I’d spent the last month chasing shadows and ghosts, unfounded rumors concerning the whereabouts of one P.J. The Puppet. Desperate to prove to him the error of his ways, I’d tracked him across one exile enclave after another, all the way from Europe to the Near-East.
I almost had him cornered in a bistro near Catalonia, but P.J. The Puppet proved to be relentlessly restless and impossibly paranoid. When I finally did manage to confront him, in a teashop in Tunisia, he looked at me blandly, as if avoiding me had become too boring to continue. What follows is a transcript of our conversation, from memory, you must remember, because P.J. is a committed audiophobe.
P.J The Puppet (studying me over his steaming cup of tea as I brusquely sat down at his table, uninvited, I might add.) “Small world, smaller than I thought, apparently.”
Me;” Not small enough for you to hide forever, P.J. The Puppet.” (I was feeling slightly crazed due to my chronic jet lag and general annoyance with P.J. The Puppet.)
P.J The Puppet yawns, in an insolently unforced way. “This from somebody who’s been hiding from reality his whole life. Got any more fake footage of the 9-11 terrorists?”
I choose to let this pass. As a citizen-journalist, I have trained myself to never descend to the depraved level of some of the warped specimens I scrutinize. Instead I regarded him steadily, intent on instilling into him my deep loathing for his entire worldview. He looks at me and grins.
P.J The Puppet “I was once like you, maybe. Maybe not. So certain of the validity of the paradigm I had been forced to swim in. I wish you well on your wisdom quest.”
Me: “Don’t patronize me, Puppet. Chipmunk X. and Mrs Squirrel have been worried sick about you. You don’t even care enough about your friends to consider their feelings.” (I was growing irate at this point. The truth is, the wealthy widow Mrs. Squirrel had personally financed my globetrotting adventure to locate P.J. The Puppet.)
P.J The Puppet: “I’ve been busy. Plus, those two were scheming to have me lobotomized. Check out my new girlfriend. (produces a photo).
Me: (whistling softly): “She is quite a dish. I didn’t know you had it in you, P.J The Puppet.”
P.J The Puppet: “Well, I owe it all to you. Your blog made me famous in puppet circles. ”
Me: (mollified): “Now I understand why you disappeared.” (Reminding myself to be stern). “Still, don’t you feel any remorse over your anti-TSA stance after the recent shooting of a TSA agent at the LAX airport.”
P.J The Puppet: “I suppose I need to address this. First, granting that the Media’s version of the events is true, which is a bit of a stretch to begin with, and granting that TSA agents are human beings and do not deserve to be shot, I still am left with the basic question. Is Freedom free? Would the shooter have shot the TSA agent if the TSA agent was not there?”
Me: “Of course not.”
P.J The Puppet: “So in that sense, the agent brought it upon himself.”
Me: “When a bank teller get shot by robbers, it is the teller’s fault?”
P.J The Puppet: “I don’t accept that comparison, strictly, but yes, unfortunately. The act of participating in Society opens you up to unpleasant encounters even if you are in the service industry. The TSA, however, is not the service industry. They are a paramilitary organization which is invading our airports, bus terminals, and train stations. They are the enemies of American Freedom. They’ll have them at toll booths on the highway if we don’t stop them.”
Me: “So they deserve to be shot?”
P.J The Puppet: “Don’t put words in my mouth. The rank and file of the TSA does not deserve to be shot.”
Me: “The leadership does, however?”
P.J The Puppet: “I’m not shooing anybody. I could say it’s because I’m just a simple puppet, but that’s not true. The truth is, shooting these people won’t solve anything, In fact, it makes it worse. See this thing right now, it generated sympathy for the TSA because nobody likes random, unconstructive violence, It makes people feel sick. Given time, the TSA will be abolished by conventional means, but not if martyrs are made of them.”
Me: “So you are sorry for the shooting?”
P.J The Puppet; “People get shot every day, and I feel for them, so yeah, in that sense I wish it hadn’t happened. If a meth dealer gets shot, it’s just as tragic. More so, because that meth dealer was doing more to further the cause of American Freedom than the TSA Agent ever would have. The meth dealer is a free market capitalist, catering to a voluntary client base. The TSA agent intrudes upon travelers business and restricts freedom. The freedom to travel unmolested is basic.”
Me (stunned): “I can’t believe you’re serious”.
P.J The Puppet: (nods his head): “As Stomach cancer. Listen, the Drug war started this whole thing at the airports. All of it. It was just a trial balloon for the real cash pig, though. Criminalizing everyone, the whole country, as terrorists or potential terrorists. Monitoring every financial transaction, every phone call, email, all of this was invented for the Drug War and just got extrapolated to the entire Society. The jails are full of so-called Drug criminals. Are there enough prisons to hold all the potential terrorists , particularly if the economy continues to slide?”
Me; “You are absurd”.
P.J The Puppet: (gets up) “Once we get to insults, I’m out. Ask yourself this, though. If you find yourself getting hustled into a FEMA Camp because NSA records show you read this blog, will you still have as much sympathy for the TSA agent who was shot, may God have mercy on his soul?”
P.J The Puppet exits the interview with his usual lack of decorum. I sit in chagrin. All this way to be insulted, (again), by the world’s most bitter puppet. I stare through the crowds P.J The Puppet had melted into. I hate Tunisia at this time of the year.