PhoneGod Interview Series

Christopher Walken on Divestiture

And now, a man who needs no introduction.


 


 


 


Mr. Walken in his office shortly after devouring three hotdogs and one of our interns.

Phone God
Thanks for talking with us today. 

Christopher Walken
Who's us, exactly? I see only one person here. Are you a schizo?

Phone God
Uh—uh—

Christopher Walken:
Just because you're part of a web site, does that make you more than one person? I thought it was the phone GOD, period, not plural.

Phone God
Uh—uh—

Christopher Walken
You know, I have a knack for seeing right through people. I suppose I'm going to have to do this interview myself. You know I don't trust schizos, just like I don't trust people who dislike hot dogs. Or Russ Meyer films. Divestiture, you say?

Christopher Walken
So, Mr. Walken, it is indeed a pleasure having such a distinguished actor such as your self speak with us about Divestiture today.

Christopher Walken
Seriously, anything for my fans.

Christopher Walken
And as a member of the youth culture of today, I must say how much I truly enjoyed your work in that Fatboy Slim video.

 

Christopher Walken
Seriously, you're much too kind.

 Christopher Walken
So, being that I'm a stupid reporter for a quasi-idiotic web page that isn't even working right now, could you possibly relieve my everlasting ignorance on divestiture?

Christopher Walken
Seriously, you shouldn't beat yourself up about being a fucking idiot. Divestiture is the 1984 breakup of the Bell System. AT&T and the Federal Government agreed that AT&T would break off it's Regional Bell Operating Companies.

Christopher Walken
Regional Bell Operating Companies? What are those?

Christopher Walken
Those were the Bell Companies, referred to as “Baby Bells”, like Michigan Bell, Pacific Bell, Illinois Bell, et cetera. They were the local parts of AT&T, like the bits of the inside of the hot dog that you chew off one at a time.

Christopher Walken
Mmm. Hot dogs sound good.

Christopher Walken
So, as you see, most of the meat to the AT&T system was divided off into separate companies. It's like trying to eat the meat and all the other stuff in a hot dog separately. It's a mess.

Christopher Walken
Absolutely.

Christopher Walken: AT&T, as we know it today, got to keep the other parts of the system—like “long lines”, as they were called, known as AT&T long distance. That's like the delicious casing of the hot dog, what links the meat all together. Bell Laboratories are like the butcher whose great idea it was to pack all that delicious meat and other goodies into a hot dog. And then, we have Western Electric, which made all those phones and other equipment—they're like the hot dog buns and hot dog machines and hot dog vendors—they bring it all to you.

Christopher Walken
All this talk of hot dogs is making me hungry. Do you have any?

Christopher Walken
Why, I most certainly do, my good man. Hot dogs are the world's most versatile food, I say...

Christopher Walken
This is delicious. So, why did the government break AT&T up?

Christopher Walken
Well, like those bastard directors who seem to have an unreasonable problem with me eating hot dogs when I get that craving...the government has been after AT&T ever since it took basic monopoly control over the phone system in the country.

Christopher Walken
How did AT&T get to become a monopoly?

Christopher Walken
Long story short, the government allowed AT&T to just deliver basic phone service. Even though Bell Labs came up with lots of technology that had nothing to do with the phone system, the government in their hawkish times made AT&T basically give away those patents to competitors. They made them do other things—but basically, if they provided consistent phone service at reasonable prices, the government left them alone.

Christopher Walken
Why all the hub-ub, then?

Christopher Walken
There were other little fights, but the big one that ended it all involved that little piss-ant phone company MCI. Do you hate them as much as I do?

Christopher Walken
Yes, they are truly worthy of disdain. Why do you allow them to exist?

Christopher Walken
My favorite hot dog maker likes them. There are only two kinds of people you don't mess with in this world—me and my hot dog maker. I've heard the ODB tends to be one you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley.

Christopher Walken
What about the Rock, who co-starred with you in “The Rundown”?

Christopher Walken
He's a scholar and a gentleman. However, I could bring him down like a Compton bitch with a bullet through my kneecap and both hands died behind my back.

Christopher Walken
You are truly a badass, Mr. Walken.

Christopher Walken
I know. Anyway, as I was saying, MCI tried to break into the long distance market. Long story short, AT&T wouldn't let them—and MCI won. The government started hemming and hawing at AT&T, finally, wisely, they gave in and cut a deal. Anyway, I have to go...

Christopher Walken
You are the greatest actor ever, Mr. Walken.

Christopher Walken
You're really too kind. My publicist will send you the transcript.

Phonegod
B-B-But that's my tape reee [CLICK]

 

 

 

 

 

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