John Waters is pimping his new album at Nerve.com. It's fun and there's one paragraph in particular that I just couldn't let myself post here. And now I know for sure where to visit to perhaps see him.
Someone who didn't give his name writes, "I seem to recall a John Waters quote to the effect that a Puritanical education in Catholic schools was a good thing, and that he was grateful for his own conservative upbringing because it made sex dirty and shameful and therefore more fun."
Well, I sort of said that. I said that being brought up Catholic makes sex better because it will always be dirty. I went to a Catholic high school, Christian Brothers, and it was terrible. They discouraged every interest I had. I wish I had quit school at sixteen. I would have made one more movie. It may be different today, but when I went there, it was the opposite of what's supposed to happen when you go to school. When you go to school, you're supposed to be inspired. It was the opposite. So I certainly am not glad I went to that Catholic school. I mean, I'm not sitting around pissed about it, I don't care, it's over with, but I certainly have never been to a reunion and have no desire to.
That's good. Maybe he'll reconsider. Joe Blevins, again, asks "I admire the way you've diversified your career over the years, and are now a director, writer, actor, commentator and artist. Do you have any plans to diversify further, perhaps trying your hand at documentary filmmaking or prose fiction?"
Tell him thank you. A novel would be the hardest thing ever that I secretly would like to try one day. I just got a job offer to be a disc jockey. That's a new one. I'll never believe that you can have too many careers. When one isn't working you can go to the other one. So, who knows? I would like to write a novel. A documentary? Actually, all my films are documentaries, if you've ever been to Baltimore.
"What dictates the level of shock value you're going to reach in your filmmaking process? Is it cultural, is it financial? Do you just need to take an artistic shower sometimes?"
Well, shock value was never the main thing I was trying for. I was trying to make you laugh at your ability to be shocked by anything. And Pink Flamingos was made the year pornography became legal. It was the end of the '60s. It was a joke! What is illegal anymore? What can't you have? I never tried to top that. And if I had, I think I wouldn't be working today. I think you have to constantly reinvent yourself, and the thing that I'm proudest of is when I go to a signing, the average age is twenty-five. They weren't even born when I made those movies. I'm very proud that I have been able, each decade, to cross over into a new audience. If you stay doing the same thing, you can't do that.
A reader named "disunstrung" asks, "From what you've seen, is Baltimore still as trashy as it's ever been, and what other U.S. cities do you see as up-and-coming as far as trashiness is concerned?"Nerve also has a link to an interview done while JW was promoting A Dirty Shame. It's worth a read.
Well, I think the Baltimore that they're speaking of, and the one I make my films about, is vanishing, as it is everywhere. I mean, real-estate porn is in Baltimore, yuppies have moved here — which is good for the city. And there are still neighborhoods here that are still pretty amazing, that inspire me. But it is probably vanishing. Another city that I think. . . I think Philadelphia is pretty good that way. Philadelphia would be the closest to Baltimore in some ways. I always think of MOVE, an organization that I'm still fascinated by.
Update: Amazon.com has a quickie video bit of JW talking about his album.