An Interview with O.E. Vey: The Levi Genes: A Simple, Factualized Tale of Evolution and the Gene Pool

Jun 23, 2011 by

Michael F. Shaughnessy
Eastern New Mexico University
Portales, New Mexico

  1. First of all, could you provide the exact title of your book and what prompted you to write it.

The book is titled: The Levi Genes: A Simple, Factualized Tale of Evolution and the Gene Pool

I wrote it with the idea of making people laugh and also giving them some food for thought. That was the plan, at least.

I’ve been a people watcher for many, many years. It’s a great form of free entertainment and it never disappoints. As I really got into The Levi Genes, I discover two things. First, that it would take me three books to tell the complete story that developed and, second, that the “food for thought” was in reality an unlimited, eat all you want, smorgasbord.

The more I thought about human nature and our history, as it relates to Levi and the gene pool, the more I laughed (because there is so much to laugh about), then I cried (because there is so much to laugh about), then I panicked at trying to sort through the material (because there is so much to laugh about) and condense it down to tell the story I wanted to tell.

You see, I wonder about a lot of things, like why does food going in have so many great colors, but only comes out in the same basic brown? Where do the colors go? Of course, such ideas naturally led me to religion and human nature, the gene pool and Levi.

2) What are some of the topics that you scathingly skewer?

I don’t know that I scathingly skewer any particular topics as much as tell the truth, kinda sorta, with some convenient facts made up to help along.

Evolution is one of the main topics throughout all three of the Levi Trilogy books. There is a lot of argument in the world lately about whether evolution exists or not. I put that to bed rather quickly – of course it exists and we are a product of it. We apply evolutionary concepts, thoughts and considerations every day in our lives. Get over it and evolve already. Or opt out of the gene pool.

Unfortunately, this argument threatens man’s religious beliefs and foundations. Perhaps that is why so many people are so adamant about the topic. So, that is a good one to dispel. Humans evolve genetically, in line with the concepts of the gene pool. Deal with it – or opt out.

Another concept I put to rest is the concept of God, or any other higher power (other than money) which we worship. I reveal, for the first time in history actually, that what we know as God is really a student at Universe U. who created our solar system, and us, in the university lab spaces as part of his course work.

His class objective is to create intelligent life here and he hasn’t been able to do that yet. Deciding that he needs to reboot humanity, he hired me to find the humans with the perfect genes in the human gene pool to use in a do-over of the human race.

By the way, the acronym GOD really stands for Guiseppe O’Neil Djiboutti – God to us and Gus to his friends.

If Gus doesn’t get this right, he gets a bad grade and has no chance at grad school. So I began my search for the genetically right humans. In the process, I identified the 7 characteristics the gene pool wants in humans. I even identified their relative importance in surviving the gene pool and I provide a form in the book to score others and see if they should be in the gene pool or not.

Not unexpectedly, in the process I found many examples of human hubris, ego and stupidity. I also found that there is only one person who has the right genes for Gus’s do-over – Levi.

Some other skewers: liberals, conservatives, ugly people, bad parents, religious fanatics, s-t-u-p-i-d people, lawyers and politicians.

Did you know that every great society throughout history has created a whole city just to house their politicians? Is it not interesting that civilized societies do not want politicians to mingle or live among the rest of the people? They build entire special cities far away from the people just for the politicians. We don’t even do that for criminals. That has to tell you something about politicians throughout history. Just connect the dots.

I do give credit where credit is due. For example, Islam gets points for putting their ugly women in bags. More societies should consider that option.

I also share with the readers the 7 questions to ask a parent to confirm, without a doubt, that they are truly a bad parent and should not stay in the gene pool.

The dating and mating process in nature and in humans gets its fair treatment, too. How did humans learn to screw up something that all the other animals and plants on the planet do so easily? Are we the only species that does belly-to-belly?

The sick, the ugly and the unlucky also get attention. If we are to clean up the human gene pool, we have to purge it of those unwanted characteristics, as well. Let them die off and don’t let the breed. It will be good for the gene pool in the long run.

I realize that The Levi Genes is a little controversial out of the box, but I have to ask – how is that box working for you?

3) Now, I know from my Yiddish background that Oy Vey, could be translated to something like ” Oh boy “, but what does O.E. Vey stand for, if anything?

Wow, such a personal question. BTW – where did you get a Yiddish background with an Irish surname?

Anyway, because I like you, Mike, I’ll tell you, but only you. Then you will understand why I don’t use my given names. O.E. stands for Oleander Easterman. I was born around Easter and mom had this favorite kitchen blender she was using when her water broke. She was weird about names and events and things like that. In fact, she was weird about a lot of things.

You can see why I prefer O.E. to the rest of it.

4) Tell us about your brother Udder Vey….and is he a liberal or conservative? A republican or a democrat?

More personal questions, huh? Trying to bond with me or get on my good side? OK. My older brother is named Udder Vey. Mom named him after her favorite milk cow. We never got a better explanation than that, thought that didn’t stop us from making up all sorts of stories, like he nursed so hard that he stretched mom’s breasts to make her look like the cow. Kids can be so cruel.

Naturally, Udder went into the dairy business and prefers to be called UV. He is more conservative than the rest of us kids are, mostly from being holed up on his farm playing with cows twice a day and never getting out. I kinda feel sorry for him because he didn’t really have much of a life after junior high school. Kids can be so cruel, ya know.

Speaking of the rest of us, before you ask, the younger kids are the twins, Dis and Dat Vey. Mom had them shortly after dad left for some ice cream and never came home. Again with the weird names, but mom always refused to explained it. We never saw dad again, either.

Dis and Dat have been in and out of therapy since they were 4 dealing with guilt from dad’s leaving and teasing because of their names. They are not close, as many twins are, either. Dat Vey is a travel agent in Bora Bora and Dis Vey is a guide at the zoo in Denver. Interesting career choices, actually. Dat Vey tells people where to go and Dis Vey leads people around at the zoo.

5) These twins- Dis and Dat Vey–do they share a similar heritage or were they each born on different sides of the tracks ?

See above

6) Now, most children are brought up in the religion of their parents. Should this be the customary way? Or should we let these little kids make their own decisions and shop around for a church that they like when they say turn age 12?

Interesting question. When is a person old enough to not need guidance? Perhaps we should be guided on this by the wisdom of our constitution which says that a person is not smart enough to be President until they are 35 years old and can’t vote till they are 18. Or school teachers who do not let children choose what they want to do in class, but make them learn a set curriculum whether they like it or not. We all need guidance and structure and boundaries, as children and as adults.

Humans, as in other animals, try to teach our children the ways we know. That worked well when children had to learn which berries not to eat or how to make fire or kill a rabbit in order to survive.

Once survival is not at issue, the quality of life comes into play and we teach something called values. Survival is pretty straightforward and consistent: eat or be eaten, kill or be killed. Such qualitative factors as values are not so straightforward and are highly subjective and interpretive. Such differences in values have been the cause of fights and wars from the time there were at least two people together.

But the values make us human and help us make decisions regarding value and getting along with others. At least within our own sand boxes.

As I look at human history, I find that, in the absence of structure or values we always create them. The great societies did this and small indigenous isolated groups of people did this. Humans seem to need structure and boundaries to help us frame our decisions and our futures. We also continuously fight against such boundaries and against the idea of having to live within them. We can’t win.

So, back to your question more directly, children need guidance and structure, but they also need flexibility to be better humans and citizens. Strict adherence to something as nebulous and subjective as religion no longer works. Today’s children, at least in developed societies, are too smart for strict dogma and crave thinking and working things out – even if they don’t know it. Children need and deserve structure, believes, guidance, values, and the support to work through them to become their own individuals. And we, as parents, need to guide them and make sure they make the right decisions – the ones we would make, of course.

The old ways are good to an extent. Burning at the stake used to be considered the good old days. If we had failed to change when change was indicated, our gene pool would be much shallower than it is now. If we fail to change in the future, we are doomed.

7) I know a lot of kids whose parents do not go to church, but they really like Hour of Power with Dr. Schuller and Joel Osteen’s t.v. show, and they think that watching these programs is equivalent to going to church. Should this be THE WAY?

I don’t have any advice for THE WAY. I think there are many ways to achieve religious goodness and peace. There are also many socially religious methods which do not lead to achieving such peace. Is the act of merely going to a church at some defined periodicity the measure of religious goodness? Is it defined by the money you give to a church? Is it measured by the life you live and your actions? Or is it some of all these things, depending on the person and the situation.

THE WAY is the way that works for you in the social system you are in and the mental and emotional place you are in. I’ve noticed that people in emotional stress tend to seek out God more than when things are going well. They also tend to pray for help and “stuff” more than they listen for answers.

In some places, THE WAY is defined for all, is very strict and different than in other places. Some places, like in the U.S., we have many WAYS and the freedom to enjoy and explore them. Just don’t try to force me to change to YOUR WAY or tell me MY WAY is wrong.

8) I used to attend lectures by Albert Ellis who would say that simply there was no point in bringing flowers to a grave or funeral, because basically the dead person didn’t care. Your thoughts?

I agree with Albert Ellis. Funerals are for the living. They are a rite of passage for those who didn’t pass – yet. The dead have already been there and done that.

Unless, of course, there are ghosts and angels and life after life. If that is the case, I’d be pretty pissed off if no one thought enough of me to at least pick up some flowers at the 7-11. I’d have to come back and deal with them. Boo!

9) And I was fortunate enough to be on the same program once with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross who thanked the audience for bringing her flowers when she was alive when she could enjoy them, rather than after she was dead. Is this a good philosophy of life?

I like those thoughts, but instead of flowers, just send money. Respect and reverence and good memories are wasted on the dead who can’t enjoy them. Be nice to them while they are alive, just in case there really are ghosts and angels and life after life. Boo!

10 ) Now, I just reviewed a book by Barbara Oakley and she talked about evil genes- people like Hitler, Stalin- that their genes caused their behaviors. Should we encourage kids to wear khaki’s?

The many millions of variations of human characteristics that the gene pool can create is astounding. In addition, an individual’s DNA responds to stimulations throughout life to shape their being. Some smokers never get lung cancer and some non-smokers do. Go figure. We are the product of our DNA and the environment, the stimuli and actions we experience.

Some people have bad genes that gives them the tendency to do bad things. If their environment reinforces those bad genes, you have a bad person. In the extreme, you have the Hitler and Stalin you mention.

While I’ve not seen any scientific evidence that khaki is a contributing factor to development of the bad gene, I think this is worthy of consideration for congressional action and academic study. If we connect the obvious dots, Castro, Hitler, Stalin, Gadhafi, Ahmadinejad, Osama, etc., there appears, on the surface of it, to be enough evidence for a congressional investigation.

At the very least, there should be a warning label put on everything khaki warning the user that using or wearing khaki could cause personality disorders up to and including megalomania, narcissism, Napoleon complex and liberal thinking. We have to remember the “do not remove this warning” warning, as well.

11) Oy Vey, we ALL make mistakes. Should we just forgive Hitler and Osama and maybe even Obama for their gargantuan mistakes?

Forgive, forget, repeat as necessary to get the message. History is full of bad things and people and we keep forgetting to remember them.

In your examples, was it their mistakes or the mistakes of their upbringing and the societies that raised them? Did they fail or did their villages fail them? Was it lack of mothers love and breast feeding or religious misguidance?

If you are a religious person, as you pretend to be, you might say that forgiveness is divine and, therefore, isn’t your job. The U.S. Marines and Navy Seals think along this line.

Liberals, on the other hand, tend to find excuses for bad behavior. What would Hitler’s mother say about his career choice? Does Osama’s mother tell us that he was really a very good person deep down inside and that he was just misunderstood?

If these people were old enough to be responsible for the consequences of their decisions and actions, then let them BE responsible and take their punishment. If some people are able to forgive such badness, let’s make sure that the rest of us never forget or allow history to be so diluted that their actions are minimized and lost.

Other than that, I have no opinion on the matter.

12) Now, how can we learn more about The Levi Genes and maybe even get a copy of the book?

Getting a copy of the book is easy. The Levi Genes is available from your favorite book store or from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or The Outskirts Press. It is also available in Kindle version from Amazon and in e-book format from www.TheOutskirtsPress.com/TheLeviGenes.com .

Learning more about Levi and the gene pool is also easy. First, buy the book. Second, read it. Third, talk about it with others. Fourth, buy more copies as gifts. It is bound to entertain you. If you care to think a little bit, it will also give you some material to think about.

Remember, if you do not have a sense of humor, have someone else read the book to you so they can explain it to you. If you are thin skinned, as some readers are, buy the book then burn it in front of the news media. And if you like it – tell others. If you don’t like it, keep it to yourself.

If more information is needed, or if your readers want to contact me, they can do so by email at TheLeviGenes@aol.com or invite me to come visit them.

13) What has this goyim neglected to ask?

When are the other books in the Levi Trilogy coming out? Are they like The Levi Genes?

The sequel, The Mark of Levi, is due out at the end of the summer. It picks up where book one ended, with Levi stuck as the only human to safe mankind and God (Gus) saving him. Where The Levi Genes is the story of old-humans, The Mark of Levi is the story of Levi and God and the recreation of the human race (the Levites) and the problems entailed in it. Consider for a moment the problem Levi encounters is establishing moral values for the new-humans when there is no God and no human history to lean on. Having our history to build from is bad enough. Having no history to build on is worse. Think about it, I did.

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