Our most important attribute is our desire to insure that all citizens have the unmitigated right to be as happy as they can achieve and spread. In Zooathalon, there are a thousand ways to get high and every opportunity to know oneself and be happy. We figure no matter how high your IQ or vaunted your intellect, you are not really smart until you have figured out what stands in the way of being happy,  and how to keep happiness alive in your heart, not how many numbers and data you can keep stored in your mind. Here everyone is smart enough to remember what he or she wants to remember, as well as intelligent enough to forget what they need to forget. The rest isn’t our business and creates conflict insisting that it be otherwise. Animals understand numbers, real intellect is a lamp, lighting the way from your personal darkness to the light that wills to embrace all beings as manifestations of its endless possibility for everlasting life and its eternal love for creation.

Q: Sounds like paradise!

A: No, paradise is paradise, and Zooathalon is what IT is. Zooathalon residents understand that the key to stability of mind and emotions is WORK; we believe in work, balanced equally with full bore pursuit of pleasures. There is always work to do and that is the best news I can give you. We do not deprive work to anyone who wants it; it tempts rebellion, depression and despair, and warps the sensibilities towards lesser accountability and more pathology. The best policies are those that do not get in the way of people and how they wish to chart their own progress. Policy can be another word for hindrance. And there are no policies here that inhibit the growth of the human spirit or we inherit criminals and not creators. Although let the record show that I am a big fan of your tremendous musician Jimi Hindrance, he was awesome! In Zooathalon, PURPLE HAZE is one of our secondary national anthems. Since we are considered an agricultural paradise and our lives revolve around our food and farms, our official national anthem is GOD SAVE THE BEAN. I am very close to the food industry, I got my start combining my two favorite things, CHEMISTRY and being a waiter in a restaurant.

Q: I’m sorry, I don’t get how Chemistry and waiting tables go together.

A: I was studying chemistry in university while working in one of our local café’s, so I killed two birds with one stone and only waited on, PERIODIC TABLES. I also met my wife there at ZOO U. She merged two interests and put herself through school as a POLEMICS DANCER.

Q: May we speak again, next time about your Music Program?

A: Sure!

Q: Great! I will speak to you again in a few days, after you vet my questions first of course.

A: Yes, it is a part of the way the Mayors office works that I am not allowed to answer too many questions on behalf of Zooathalon until HARVEY, our hamster has a chance to sniff the questions first. Besides, I do trust his opinion; after all, he was our last Mayor for 3 terms before I took the job! Suffice to say, he is my mentor and I am in awe of the steadiness and reliability of his work. He works from Monday to Thursday toiling on his rolling metal hamster wheel, without much sweat or complaint.

Q: Sorry, last question, you said from Monday to Thursday, I thought you all worked 5 days a week?

A: We do, it’s just that Friday is MY day on the wheel. Thank you and don’t forget, RETURN TO ZOOATHALON. And just in case you were wondering, the residents consider WALTER HAWKINS to have been the greatest singer, songwriter, arranger, musician and producer that your country of America has ever given to the world from top to bottom. They may call it gospel music but ALL good music is good news to the soul. Time will bear this out, AND he was a man of real and true faith and courage. We respect the value of all faith in Zooathalon, it is dogma that we reject as unnecessary to our growth as sovereign beings of ourselves. Most of your other noted songsmiths were con men and charlatans, if they weren’t, they were got rid of. Most of your pop music is a subtle means of seducing the mind to avoid the truth of life and to oppress those beneath its spell. It is about chasing the glamour and not the flame. It is as if your music has been punished for not being dead and is only allowed to serve industry and not the subtle graces of the people. Like your food unfortunately, which is pretty much food in name only, the nutrition has been taken out and placed in a pill, so you have to buy two things to get what you once got from just one. In Zooathalon all concepts are also representative beings. On your level, music is a substance, a thing. Here and in other higher dimensional realities, the music is an actual person responsible for all matters musical and is considered a Doctor of Science, a mathematician, a metaphysician and philosopher. He actually came to your world once before to assist in the growth of the human mind, but was killed by the authorities who rule your world and had to Return to Zooathalon. He then came again as a woman, but she too was sent to an earlier grave than planned because she didn’t know enough funny hand signs to please the secret cabals and their ilk. She also believed in God, which doesn’t really seem to carry much weight in your world. We’ve since stopped sending our loved ones there, they’d have a better chance of surviving a battlefield war. Your music is not allowed by your authorities to serve anything but the lower mind, which is important, except when it is treated as the only mind you wonderful beings have. You have both a higher as well as supernatural mind. And there is an intermediate mind that bridges and fuses all data that comes to the mind as realization. Déjà vu is a sense recognition that all of the minds are working together in a unity that binds all time together as NOW, your different minds are as functioning wheels of a clock. We also regard your comedian Steven Wright as one who understands our concept of Zooathalogic, he would get along well here, his sensibility is parallel to our own. What you guys call comedy we call philosophy because if it makes you laugh, it must be true. In Zooathalon one of our favorite comedians is beloved enough to be on our 12 dollar bill.

Q: What’s his name?

A: His name as it turns out is actually “12 Dollar Bill”.

Thank you for listening to that rant, it was well intended if not too banal. Now I’ve got to go and feed Harvey the Hamster. He’s excited for lunch today; he’s having fresh squid. And as he likes to say when eating calamari and sucking back a local beer: “SQUID PRO QUO”.

NOTE- this translation from Zooathalese to English proudly sponsored by ‘The Big Pharmacy Farm’s’ Radio Emphysema. Just remember (sung to the tune of The Girl from Ipanema), “Tall and Tan and Dark and Lonely the Boy from Emphysema goes Coughing and when he goes Coughing he Sighs and just doesn’t see”. Why? He forgot to take his Hackicoff Coughing Syrup! Don’t you be like that Boy from Emphysema. Get a bottle of Hackicoff today! And don’t forget to listen to RADIO Eczema and our ‘You Go To My Head’ program featuring the songs of Frank Sinatra including ‘I think I’m Going Out of My Head’ and ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’ and a special digital version of ‘Under My Thumb’. Tune in today and don’t delay! This message also brought to you by the Alarmist Brotherhood!!!!!!

Zooathalon = Zu-‘A’-thalon, emphasis on the second syllable A as in ‘apple’.

Zugebrian = Zu-Ge-bree-an, emphasis on the second syllable Ge as in ‘get the f*** out of here’.

ps Mr. Grüberschnickel:


MILANO 3rd April 2013