Friday, October 20, 2006

Interview With Beaker

As a blogger, I am often afforded the opportunity to interview various celebrities and newsmakers. Today, I would like to welcome back Beaker, who has just returned from a 13 month whirlwind tour promoting his latest book, Puppets and Paradigms: toward a Panoptic Modality of Postmodern Muppetry, a blithe commentary on the state of puppet autonomy. Last week, Beaker took the book world by surprise by announcing the upcoming release of another book. His new book Strings Decidedly Attached: Ruminations on Dynamics of Power Within Entertainment System promises to blow the lid off puppetry, and shed new light on this growing medium. Without any further adieu, Beaker, welcome to TPWK.

Beaker: MEEP!

TPWK: Now, I haven't had the chance to finish your book, but I have to say... Wow, this is certainly some of your most audacious work to date.

Beaker: MEEP!

TPWK: Now, this seems to be a bit of departure for you, a more informal exploration of the meaning of puppetry. There seems to be an almost stream-of-consciousness bent to your writing, which serves the prose well, in my opinion.

Beaker: MEEP!

TPWK: As usual, you make no effort to shy away from provocative stance. If I may share one of my favorite passages...

"I'm leaving Bangkok. I man in his 40s informs me that he is anxious to get back to his family, who he has not seen in more than two weeks. It occurs to me that, to his family, he is no more than a puppet. He is, essentially, an entertainer. He has a recurring role, no doubt, as 'daddy'. He plays his character, but is notably absent, literally distant. I'm thinking to myself, someday, his children will grow up and realize 'daddy' was no daddy at all. He was a puppet, pulled by his various puppetmasters, be they employers, hobbies, his wife. Hell, the very sense of obligation is enough the make him shift and dance, eyes glazed over, playing his role, worried, always worried, that someone is going to cut his strings."

Now, especially in light of the familial-rights subsect of the puppet autonomy movement, I think this idea of family man as puppet is truly revolutionary.

Beaker: MEEP!

TPWK: Are we, then, a succession of trained puppets? I mean, perhaps it is a cynical conclusion, but perhaps the strings run as deep as family bonds. You seem to be suggesting that puppetry is literally everywhere, a sustaining life-force if you will.

Beaker: Well, I think you are approaching the issue too broadly. There is a saying... There is a saying that goes along the lines of "if your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." The passage you allude to is a reference to the negotiations we make as members of our family (family in this instance referring to literal blood bonds, but there are other manifestations). We cede ground to our masters, eschewing control in a manner that renders us as puppets to those around us. We are coolly aware of the transformation, but we are afraid of getting caught. There is a sense of inertia that drive us further into what I describe in later chapters as our "cloth life".

TPWK: So, in a sense, you are something of an optimist. In the problem, you see an inherent solution. We are all given the scissors to cut away from our oppressors, or puppet-masters. This is certainly a departure from your other works, where you seem to see a certain inevitability in our acquiescence. It will e interesting to see how the critics respond here.

Beaker: ...

Beaker: ...


TPWK: Well, that's all of our time. Beaker, I wish you much success with the book. Thank you again for stopping by.


Blogger That One Dude said...

Beaker is one Muppet that isn’t going to sell out. That’s for sure. Not like that Rizzo the rat bastard. Did you know he has an endorsement deal with Nike? He was always a Converse rat until Nike put his name on a big check.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Isn't Beaker's story based upon breaking his own so-called strings to the professor? It's about time he ventured on his own.

You should see if Animal is available for interview.

1:39 PM  

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