Interview: Gene Roddenberry
An interview with the mind behind Star Trek.
An interview with the mind behind Star Trek.
An 11-hour conversation about “well, just about everything that’s ever been funny.”
The ’90s icon and Nine Inch Nails frontman talks about listening to music, his own and others, in 2017.
"If I had been a straight-A student my whole life and had rapped about Jesus coming back to save us all, I wouldn’t get no media. The motherfuckers wouldn’t give a fuck about me. But since I’m telling the truth, and been through what I’m stressing and know what I’m talking about, I’m a threat."
“‘Make America Great Again’ means ‘Make America White Again.’ So now you have this other explosion of people who want to feel above something, better than something. And who is that? That’s me.”
"I’m not familiar with books on style. My role in the revival of Strunk’s book was a fluke—just something I took on because I was not doing anything else at the time. It cost me a year out of my life, so little did I know about grammar."
An interview with Dylan, 75, on the power of recording standards.
“Do you think you’re talking to a normal person here?”
An interview with Joan Didion.
“We have a lot in common. We go to the same shrink.”
“Oh, I think I do overshare, and I sometime marvel that I do it. But it's sort of - in a way, it's my way of trying to understand myself. I don't know. I get it out of my head. It creates community when you talk about private things and you can find other people that have the same things. Otherwise, I don't know - I felt very lonely with some of the issues that I had or history that I had. And when I shared about it, I found that others had it, too.”
“Let me state, in all frankness, that I have never harbored personal doubts or a lack of confidence. That may be good or it may be bad. But if you see your actions as objectively correct, then not having doubts is good. I must admit that pride may have influenced my attitudes from time to time. But once I came to a conclusion as to what was right, I had great personal confidence in those ideas.”
A conversation about beauty with an 86-year-old mathematician.
“The final evaluation of a play has nothing to do with immediate audience or critical response. The playwright, along with any writer, composer, painter in this society, has got to have a terribly private view of his own value, of his own work. He's got to listen to his own voice primarily. He's got to watch out for fads, for what might be called the critical aesthetics.”
The author on Lolita, his work habits, and what he expected from his literary afterlife.
“You try to learn as much about the people as you can. I try never to give psychohistory. There is no one truth, but there are an awful lot of objective facts. The more facts you get, the more facts you collect, the closer you come to whatever truth there is. The base of biography has to be facts.”
“I believe that all the survivors are mad. One time or another their madness will explode. You cannot absorb that much madness and not be influenced by it.”
“Things don’t just flow out of your brain. It’s not like, Hey, I’m brilliant. Show up, paper right here, bam, another banger. No—you sit and you struggle with yourself and you stop cutting your hair. I’m not cutting my hair right now. You stop shaving, like I’m not shaving right now. You remember that you can fail. I’ve failed several times. The fact that everybody else don’t see that don’t give me the right to not see it.”
“This baby was unviable, basically. That’s what they say. They say that the baby is ‘incompatible with life.’”
“It’s the American view that everything has to keep climbing: productivity, profits, even comedy. No time for reflection. No time to contract before another expansion. No time to grow up. No time to fuck up. No time to learn from your mistakes. But that notion goes against nature, which is cyclical.”
We have a rich literature. But sometimes it’s a literature too ready to be neutralized, to be incorporated into the ambient noise. This is why we need the writer in opposition, the novelist who writes against power, who writes against the corporation or the state or the whole apparatus of assimilation. We’re all one beat away from becoming elevator music.
An interview with the novelist.
“I made a pact with myself when I was 15 that if I was going to live this life, I'm only going to do it on my terms, and I'm only going to do it if I'm putting my middle finger up at society the whole time. So any time I've had yearnings to go, "Aw, gee, I wish I could be invited to the Emmys," I say, Ru, Ru, remember the pact you made. You never wanted to be a part of that bullshit. In fact, I'd rather have an enema than have an Emmy.”
The Supreme Court justice on gay rights, the problem with consensus, and the Devil.
A conversation about God, anxiety, and the monkey.