Interview With A Dobhar-ChuPosted: May 22, 2013
When the summer interns start at Blurt World Headquarters, the energy changes in the place. Maybe it’s because the paid staff enjoys the youthful exuberance. Perhaps it is because they see the interns as people I will hire to replace them.
The added energy seems to manifest itself in new interest in the Interview Series. During the other three seasons, I rarely hear from my staff about their efforts to line up legendary creatures for me to speak with. In the summer, I’ve got people dropping files on my desk…”this one could be great, Sasquatch is really outgoing” or “an interview with The Loch Ness Monster would be Pulitzer Prize stuff.”
One potential interview caught my eye. Dobhar-chu, the half dog, half fish from Ireland. My briefing told me that Dobhar had become a crusader for the rights of others; a defender of the oppressed. I wanted to know what drove him.
We met via Skype, shortly before Dobhar-chu was to meet with Bono and Archbishop Desmond Tutu about a telethon to raise money for some oppressed group.
Omawarisan: Dobhar-chu, welcome to Blurt. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me.
Dobhar-chu: Thank you, Oma. I’ve never heard of you or Blurt before. I’m not sure why my people booked this chat.
Omawarisan: Well, Blurt readership is down about half of what it was last year, so I totally get you not knowing me.
Dobhar-chu: Maybe you stink.
O – I’ve considered that.
D-c: I’m sorry, I was wrong to have oppressed you so, my brother.
O: Apology accepted, and that brings me to my first question. You’ve made a name for yourself by standing up for the rights of others. Some would call you a monster. You’re half fish, half dog. How did you get into the very non-monstrous field of protecting the downtrodden?
D-c: Perhaps it is my nature, which you and so many others perceive as monstrous, that drives my humanity.
O: I don’t follow you.
D-c: Well, I saw what my parents went through. They met in the early ’60’s, back before the free love movement that occurred later in the decade. My father and mother fell in love instantly, but they were a dog and a fish. Society wasn’t ready for that.
O: That must’ve been hard on them.
D-c: Oh it was awful. They were just a young couple, trying to raise their child like everyone else. But they couldn’t take me out for a walk because of the hateful remarks they’d endure from other people.
O: So being part of a culturally blended family was difficult. How did it change you?
D-c: Well, I wanted to be a chef. My parents got me in to Le Cordon Bleu. That was tough. The faculty tried to filet my mom when we went for a campus visit. I made it about half way through the curriculum. Then it happened.
O: What happened?
D-c: A mob cornered my parents outside of a restaurant. They threatened to beat dad, it would have been worse for her. Dad stepped up to defend Mom.
O: Bless him. I’m sure losing him was a pivotal moment.
D-c: Yes, it was then that I realized the cruelty that is part of society. Isn’t it ironic that what we call society, what we call civilization, incorporates brutality based on labels like dog, fish, American or Muslim? As if one of those were always right and the others exclusively wrong?
O: Your father’s inherent dogness did not make him a bad creature.
D-c: Precisely. He was a dog, people could rightly call him that. But why judge him because he was a dog and not on his deeds? He was a dog that was a good father, husband and member of the local Rotary Club. Those people didn’t brutalize the father, the husband or the Rotarian to death, they beat the label of dog.
O: Do your own travails as a half fish/half dog contribute to your interest in helping eliminate labeling others?
D-c: Yes, labeling is a tool to keep others down. But inherent in your question is the issue. I am not a half fish/half dog. I am Albert, who happens to be part dog and part fish. That makes me a Dobhar-chu. But I am more than just a species.I’m also American and I am a Muslim. But none of those things are who I am, I’m simply Albert. I want nothing more than to be judged on my own merits, not my fur or my fins.
D-c: Should I react to that?
O: No, I’m sorry. Well, according to the oracle of all things, Wikipedia, you have killed…
D-c: I’m certainly not going to answer rumors spread by Wikipedia.
O: Alright, Desmond Tutu and Bono, you were going to meet them.
D-c: Yes, we are working on some fundraising for an oppressed people. I believe that those two men bring a level of credibility to the cause that I, as simply Albert, do not.
O: Bono, what’s with him and the glasses?
D-c: I know, man, right? Every time I see him I’m like “dude, there isn’t a Lens Crafters near your house?” He’s always got the most jacked up specs on. They don’t do anything for him and I think they distract what he’s trying to say.
O: What’s the deal, is he trying to set trends? If he is, I don’t see it working.
D-c: I know. And the way he pronounces his name, shouldn’t it be spelled Bonno? The real Bono is Cher’s ex-husband. Bono can be such a pretentious je…
O: Is something wrong?
D-c: I’ve just oppressed Bono.
O: Please. You can’t oppress a multi-millionaire singer!
D-c: I’m going to go into seclusion.
O: What about the oppressed people you help?
D-c: I’m going to seek therapy for my oppressive ways. I’m leaving now.
O: But I haven’t had a chance to ask you about being part fish, part dog.
D-c: Good-bye. You facilitated my oppressive ways.
That’s where the interview stopped.
In my defense, Bono does wear some screwed up glasses.