The great filmmaker, writer, raconteur, and all-purpose rabble-rouser John Waters turns 67 years old today, and since he’s one of the most quotable and entertaining pop culture figures out there, we figured we’d mark the occasion in the best way possible: by rounding up 67 pearls of wisdom from one of the best interviewees around. Join us after the jump for some of Mr. Waters’s liveliest thoughts on bad taste, high fashion, pornography, nudity, politics, and movies.
“We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.” (This Filthy World, 2007)
“I don’t read bad books. I’m sure there are millions of them. I think that I know enough about a book before I buy it that it would never be bad. I almost really like every book I read, because I know what the book will be. I know the writer, I know the subject matter I’m interested in, so I don’t think I could read one single book that’s bad. And I learned a long time ago: my place is to praise things that other people don’t like. As soon as I say something bad about somebody, I’ll be seated next to him or her at a dinner, and they will have read what I wrote.” (The Nervous Breakdown, 2011)
“You should never just read for ‘enjoyment.’ Read to make yourself smarter! Less judgmental. More apt to understand your friends’ insane behavior; or better yet, your own. Pick ‘hard books.’ Ones you have to concentrate on while reading. And for God’s sake, don’t let me ever hear you say, ‘I can’t read fiction. I only have time for the truth.’ Fiction is the truth, fool! Ever hear of ‘literature’? That means fiction, too, stupid.” (Role Models, 2010)
“There are little things that get on my nerves, like people who have reading material in their powder room. When you go in someone’s house, and next to the toilet they have a huge basket of magazines, I find that repellent. I recommend against straining while reading.” (New York Times Magazine, 2010)