Here, from the incomparable John Waters, is a paean to the power of subversive inspiration that will delight, amuse, enrich--and happily horrify readers everywhere.
Role Models is, in fact, a self-portrait told through intimate profiles of favorite personalities--some famous, some unknown, some criminal, some surprisingly middle-of-the-road. From Esther Martin, owner of t
I have never seen a John Waters film from beginning to end, but I do remember visiting my friend Chris Barton in his multiple apartments in Muncie, IN and there always seemed to be a Waters' movie playing in the background. I knew of Divine because of him and could even identify her today if a photo was in front of me. But...I couldn't tell you which film she was in (was she in all of his???) or anything else...more
John Waters is infectious. And I mean that in the best possible way. His passion and enthusiasm for his "role models" is so genuine and palpable that it's impossible to not want to sit down with him immediately and chat on and on in a relentless, otaku way about all these wonderful people and obsessions - even the ones that are so completely disgusting and horrifying! But that's Waters' charm.
There's nothing I love more than a bona fide celebrity who is in...more
You should never read for "enjoyment". Read to make yourself smarter. Or 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 ever let me 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.
John Waters isn't exactly a role model fo...more
this is a book devoted to the people who've inspired him throughout his life, and it includes some of his very best stories. the absolute tour-de-force is the narrative of his friendship with leslie van houten. van houten was one of the manson girls in the late 60's, and waters has been v...more
John Waters pioneered the campaign of turning filth into camp. When Divine ate dog excrement (for real) in Pink Flamingo, I was petrified. But I LOLed at the absurdity of the whole thing.
In this hilarious autobiography, Waters introduces us to some of his role models. Don't be alarmed, not all of them are pervs. The belov...more
In fact, there are no stories like that.
In "Role Models," director John Waters ranges from Baltimore bar owners and strippers to eccentric fashion designers, from gay pornographers to a membe...more
It's interesting to me that while this is a book about people who have influenced him, it's more about him than any other previous book. I can't recall, for example, any previous book mentioning his sexual orientation (not that it was any secret).
Of the chapters in this book, the centerpiece (best written, most fl...more
“You don’t need fashion designers when you are young. Have faith in your own bad taste. Buy the cheapest thing in your local thrift shop – the clothes that are freshly out of style with even the hippest people a few years older than you. Get on the fashion nerves of your peers, not your parents – that is the key to fashion leadership. Ill-fitting is always stylish. But be more creative – wear your clothes inside out, backward, upside down. Throw bl...more
But anyway. This guy's life is awesome. I like how he's basically always working at something, (and not just making movies/being famous) except on...more
Or both, I think.
Two lovely British friends came to visit. We took the bus to New York, and then Boston.
In Boston, we visited Harvard, and Harvard Book Store. I saw this book, and picked it up from the Biography/Celebrity section.
The next day, I flew back to Baltimore.
As I was waiting in line at the airport, I swore I saw someone that looked like John Waters. "No, that cannot be him," I thought, as nothing as ever really happens to me, ever.
After the two hour plane...more
Oddly enough I enjoyed the Leslie chapter the best. I am not one of those people obsessed with serial killers. I find them repulsive. His earlier books talked about his fondness for the Manson trials, and I just kind of beared with that. What I enjoyed about his updated comments in Role Models are the alterations of his views. A more mature look...more
John Waters is aware that fans of his cult movies look to him as an exemplar of certain ideas about taste, social class, gender and fame -- specifically, inverting the dominant culture's stance on all of these things to create a Dreamland for 'minorities who don't even fit in with their own minorities'. He has always been open about his own fandom, whether reflected in the stuntcasting/retrocasting of Tab Hunter...more
Beautifully Troubled Waters
From Role Models to Living Arrangements with America’s Kookiest Auteur
There’s something heartening about looking at John Waters bookshelves and seeing many of the same titles I once owned. And while I can’t help wondering if some of those titles did in fact once belong to me (could he have bought a lot at auction?), the symmetry of our reading habits far outweighs any foolish speculation of the sort.
As expected, Waters includes some shocking role models, such as outsider pornographers...more
I wouldn't call myself a rabid fan, I like some of his movies and projects more than others but I love the idea of them. You just need to have a healthy respect for him to enjoy thi...more
It's a collection of loosely autobiographical essays, connected by the idea that each of the subjects is someone who John Waters admires. I kept feeling that if I knew more abut John Waters (and was "in" on more of the jokes) or if I liked him more, I'd appreciate the overall collection more. At first, it was a quick and fun read, but the...more
Some chapters are better than others... The opening with Johnny Mathis, the Leslie / Manson Family chapter (the most powerful), the piece on fashion, the chapter on Baltimore. All that... that's a book-worth of great and you should pick this up. Some of the other chapters a...more
John Water is one of my role models, but not because he's a celebrated filmmaker or a cult celebrity or an unapologetic eccentric. And believe me, I admire those things. John Waters is my role model because he's into the source material.
He is in...more
I have been a John Waters fan since I saw the movie Crybaby years ago. Since then I've watched many of his films. I love cult movies, and have a real appreciation for camp humor. John Waters' films aren't for everyone, but I love them.
As the creator of these films, odes to trash, you might expect someone unbalanced, rude, and distasteful. John Waters as a person is actually, at least nowadays, none of those things. He has incredible taste, it's just entirely...more