Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Peter Principle: Youth Takin' Over (Deep Inside)

Definition: "Employees within an organization will advance to their highest level of competence and then be promoted to and remain at a level on which they are incompetent."

Last week while chatting with my home-biscuit, Uncle L, on the way to and at that party in Studio City, I unearthed a couple of truths about myself. I had a couple of, what I like to call, "micro-phanies" (little epiphanies) about where I was heading creatively/professionally which resulted in a fog of self-doubt: it was high time to start making some ch-ch-ch-changes...

"Rich ass. High class. Don’t bother me and I won’t realize your crime..."

...I gave up the ghost on my "day joy" because after really digging deep and asking myself some hard questions I couldn't see myself fully committing to the way of the white collar...the path of the Peter Principle, if you would. I decided to take re-invest myself in the things essential to self discovery that many don't have the ganas to persue, chosing instead to remain at a crappy job which Hoovers the essence of being out of their souls in painless chunks (at first), like a cancerous succubus, until one day they realize they've got an irreperable tumor the size of a golf ball percolating somewhere inside that's gonna tuck them up for a dirt nap -- I vowed that that's not going to be me, so I took a stand. Ironically, on my "last day," there was an inter-office memo announcing the departure of some lady that was leaving the company, after fourteen years of "dedicated service" and pledging her allegiance to the corporate Peter Principle. I read between the lines and thought, "Man, she'd managed to stay in this place for that long whilst avoiding the barrage of Machiavellian slings and arrows from duplicitous Russian Smilers, prevelant in most office settings, she must be the Bruce-fuggin I'm hard-Ali of intra office politicking to have lasted fourteen years -- that's a minute, yo."

"Two faced. You’re out of place.You can’t rock out because you ain’t the kind"

I wondered how how long that chicks "deadication" to the job would be remembered once she walked out the front door with her monogrammed wristwatch/ pen set and stepped into the rest of her life waiting out there in the parking lot. Probably no longer than it took to clear out her workspace and find somebody to put in her vacated post - if it hadn't been done already. Depressing, kid. I wouldn't want to be in her shoes. In the past I'd discussed "running for the border" with co-workers and was often met with replies that went along the lines of "man you're crazy...I'm staying here until I find something better or I'm fired." I often found it odd that there was rarely "enough time" to search for alternatives, so they just stay on and complain and gripe and scheme. Why stick around where, for all intents and purposes, you're not wanted? That's not a life. That's a sentence and I'm not willing to do that bid.

"Well if you were on the other side of the fence...maybe you’d understand -I may freak you out with my raw look, ’cause I just got the feelin’ man !"

People always get all misty-eyed and weepy about the "woulda-coulda-shouldas" when they reach the autumn of their lives and that's too bleak of a prospect for yours truly to consider at this juncture. I'm still willing and able to struggle just a bit more for what I want out of this ride; settling into a holding pattern and auto-piloting my way through life just isn't an option...I think it was Carole King who sang "These are the 'good old days" ie. don't punk yourself out for a few crumbs and croutons...go for the brass ring at all costs...and enjoy the ride.
After the deed was done and word got around to my creative friends (writers, actors, musicians, etc. ) they embraced me and welcomed me back into the fold of the living -- or does misery love company? Still, on the other hand, very few of my friends and colleagues on the professional side shared that perspective and I've gotten e-mails, phone and text messages telling me as much but there are times in life when you've got to draw a line in the proverbial sand. An old lady once told me "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything." Sing it sister, you're preaching to the choir.

"Brain washed. You’re lost.Your blindness can’t be helped anyway.Your ca$h. My clash. It makes me able to say...You've got the prestige status. You’ve got the majority mass.Plus you’ve got a blender by general motors and a tonka toy dump truck up your ass!"
"You’ll never look the way I feel. You’ll never feel the look in my eyes. Cause I’ve got the feelin’ swimming in my bones and t’s takin over DEEP INSIDE!"

If I recalled correctly, the spinster being put to pasture was getting out while the getting was good. Which is fine and dandy but why now? Since she'd been at said company it had shifted corporate hands many times, expanded and contracted in size and apparently the turnover rate is exceedingly high. -- find detailed example of the latter here -- yet she stuck with it for over a decade. She'd managed to work her way around all of the insecure backbiters, idiotic memorandums, constant criticism from on high while slogging through a grueling workpace and to what end? (I mean beyond a paycheck, I'm real with it, yo.) My puzzle, wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in an enigma was: "Do the ends justify the means?" How could you ever get those years back? That's the rub -- I guess one man's cookie is another man's what's it going to be for you? A pewter finished time piece or a meaningful existence? These are the good old days players and playettes...tick...tock...Laters.

*Fishbone's "Deep Inside" from the Truth 'n Soul LP - italics mine.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Race Card Poker in the Hollywood Hills

There are many twists on the road to truth, sometimes you gotta get lost on the Freeway to find your way but if you've got cell phone (and a little sister sitting at a computer on a Saturday night) You'll eventually find your way...and if you pay attention, you'll learn a little something-something while in transit.

So I went to a send-off party over on Laurel Canyon, just up the hill from Hollywood proper in Studio City. The guest of honor had decided to join the ranks of the defeated, to retreat from the California coastline and scuttle back to his home town located somewhere inland, along the buckle of the Bible belt -- good luck with that, you're going to need it, brother-mean. Culturally and psychologically speaking, the whole process of moving to, living in and slinking back out of Los Angeles is a strain of psychic herpes that you don't even know you have coursing through your synapses until you've moved away...far, far cure, son and if you're running back to a place that is not New York City you're going to have to live with it amongst a group of people who don't even know that the affliction exists...only you'll know that you've been bitten by the L.A. bug..or, better yet, the Cali-cockroach. I think he's aware of the latter though because throughout the night he'd joke "man, my welcome back party, two months from now, is gonna be a hoot!" The L.A. cucaracha is one of those gifts that keeps on giving...

I'd shot over to the party with a homie, Uncle L and his girlfriend -- we'll just dub "Tia" -- who I'd gotten lost with my scribbled directions. I hadn't been over in that neck of the woods for a minute but as we drove past the Getty Museum and approached the Sunset exit for Brentwood, it was clear that I wasn't Megellan. At this, L-boogie got on the blower and called his little sister and after relaying the appropriate data to her she found our destination on Map Quest and we re-adjusted our coordinates appropriately. As we wove our way around the San Fernado Valley and made our way toward Studio City, we began talking about all manner of things, among them race, education, T.V. and the effects the three has on society -- not exactly light-weight pre-party banter but such is our lot and disposition.

Once we arrived at the party we staked out a base camp in the kitchen and shot the shite while more people arrived. Granted, the mixed nuts at the shindig were predominantly white, I'd partied with most of them before, in more intimate settings so I wasn't feeling any "Funny Vibes" but soon, when a couple of L and Tia's friends showed up, their discomfort with partying in mixed company began to obviate itself. Initially I felt compelled to nudge them to mingle and drop their guard a little and eventually they all did, at least a little and they might've caught themselves having a little fun but the wall never really came down... I pulled my focus back and began to observe everything from the sidelines.

I'd been in this position in the past while at university -- serving as a conduit between very different personal worlds in a party setting or bar amongst acquaintances and colleagues that would never cross-pollinate in any other circumstance -- but this time was a trifle different. In the times before, I felt compelled to make sure that everyone got along, had a great time. Call me a sub-par host, if you must but this time I was going to take the path of least resistance. I wondered what would happen if I didn't pull a Wink Martindale and get everyone gladhanding like some kind of third-rate game show host. I started to wonder if these two groups of people who represented the halves of my consciousness at various states could ever occupy the same space without reaching critical mass.

People are really set in their ways, I've learned, and eschewing what they "know" doesn't really jibe with their reality. Not very many people are willing to take that bold step and to the heavy lifting required to point the microscope inward...and I think that's a shame because that's the first step to getting your shite together, otherwise your inaction makes you complicit with the status quo by default.

Recently there was a bit of a peer group S.N.A.F.U. when one of my caucasian cohorts stated his opinion about race matters in our society and it was not wholly embraced by some of the "melanin enhanced" members of our circle, to say the least. In fact, I think it's safe to say that most of us got defensive in thinking "how could you possibly relate to/ know what its effects are? You're white." True, a white person, if he chose to, could live an existence in America where he wouldn't ever have to deal with a black/brown/yellow/red skinned person (he'd really have to tweak his shopping schedule but it could be done, yo) whereas a minority is in constant contact with "the man" -- no way around it either. These are truths that individuals on both sides of the room are going to have to wrap their noodles around...and get the fugg on with their lives...history's a bitch, I know...wouldn't it be nice to change that up with a little living in the NOW?

I'm not saying forget and deny like so many have, I'm saying: remember and remind...change happens one day at a time. To my brown-skinned homebiscuit's credit, I will definitely agree that subverting the racial inequities suffered by minorities of this country by clinically pointing to "economics" can be construed as an invalidation of the horrors suffered in Southern cotton fields or WWII internment camps in the past and on orange groves/ fancy hotels in the present. If you go there, know this: once you've begun to visit that place, you better be prepared to go all the way.

Thing is, most of the time when a white man states his opinion on race, the only thing that he has to rely on is his objectivity, empirical data and his ability to empathize but what he doesn't have, and it's the most integral part of understanding the unsavory aspects of racism, is the experience of having to stomach that sense of entitlement and cavelier manner in which the white man's burden gets parsed out and affects non-white lives that could never be reciprocated (which kind of supports that economic fuedalism angle too). Sure, we can get over it and we do -- failure to develop thick skin in that department would result in an existence that is punctuated by nothing more than a string of unpleasant encounters and color-line cock ups that got us where we are in the first place -- unable to discuss the subject without drawing proverbial lines in the sand which leads me to some of my "brown-eyed buds."

While my homie didn't pull a Reggie Valentine -- Eddie Murphy's character in Trading Places -- [Lookit him, probably been stealing since he could crawl] I did notice a bit of "check out these crazy crackers/ too cool for school haughtiness" emanating from the pod as I returned from the can which led me to step aside and see if my two worlds would collide or not. Jokes about the O.C. were bandied about amongst my brown friends' group -- which had expanded by three when a couple of L and Tia's friends showed up -- and sort of stuck together for most of the night which is fine I guess, but it vexed me (I was terribly, terribly vexxed) because I realized that while these two worlds represented aspects of myself, never in the twain shall they meet -- at least not any day soon. It goes on and on, even when we really don't want it to which sucks...Fighting fire with fire creates an inferno...nothing ventured, nothing gained, all of that said, I still retain a bit of hopeful optimism vis a vis "my brothers and all the others."

Just because you're black/brown/ yellow/ red - skinned doesn't instantly make you an authority on the subject with a Master's degree in Cultural Antropology and I certainly don't claim to be one because of my sepia hue, I think we've all got some world-experience to get behind us before building our soapboxes and lodging those chips on our shoulder blades...And just because you're white doesn't make everything alright if you're progressive enough to accept that caucasians have done some serious dirt in past couple hundred years to each other (Scotland and Ireland) and to others (everywhere else in the world)...Classism/ economic fuedalism and, yes again, racism is fucked up -- always has been. Simply running toward politics or religion (both, refuges of scoundrels) or even authoritatively written texts won't right every wrong that's ever been committed in the name of political/ cultural control of a society based on the superiority of race which I've said and written in other ways before...I'll reiterate now: we've got to tear down those walls within and let just let go.

When it's all said and done, there's really nothing left to say or do, the healing is a life-long process that doesn't end until a few seconds before we start spiraling downward into the tombstone commode. We've got a long way to go, to be sure but as the old idiom goes, every journey begins with the first be it. One thing to bear in mind: nobody can take that odyssey with or for you; that's one foray into the dense jungles of the unknown that must be explored single-handedly. No native translators, no tribal consiglieres. No passports, no go-betweens or shortcuts. Stick out that chin, drop that ego, stop stereotyping...adopt a mindset consistent with the multi-cultural times that you exist in and stop doing to them what they've been doing to us -- passing judgement without ever questioning the character of the man, himself. That shite begins within before it can take place in the world without.

You've got to sort out what your own, personal, Rosetta Stones are while exploring the dank and sordid jungles of racial hate ...I'm still on my little road trip, as it were, as are my friends and their friends and their friends' friends...hopefully we'll be able to compare notes in about fitty years or so..."If puss and dog can get together, what's wrong with loving one another?...What's wrong with you my brother?" I know that all of the answers can't be found in Bob Marley lyrics but they are yours to unveil if you look for them...they're out there for you alone to discover, if you can get off your arse and do the legwork, that is... I'm quite certain that my friends, all of them, will find what they need to find, as will I and in due time...there...that's all I have to say...Laters.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Wrong 'Em Boyo--

Just when you think you know somebody/ yourself, you realize you don't. Which can be unnerving when fighting the dragons on the dating trail. I'm not above the fray in the least which became clear when I got into a bit of a philosopical strop with a couple of homebiscuits...

Last Monday I fired a bacchanalian flare into the darkness of cyberspace via an e-mail missive with no subject heading and a one-word phrase in the body of the text: "The Colorado?" The Colorado's a "dive-ish" bar near PCC/ Art Center and is tucked up next to Guitar Center on the street with the same name. I was initially lured to check out the spot under the auspices of getting an earful of the eclectic music on the resident jukebox -- according to my tour guide it has one of the best jukes on this side of the 5 Freeway which put the hook in me. On our maiden voyage we sucked down about 3 pitchers of Heffewiezen (I laced my pints with shots of Absolut) while we shot the shite, a few holes of pool (@ which I got schooled) and, yes, threw quarters into the music box. Suffice to say we had more fun than we should've in the middle of a work week and as we folded up our tents and headed for our base camps, I vowed to return.

In the weeks that followed, I'd been tempted more than once to pull a "Bigfoot" by dropping in on the regulars with an impromptu solo visit but never really got around to it because of other things (more later?) but as I sat stewing in my juices that Monday morning I decided to nix the 1-man flight plan and put my truncated missive on the wire -- later that day a reply landed in my in-box: "How does Wednesday sound?" It was on like popcorn.

I met up with the homes over at the Colorado and we sallied forth with pitchers of New Castle and kicked it loose. About an hour in, the Cardinal Richlieu made the scene and everything shifted gears from there. We waxed philosophical, literary, political and musical in varied proportions while rounds of pool were played and pints were emptied. As all of this took place, I starting chatting with this bird who seemed very interested in what I had to say (a yellow card to the introspective writing type because it raises questions like: Why me? What's her angle? Where's my wallet?). She wore a "provocative" little outfit -- her jean skirt was so tight I could read the dates on the quarters in her back pocket. Mic, the Card and I jumped right onto the topic when I returned to our corner for a couple of ringside slaps on the face and to spit in my bucket.

"Women who wear outfits like that are saying something to the world," sniffed the Cardinal in that heavily accented Franco-specific way which imbues everything he says with a hint of sarcasm -- even when he's being sincere. "She came here to do something with or to somebody, wearing an outfit like that," He continued. "I beg to differ," I replied. "I think women like this are either A) Defying some authority figure in their lives ie: an overbearing/ abusive significant other, B) Wilder than a sack full of weasles on crack or C) Just cruising for a piece of unfettered booty/ meaningless sex, as most men do (and get away with) without all the "Scarlet Lettering." In any case, the ploy keeps the opposite sex guessing about how much of either of the latter pertains to her which, in turn, provides her with the emotional upper hand while she flips him around the dojo with a couple of pyschological body blows" because he's too preoccupied by the shape of her arse.

"You're both retarded in equal proportions, a person unable to trust others is, himself, unworthy of placing trust in," MicPhisto said coldly to the two of us as he stared across the room in her direction while stroking his beard 'n 'stache like Confuscious standing on Tea Ceremony. "I've noted that while you [both] point the finger at the woman in question, not once did you ever question yourselves or motives: what your stereotypes and, at best, uninformed judgements, might be doing to your objectivity," he pointed out. "She seems like a pretty nice woman to me and although I've seen her around, I can't say that I've heard anything that seems to point to the Glenn Close Rabbit Boiling cookbook -- you both sound like a couple of fishwives, " he stated with mock contempt and threw back the remainder of ale in his glass. "So me a favor..." In the black and white world of self righteous/indignant, barley and hops soaked finger wagging and tut-tutting, MicPhisto's words seemed very prescient...sage-like -- in a resolute, "don't forget Poland," coalition-of-the-willing-sort-of-way but that shite ain't the truth, at least not my truth.

I've lived in cities all over this country and the steps to the "Nookie Waltz" in New York City are essentially the same as those for the Hollywood Hook-up; from Atlanta to Alhambra the moves don't change, just the types of people executing them -- each with varying degrees of proficiency and their own selfish set of motives for picking their partners. Some establish lasting relationships, some result in a short series of trysts and/ or dinner dates and still others don't amount to anything at all, just a number scribbled on a bar napkin
that leads to an ansering machine that doesn't take messages -- whatever. I'm no James Brown/ Fred Astaire when it comes to any of this. I cut my contributing analysis short and eased on back over to the bar and sat down beside the straw-haired julie to "close the deal" which yielded a mixed bag of results.

I scored the Blonde Bird's phone number and promptly lost it between the bar and the Denny's we went to absorb all of that fermented wheat we'd sucked up. In an odd turn of events, MicPhisto had it also, she'd given it to him to give to me (I think) while I was in the can spending a penny. I called him (that night, no less) and got it and if memory serves me correctly I pulled a "Favreau" and left my info on her machine (like Jon Favreau's character in Swingers often did) but I'm more than sure I stepped in it by doing so. In the days that followed I hadn't heard hide nor hair from "the cracking julie with the tig ole bitties" but, to be honest, I'm also thankful that she hasn't because I really don't remember what it was that got me so close to the wall of
sugar in the first place. Sometimes the gods are merciful. The only thing you can be certain of in life is uncertainty. Sounds like a self defeating prophecy, I know but my 3.03 decades in this
world have proven time and again that once I think I have a handle on a situation, I really don't know dick. I can live with that because denial isn't just a river that flows past the pyramids, Sonny Jim.

Most of us don't have a clue and admitting it would be akin to taking a red pill while firmly ensconced within the little matrices of self-perception that they've constructed around themselves -- I know I'm not the only one guilty of this, so stand up and be counted. In that spirit, I'd imagine that the few who do know aren't telling the rest of us -- guess that's one nut you've got to crack on your own -- so, with all of that in mind, I'm not going to sit around weeping and gnashing my teeth while waiting for the answer to that particular enigma to reveal itself in some burning bush (not a pun)...Harboring regrets is for suckers and life's too fuggin' short, yo...Laters.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Wading in with John Waters

I've been a busy little bee lately but I found this piece in my archives that I never got to use in print back in October '04 when I worked the "Dirty Shame" junket and thought it should’ve been because, hell, it’s John Waters unadulterated. He’s such a smart and funny being...

Although he's been given handles like the "Tzar of Trash," the "Lord of Lewd" and then some, over the past four decades John Waters has diligently plumbed the depths of bad taste with irreverent aplomb. His talents are unleashed on films like Female Trouble, Pink Flamingos, Hair Spray, Serial Mom and Cecil B. Demented-- check it out...

Q: So when did you get into writing the story for A Dirty Shame?

JW: I think when I was, like, 8 years old I started thinking this one up. [laughter] Because all the nuns told me we'd go to hell if we saw these [types of] movies. So, I remember those movies and got obsessed by those movies and pretended I owned a dirty movie theater and then went on -- in Polyester the main character, Divine's husband did own a dirty movie theater -- sexploitation movies, such as a genre, I grew up with the drive-in and the Rex Theater in Baltimore. I even went and visited the owner of the Rex in a nursing home this year and he showed me his scrap book from those days which was so great -- and all his fights with the sensor boards. So, it all lead to wanting to parody this genre of movies, like a woman in trouble where a doctor tells her to see the birth of a baby --- all that kind of stuff, that's what lead to it. And I read a book called the erotic minorities in high school. That was by Dr. Lars Ullerstam, I remember -- in that it had dictionaries of sexual subjects that I'd never heard of. And the Marquis de Sade, really, who did it in The 120 Days of Sodom, I guess. I read that in like tenth grade. I thought: "Wow!" It is a great book. First of all, how many authors have an entire sex life named after them?

Q:How did you decide which kinds of sexual deviance you were going to depict? Some of them I'd never heard of before like "Roman Showers?

JW: That, I'd never heard of either -- I got that one out. Thank God, I'm not the only one.

Q: Yeah, but how did you decide upon showing something about it?

JW: [I chose] Ones that were joyous and ones that weren't against women and that weren't mean-spirited -- that could be funny and were safe. That was a really important thing to me, that if I was going to make a movie encouraging these sex addicts, in a way, I had to have sex addicts that did safe sex. Because I couldn't do that irresponsibly and these sex acts were ones that used to be thought of as really neurotic behavior but now are "responsible." And real sex [these days] is "irresponsible."

Q: Johnny Knoxville mentioned repression bringing out your sexual fetishes.

JW: Yes well certainly, when you're brought up to think sex is dirty, it will always be better. Because dirty sex is better. I liked doing it "illegal" it was more fun to me when [being] gay was illegal. I mean I'm glad that it isn't now but just think: every time you had sex, you broke the law. Now that was a certain fetish right there. Where today, the words that Lenny Bruce went to jail for are on sitcoms. I'm questioning how can freedom go? Can tolerance go too far? Do we really care about the rights of adult babies? I don't know if I do, to be honest. When does it become "the last cause?" I'm trying to make fun of political correctness with that. Like when Big Ethel goes: "I can certainly judge that!" Everybody [in the audience] secretly thinks that. The other weird thing that I found out in all these fetishists is: there's no humor on their web sites. They're dead serious about it. I think it's pretty hard to be dead serious about being an adult baby -- you better have a sense of humor!

Q: Did you visit any sex addict meetings for research?

JW: I didn't because I thought that that would be condescending and I didn't think that I had to [go]. The 12-Step program is like the same in every one. "John Waters shows up to a sex addicts meeting." It'd be on “Gawker” in like ten minutes. I feel that, basically, if I was a sex addict, I would go to them for the same reasons that they did in the movie. I'm not against 12-Step programs, they've saved many of my friends' lives but at the same time, I know people that are addicted to meetings but they aren’t alcoholics and they go all the time. It's their whole life, and they're obsessed by it -- I make fun of things I like, basically.

Q: When you were writing A Dirty Shame and you were getting into the minutia of the characters' specific fallacies that you poke fun at, did you find yourself having to explain to the actors like: "this is what a payday is...?"

JW: No, I tried to put it in the dialogue sometimes -- I did explain it [in that way]. Except for the one scene where I purposely took the most obscure ones and I don't explain what they are - that's up to you to find out. Dorothy, you have to find out for yourself. But certainly, I have it in the dialogue a lot. When Johnny's walking her through the sex garage he does explain what some of them are and they talk back and forth. That always rememinded me of Fellini's satiricon -- when they were going around -- and there was a porn movie called "The Sex Garage" by Joe Gauge, so I'd always remembered that. So all these influences come in. When she say's "My Axis of Evil" or "Discover the Oyster" -- that's [based on] a famous M.F.K. Fischer cookbook -- it's an obscure reference. I like to throw in obscure references to see if anybody gets them.

Q: Are all of the fetishes real?

JW: Yes. I didn't make them up. But neuters, aren't real. Neuters I made up although, didn't we just have a Neuter convention? [the RNC] It seemed like a decency rally to me. I think they both seemed like decency rallies, unfortunately. This "all American" scary cheering. There were real decency rallies in Baltimore and all over the country after Jim Morrison supposedly exposed himself. The one in Baltimore turned into a race riot. [laughs] It was really ludicrous, because it was supposed to be about "there are good young people, we're not all hippies." It was really terrible and it ended decency rallies really fast -- that trend was over in a minute.

Q: How did you arrive at finding Selma Blair for this part?

JW: Selma's such a good actress... I knew that she'd worked with Todd Solondz and that she’s taken chances on the roles she’s picked -- very much like Johnny Depp. I think she's going to have his career because she refuses to be an ingénue. She likes to play something very different. She didn't get upstaged by those tits. I'd like to know another actress who could not be upstaged by them -- and she still looked good in them, I think. She still looked kind of sexy in them, I thought. And the teamsters really thought so.

Q: Was the David Hasselhoff thing always in your mind?

JW: We didn't film that until after the whole movie was over because I wanted to get the exact shots that we knew [we'd need]. Because I knew that when I talked a celebrity into it we'd have to be over there the next day to shoot it before their agents changed their minds. So, then I found out that we're shooting David Hasselhoff and he grew up two miles from where I grew up. He had a sense of humor about his celebrity. I do -- everybody in it does -- and that's what these movies are about: how much fun it is to be in movies or to be famous in a weird way. Everyone wants to be famous but I have no patience for people that complain about it.

Q: So what do you think about the return to "blotchy form" for John Waters?

JM: I don't think it's a return. I don't know that it is so different from the other ones except maybe the rating. And it's continuous and it's because it's sex, because it's about sex, [that] it's a more volatile subject matter. But I would hardly call Cecil B. Demented a "mainstream feel-good-fuzzy Hollywood movie." Imagine trying to get that movie made today. Oh God, would that be impossible and it was also made with French money so that'd really piss everyone off today.

Q: Did you expect the NC-17 rating? Was it the language?

JW: I didn't expect that. I didn't know that I'd get that at all, I was kind of amazed. And I did the appeal and I lost [because of] “the blatant sexual matter." So in other words, I don't know any other non-explicit NC-17 American comedy, I think it's the first. It means you can't even talk about sex. You don't see any sex in this movie.

Q: Did you see The Brown Bunny? That got an "X."

JW: No, but I'm dying to. He [Vincent Gallo] didn't get an X, he gave it one which I love, the anarchy to do that. Because they really hate it when you do that because you're allowed to give a film an X but they made up the NC-17 so people wouldn't do that -- so I loved that he did that. It was really good. Really a way to fuck with them.

Q: Was the release of this movie timed to coincide with election season or no?

JW: That's accidental, I mean I think it can't hurt. I think that there is a sexual war going on now. But I think the elections going to be even scarier. It's going to be an exact tie -- even more than last time -- and I think that even one vote, which means neither will accept it and there'll be anarchy.

Q: You've been associated with "trash" but how has the industry changed or has it? Do you think irony gets blurred now?

JW: I don't even know what that [trashy] means any more. Well now it's just American humor. Is this movie trashy? Is this movie ironic? I think irony's over. I said that in Pecker and all the editorials went "irony's over" and I'm like, "I said that two years ago!"

...see? Funny, yo...Laters...

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