RockHead, Summer 1990

Music's most articulate gadfly speaks about doing business with the Soviets, social change, running for president I and the vastness of human stupidity.

RockHEAD: Hi Frank, this is RockHEAD. There are six of us here.

Frank: Whoa, overkill! Hold on a minute and let me get my coffee ... OK, let's have at it.

RH: Could you tell us about what you've been doing over in Eastern Europe? We have a picture of you lighting a cigarette for the President of Czechoslovakia on our refrigerator.

Frank: There's a funny story about that. His political advisors tell him not to smoke for Czech television, but he can smoke for foreign television, so whenever he would light a cigarette, he would have them check and see who's taking pictures. I told him that if he had political advisors that were telling him not to smoke, he's already in trouble.

RH: I'm pro-tobacco, personally. We were wondering what motivated you to want to interact with people in Eastern Europe ... who you want to interact with, and for what purpose?

Frank: When I went to the Soviet Union for the first time around last February, I was curious to find out how true or false everything I knew about the Russians was, from the impressions that I received from the US media. So that's how I got into it. It turned out that I really liked the people. They're in a lot of trouble, obviously because their system doesn't work. I would like to help them out.

RH: Have you got any ideas of how to do that?

Frank: One thing that they need is technical information on how business works because remember, for seventy years, it was taboo over there. Now Gorbachev says, "Go do business," and nobody knows how to do it. They don't even know the words. It's hard to discuss business with them because they don't even have the words in their vocabulary, like capital gains and stuff like that.

RH: Do you have ideas for entrepreneurial pursuits over there?

Frank: Yeah, I've got some ideas on how things could be made to work better. Making it happen is the hard part.

RH: What are some of your ideas to make things work better?

Frank: For one thing, I think any US business should regard this as a major opportunity, not to just sell stuff there but to try to create solutions for social problems using those new governments in test-tube ways, especially in Eastern Europe. As a nation we could stand the benefit of experimentation somewhere else that could prove itself to work. I have a feeling that the means by which these emerging democracies are going to try to solve some of their economic and social problems may include ways we could restructure our situation here. So that's one way I've become interested. Up until this point, most of the stuff being worked on over there has been on a small entrepreneurial level where some businessman may be looking to connect with a US guy, or from some US company wants to create a product or move a product into that market. My interest is on a larger scale. Does that answer your question?

RH: Yes, it does. Everything you're saying is in sync with us, because the group of us who started the paper live together in a commune, and we are very much into free enterprise. We are very interested in economic development models and how that relates to emerging democracies in other countries. We have a sister company to RockHEAD that works with computers and we're trying to negotiate some agreements where we can start to do business over in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

Frank: The hard part about negotiating the agreements is that at the point where your deal has to be approved by the bureaucracy, specifically speaking about Russia, you're in a very messy situation. One of the things that made their system fail was the fact that the bureaucracy is so enmeshed. The whole idea of central planning is preposterous to begin with, because there's no computer, and as far as I can determine, no god-like human figure, who can make a plan that can efficiently control the economy of a place the size, the shape and the diversity of the Soviet Union. It just doesn't work. They built this enormous bureaucratic infrastructure to support the idea of central planning and it's still in place even though the new goals are moving in the direction of the market economy. In order for a person to do his market economy business, many of these things have to go through a bureaucracy that doesn't know what to do with it. No matter how benign your suggestion is for a trade agreement or whatever you want to do, at the point where it has to be filtered through this bureaucracy (which as far as I can tell is not only incompetent but also corrupt), you are into realms of bribery. The official who has to put his seal on the document, even though he really is a good party member, you know, he's going to knock off some bucks for himself. That's the way things are over there.

RH: Yep. So is your approach to go directly to individuals on a more personal level?

Frank: Yes, that's what the entrepreneurial interchange is about. The problem is the way that the regulations are structured. You know, you're an entrepreneur and you're going to do it by yourself, but the government sponsors the bank. Everything in Russian life requires permission. Everything.

RH: The three things that I always thought went together were market economy, cultural pluralism and self-determination in governance. Do you think that those other two things are changing as these nations start to move toward a market economy, or do you think that the cultural pluralism and the self-determinism isn't changing, but they're trying to fool around with market economy because their economics are so messed up?

Frank: Fooling around with all of the above. But the problem is that along with Glasnost came all the rage that's been pent up for all these years. You know, the Party line, "You're my comrade, you're my buddy ... " The fact is that people don't really feel that way about each other. They had to enforce this idea of a kind of equality, it's not an equality where everyone is elevated, it's an equality where all but the better members of society are degraded and pulled down. And we have the same thing in the United States. Excellence isn't celebrated, it's punished. And extremely punished over there.

RH: Sounds like an Ayn Rand novel.

Frank: Well, I don't know if I've ever read an Ayn Rand novel, but I'm just telling you what I've seen. With more free speech, all the factions are coming out. You have people walking around all the time saying, "Kill the Kikes. Save Russia." When I was there in January, they had already posted notice that starting on May 15, they were going to begin to kill Jews. That doesn't appear in the U.S. newspaper but I'm telling you it's real and it's out there. It's everyday. Increased racism along with increased nationalism. One of the problems that Gorbachev has is the way the Party congress is put together. There's more representation for the Slavic types than there is for the ethnic types in the outlying republics. It's a very diverse culture over there and I don't see how they managed to hold the Soviet Union together this long, let alone how they can hold it together into the future with the forces that are trying to pull it apart. All the Moslem-based cultures in the southern part of the country are being wooed by Iran. They've got Iranian revolutionary fundamentalist types and they're trying to stir things up all the time. You have a rebirth of interest in the Orthodox religion. But I wouldn't trust that church. They've all got an axe to grind. You couple this with the ambitions of Boris Yeltsin, a man who in his speeches, never talks about freedom, only talks about equality. He talks about that kind of equality that I just described to you where the mighty are treated downward and everybody else, they all stay at the bottom of the sludge. And now he is the president of the Russian republic and they've taken the first step toward secession. It's not-going to be an easy thing to deal with over there as long as the U.S. media keeps trying to make it look like Gorbachev is on his way out. If they get their wish and he does go out, you're going to be internationally in pretty bad shape because Yeltsin is not the kind of international diplomat that Gorbachev is.

RH: What's your opinion about the republics that have declared independence, like Lithuania?

Frank: Well from a practical sense, I think that economically they'd be in much better shape if the central planning committee was not responsible for the day to day affairs of all those outlying republics. A lot of those economic problems could be resolved in a hurry if they would cut the republics loose, because I think that some of them will find themselves floundering rather quickly and then they would look back toward Moscow for another type of arrangement. They would voluntarily confederate rather than be welded into this when they don't really want to stay together.

RH: Somebody around here scanned your picture onto the computer and then put a tag line on it, "Zappa for President " Then all of a sudden these posters started appearing at people's workstations all over the place. We were wondering if you had any thoughts like that in your head.

Frank: What, running for president?

RH: Or any political office leading up to it.

Frank: Well, if I was going to run for anything, it would just be president. I don't really have the intention of sitting in the Congress. I haven't decided to do it, but I have been thinking if I do it, I would do it without party affiliation. The problem about doing it that way is, you need maybe $2 million just to get your name printed on the ballot in all the states, and there'd be no cash for any kind of campaign. The problem with all the rest of the campaigns that are conducted in the United States is that the minute you're in the megabucks category, you owe somebody a favor. So I've considered the possible strategy of the non-campaign where all you do is say, "Okay, I'm available as a candidate. I want my name on the ballot and when you get tired of everything else, just vote for me." So it's pretty straightforward and awfully cheap. Cheap, but you're talking about millions of dollars just to have the paperwork to make it happen.

RH: Well, in this little pocket of San Francisco in the Haight, you've got support.

Frank: Yeah but you know how weird you guys are!

RH: We don't feel that way! We feel we're the mainstream ... there's people to the right of us and people to the left of us and we're dead center.

Frank: Well you're mainstream in the Haight-Ashbury but what the hell, you live in a commune that sells computers. What's wrong with you?

RH: Getting back to the broad issue of social change and where it comes from, do you have a theory about how people who don't want to do nothing could work to create change in the future?

Frank: Well it comes in all different shapes and sizes and flavors. I think some of the social change you're talking about is what I would refer to as social engineering, and most of that is dreamed up by people who circulate in the background of the White House to create publicity photo scenarios, and then the engineering is delivered to the victims of the media. That's a top-down kind of social change. The other version of it would be the Czechoslovakian model where these people would say, "Screw this. It doesn't work. We're going to have a revolution. We're getting these bastards out of here." And they did it. Now how they did it, I don't know. That's a miracle. Whether or not it is ultimately going to be the best way or the proper solution to the economic and social problems in Czechoslovakia remains to be seen, because the first days in office, Havel made a few blunders.

Like one of the blunders was to grant amnesty to 20,000 people in prison, to say, "Okay, you're free." Well, that was nice except that there weren't 20,000 apartments available. There weren't 20,000 jobs. Three hundred of them went out and committed more crimes and the rest of them became the instant homeless in Czechoslovakia. Sometimes the best intentions turn out to be rather inhumane in their consequences.

Then of course you have the problem of the secret police. Everybody wanted to disband the secret police. They soon found that the number of people who were employed by the secret police force was about 50,000 and when you fire 50,000 people who are only trained to torture, spy and harass other people, that's 50,000 people who it's dangerous to have out of work. They fired 500 of them and the rest of them are still secret police.

RH: What are they doing?

Frank: I don't know. It's secret! They still exist. The best way that I've seen so far to deal with the secret police situation is what they did in East Germany. The students just walked into the secret police office, opened up the champagne, started drinking it, grabbed all the files. Now the opposition party, the man on the street in the opposition party probably has half a dozen dossiers in his back room. It's going to take a while to root out the people who abused the system before it changed over. Some of these people may never be brought to justice, but this is something which if it's not dealt with in each of these countries is going to come back to haunt them. These people know only one profession; it's not likely that they'll be rehabilitated. What do you do with them? I don't know.

RH: One of the things that was in your book had to do with your thoughts about human stupidity.

Frank: Yes, I said it's the most abundant element, more plentiful than hydrogen.

RH: Great theory.

Frank: That's a fact.

RH: What do you think about human nature and the potential to have a planet where things are really nice and people aren't doing all these disgusting things?

Frank: It's not likely. You know, humans are nice but they're only one of the species available for perusal and probably the most dangerous species that's been created. It changes itself into such strange configurations. Did you see Nightline the other night? It was with the lawyer that's out there trying to get 2 Live Crew?

RH: Yeah, we were just talking about that. Your energy in defending free speech in rock lyrics has been really great. I'm sure you do a lot of that kind of thing.

Frank: I did three interviews today. They're calling me all over the place. Today I was invited to go on the Donahue show with 2 Live Crew but I turned it down because I think Donahue is an exploiter. I did an interview with the Miami Herald and with USA Today, and another paper and public radio. It started off as a hobby and now it's turning into not quite a full time job but it's getting there. And I heard a rumor today that California is getting ready to ban 2 Live Crew.

RH: No! That's terrible.

Frank: It's absurd. I mean the whole idea of banning this is so absurd because there is no such thing as a dirty word. The only people who believe in dirty words are the people who have a certain religious viewpoint. That religious viewpoint is theirs to cherish, but it should never be ensconced in legislation. When the judge wrote the decision in Florida, what was contained in there was that the album incites people to filthy thoughts. It takes us beyond censorship into the realm of thought control. Look at it this way. If his judgment is upheld it lays the groundwork for all legislation which covers thought. And in order to enforce the legislation what you'd have to have is brain police. That's really the significance of what's happening here. It's the ground floor of a body of legislation which can condemn and punish manufacturers and retailers for distributing things which lead to unwanted thoughts.

RH: Do you think it's going that way? I mean, do you think it's getting worse?

Frank: Yes. I mean, look at Florida. Florida used to have a reputation of kind of a fun place. But look at it today. It's got a governor who announced today that certain types of bathing suits will be forbidden and people are going to be arrested for wearing them.

RH: You move around a lot and you meet a lot of people. Do you get a sense that the "Woodstock Nation" is still alive and that people would really like to see some social change in a real way that affects everybody's lives? Or do you think it's everybody's own BMW in their own driveway kind of consciousness?

Frank: There's more that than there is of the other. I think the sad thing but the truth about most of the people who were at Woodstock is that they're driving their BMWs. But there's another way to look at that, because if you look at pictures from the Woodstock movie and see these people squatting in the mud, you'd say, "What are they going to grow up to be? Look at these guys!" You know, they turned out to be Wall Street. It just goes to show you the flexibility of the human organism that the people who would willingly sit in the mud and chant 'no rain' periodically between badly amplified rock groups could suddenly turn out to be the ones to run the U.S. economy.

RH: So why do you think then that people with the right kind of mind sets are so apathetic to getting themselves organized and making their opinions known, and being motivated to influence what's going on?

Frank: Because there's this laziness and a reluctance to do things which people perceive as being non-fun. There's nothing really fun about spending days and weeks on end arguing about things like this or doing the drudgery of getting a mailing together or organizing stuff. And also because most of the people on the liberal side of the fence are historically very disorganized and they don't agree with each other. It's hard to organize because everybody has got his own thing, which is part of the reason for being an individual; you have your own thing. And when you have your own thing you don't really need to cooperate with somebody else's thing because you think it's impinging on your thing. And so the other guys have an advantage because they've only got one thing; it's the idea of a controlled state. That's their thing, they got it, and they all agree on it. And they're organized. It's very easy to organize that. It's a simple proposition.

RH: I guess you need some means of fueling people's passion for liberty.

Frank: I wish that it were that easy, that plausible. I don't think that there's that much of a passion for liberty because people take it for granted. It's a different story in the Eastern countries because they've seen it first hand. They've lived with secret police. We have secret police here but we don't call them secret police. There they call them secret police, state police. You knew it was there. There was always repression; you were always being watched, from your factory to your home, in a car, in a disco, you were being watched. And people got tired of it. We haven't even realized that we have a similar situation in the United States except that every day on the news they're telling you that you live in the home of the free and the brave. Now I would say that the only people who could buy into something that patently absurd are people who graduated from the United States school system. That's the only way to make a society dumb enough to buy that line. The only possibility for change is if somebody can actually get into the government who is not a crook.

RH: I would debate you that politics is the ultimate vehicle. It seems to me that politics has to do with laws and while I do agree that that's very important, I don't believe that laws have to do with what people think, the thing that Johnson would call "winning the hearts and minds."

Frank: Yeah, but what you're missing here is that in order to have any kind of control over the media, unless you own the media outright yourself, the only way that you can exert influence over the media is to be a president, because a president can make things happen. Not by laws but by force of personality. You can't really legislate beliefs, but if you are in some sort of political situation, you can guard against legislation that forbids free speech in that you could lobby against legislation that forbids it. And you publishing a newspaper or a magazine, you know, those things have impact. If they didn't have impact then why in every repressive regime do they try to shut them up?

RH: Well there's that and the other thing that you said earlier, which is that the weapon of choice will be the cash register, which is right along with our motto here, that "aggression belongs in the marketplace."

Frank: Well, you know, there is a time and a place for everything. If you must have aggression, then have aggression in marketing.

RH: The way we're approaching change as a group is to go through strength in business and economics first. Because it seems to be a cycle. By building our business, we're not getting in anybody's face. Grow from inward and then go outward.

Frank: Yeah, but the risk is, the more you build up your capital base, the more you tend to protect the capital base rather than use the capital base for those lofty ideals that you had when you started building it. That's what happened to a lot of the people of the Woodstock generation. They made a little money because they figured, "Yeah, we need some money just to survive," and then they found out, "Hey, it's not too hard to make money. Let's make some more." And then the next thing you know, they become Republicans.

RH: We think it's very hard to make money. But we don't think that's going to happen to us, we think we really are going to hold on to the purity of our original ideals.

Frank: Well, good luck. Maybe you guys are mutants.

RH: (Laughter) We think we are. One of the people who was just talking happens to be the CEO of our company, and one of the concepts she wants to introduce to her prospective business colleagues in the Eastern Bloc is what she calls, "corporate socialism."

Frank: Well the problem with sticking a label on something like that is that on the one side it makes it easier to sell because you just get people mouthing words, but it's more difficult to get people to comprehend the idea. If you look at how much money the Soviets had to spend in order to develop an educational system that was capable of drumming this bull into the heads of every citizen for the last seventy years, the down side is that it was the world of brainwashing; the good part of it was that they had to make sure the population was basically literate so they could consume the propaganda. The soviets are in better shape than we are because most of the people in this country can't read, write, spell or do arithmetic very well anymore and these are all necessary tools for doing business. That's why in the future, once the Russians learn how to do business, they're going to be a formidable competitor because they're just better equipped to deal with it.

RH: That is another one of our strategies: somehow to export business skills to people.

Frank: The only way you can do that on a large scale is where the information goes directly into the school system, because you have to train them from the ground up. There've been some bad experiences in the Soviet Union where the first entrepreneurs went out and tried to open a restaurant, do that kind of stuff. The first thing that happened was that the Russian Mafia moved in and started selling them insurance. There've been a number of incidents where people have gotten blown up and the cops don't do anything about it, because the Russian policeman says to himself, "Why should I risk my life because, look, he's making more money than I am." They've got a situation there similar to the early days in the U.S. Each republic has its own Mafia.

RH: Do you have some ideas about how to influence kids and get these kinds of concepts into the school system?

Frank: No. In the Soviet Union you might be able to sell them an educational package. In the United States you've got a big problem. Kids don't learn in school; they learn from records or from watching TV or they learn from the street. Which is the real reason why some people are trying to put the lid on rock 'n roll and on speech in concerts. Because if they can enact legislation that clamps down on everything in the world of rock 'n roll, there will be no transmission of any politically controversial material.

RH: Hey Frank, I want to ask a quick non-political question. Have you gotten much flack from other guitar players over your pointed use of a Synclavier now?

Frank: No. I never talk to guitar players. Don't even talk to the people who own the machine either. In fact, I don't even use the name of the machine in interviews anymore.

RH: Oh, sorry. What machine? I see your old cohort Vai has a new record out.

Frank: Yeah, he sent me a copy of it.

RH: What did you think of it?

Frank: Only listened to one cut. Sounds good.

RH: I saw Terry Bozzio playing here. He's an incredible drummer.

Frank: I talked to him two days ago. He's got a new son four months old and he hasn't figured out a name for him.

RH: Did you suggest one?

Frank: Well, I was thinking about it but I didn't want to get him into trouble.

RH: (Laughter) You're great at coming up with names for kids. Still got a lot of planets left.

Frank: What happened was he was going to call the kid Alexander until he found out that four of the other people who'd been in the band already had named their children Alexander.

RH: I think your speaking out has the effect of making freedom of speech fun enough and glamorous enough to make people want to defend it. You represent a combination of responsibility and hedonism.

Frank: I don't know whether you're ever going to make it seem like it's fun, but all you got to do is try to imagine what it would be like if it were all taken away and you'll see that there really isn't a choice but to fight for it.

RH: That commercial you did on MTV is a real source of inspiration for me, where you say, "Oh yeah, I, think you should vote. Consider the alternative." Puts it in a nutshell.

Frank: Take a look at what's happened in Eastern Europe. These people, some of them went out there in the streets and got beat up pretty bad just because they wanted to do something as simple as vote. And here you would have to take people out in the street and beat them up pretty bad to make them vote.

RH: One of our theories is that a way to influence the hearts and minds is through fashion. Kind of like the blue jeans revolution. I mean keeping rock 'n roll associated with the kinds of values you want to prevail in the world. Its ironic that they're putting this legislation in place to say that people can't say sexual things in songs. It's probably what most people are thinking about all day anyway.

Frank: If only it were true. One of the interesting developments of the Reagan economic revolution is this syndrome that exists with yuppies where they can't have sex anymore. There's two dentists that work in this facility that I go to, and the younger partner admitted to me that he was a victim of this syndrome. He had lost all interest in sex because his work had become the most important thing to him. And I think you could easily describe this guy as a yuppie. Perhaps this is nature taking its course, because maybe it's good that the yuppies don't reproduce.

RH: So, other than politics, other than writing letters and organizing people who could write letters, what are any other thoughts you have on what basic nice people who want to do something should do?

Frank: Well, first of all, basic nice people should stay basic nice people and then spread it by example.

RH: Yeah, that's good. We like to design theories connected to plans for how to solve massive, thorny world problems, like economic development models for the Third World. We like to write about them, but most people couldn't care less one way or another.

Frank: Well, what's wrong with writing about them? If people don't care, so what, they're never going to care. If the idea is good, one way or another it's going to work.

RH: Yes. We agree with you. So, we have not lost heart and we are continuing to write and talk and do theater about them, trying to create a little movement of its own that could do something good in the world.

Frank: Well, there's a guy that I have been talking with on the phone from CitiBank in New York. I've never met him, but he contacted me several months ago after seeing some articles in the newspaper. Basically he called me up because he was looking for business from my company, and I got to talking to him on the phone. This is a very interesting guy. He publishes or is one of the writers on this small and maybe even insignificant philosophical journal which is publishing papers on various topics from music to you-name-it on anything having to do with the world of philosophy. If there were philosophers around anymore, this is what they would be published in. He also has an extreme interest in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and so we talk maybe three times a week. This isn't a big guy at the bank, this is a junior guy, this is what he does. I'm amazed to find anybody in the banking business who is this smart and that well read or studied on matters of the Eastern Bloc. He used to teach at Columbia University, now he is in the investment banking business, and he doesn't make any money from this little journal, but he's totally into it and I think that he's one of the good guys. So there are people in all walks of life who just because they happen to be at the right place at the right time, may be able to unleash a good idea. They may not be the ones to execute it, but the real goal is that if the idea has some value you have to bring it to the attention of people who can execute it. Writing about it is one way, talking about it is another and if you have some plan which can work on a local level, it always helps to have a working model.

RH: That's exactly what we say. What we built our whole hope and dream on is the idea of building a prototype, then breaking down every module of the prototype, defining it, doing everything that could possibly be done so that it's all tested and everything works correctly, and then the prototype can be replicated.

Frank: It reminds me a little bit about this thing I read in this National Enquirer type magazine about the man who liked to perform surgery on himself. Did you ever see that?

RH: No.

Frank: He didn't use any anesthetic, he just wanted to see what the inside of himself looked like. He used to go in and move his pancreas around...

RH: And this is like that?

Frank: In a way, yeah, because when you talk about taking every module and breaking it down and testing it ... Not to argue with you about your model, but the problem with your model is that you've designed a model that works for a unique set of personalities.

RH: The plan is not that there's gonna be peace, love, global prosperity and freedom on the whole planet because everybody lives one monolithic lifestyle that we invented, and we're gonna replicate the prototype until the whole planet is converted. That is not the plan. The plan is that a teeny, tiny percentage of people whose nature it is to want to live cooperatively because it's more fun for them, and it's in their own interest, will find out about the model and want to live in it. Those same people, if they were working at a regular job, would have to spend a lot more money to have a good life; now all of a sudden they can save a lot more money because they're living cooperatively. And because they're idealistic types, they can use the money they're saving to start to introduce programs in economic development, education and research and development in all sorts of areas where there are problems. The whole other 96 or 97 percent of the population that's totally disinterested in what we're doing just keep doing what they're doing and no one is disturbed, except that people start noticing that there's this interesting civilian branch of service shaping up that's doing all these great projects for everybody.

Frank: Well, it sounds very, very, very utopian.

RH: Funny you should say that. Well, we've been known to identify with utopians throughout the ages. Before the paper was called RockHEAD, it was Utopian Psychology.

Frank: Well, all I can say is, I hope you have success with it. I think that anybody who's found anything that works any time in the 20th century deserves a pat on the top of their pointed heads.

RH: How did you know about our pointed heads?

Frank: Well, mutants have them.

RH: We're in total alignment with you that the larger value is not in promoting any one philosophy, but in preserving the right to a pluralistic society and everybody doing what they want to do as long as it's not hurting anybody else.

Frank: Well, I'd say that sums it up for me.

RH: Equality is really a profound issue. It's not a thing of everybody being bland and the same; it's a respect for the strength of the individuals.

Frank: Well, that's a vanishing species in this country, the individual. We've carried corporate psychology too far, I think.

RH: You think it was different in the past?

Frank: Sure, take a look at the pioneer days. It takes a special kind of a guy to jump in a wagon and go to nowhere.

RH: Things were much worse for females in the pioneer days, though. It was baby factory city. It was involuntary servitude. What do you think about women's rights?

Frank: I think that everybody should have rights, even if they're women. When I hear feminists talk, it's like a type of racism, because they single themselves out as a special thing. If there should be total equality and all the rest of that stuff, everything should go for everybody.

RH: Well of course. I think you're thinking of separatist feminism, not basic non-separatist feminism.

Frank: At one point I believe there was a militant lesbian organization that formed a coalition with a fundamentalist group to fight pornography.

RH: Yeah, we wrote an article in one of our papers about it. It actually led to some good dialogue.

Frank: I think that there is a function for pornography in this society and considering who needs it the most, I think it's the yuppies.

RH: There's also a concept of like it. People might not need it, they just might like it. I'd like to see a genre of x-rated movies that are very intellectual, with great music and good plots. It could be a great way to introduce philosophical themes to adults ... you get their attention and get them in a relaxed state because of the sex scenes, and then you slip in some really heavy ideas and positive messages while they're in a receptive mode.

Frank: I hope you can manage to produce some of these things because I know my dentist would probably appreciate it. Well, I think that probably about wraps up my philosophical conclusions for the day, ladies and gentlemen.

RH: All right. Thanks very much. It was a blast. We also have a TV show on a local cable station here, and if you like the way the interview looks in print and you're ever up here and would like to be interviewed on our TV show, we'd be very privileged if you would be our guest.

Frank: Why don't you just get one of your commune members to put on a little moustache and a wig and pretend to be me, and read my answers?

RH: That's not bad. Maybe all of us should do it.

Frank: Take turns. I think just to be fair it should be one of the girls doing it. Save me a trip to San Francisco anyway. It could be more hilarious. You remember the situation where they didn't have videotape of a spy accepting a briefcase, so they staged it? So, this is not a real interview, but a reenactment.

RH: A dramatization. That whole thing of MacArthur saying "I have returned," they filmed it three times to make sure they wouldn't miss it.

Frank: What you can do in this case, you can do a split screen, stick somebody on one side of the screen with a telephone next to their ear, and people pretending to be in the commune on the other end of the line and just read the script.

RH: If it works, we'll send it down and maybe you'd be open to doing a sequel in which you could play us explaining that politics is meaningless?

Frank: What I always say is that politics is the entertainment branch of industry.

RH: I can see that.

Frank: Talk to you guys later.

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