INTERVIEWER: Welcome once again to Spirit Guides, the talk show where we channel the spirits of the deceased for the edification and amusement of the living. I’m your host, Madame Epicurie, and I have a very special guest with me here today, the shimmering spectral form of Walpert “Walp” Gisnep. Mr. Gisnep, as you know, died of pancreatic cancer in 1969 but the entertainment empire he built in the form of the famously family friendly Walp Gisnep Company, survives to this day. Welcome, Mr. Gisnep.

GISNEP: Please, call me Walp. Glad to be here, Madame Epicurie.

INTERVIEWER: I thought I would begin by airing some of the most common criticisms of the Walp Gisnep Company, to give you a chance to respond in person to them. First, what do you say to the accusation that the company you founded is a stultifying force of conformity, forcing media consumers into a conservative and heteronormative mold?

GISNEP: Companies are products of their time and reflect the attitudes thereof, with few exceptions. Big companies like mine are bigger targets, but even ones that are the darling of the critics, like Gaggle Inc. or Pear Computer, are guilty of this to one degree or another but are better at spinning the media to deflect criticism. Those companies steal and use personal data for their own nefarious purposes, yet Gisnep is a more tempting target because of its visibility. You’ll note that many of my competitors, like Working Dreams XLG, have failed to attract the same criticisms despite aggressively gunning for the same market segments.

INTERVIEWER: So you hold the Walp Gisnep Company blameless?

GISNEP: Not blameless, Madame Epicurie. No one is blameless. But everyone aims for the biggest target, and there is an innate human need to see the mighty brought low.

INTERVIEWER: Fair enough, Walp. What about the accusation that your company is anti-union and anti-Semitic?

GISNEP: That’s partly my fault, I will admit, for making some rather tasteless jokes in my earlier animations that were the product of a less culturally sensitive age. But if you look at the top employees and top actors in my company, you’ll find plenty of yordim among them. It’s an easy criticism to make, and a hard one to disprove, and so an easy stick to beat someone with.

INTERVIEWER: And anti-union?

GISNEP: Again, that is mea culpa. I always saw my company more as a family than a business, and anyone who has ever worked for a family business will tell you how lousy the pay is. But you have to admit that the key incidents in that rumor are older than the Second World War at this point. And I challenge you to find a pro-union attitude among employees at Working Dreams XLG, Gaggle Inc., or Pear Computer.

INTERVIEWER: Interesting. Is there anything you’d like to add before we go to our audience for questions?

GISNEP: Only that rumors of my cryogenic preservation are completely false. Do you think someone who spent most of their life in California and Florida could stomach the idea of such cold for so long? Anaheim forecasters call a week of 45-degree weather an “arctic blast,” for chrissakes.

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