Thursday, September 27, 2007
These words are from Junot Diaz, interviewed by Edwidge Danticat in the new issue of BOMB magazine.
"There's a lot of language in this book (The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao) that many could find offensive. The N-word is without question one of them. But as I'm always saying: there's a difference between representing a thing and endorsing it. The Yunior narrator feels comfortable using "the N-bomb" but Oscar never would, not for anything, and I think it's important to remember that. What's funny is that this is a conversation that interests the middle classes and the upper classes in our communities -- but talk to kids where I grew up or where I'm living now and that's not really what's at the top of their priorities. They're wondering why they've been abandoned educationally, politically, culturally -- why living in these urban zones is so very bad for your goddamn health.
"As an artist and as a person of color who've never had a moment in his life where someone hasn't been actively trying to control my tongue, I'm seriously conflicted about these debates. To keep it short: language has never been a good dog and its free exercise will never provide comfort to cultures of respectability. And I guess I've never really been one for comforting my readers either."
From the September 26th issue of New York magazine. Interview done by Tim Murphy:
Q: Is there anybody else's music you're really enjoying right now?
Joni Mitchell: No. [Laughs.] I couldn't listen to music for ten years, I hated it all. It all pissed me off.
One artist in particular?
No. Music just became grotesquely egocentric and made for money. It wasn't music — there was no muse. Music requires a muse. The producer is not a muse. He's a manufacturer. Contemporary music made me want to punch people. I couldn't stand any of it. The whoring, the drive-by shooting of it all. I don't care how well crafted it is. America is in a runaway-train position and dragging all the world with it. It's grotesquely mentally ill.
Rest of interview here.