Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Monday, September 26, 2011

John Waters for President!

This man is so damn smart and funny and irreverent and willing to snap back at those who snipe at him, he should be leading the country instead of the clowns currently in charge. And this quote just made him even more appropriate for the role. Anyone who doesn't read doesn't know life.

That's not to say experience doesn't matter; it does. A lot. But we all get caught up in our own little views of the world and can easily get lost in the forest of our limitations without realizing it. Books are like a map leading you from darkness to light, from being surrounded by thick overgrowth to an open field of daisies and buttercups, from the dry and barren desert to the calming lakeside. New worlds are opened in your mind's eye, and thus your mind is kept open, as well.

When I worked at Heritage Book Shop, we had an area of nice sets of books that were of minimal value. We called them furniture, because about twice a month some designer would come in looking for books of a particular color to fit into their client's newly refurbished library. They'd want this certain shade of brown or blue or green or red or combination thereof so everything would coordinate (and they brought PAntone color charts to make sure). It didn't matter what the set was, so long at it looked good and well-read. I was stunned. Didn't their clients have their own books to put on the shelves? If not, why bother?

But then I took some pricey sets to a major music star's home up on Mulholland Drive and installed them in her library. Which was pristine. And really white. With gold trim. And the books I'd brought counterpointed that so perfectly, with their specialty bindings. What was sad was, it was sets of Blazac and de Maupassant and Hugo (apparently she was into a French phase). Brilliant writers. I hated leaving them, because I knew they'd never be touched least, not till she got rid of them for some other phase. And needless to say, from that point forward whenever I saw her on TV or in a video, she came across as less than intelligent and all about the artifice.

To counterpoint this, another client at Heritage was building a library of first editions of all the books he'd read, from "Tom Sawyer" to "The Brothers Karamazov" (both of which I've read). Very quiet, very intelligent, very self-effacing, and very well-off, because some of those firsts were in the six-figure range. But THAT is the kind of library I'd love to build. I can just see a set of Nonsuch Dickens on shelves in a home of mine.

Man, you can tell when someone doesn't read. They sound like Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin or Rick Perry or Rick Santorum or George W. Bush (who was proud of his non-reading) or a dozen other GOP scum. And you can tell by their statements they have no idea what life is really about because they've cocooned themselves away from it. Nothing is allowed to breach their forest or fortress or thicket or desert or whatever you want to call it.

But John Waters reads. Everything. I met him when I worked at Book Soup and he would take stacks of books home with him. Damn, I wish he was running. I'd all but kill to vote for him.

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