What’s a book that changed your life
Probably Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, or possibly On the Road, or Tropic of Cancer. I came to them all at the same time… mid to late high school. I came to all of them through the same person, too…. Kermit. I was never into books, and reading sucked. It was not a release for the mind, or a chance to use your imagination… or any of that shit they tell you. It was punishment. Why? They have us such horrible fucking books I am still angry about it. Stop giving 15 year old boys 200 year old Bronte/Jane Austen/Alcott/Hawthorne stories of repressed love on the moors of wherever.
FUCK YOU to people to do that. I have NOTHING to relate to, no one does. Do you want kids to hate reading? If so, keep feeding them ‘Newberry award winners’. Rather than burn books, which is generally bad optics for your totalitatioan regime… just give every citizen a Charlotte Bronte book and I promise no one will ever read another word again… at least not any dudes. It made me anti-reading… and now reading is one of my great passions. It ended up being my degree. Thank god for Kermit turning me on to those authors… and so much more. In those books above I saw people I could better relate to, and that I wanted to be. In those books people laughed and thought and drank and drugged and fucked. These are the things ay 16 year old male mind craves. Give kids those books. But, then do remind them pretty much everything your protagonist does is illegal. These books are your inspiration, but if you mimic them you are going to jail. These men are great writers, but make no mistake… they were not good people.
And if you are going to do terrible things and be a terrible person having a wild adventure… do write about it.
I want to teach lit… in prison. And I want to choose the books. I want to show people inside hope, and explain ‘the only difference between what you did, and the guys in this book did is that they wrote about it. Also, they are white. But truly I want to teach literature in jail to show folks that reading is an escape and free your mind and all that… but writing is your outlet. I guess I am trying to say I don’t want to teach reading, I want to teach creative writing. Years ago I looked into the teaching in prison thing, and I wasn’t qualified. Thought I have an English degree, I don’t have a teaching cert. Plus, they wanted to choose the books. The books I want would likely not be approved. Imagine I am holding a class in prison, and the warden walks by and overhears an inmate saying “the part where Bukowski’s character rapes a girl, is that symbolism?”. “No Paul, that is just good old fashioned rape, no good reason at all.”
If the world ends, what song would play in its end credits
Oh gosh, this choice will change hourly, but this may be the best and most perfect and odd and beautiful and interesting song that says every thing about every… thing. Tangled up in Blue by Dylan. Also, please give me the original Columbia NYC version. Let me be specific, and use this chance to plug an amazing song. First, the original original official version from 1973. About 20 year later, we got to hear the original recording. I think I like it better. You may play that at the end of the world, or just the end my world. Only in death to I have any chance of solving the riddle that is Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan is such an epic enigma that even Bob himself does not understand it. He succinctly expressed this perfectly years ago in a press conference – “usually, I am just myself. I am only Bob Dylan when I have to be.”
but then… there is this. Y’all know Marvel does great bits at the end of movies and in credits. Do you recall who invented it? Ferris Bueller’s Day Off literally invented the concept of putting content in the credits. It was a mind blowing game changer. that was a really great movie. Perhaps we should defer to this. Imagine 30 years ago we are all walking out and this happens. Seriously, it was mind blowing fourth wall stuff.
Seriously, how did anyone get anywhere without GPS?
Oh man, I know. I lean on it hard, especially Waze. I love Waze as it shows traffic and cops. Google has picked up some of those features as well. Know how? They bought Waze several years ago. It is still separate navigation, and is a separate company. It seems Google knew to leave it alone. I’ll tell you how I got by. I lived in the same city growing up, so I had it memorized. Plus, it was full of mountains, so there was almost always a visual reference point. Like… we lived at the foot of Camelback mountain, which you can see from anywhere in Phx. Folks know Phoenix is a desert, and so they understandably think of it as flat. No sir. Phoenix is covered in mountains… in every direction. They are just small mountains as far as altitude goes. It is the ‘valley of the sun’.
After Phx was Flagstaff. Again, mountains were my navigating pal. Flagstaff has Mt Humphreys, which rises up 12K feet and hosts Arizona’s main ski resort place, Snowbowl. Humphey’s was pretty much always north. Then… in 1997.. we move to Denver. Well, again the mountains saved my ass. Denver has the Rockies to the West… you can’t miss them. This range pretty much from Peru to Alaska… so it is a trusted navigational pal. You see a trend here. Even with GPS, I will not move to your city unless you have a Mountain.
What’s the best music documentary you’ve ever seen
Prolly ‘the Lasty Waltz’. This is not at all because of the documentary part of it… which we all fast forward through. Its because it is probably the greatest concert ever captured. There is very rare performances in there. Van Morrison, Leadbelly, Dylan, and of course… Neil Diamond? And they all kill it. This was 1975, I believe. The 70s were a great era for music, as it was the last original era. Everything since then has been done before.
Ok… not sure that is a good answer because the Last Waltz is not a good documentary. Its just two hours of sucking off Robbie Robertson. The performances are killer. So, I am going to step away and go down to the basement and look at my DVD collection. It is organized so that I can return with a quick answer.
Actually the best music documentary I think I can attach right here. It’s very poorly made. The narrative thread is all over the place. On many levels, it could be the worst documentary. However, it captures very organically the coming together of the greatest supergroup in history… the ‘Traveling Wilbury’s’ A few years ago they released a very nice box set. It comes with the two albums (all remastered), a nice booklet, and a DVD of their videos, and this documentary. I should make you buy it to see the doc, like I had to do. But then I think… none of these people need the money.
If you run your own small country, what would be your number one rule
Use turn signals. Always. Even on private property. Always. Getting into and out of your driveway into the neighborhood… or parking.. or cutting someone off. Always. It takes NO effort, uses NO gas, costs NO money. The first time you are caught, you lose your license for a week. Second time, a year. Third time? You are just shot dead because you are clearly a dick with no regard for the social contract.
Wait… you know how your steering wheel locks when the key is out? I assume its some kind of anti theft? And you know how people with DUI’s have to have the interlock device to blow in to start their car? Well, you have more than 2 tickets for not using a signal, you have to install a blinker lock on your car. It keeps your steering wheel from moving more than 20 degrees in either direction without using the turn signal first. Perhaps you say “what if I have to steer away quickly to avoid a collision?” to that, I say “tough shit, you should have thought of that before you decided not to use a signal”.
It’s a small thing, I know… but I really do get that angry about people who don’t use turn signals. Did you know years ago I ran for Sheriff? 100% true story. I ran for sheriff of Douglas County, CO… which is a southern suburb of Denver. Had I won, you can bet your ass there would have been gonzo enforcement of turn signals. I got 1,600 votes.