The first thing the baby-faced Dean of Disruptive Innovation, Elder Clark Gilbert, did when he arrived for a sit-down interview was to drop trou and moon the entire City Weekly staff.
“Betcha haven’t seen anything like that before, have ya?” asked the playful CEO of the Deseret News Publishing. We didn’t want to disappoint him by informing him that yes, City Weekly is frequently the target of random mooners of all persuasions. Next, he ran around the office clucking like a deranged chicken, opening drawers, emptying wastebaskets, administering noogies to unsuspecting staffers and generally making a mess of things.
“I do this sort of thing wherever I go,” confessed the Great Disrupter, “and while folks might be P.O.’d for a while, they come around to thanking me in the end, even when I haven’t disrupted their field of vision with a big fat moon.”
Elder Gilbert was fresh from a triumphant appearance on a local radio talk show, where he spread his gospel of disruptive innovation and set a world record for uttering the word “values” in a single hour. It was hard to keep track, but close listeners agree he said the word somewhere between 600 and 700 times. He also tied the record for using the host’s name, and placed second in the special category of mentioning the host’s name in conjunction with the statement, “That’s a great question,” as in, “That’s a great question, Doug.”
We waited for the incorrigible disrupter to settle down—he threw water balloons out the window onto hapless pedestrians, he festooned the office with toilet paper, he donned a clown mask and ripped up back issues of City Weekly—before initiating our interview.
“Allow me,” he said, offering a chair to the interviewer, then proceeding to pull the chair back and sending the interviewer tumbling.
Deep End: How exactly did you get into the disruption business?
The Great Disrupter: I don’t know when I wasn’t in the disruption business. I was never any good at regular games with all those stupid rules, so I figured out pretty quickly that it was a lot more fun to just make a mess of things. I’d grab the ball and throw it over the fence, or snatch the dice from some board game and swallow them, though I must admit that swallowing the dice didn’t just disrupt the game, it did a convincing job of disrupting my gastrointestinal track. Believe you me, I had some very innovative bowel movements.
DE: Speaking of bowel movements, how do you rectify your theory of disruption with your ad nauseam assertion of values?
TGD: That’s the great thing! I don’t have to! When you are a disrupter, you don’t have to make any sense whatsoever! I don’t have a clue about values, and I’ll tell you why: I’ve said it over and over and over again so many times that it’s become just a nonsense sound to me. Whenever I get a tough question from some dweeb interviewer, I just say “That’s a great question,” and proceed to blabber on about values. A great thing about values is that you can justify just about anything by speaking reverently about values, especially if you pronounce the word like you were sucking on it as though it were a great big lollipop, or some other suitably juicy item.
DE: Tell us where you would rank, disruption-wise, the recent disruption at the Deseret News.
TGD: The last time I had so much fun was when I let about a 30-second fart during a ward picnic. You should have seen everybody scatter! I love the smell of disruption! But the Day of Disruption at the D-News was something special. It was like a bomb went off. Kablooie! So much for journalism.
DE: But I heard you on the radio say that you “loved journalism.”
TGD: Journalism, shmournalism. Don’t pay attention to all our talk about journalism. We are now in the business of pure propaganda. What do you think we’re talking about when we talk about “thought leaders”?
DE: Hard to wrap my head around that one.
TGD: Exactly! To paraphrase one of the great thought leaders of our time, when the General Authorities think, the thinking has been done.
DE: Thank you for taking the time to disrupt our day.
TGD: Speaking of disruption, wanna see how I can blow smoke out my ass?