CLASH Editor Christoph Paul (author of Great White House and The Passion of the Christoph) recently sat down with fellow author Vincenzo Bilof (author of The Violators) about writing career and a lot more.
CHRISTOPH PAUL for CLASH: I recently learned “Vincenzo” means ‘terrorist vagina’ in Sicilian. Did your namesake influence your writing career?
VINCENZO BILOF: Terrorist vaginas have an unapologetic approach to philosophical revelations of the unkempt mind. The human species will breed under the assumption that male superiority over social norms is nothing more than an illusion—a carefully guarded secret regarding the ordered patterns of galaxy fluctuations in nightmare battle plans undocumented by endangered generals. Vaginas terrorize human perception like gaping mouths secreting brain fluid over melted broilers. We know, through an examination of individual psychoses, that men with small penises will attempt to exert influence and/or domination of the female species; we know that men who do not have confidence to translate their reflections from broken mirrors will seek validation over their fellow humans by attempting to break the spirits of those who vulnerable in the tepid eye of social guises and laws.
With that definition in mind, I believe in a healthy balance of human terror that transcends both male and female horror archetypes. Vaginas terrorize with the same disposition that my answer to your question has; I want to seem self-important and I would like to demonstrate that yes, I have read book before, and I might have gone to college. You should think that I am special. These language codes demonstrate that I am an intelligent human being.
But really, screw all that. We aren’t allowed to write, think, feel, speak… we are not allowed to have an opinion without alienating another person. We keep talking about our rights to think, feel, speak… we want to be individuals without the responsibility that is involved when we accept that other human beings are also individuals. Our ideas terrorize each other. Everything we do can potentially upset someone else, and while that has always been the case, we now have the freedom to express to everyone in a broad forum how upset we really are, and then we are able to gather an army of pitchfork-wielders and do whatever we can to damage someone forever because their opinions were alternative to our own. There are no perspectives. There is only vilification for the sake of self-vindication.
And then we have nice guys like Christoph Paul.
PAUL: You clearly care about globalization and the IMF, but the question I want to know is who are the vampire strippers and who is Saturn?
BILOF: Vampire strippers are a satirical rendition of feminism written on the back of a napkin discovered in the back seat of an Oldsmobile that is rotting in a junkyard at the end of time.
But I guess I can’t talk about feminism because I am not a woman. I can’t talk about racism because I must check the “Caucasian” box on a form whenever I have to take some kind of test to declare my sanity. I can’t talk about terrorism because I have not killed terrorists, have not been a victim of terrorism, nor have I been a terrorist. I am not allowed to talk about tragedy or hate or fear or love because I have never heard of these things, never witnessed them, never seen them. They don’t exist unless I have been wrapped in the tragedies that accompany them. I am an ignorant piece of filth. There is no race or gender or idea. I am simply ignorant filth.
I am sorry, so sorry.
PAUL: I think Cannibals would like to eat a food labeled “Bilof”. How would you like to be prepared for a meal for cannibals?
BILOF: I always liked the alliteration in a beef stroganoff, and I think Bilof would go well as a beef substitute. For example: there would be Bilof Beef on pizza, and it would taste like cat sweat and garlic.
Many people are particular about the type of beef they prefer to enjoy. Some folks like venison—I myself am a fan of venison and enjoy it in tacos—so I think you could pack some Bilof into tacos. Beef is just one of those great words that is more of a sound, like an interjection.
(Note: I must acknowledge the existence of vegetarians, vegans, or anyone else who has a lifestyle that is contrary to mine. Allow me to answer the question from another perspective).
Ever since I could remember, I wanted to be a gangster.
PAUL: Do you have bodyguards to protect from the writers who want to kill you?
BILOF: I think people who have time to hate are usually too busy getting high or having sex with each other’s girlfriends/boyfriends/dogs to be interested in murder (I would rather they do all those things instead of considering my demise. There is something to be said for anonymity).
I am going to have to hire bodyguards though, because I think I have expressed opinions before.
PAUL: You’ve been called the Whitney Houston of weird fiction. Is crack really whack?
BILOF: As I get older, I begin to appreciate Kevin Costner more and more. I will always love him.
PAUL: I wrote a poem that is about porn star Nicole Aniston. Do you think porn stars are poems?
BILOF: I think sexuality is overrated. If I see an image of a woman who is posing intentionally, I think that woman has every right to do such a thing if it pleases her. Nobody has been harmed. No children were harmed. However, we are allowed to play video games that involve shooting police officers, blowing up buildings, and using machine guns to mow down Nazis.
My kids don’t care if I am not wearing a shirt, and they don’t care if they are not wearing a shirt. But they do not want to be harmed. I do not want to be harmed.
So… there is a demand for pornography. It is a business. Is it Nicole Aniston’s fault for legally making a living that does not harm me? Is she doing something wrong? Don’t we give permission for pornography to exist if people are paying for it?
Oh, I made a comparison somewhere in my answer to your question. That probably was not a good idea. I do know, however, that the first time I saw breasts, I had nightmares for about a week after. True story. Sex is dangerous. It ruins souls. It prevents you from sitting at Jesus’s feet and eating tasty wafers from out of the palms of his Caucasian hands.
PAUL: When will you be writing the authorized bio “Kid Rock: A Kid in Detroit, A Foot in Your Ass”?
BILOF: Glad you asked! Not sure how you found out, but since I’m from Michigan, it’s obligatory to be a Ted Nugent fan, and I managed to score an interview with my favorite male chauvinist! Right now, I’m preparing for my interview with my drug-free free musician-friend by wearing a wife beater, listening to Metallica music, petting my dog, sipping Milwaukee’s Best, and thinking about mowing my lawn.
I just re-read the question. Who’s Kid Rock? Isn’t he the rapper who sampled Metallica? I thought that was Vanilla Ice. No idea who you’re talking about, son.
PAUL: Use this interview to a write a heartfelt letter to Defensive End Ndamukong Suh about your life failures.
BILOF: Dear Suh,
You are an intelligent man for taking the money. Now, run. Go fishing. Open a restaurant. Travel the world. If you don’t do these things now, your brain might be nearly inoperable when you retire from football, but that’s okay, since millions of people were entertained by your propensity to stomp on another man’s testicles.
Oh, one more thing: I wanted to be an athlete when I was a kid. Shame on you for stealing my dreams, you big lug!
Vinnie the Gent
PAUL: Do you think if I lived in 1580 could I have banged Countess Elizabeth Bathory?
BILOF: No. I know a young woman named Mandy De Sandra; if she were fifteen, a virgin, and didn’t mind needles being inserted beneath her fingernails, then she would have a chance.
PAUL: What are you working on now?
BILOF: Preparing a defense bunker.
I really don’t want to write dark fiction anymore (I say that now, while I have a bunch of really nasty manuscripts that are next in line). I get tired of the idea that people must seemingly always (I wrote that carefully) associate a work of fiction with a particular writer’s personality, and my next book is going to be something of a disaster, in that regard. I am a happy go-lucky guy, and I want to inspire people. That’s part of what I do for a living. I love people. I do not like negativity. All the dark fiction I have written… it does not represent who I am.
I know that some writers insert their own personal beliefs in their writing, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s part of their art, and we accept that. Take Thomas Ligotti, for instance; I love his work, though I don’t agree with or enjoy his nihilistic philosophies. How can we separate the art from the artist? How do we know when to do that? I don’t know that we do know how, so I suppose I have nobody but myself to blame if people are butthurt over The Violators, because people would have reason to be upset with me if I believed in the things that some of my characters believed in. I truly would be a terrible human being.