Against my better judgment, I’ve decided to interview the Daily Discord’s head comedy writer, Mick Zano. Mr. Zano is a man—at least technically—who many call the brains of the operation. OK, no one really says that. In fact, spending an hour with Mr. Zano is good cause for hazard pay. Did you get that, Mr. Winslow? Make check payable to Cokie Industries.
Cokie McGrath: Thanks for taking the time away from your favorite bar/coffee shop to meet with me today.
Mick Zano: Umm, we’re at my favorite bar/coffee shop.
Cokie MGrath: Imagine that. Hey, it’s a weekday during business hours. Shouldn’t you be working?
Mick Zano: Everyone gets a lunch hour.
Cokie McGrath: It’s 10AM.
Mick Zano: It’s lunch somewhere. I’m worldcentric.
Cokie McGrath: Ec-centric, maybe. Did you know that drinking before noon is one point on the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test? Oh, and if a colleague is worried about your drinking that’s another point.
Mick Zano: Great, I have two points today and it’s not even noon. Where I’m from that’s called a productive morning.
Cokie McGrath: Where’s that, Amsterdam? So my sources tell me you’ve spent at least 80% of the last three years here at the Discord either on the chopping block, or threatening to resign. Is that about right?
Mick Zano: I don’t know where you get your numbers, Cokie. The percentage is much higher than that.
Cokie McGrath: And, if reports about your pot addiction are accurate, so are you.
Mick Zano: If you’ve just come here to insult me...oh, right, that’s the basis of our relationship.
Cokie McGrath: On that note, what is your stance on legalization?
Mick Zano: The War on Drugs is a fiasco. It’s over. By every measure known to man, we’ve lost. It’s been a colossal waste of money. Obama is hinting that, given a second term, he would clean house. He would legalize pot, or at the very least decriminalizing it, which would be a huge boon for the proponents of reason. Half of the War on Drugs would be over with the stroke of a pen.
Cokie McGrath: Are you a pot smoker?
Mick Zano: No. I joke about it on this blog, but I prefer...er, what did you buy me?
Cokie McGrath: Caffeinated booze. Thus my having to pay your tab just to get this interview.
Mick Zano: Yeah, I learned that one from Alex Bone.
Cokie McGrath: So, besides having the police slightly less interested in your closet farm, there are other benefits to legalization?
Mick Zano: Drug cartels would see half their business die overnight and we could tax the shit out of the stuff.
Cokie McGrath: But wouldn’t pot become more prevalent?
Mick Zano: It’s already prevalent (blows a sweet smelling smoke into Cokie’s face). Remember the whole ‘losing the war’ part? Sure there would be a spike in use and then things would settle down to maybe slightly higher than today’s consumption. Spending our treasure and destroying countless lives for a few percentage points is asinine. Would we do that for alcohol?
Cokie McGrath: You did this story for alcohol.
Mick Zano: I’m just saying, we could shift tons of our funds from enforcement to treatment and education, which might actually be useful. And we would just need better equipment to assess DWI levels to keep our roads safe. Besides, legislating morality has never worked.
Cokie McGrath: Sitting next to you, I would agree with that. So why do you think so many people appreciate your work? And by many I mean four.
Mick Zano: I resonate with a small group of Americans...a very small group. The backbone of the Transcosmetic Party involves very little actual backbone.
Cokie McGrath: Umm, four is within the margin of error of zero.
Mick Zano: I’m not a political pundit, I’m a comedian...but, today, comedians have much more insight than our politicians, which is frightening. Basically, I started this party to make a statement.
Cokie McGrath: Sounds more like a cry for help. What exactly is the Transcosmetic Party?
Mick Zano: It’s a reaction to one of the most ridiculous periods of American history, a time when we, through stupidity and shortsightedness, ruined a great country.
Cokie McGrath: OK, Mr. McGloom&Doom so is this the end of the world?
Mick Zano: ...as we know it. Our sick version of capitalism is doomed, for sure, which will be a bumpy transition for many. But trying to maintain this consequences be damned, unsustainable level of consumption...umm, it’s just not going to work anymore.
Cokie McGrath: Speaking of going to work, how are you going to return in this state?
Mick Zano: Arizona is a ‘right to drink’ state.
Cokie McGrath: Oh, a livertarian. You paint such a great picture. Is there anything you are optimistic about?
Mick Zano: Well, the Coyotes are starting to play well. Look, losing a little capital around this planet is not the worst thing that could happen. It is to Republicans, of course, because cash is the only thing they understand. I say, stop deporting Mexicans and start deporting Grover Norquist.
Cokie McGrath: You’re going to mention taxes, aren’t you?
Mick Zano: We have a spending problem in this country, not a revenue problem.
Cokie McGrath: Really?
Mick Zano: No, that shit just cracks me up. We obviously have problems with both overspending and revenue generating, but half our country is only allowed to comment on spending. Ironically, it’s the same group that spends too much.
Cokie McGrath: Some would say Obama spends too much.
Mick Zano: True story...avoiding a depression turned out to be rather expensive.
Cokie McGrath: That’s not all he spent money on.
Mick Zano: True, there’s a number of Republican policies that continue to drain the old coffers. Bush is the first President who cut taxes during a war. Republicans aren’t big on actually reading the bill. They tend to order the surf & turf, lecture the waiter about responsibility, and then sneak out through the kitchen. It’s all just selective outrage. Funny how the party of personal responsibility never seems to take any.
Cokie McGrath: In your posts you always seem like a know-it-all to me. Your articles are funny, but the political ones read like "I told you so about this" and "I told you so about that." What have you gotten wrong?
Mick Zano: Lots. I predicted we’d be amidst a double dip recession two years into Obama’s Administration, but it’s been almost four...
Cokie McGrath: Some would argue the double dip has already started.
Mick Zano: No, it will officially begin some time during the Romney Administration, as God intended. I also underestimated Obama and overestimated the Republicans. I predicted Obama would be a one term president, yet now he might win his re-election even if unemployment hits 20%. Oh, and I hired you as a field reporter. That wasn’t horribly bright.
Cokie McGrath: True story. Is there anything we can glean from Republicans, or Europeans, or Asians, or anyone else on the planet besides you?
Mick Zano: Sure. Asians are a highly advanced race.
Cokie McGrath: Why?
Mick Zano: Both genders tend to pee sitting down. It’s a real game changer. Of course, if we improve our bathroom hygiene, we could lose thousands of custodial jobs.
Cokie McGrath: Out-house sourcing?
Mick Zano: OMG? Really?
Cokie McGrath: So where does your anger come from, besides your inability to attract women?
Mick Zano: I’m certainly angry with the gross incompetence and greed inherent in the system. We’re all angry, but I would just prefer it if people at least tried to understand how we got here rather than always defending the indefensible.
Cokie McGrath: Like in a few minutes when I tell the bartender, I’m sorry, he’s usually not like this at home...
Mick Zano: Sort of.
Cokie McGrath: What’s the Right getting wrong?
Mick Zano: You mean, besides everything? George Bush was our worst president ever and Obama will likely rate mediocre. Does that match their rhetoric today? They’re trying to revise history by forever repeating falsehoods. And it’s working! You watch, in ten years W will be Reagan and in twenty years Reagan will have parted the Red Sea and brought some stone tablets down from Mt. Sinai. Hell, Reagan wasn’t even Reagan; they just make shit up. I just saw a thing on Facebook today, "click here if you miss President Bush." Two million people clicked on that shit!
Cokie McGrath: Did you click it?
Mick Zano: Well, yeah, I’m a comedian. The Discord was only around for a short time during the Bush years. It’s sad really...all that lost material.
Cokie McGrath: Does some of the blame rest on the Dem side of the aisle?
Mick Zano: Certainly. I’ve always said they’re about 35% of the problem, but I’m willing to admit when I’m wrong...it’s probably more like 36%.
Cokie Mcgrath: Proportionately, you don’t spend 36% of your time razzing Dems. Are you defending the indefensible?
Mick Zano: Maybe. But how is Obama actually screwing up? Who’s covering the real stories? The Left won’t cover it and the Right, hell, every news cycle Fox News feed us endless plumes of methane emissions...frankly, that’s our job. Their biggest scandal is the Fast & Furious. Really? Sure that could have huge implications for our Attorney General, but for Obama? Even if the whole thing is true I don’t think it would rate anywhere near Bush’s top ten scandals. Oh my, a gun running program which occurred under the last several administrations finally went awry. Imagine that. Yet Fox News has become the Fast & Furious channel. They peddle 24 hours of conspiracy theories that even Agent Mulder would roll his eyes at.
Cokie McGrath: The Fox is out there! So what’s the bottom line?
Mick Zano: A really cool club down in the Village, but I think it closed. Bush should have represented the Republicans bottoming-out phase. You know, when they start hallucinating, stop forming coherent thoughts, and then throw up some blood. Then, in a moment of lucidity, stagger over to political rehab. But nothing happened! They started believing the hallucinations and thought the blood was just all the kool aid they drank. They are becoming even less insightful, which shouldn’t even be possible! I believe this horrible fact is the story within the story of our time.
Cokie McGrath: If you could stuff a dirty sock in someone’s mouth, whose would it be?
Mick Zano: Everything out of Rush Limbaugh’s mouth is a lie or based on a false assumption. But we have a first amendment, so I’d rather go all second amendment on his ass.
Cokie McGrath: When you start threatening to shoot people, I think it’s time to get you back to work.
Mick Zano: I’m a pacifist...just one prone to violence.
Cokie McGrath: Makes sense. I think we should do this again....without me. Oh, and sorry, sir, he’s not usually like this at home.