I first became aware of the satirical newspaper The Onion a few years ago, when my sister gave me a year's subscription to the print version. This was during dark times politically -- oh, wait, they're still pretty dark right now! But back then I guess the times seemed somewhat darker. Quickly I came to rely on my weekly dose of The Onion to reassure me that (a) other people shared my horror at current events and (b) some very talented people were actually able to make brilliant humor out of those same events.
Now our country's greatest fake newspaper is available online and in various eateries throughout the country, including the Bay Area. Sometimes the stories are good, and sometimes they're amazingly great -- but I'm always grateful for their wry perspective, which provides inoculation from not just frustration but also self-righteousness. So it was a joy to meet Onion editor-in-chief Scott Dikkers, who managed to give me some insights into the nuts and bolts of his job while also being, for the most part, extremely silly.
But I'd have to say Dikkers was a model of sobriety compared to my other guest, Peter Hilleren, his collaborator on the faux presidential memoir Destined for Destiny: The Unauthorized Autobiography of George W. Bush. I highly recommend that you take in this literary work the way I did, via audiobook -- that way, you can enjoy Dikkers's spot-on impersonation of our president. (I've also been enjoying the weekly fake presidential radio address that these two have been putting out -- again featuring Dikkers's wicked vocal stylings.)
All in all, the thing I'm proudest of from this interview is that neither of my guests chose to sue me for my reckless onion-juggling. Comic relief is nice; legal relief even more so.
January 22nd, 2007