the state of things

 

Unreleased Radio 4 Interview

by Elvis Shackleton - 10:03 on 11 November 2009

After the announcement of a deal to publish an on-line Barney Thomson story, Barney Thomson and the Westminster Christmas Massacre, during Advent this year, Douglas Lindsay this morning spoke to John Humphreys for the Today show on Radio 4. The following is a transcript of the interview, which sadly did not make the final edition of the programme. 

JH: So, just over two months ago you announced the end of Barney Thomson. And now he's back. Again. That's a quicker comeback than Frank Sinatra ever made. How are people supposed to take you seriously?

 

DL: All I can say is, fuck you and your dog.

 

JH: But having written the "last" Barney Thomson novel, can people now expect one each year for the next ten years? And if you say no, how are they going to know if you're telling the truth?

 

DL: There will be no more Barney novels published, the Barney story ends with Barney and Monk in Millport on the island of Cumbrae. But I always said that that there'd be another on-line story before the next General Election.

 

JH: Which is when? June? Late May at a push. It's not going to be on Christmas Day, is it?

 

DL: Well, there was a thing. A couple of people started coming in and looking at endorsements in the run up to Christmas, so the idea began to formulate that we'd bring the whole thing forward and it'd be a Christmas type of thing. But then the endorsement idea kind of got out of hand, and these people were wanting the story to be called stuff like Barney Thomson & The Four Great Pizza Toppings For £2.99, and Barney Thomson, A Well Groomed Man, Brought To You In Association With Gillette Mach 3, The Closest Shave You'll Ever Get. That's just not a good name for a book.

 

JH: So, it's all about money, greed and wealth accumulation?

 

DL: Well, as I said, we're not taking any endorsements and now the story is just about art and the process and political satire.

 

JH: Very noble, I'm sure. At the start of this interview you said, fuck you and your dog. What does that even mean? I don't have a dog.

 

DL: I think it's important to address issues like the continuing police state, the transfer of powers to Brussels, the war in Afghanistan, the decay of modern society and the end to core values of decency and respect, in whatever context we can. In my case that would be through a Barney Thomson novel.

 

JH: So you want to address the the end of respect in society by saying fuck you and your dog to me, a national institution in my own right, and then writing a novel where members of the government, perhaps based on real people, are brutally murdered? That doesn't sound very respectful.

 

DL: I like the juxtaposition.

 

JH: Finally, because we don't have much time, is it fair to say that this is just some sort of artistic putsch? Are you hoping to bring down the government by writing this novel? A one word answer please.

 

DL: Well...

 

JH: That's all we've got time for. And now, something else to make you feel miserable about living in Britain while you eat you Kellog's Cornflakes. And if it doesn't say Kellog's on the box, it isn't Kellog's in the box...


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