I John Waters

There are many reasons I love John Waters. His films, for a start—and not the vaguely mainstream ones like Crybaby and Hairspray and Serial Mom (although I love those, too), but particularly the flat-out nutfests: Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, and Desperate Living. Anyone who writes lines like “Kill everyone now! Condone first degree murder! Advocate cannibalism! Eat shit! Filth is my politics! Filth is my life!” or “Well, hip hip hooray for your cheap climax! What about me, fuck face?” is just tops in my book.

I also love his collection of essays, Crackpot: The Obsessions of John Waters, in which he admits his greatest guilty pleasure is art films.

Being a Catholic, guilt comes naturally. Except mine is reversed. I blab on ad nauseam about how much I love films like Dr. Butcher, M.D. or My Friends Need Killing, but what really shames me is that I’m also secretly a fan of what is unfortunately known as the “art film.” Before writing this sentence, I’ve tried to never utter the word “art” unless referring to Mr. Linkletter. But underneath all my posing as a trash film enthusiast, a little-known fact is that I actually sneak off in disguise (and hope to God I’m not recognized) to arty films in the same way business men rush in to see Pussy Talk on their lunch hour. I’m really embarrassed.
William S. Burroughs, whose Naked Lunch confirmed to me at age 16 or so that I was, indeed, an inveterate lover of freaks (and quite probably was one myself), called Waters the “Pope of Trash.” What a compliment.

So I sort of freaked out when My Londoner Andy told me he was going to be backstage with John Waters on a telly shoot. “Please get a picture of him for me if you can,” I begged. “And tell him I worship the filth he walks on!”

He seemed dubious.

“He’s really friendly!” I assured him. “He’ll be very kind.”

Harrumph grumble grumble, but he promised to try.

Well, he didn’t have the opportunity to take a picture, but he did introduce himself, and told him that I worship the filth he walks on. To which Mr. Waters replied, “Oh, that’s very kind.”

Which is another reason I love him.

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