Saturday, August 25, 2007

Charles Mudede and Zoo: Good News, Bad News

For those of you checking in based on the Q&A with Charles Mudede last week at the Vancity Theatre, the bad news is that I'm not posting the whole of my interview with him here, as promised. The good news (for me) is that this is because a prestigious film journal has expressed interest, and are currently looking at it. Apologies for the change of plans, but they contacted me a couple of days ago, and really, how could I refuse? It will be so much nicer to read in a magazine then on a blog. I will keep you posted as publication date nears. In the meantime, not to disappoint, here are a few outtakes from the interview, re-organized to stand on their own; some passages may seem a bit opaque, but this will all be cleared up when the final version sees print...

A: I was curious about the radio report we here, where it’s said that federal agents are telling people not to talk about Mr. Hands’ real name.

C: That was Tom Leykis. He said that he was receiving calls from Boeing workers saying that federal agents had arrived, telling them not to talk about this guy. We didn’t say that, but Tom Leykis did.

A: You didn’t have any directives not to mention his name or anything like that?

C: No, no. What happened was – the reason we didn’t mention his name was because we wanted a member of the family, his brother, to be part of it. We knew through the horse rescuer, Jenny – we had contact with him. We had promised that we were going to keep his name out of it, but we wanted him to talk about his brother.

A: Which he doesn’t do.

C: Which he doesn’t do. But just to show him that we were not going to throw his name around, we did that.

A: How does his family feel about the film?

C: We don’t know. We don’t know at all.

A: In the scene where the police are insisting the couple are watching the film – why are they so insistent? The owners get upset, but they force them to continue. Did they think they were complicit?

C: No, no, because they needed a case against the guy – because they had to verify the images. It was the only thing they could do, the police were stuck. They could only get’em on trespassing. If those two couldn’t confirm that that was their horse, they didn’t have anything they could do, so they were desperate. And to show the cop’s desperation, we were looking at the film image, and we want to capture – the cops need something, and nobody wants to deal with this – that’s what we were trying to convey. The cops are saying “no no no, you must look at this...”

A: The video we briefly see, that IS the horse and Pinyan?

C: Mm-hm! (Mudede explains elsewhere that it is a video of an earlier encounter between the two, widely circulated on the internet).

A: In your original article, you seemed quite skeptical about what these men were doing.

C: Oh, yeah.

A: Do you have any sympathy for the zoophiles? Do you regard them as damaged men?

C: No, I don’t see them as damaged men, no. I never felt what it was like to screw a horse. I don’t know what it’s like to be in that situation. It doesn’t mean you’re damaged or not, no. We’re saying we can’t resolve that desire in society yet. It doesn’t make any sense to do so. I’m not saying the desire is wrong or right. I’m just saying the desire has problems in terms of functioning in a larger legal framework... I only stand on human values, and human invented values, and I’ve accepted these ones, and I don’t like these (other) ones. I think that drugs like marijuana and cocaine should be legalized, but... these are all questions that are human essentially, and they’re not permanent or fixed or metaphysical. There actually active, fluid, and can change. That’s all I stand on, and so when I look at their values, I say – “no, I prefer my values.” Not because they’re the last values on earth, but because I think that they still are better, in terms that they make more sense to me than the value that you present.

A: How do you personally feel about these men, though? How do you respond to them on a personal level?

C: I have nothing personal against them at all. I’m not angry with them, I’m just saying that right now, it doesn’t make any sense to have sex with a horse, or a cow, and then to eat it. And that’s a big problem with me. I can’t accept that. That’s all.

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