Friday, May 01, 2009

 

Wright stuff

My interview with Evan Wright, author of Generation Kill and Hella Nation (not my favorite title, but an excellent and entertaining collection) has been posted over at CJR. We talked about Hunter S. Thompson, the insidious power of televised imagery, and the author's transformative experience on the set of The World's Biggest Gang Bang II. Here's a sample, in which Wright discusses his youthful infatuation with Eldridge Cleaver:
CJR: What else draws you to these voiceless subjects, whom you call "rejectionists" in your introduction?

Wright: Well, here’s a little personal narrative that I didn’t put into the introduction. In a nutshell: when I was thirteen, I was insanely obsessed with Eldridge Cleaver's Soul On Ice. This was in rural Ohio, where I wanted to lead a Black Panther revolution. I ran away, and was sent to a home for troubled kids. That all resolved itself, years ago, but I still have a real affection for people struggling with some ridiculous obsession. I want to be a voice for the voiceless--you know, that noble thing--but I also have a personal affinity for rejectionists.

CJR: One great strength of the book is that you can write about Wingnut and his comical cadre without making fun of them.

Wright: I’m glad that comes across. I’m trying to reject the whole hipster irony culture. You know the idea: you leave New York or Los Angeles (two places where I’ve spent most of my adult life), and then you find idiots in the hinterlands, and show what buffoons they are. I suppose that because I actually am from the hinterlands, I dislike that kind of journalism.
You can read the rest here.

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