Confessions of Mister MacPhisto

According to U2’s Bono, “We came up with a sort of old English Devil, a pop star long past his prime returning regularly from sessions on The Strip in Vegas and regaling anyone who would listen to him at cocktail hour with stories from the good old, bad old days.” Some say, great things may come from humble beginnings and sometimes, just sometimes, creations take on a life of their own. So it is with the master and so it is with his emissary. As it is above, so it is below. 

What is your idea of perfect happiness? The geopolitical tension and paranoia of the Cold War brought the best out of me and made me a very very rich man.

What is your greatest fear? Being found out. No really, though. I like being on the periphery of your vision. Peripheral vision can be trained. Jugglers can regularly catch objects in their peripheral vision by focusing on a defined point in mid-air.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? My Gordian tongue. You just try to untwist and unknot it. One too many bar tricks, I suppose. There’s no health insurance for hustlers.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Goodwill. Stop bullshitting me with your kindliness. There must always be some advantage to benevolence. That’s the way it is with all things: What advantage will it confer? Please, don’t call me a cynic just because I believe that on the wrong day anybody can push that big red button. The naive inherit foolishness.

Which living person do you most admire? There are many alive but who is really living? “Now my brother lays upon the rocks. He could be dead, He could be not. He could be you. He’s chameleon, comedian, corinthian and caricature” Who wrote that?

What is your greatest extravagance? When you have the best of everything, you miss the worst of everything, and the worst of everything is actually kept in these hermetic glass storage jars, right here in Berlin. I know the place…let me just remember the address for you…in these antique cupboards is the greatest show on Earth, that is, if you don’t mind a little atrocity with your spectacle.

What is your current state of mind? Abashed. I am the lizard king and I can do everything!

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Virtue itself. What is virtue but resourcefulness, enterprise, cunning, and patience? Any long protracted obedience in one direction has the potential for greatness and greatness sometimes produces monsters.

On what occasion do you lie? On what occasion don’t I lie? There is so much creativity in lies, and in that creativity lies opportunity.

What do you most dislike about your appearance? Sometimes a face can reveal a person’s psychology. At other times it obscure it. My face is like a cloud passing across the moon.

Which living person do you most despise? There hasn’t been a method of torture yet invented to suit the likes of Tony Robbins.

What is the quality you most like in a man? Sagacity.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? A fierce bite and honed claws.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “I promise” or “You can trust me”.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? Patrick Swayze. If I had warrior-poet like him on my side, the dance-off in Club Paradiso might have gone my way and we’d be having a wholly different conversation now.

When and where were you happiest? The buildup to and anticipation for who shot JR on Dallas.

Which talent would you most like to have? I wish I were a better dancer. There is nothing more disappointing than getting onto the dance floor with an attractive woman and being unable to perform.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I wish I were extra slim like David Bowie. There’s just certain things you cannot do carrying an extra twenty pounds around your waist and thighs.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? I don’t know. Mick Jagger would probably be in the top five. Those lips and gyrations didn’t come cheap. One does not simply walk into Wembley Stadium.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? Marilyn Monroe’s red dress.  

Where would you most like to live? Somewhere with miles and miles of ice, as far as the eye can see. Like Iceland….or is it Greenland? I confuse those two like I confuse KitKat and Twix. Or Coke and Pepsi. Elton John and Margaret Thatcher.

What is your most treasured possession? The Macintosh computer. Thanks to Steve Jobs and George Orwell we are now one step closer.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Living in fear.

What is your favorite occupation? Lounge lizard, before the term acquired a pejorative connotation, writing cheery upbeat WWI tunes for the soldiers in Europe.

What is your most marked characteristic? Humility.

What do you most value in your friends? Flattery.

Who are your favorite writers? You expect me to say the Marquis De Sade. Therefore I shall answer antithetically. My favourite writer is a little known scribbler by the name of Menippus.  

Who is your hero of fiction? I always liked Shakespeare’s Falstaff. A man of such inordinate appetites must have something juicy to hide and I think the sheer pleasure of his voluminous gelastic company would be medicinal to a man of my humour.

Which historical figure do you most identify with? Late period Elvis. There was an elegance to his decadence unmatched since fin de siècle Paris. His TV performance in Nebraska was like watching a flock of birds flying in reverse in the midst of a storm.

Who are your heroes in real life? Sigmund Freud or Alfred Kinsey. The art of the slow tease is the seduction of the ages.

What are your favorite names? Helen, Bathsheba, Salome, Cleopatra, Gigi, Audrey, Marilyn. The list goes on and on. Sigh.

What is it that you most dislike? Ungroomed feet.

What is your greatest regret? The Rubik’s Cube. Methinks a truth a little too close to the bone.

How would you like to die? None of your fucking business. Work and death are for suckers.  

What is your motto? The world is not enough. You only live twice. Never say never again. All original by the way. Don’t bother checking.