Jasper Johnson’s Interview from the Middle of an Old, Barren Cornfield
Published: April 17, 2026
Jasper Johnson spoke in a 20-minute interview from the remains of what was once Chicago, eventually a cornfield, and most recently a burned barren wasteland. This is an edited transcript, as recorded by The New York Times.
Q. Jasper, how did you originally come to owning this large swath of land that just two decades ago encompassed a major metropolitan area?
A. Well, my daddy got it cheap; real cheap after the recessions. You can’t turn down a bargain, right? But my daddy, he was no statesman, governor or anything like that. He knew farmin. And that’s what he fixed to do.
Q. But how did he reconcile the fact that millions of people lived in a city that was by no means a farming economy?
A. He wasn’t no tyrant, if that’s what you’re sayin.
Q. Wikipedia, the sole source of reliable encyclopedic knowledge for the past ten years, states John Johnson kicked thousands out from their homes for refusal to farm. Not only this he shut down the financial sector, most businesses and the historical theatres Chicago had grown famous for.
A. Daddy didn’t want people gettin no other ideas. He knew deep down people wanted to farm, and he jus sought to bring that out in ‘em. So, he had to break a few balls; most great leaders do and so did my dad.
Q. Moving past an obvious attempt at economic coercion, what was the final straw that caused the mass exodus of 2015?
A. Well, daddy succeeded in making Chicago the best farm in the Midwest. But, people weren’t happy. They got used to fancy livin and didn’t like the wages we paid them for the fieldwork. So we had some damage control to take care of.
Q. This damage control was well noted in the news reports of the time. You hired thugs to weed out dissenters and ran the former city as a dictatorship?
A. Hey now, Ms. Progressive, where did all your good ole reforms get us? Nowhere! The economy crashed. We stuck to the free market like you all should’ve in the first place.
Q: A report from September 25, 2014 cited you turning the combines on farmers to instill fear. Do you call this free?
A: Hell yeah, it’s our property after all!
Q: Did the actions of a suppressed people not surprise you in the least then?
A: I thought it was a bit ungrateful to burn the corn, after all the jobs we gave ‘em.
Q: And yet you tried to make them stay? How do you justify that?
A: They owed daddy and me money for one. Those good for nuthin’ workers didn’t pay rent. Why wouldn’t we try and get a little something back?
Q: If you justify your methods, thusly, then surely you can’t justify the firing of weapons inevitably killing so many?
A: I did what it took to keep order for daddy and me.
Q: Do you mean order or do you mean profits?
A: Same thing. There ain’t no order when the rich suffer. Sheep need herded, after all.
Q: Is there anything you would have done differently in hindsight?
A: Tons. I would’ve tried to get another state to help stop the exodus, maybe put down some more sedition and what not.
Q: Where do you think the former Chicagoans are right now?
A: Probably suffering under some socialist dictator.
Q: How do you see yourself as different from said dictator?
A: I’m a born and bred capitalist. I make money for myself and not no government.
Q: Quality of life and other things don’t play into your equation?
A: Them people were doing just fine. They had their independence from the state and earned a livin. What every true American should want.
Q: Do you not reconcile that with the fact there’s no one left to govern?
A: I think they’ll see the downsides of Socialism in time and come crawling back to Jasper and John Johnson.