When I sent the book to The Daily Beast, the reviewer really liked it but his editor said, “Nigga, are you out of your god-damned mind?” (I’m paraphrasing). So, he put it up on his own site The Galleyist where he asks authors five questions.
I didn’t realize that at first but the publishers pointed it out to me when the book was done. They said it’s a “How To” book on doing whatever you want without going broke. I believe that, despite all the doom and gloom economic projections out there, we are still living in a very affluent time. If you work hard at something, it’ll pay the bills, no matter how retarded it is. You don’t even have to be that smart. Shit, if graffiti – writing your nickname on other people’s property – can lead to a lucrative career, anything can. Shepard Fairey grossed $6 million last year.
2) How much do you credit luck for your survival? Or is the key just to not do heroin?
Oh so I didn’t “build that” as Obama would say? You see this guy who’s done a bunch of fun shit and you assume it must be luck? Having a great time isn’t about luck. It’s about trial and error. I didn’t put in stories that involved getting rained out or the place being closed. The book is only the winners and like business, for every win, there are a dozen fails.
Wait, I just reread the question. You aren’t asking how I had so much fun. You’re asking why I’m alive. Yeah, I would say luck plays a big part. I recently read a story about some drunk assholes who drove over a cliff and died and while I was shaking my head at their stupidity, a friend said, “Yeah, but how many times have we done shit that’s WAY stupider?” It was a chilling thought.
Also, not doing heroin is a biggie. I think I list a dozen friends in the book who O.D.’d. The analogy I always use is: If there was a 10 with AIDS in the room and an 8.5 with no STDs, which one would you fuck? You can synthesize the heroin buzz with pot, booze, and Xanax. That’s the 8.5. Heroin is a bit better but the odds are very high you’re going to die. You’d think saying, “Don’t fuck women with AIDS” is redundant but apparently it’s not.
3) I share your hatred for flip-flops. Will the scourge of strangers’ toes ever be lifted from New York City? At least summer’s almost over.
Yeah but then another summer comes along and they’re back. I once asked a guy in my office building why the fuck he wears them to work and he goes, “I didn’t want to be some douche.” Pardon? Where do these guys get the idea that showing the world their hairy toes is chill? Have they ever seen their own genitalia? Go look at your bag in the mirror. God did not give men nice looking parts. Stop parading them around town.
4) Is it true that in fourth grade you made fun of Clinton Bedecki and stole his gym shorts? [Context]
I don’t think I ever stole his gym shorts. Clinton was a wild motherfucker who is probably in jail now. He’d always take shit too far. In fifth grade, a bunch of us broke into the school gym during lunch. We were throwing gym mats around and doing other harmless stuff and then we look up and Clinton is throwing the school’s stereo off the stage. It soared through the air in slow motion and then smashed into a million pieces on the floor. We all yelled, “HOLY SHIT!” and ran for our lives. I think he was the one who took a shit in the equipment room, too. I often wonder what the janitor thought when he saw that. He probably said, “Animals” out loud.
5) At this point, I’ll bet you’ll agree that the idea of talking about what is or is not a hipster is totally boring and almost incoherent. Even using the word makes me feel lame. Does that mean that the hipsters won?
When you first approached me about this interview, you asked if you could ask five questions. That was one. This is six.