Thursday, November 21, 2013


Hello.  My name is Michael Rebeck.  I interviewed Johnny Appleseed yesterday on my radio program Rebeck Raw & Unfiltered.  I tried to get Johnny's backstory but he insisted on talking about different things.  I tried redirecting him several times, but he seemed pretty oblivious.  There were several times I wondered if he wasn't entirely right in the head.  In any case, he sent me the following email this morning which he implied would probably clear up any lingering concern or confusion, on either my part or my listeners' part.  I highly doubt that, but oh well.  


Hello Michael-

I very much enjoyed being on your radio program yesterday.  It seems like we covered a lot of interesting topics and had some pretty decent exchanges.  You kept asking me about the past and I kept sorta changing the subject, because I feel that what I have going on now is way, way cooler than any of my former projects, relationships, or experiences.  

You know as well as I do that things which happened during antiquity are now absolutely forgotten, and things that occurred ten thousand years ago are pretty much more myth and legend than fact.  Events that occurred five thousand years ago are probably more of a dream than concrete realities, and even if we retain a slight bit of memory regarding what happened a thousand or so years ago, most of those events are completely forgotten and most likely irrelevant. The history books might attempt to describe a fraction of a fraction of a fraction, but those writers are usually just amusing themselves with fairy tales they learned as small children.  I would even go so far as to say that it is a tremendous accomplishment to remember things that happened a mere hundred years ago.  Why, even the most observant eye-witnesses have a hard time recalling what they saw fifty years ago, and most of us would admit that even the events of last week or yesterday have started to grow more than just a little bit fuzzy.

Gentle Michael, much has gone on between the ancient times and the present.  Sages, tyrants, librarians, gardeners, saviors, actors, musicians, welders, architects, teachers, bus drivers, cooks, nature guides, drunkards, translators, inventors, thieves, carpenters, parasites, cave dwellers, and a whole bunch of others have come and gone, endlessly, well up into the trillions to the trillionth power, and probably more.  Intelligent people, foolish people, kind people, cruel people, good people, bad people, serious people, silly people, brave people, energetic people, complicated people, lazy people, timid people, tiny people, large people, loud people, quiet people and others have all made brief appearances on the world stage and then disappeared into total oblivion.  We don't know who they were or why they did what they did.  Not the slightest clue, simple Michael.

Our time on earth is short.  We do not "own" either our lives or our life stories, nor are many of us qualified to make even a semi-accurate summary.  You seem like a pretty solid fellow and your radio program is fast-paced, informative, entertaining, and cool, but that doesn't change the fact that you are a deeply confused human being, and seem to have no reservations whatsoever about inviting other deeply confused human beings, such as myself, onto your interview segments.  Be that as it may, we come into existence when yin and yang energies interact, and we disappear when they separate.  No big deal.  Thus, should we find ourselves alive in this world, which we apparently do, we should let this life run its course, and try to focus on the moment at hand, right?  Maybe when I'm retired I'll pen my silly memoirs, but until then I have too much going on to explore ancient history.

Be well, dear Michael Rebeck.  Maybe we could do a follow-up interview in a couple of months.  You may be one of the most confused human beings I have ever met in my life, but I like your brand of no-nonsense journalism, and the way you like to stick to the facts.  As you probably know, Tony Danza is serving as dramaturg for our production, and I think the two of you should meet sometime and talk about your shared interests.  He also used to have an interview program like yours, except it was on television, so fans had the added benefit of studying people's facial cues and body language.  He and I have talked quite a lot about his years on the hit show Who's the Boss?, in which he plays a former major league baseball player transitioning into a second career as a handyman/housekeeper for an attractive lady, her son, and her half-insane mother.  Sparks flew during those years, in every sense of the term.  The question of who was the actual boss was never sufficiently answered, and most TV critics/scholars believe it was precisely that ongoing tension and ambiguity that kept viewers intrigued, and constantly re-assessing the social dynamic at play.  I gave Tony your email address so maybe you'll be hearing from him one of these days.  If not, I'll do whatever is in my power to introduce you sometime.  Maybe it would be fun for you to take a turn being interviewed yourself after all of these years!  Tony would be a good person to do it.  He likes to search for hidden meanings.  As dramaturg, that is required.  He has no hesitation whatsoever in prompting us to ask the difficult questions.  He reminds us from time to time that the title of his hit show was itself a difficult question.  Most show titles nowadays are simple descriptions or statements, or perhaps a character's name, or some tidbit of pop culture lingo.  Raw and Unfiltered is symbolic of your desire to get down to the nitty-gritty, the facts, the dirt, is it not?  I enjoy the dirt also.  It is an important aspect of nature that I feel deserves more respect on the airwaves.  Keep up the good work, gentle Michael.     

your friend,

Johnny Appleseed