“Some people seem to think the ‘enemy of the people’ stuff is just performance, kind of like pro wrestling. But others seem to really truly believe it.”
-CNN’s Brian Stelter, at a MAGA rally
Cesar Sayoc, Performance Artist
INT. FBI INTERROGATION ROOM
An FBI AGENT begins recording.
FBI AGENT: Please state your name for the record.
CESAR SAYOC: My name? I have no name. I am ‘artist’. But my government name, it is ‘Cesar’.
FBI AGENT: Your government name will do. What is your occupation?
CESAR SAYOC: I am an artist. My entire life is art: my very name, Cesar, conquered the silence before I had my name.
FBI AGENT: Is there anyone who can verify that you’re an artist?
CESAR SAYOC: No.
FBI AGENT: Does that mean you’re unemployed?
CESAR SAYOC: Yes. Artistically I am employed, but in the strictest sense, yes, I am unemployed.
FBI AGENT: Please state your address.
CESAR SAYOC: Address? I roam like the wind, embodying freedom itself. I am the number two American, behind the number one American, which is The Man In The Red Hat.
FBI AGENT: We found you in possession of a Dodge Ram van. Do you live in the van?
CESAR SAYOC: Yes. I do live in the van.
FBI AGENT: This one? The one covered in stickers?
CESAR SAYOC: Ah, you mean my collage? Yes. Thank you for the compliment.
FBI AGENT: I did not compliment you, Mr. Sayoc. For the record, I did not compliment him.
CESAR SAYOC: Yes, but you noticed. That’s appreciation.
FBI AGENT: I appreciate nothing. I’m simply trying to ascertain ownership of the van.
CESAR SAYOC: America was made great, and then, through the stickers, the vehicle was also made great. It is the number one Dodge Ram of all Dodge Rams.
FBI AGENT: We’ve got your prints on one of the packages. Why did you do it?
CESAR SAYOC: As Nietzche said, ‘God is Dead’. One lie is as good as another, so I decided to follow The Man In The Red Hat. He is the number one all time liar. He has enemies who call him out on his lies, who test my faith. So they are my enemies.
FBI AGENT: You sent the bombs to serve President Trump?
CESAR SAYOC: I sent the bombs because I am an artist. I navigate the liminal space between irony and sincerity. Even now, I have no idea what I’m talking about, or why I do the things I do.
FBI AGENT: Please explain a little more.
CESAR SAYOC: In the beginning, voting for the Red Hat Man felt funny, like straight men kissing. Like “haha – wouldn’t that be funny if we did that? But we can’t! That’s not who we are.” But it is! And we can!
FBI AGENT: Please continue.
CESAR SAYOC: We weren’t sure what the feelings meant. All we knew was that our passions were stirred. But when I saw him on stage, I knew. I knew who I was. It was a seminal moment.
FBI AGENT: Is that when you decided to build the bombs?
CESAR SAYOC: I became lost in the ecstasy of the chants, and yes I decided to build the pipe bombs. When I held the pipe, it was as if it were his, and when I packed it with glass shards, it was like I was filling it with his essence. Through the pipe we became connected. His pipe was my pipe and my pipe was his pipe. His spirit filled me, and with the energy of our connection it really felt as if we could make America great again.
FBI AGENT: Wow that really sounds special. My next question was going to be why the explosives were mixed with Viagra, but I think I understand.
CESAR SAYOC: Like I said, I filled it with his essence.
FBI AGENT: Does that also explain the fecal material?
CESAR SAYOC: Fecal material? I didn’t put the pipes in my butt, if that’s what you’re asking.
FBI AGENT: That’s not what I was asking, but did you put the pipes in your butt?
CESAR SAYOC: Whoa, whoa, whoa. I think I need my lawyer. Don’t I have a right to a lawyer?
FBI AGENT: Absolutely Mr. Sayoc. We can continue when your lawyer gets here.