Ken Kratz’s Best Interview
Since we’re in a real news black out crisis at the moment, because, apparently, uh, all real reporters have been abducted by aliens and replaced with lookalikes (minus their testicles) we have to turn to news archives to remind ourselves what good reporting used to be.
So, if you’re in some place like, oh, I don’t know, Wisconsin? sitting by the fire trying to keep warm, you can listen to this wonderful newsreel from yesteryear of Ken Kratz giving his best ever interview. The guy who did the interview, Ryan Foley, sounds like he’s still in high school which I suppose is apropos considering the juvenile preoccupations of his subject. And for all his youth, he really does a great job keeping smuggest Kratz on the ropes. The more irate Kratz gets, Foley cannot restrain his boyish laughter, and to be perfectly honest, neither can I.
It’s one of those rare moments you get to witness the downfall of an epic asshole. Witness? Though it’s audio, or, maybe because it is audio, it’s easy to close one’s eyes and picture Kratz as the crappulent, corpulent, pale, petty king of Calumet County writhing and lashing about in an inescapable trap set by an ingenious and honor bound foe whose kith or kin he had harmed by a long forgotten, callous and wanton deed. In such trap, we hear his voice taking a sharp, frantic edge and it is thus easy to visualize his nerves becoming unfastened like the rivets on the flank of an old, lumbering iron ship which has intersected with some unseen, yet hard, immovable object at a fateful distance beneath the water line .
And if we can locate him in our imagination, just for a moment, onto this metaphorical sinking ship, we can hear his effortful gasping, his alarming agonal throws, as water fills the lungs, and his speech becomes nearly indecipherable against the interference of the gurgling that drowns it out. Though we can hear him, sometimes faintly, sometimes growing louder, isn’t it tragic that we cannot bring ourselves to be quite enough near to grasp with the tips of our fingers the tips of his? Oh, those poor pitiful pasty pink pudgy pulsing fingers, reaching out, held splayed, in front of his terror deformed face … which suddenly becomes rearranged into an expression of hope and then rearranges itself back into double the previous contortion: our fingers touched but could not sustain or improve their grip: the nervousness and excitement that accompanied his impending doom have caused his hands to be drenched in sweat.
Perish the thought! He is back on land. But, alas, our imagination is forced back into the channel it had just momentarily abandoned as the tension in the voice of the doomed Kratz rises, and is thrown into even greater relief, and is even amplified by, the countercurrent of giddy delight evident in the voice and manner of the youth posing the questions. The worry, and the strain, creep in again to convince us that the end is still nigh. The peril has not passed after all, and we cannot save Kratz even if we wanted to because he is drowning himself, even on land, with the odd inversion of not what flows into his mouth, but what flows out of it. As he swiftly arrives toward his finality, and as the veil of life force begins to twist free from its moorings, his movements take on the ominous signature of a totentanz very reminiscent of the final flutterings and crazed movements traced by a cockroach after it has been sprayed with bug spray.
At first its a sway, followed quickly by a tottering and a trembling such as the sequence we might also observe as a marble statue succumbs to the influence of an earthquake. Except in this case, the foundation would be made of lies instead of stone, and his landing would not be a dramatic, shattering crash onto the ground below, but instead, the ignominious, underwhelming thud of a face plant right into the center of a deep, steaming, mound of his own excremental bullshit which had been, (a gathering crowd would be astonished to soon discover), the only thing which had ever been holding him up. .
The pleasure of the experience of listening to the angry but faltering Kratz is of the exact exquisite variety we experience when we see the schoolyard bully getting kicked in the nuts or boxed on the ears by some poor, hapless kid who has somehow, finally, found his, or her, courage. A good old fashioned comeuppance, in other words. Oh yes!
Listening to Kratz, you get a real sense of how sorry he is for what he’s done, and his renewed respect for women (ha ha). You also get a kind of behind-the-scenes peek at the internal workings of the mind of a sociopath and compulsive/pathological liar once the phony baloney nice guy pretense falls away.
Great entertainment! … chilling, exciting stuff, I know!