John Waters came to New York for his annual Christmas Show last weekend, donned in his best Comme ds Garcons jacket and drawn on Maybelline Mustache. It was like seeing your favorite relative for the Holidays – the one who has been gifting you good alcohol since you were 15 and doesn’t ask you about school. The inappropriate but harmless one; the best one to talk to at the Holiday party because they’re the most exciting. He’s the spinster Uncle of my dreams, the best example of disgusting, smart, creative anti-hero I can only aspire to be. He’s been crowned “the pope of trash” by William S. Burroughs. He gave us the singing asshole. We owe him so much.
By we, I of course mean me, because I am self-centered and write for myself firstly and always. Woop! But truly, isn’t he one of the unexpected crowned darlings of the fashion community? A quieter street style hero, one very dedicated to young, radical designers and the avant-garde. He is a champion of trash as class and I think if I didn’t have that kind of role model growing up, I would have turned out a lot less queer and ultimately a lot less interesting. Watching “Pink Flamingos” in middle school totally scarred me and helped make me the freak I am today. It’s truly terrible! I love how terrible it is. You can’t understand it for a while, and it draws you in, closer, like when you get a bad bruise and you can’t stop looking at the gore in a detached state of horror. When you look at it long enough, somehow it numbs yourself and you see it a little bit with wonder. Maybe that’s just me, though. I’ve always been out for blood. I mean, I broke a girl’s nose in Church, once. At Girl Scout Camp. And when she made me bleed, I licked it up and started laughing and pretending I was a vampire. So you see where I’m coming from here. He’s my Wise Man of Wickedness.
We weren’t permitted to record the Christmas show this Friday – no matter, if you’re a Waters fan like me and have read most of his interviews and books, some of it wasn’t new material anyway – but I think he has great advice on gifts, life, and culture. Here are my favorite tips for a very John Waters Christmas, from the Wicked Wise Man of my heart.
On the perfect gift: “I always give books. And I always ask for books. I think you should reward people sexually for getting you books. Don’t send a thank-you note, repay them with sexual activity. If the book is rare or by your favorite author or one you didn’t know about, reward them with the most perverted sex act you can think of. Otherwise, you can just make out.”
Also on books: ‘If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ’em.’
He took this back the other day, though. Get that d. I won’t tell.