Though I don’t know David Meiklejohn, I semi-sorta-kinda know the person about whom he’s created a well-received documentary, Davy Rothbart of “My Heart is an Idiot.” And though I’ve not seen the film at the time of this writing, I have seen the trailer, have talked to people who’ve seen the film and do semi-sorta-kinda know Davy. So there is a kinship. Especially because those people, the ones who saw the film, liked it. And I like them, so I’m sure I’d like it, if not even love it.
This much I know: I like answers that David sent. They’re right here. Read them. Then watch the trailer, below. And special note to David: if you’ve got a photo, I’ll replace this goofy graphic with a still or a headshot. Thanks.
(David’s touring the film right now. Check out the doc’s website and see if you can’t track it down, live.)
One. Which of the seven deadliest sins make for the best art?
I don’t mean to play the iconoclast, but I’m more attracted to art that makes use of virtues rather than vices, and bravery is the most inspiring virtue, for me. I just finished a full-length documentary called My Heart is an Idiot, and it’s primarily about FOUND Magazine creator Davy Rothbart and his roller coaster love life, but it portrays the romantic stories of other people in Davy’s life as well. To let your lovelife be filmed and then shown to audiences takes a lot of courage, and the bravery of the subjects of the film inspires me to be more brave in my own life, love-related and otherwise.
Two. For what are you going to need a little more evidence?
I’d like more evidence that people are reading poetry. Deep inside I know that poetry is badass and powerful, and I know that everyone wants more badassness in their lives, so I keep waiting to see proof that poetry is being read, savored, and shared. There’s not as much evidence of this for my liking, but maybe if I keep demanding that people read poetry, more will.
Three. For personal creativity (or productivity), are you better served by contentment or restlessness?
I’m easily distracted, and I have self-diagnosed high-functioning OCD, which basically means I work best if my work area is tidy and I’m wearing shoes. For that reason, I’d say contentment. However, I also find myself regularly waking up at 4am full of ideas that make it impossible to sleep, so I get up and start working out whatever creative business is in my head, and I love that kind of restless enthusiasm. Can I make up the word “restentlessment” and claim that one instead?
Four. Likeliest occurrence within your lifetime: true peace, total war, or the arrival of spacemen/spacewomen.
All three, and what’s important to remember is that all three have already happened and are continuing to happen. If you ask someone in Palestine or Darfur or Iraq or Libya whether total war will happen in their lifetime, they’ll tell you to look around, it’s already here. And at the same time, a gardener in Detroit is planting zucchini in an abandoned plot of land where an elementary school used to be, and that peace is total and pervasive. Reaching outside our own perspective teaches us that it’s not a matter of “if” but rather a matter of “where.” And as far as spacepeople coming to our planet, you don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist or X-Files fanatic to believe that there are truths beyond our comprehension that exist right in front of our eyes. Also: Lady GaGa.
Five. For you, this is the book, play, recording, painting, poem, scripture, or (item X) that made all the difference.
I’m not sure the person I’d be if I hadn’t read any of Jean Genet’s writings. Probably a banker instead of an artist. And probably someone who wouldn’t steal your silverware when your back is turned. Which I am, so look out.