tv A Conversation with Molly Crabapple CSPAN January 10, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm EST
might -- >> is this my hazing? >> exactly, yes. if you want to haze holly tonight, this is your unit, i'm honored to be the moderator, but she was a writer in edition. and this book, when i first read it reminded me of books -- adventurous lives and in addition were great artists and that's the way this book reads. >> did you make -- >> i come to this later in the book, but become a writer and to
do a book and if i was as got as you are at drawing i would never do anything else. how disthis whole transformation come about? >> i hadn't always wanted to be a writer, actually, a i wrote this really, really terrible novel when hi was in high school about time travel. really baffled kept the bottom of my drawer and hopefully burned upon my death. >> give us a synopsis of the book? >> when you take the quirks of really good writers but nothing else good, and you do that with 20 writers and then try to hammer them together into one manuscript. kind of like that. >> what about the plot? >> it's bat girl who gets magic -- lets her travel to all of the historical ear eras i was interested in. >> how old were you. >> 16. >> wow.
>> i was just learning how to use a bong 15. >> you had friends and didn't. >> i was reading your book, sounded like he -- we had a lot of negative things in common. >> i grew up angry, too but i didn't have any reason to be angry. i came from a privileged household. my parents were strange but apart from that, -- what made you angry. >> you're a child. how can any thinking child not be angry. you have to have permission to use the bathroom. >> of course, you talk about that later that creativity thrives on constraint, block [inaudible]- >> i think, yes, because not to have something -- you have to have michigan that makes you jagged. you see people who have become really imminent, and too many
writers conferences and junkets smooth off their edges and become round, dull things. that is what happens when you have no constraints. >> i'm familiar with that. your mother was an artist. one thing i remember when we first met that i was struck by, really impressed by, was the way you talked about your mother's attitude towards art. it was something to do for money, and you got to it after a while that it was just almost purely spiritual activity. can you talk about that? >> you love it, of course, but you also view it as a trade, the same way that a carpenter views something as a trade. you view it as something you're goodded a. so often people don't go into art because the families view it like a scary thing you'll never make a living. and mom, but my father's family were people who were working artists. >> but she -- how did she gate
start? your great-grandfather was also an artist. can you talk about him? you never met him. >> i never mitt my great-grandfather. he was a member of the -- revolutionary socialist jewish organization, which is probably why he left russia during the failed revolution in 1905. he was an artist, a compulsive painter and perhaps slightly too rebellious for his own good person, and he had a basically -- >> still have those paintings. >> we do. my mom still has them. hi, mom. >> what are they like? are they like german art'. >> they're like impressionist stuff. my favorite and the one that has
the most familiarity. we did memory paintings, about life in the shadow, and some were weddings, usual things. some of them were like jewish girls fucking the russian guys behind the shed. >> wow. excellent. >> it was a true documentation of it. they were almost journalistic, even though done from 70 years removed. >> his drawing was something he always did or is that something he started after coming to america? when did you start seeing that? >> oh, man, me. i have been drawing since i was four. just how i deal with the world. if i was locked alone in a dark room i, i would draw. i can't not draw there or two impulses that artists have. we have the impulse to draw pretty pictures of people we like so we can gain they're affection and have friends
because we need bribes and then we have pictures of people you don't like. >> you have a line there were basically two kind different kinds of paintings, the one that you have to do to make friends, and then there's the secret painting of what you actually see. >> the secret horrible, treacherous things. goya, his most famous painting shows the royal family in all of their horrible, no chin, in-bred, just trauma and disgustingness. >> right, right. you feel like that's what you've done with your career, given up doing the pretty pictures that flatter people and the stuff you do now is the real hoible version of life you actually see or how does that work? >> i think you do both. a lot of people i draw are
people that i admire. whenever i do my stories, i always do them from a place of administer racing, even if d admiration, even if it's the most horrible thing. i did a piece of solitary confinement prisoners, the dallas six, they were beaten by the prison, charged with rioting, and you can't do in solitary confinement, obviously, but what attracted me to it wasn't just the here -- horror and evil, it was these guys were so smart and so i admired them. >> sometimes it's not always the negative horrible things. >> not always, and not always the flattering thing, either. sometimes i think if i had -- really smart with people who are getting kicked around by the world ask they want to kick back a bit. >> you wrote in the book you drew pictures of people so they wouldn't hit you. >> you have no idea. i was such a fucking brat.
i would have hit myself itch read my old journals and i was like, now i understand. >> what do you understand exactly? >> well, you know how you always frame yourself as the hero of your own story in your head. and i never wrote a book starring myself so i know this, but the particular story and stakes are played out when you're 14 are nat alaska -- not accurate. >> what exactly did happen? you wrote at one point -- your mother is in the audience -- >> and my dad is here. >> oh, really. you wrote this amazing line that i would have doused my childhood and lit a match. was it really that bad? >> not that my childhood is bad. i have lovely parents. when you're a kid, you're chatle. you're nothing. you can't decide anything. you have no choices. you have no -- why were you so
angry? >> i was an idiot. apart from that, so you found this outlet in drawing, talk about when you discovered -- it does seem like that's very much a style you adopted. how old were you? >> i guess i was 11 or 12, i want to say mitchell mom introduced -- my dad introduced know art a lot, but i was immediately obsessed with him. he was the house poster artist of the mulan rouge, and he caught receive his early and -- syphilis and suffered horrible conditions and hi took his bitterness some rage and channeled it into his work, and he worked if both a profound empathy for people who never get empathy. every man who ever dried to dry
brothels, la trek is the only one who got it right. >> what way? >> he drew the women as fellow humans. they weren't symbols of ruin, weren't symbols of beauty or desire. just women being, what oh, what a day. >> but it was different from other poster art of the age. >> those posters were about, let's show a good, fun, beautiful, wholesome time, and toulouse la trek was, no, let's show a time when there's class war being played out in nightclub form. >> when you were that age, did you already know you wanted to be an artist? >> oh, god, yeah. i knew i wanted to be an artist for forever. it was just -- >> four or five? >> either be an artist or writer, one or the other. >> and so you go to school, you have this kind of gothy existence in high school, and --
but you're desperate to get out, get into the real world. what are your real world experiences? you good to paris. the one part of your book i thought was a little bit -- every memoir of every artist. >> we have to, man. it's like a rule. we don't get -- we're not allowed to work otherwise. >> exactly. >> so i worked at shakespearean company in paris, which was this amazing experience. shakespearean company was a place where you could work for an hour a day in exchange for living there. and not even work well. i was very incompetent. no one should have ever hired me for retail. >> how can you be incompetent at a cash register. >> we had to do the addition ourselves and just kind of making up prices on the spot. >> wow. >> and also concoct lies why they should put money in the wishing well so we could scoop it out and buy liquor.
>> did you vary prices, if you didn't like people, you charged more? >> i foley -- yeah, i'd say yes so so shakespeare company becomes your home base. every time you get in trial you buy a ticket back to paris and go back there how many times did you go back and forth? >> oh, man. four and then -- four at that period in my life, and i go back there whenever i'm in paris but it's not the same. for me, not the stories the sam. i'm not this, like, crazy, grubby little drifter kid like i was. >> you first start going there in your late teens, early 20s. >> 17 when i first went. >> okay. and then there's this amazing part of the book where you decide to become -- join the sex worker business, and the first part of this -- >> she sect worker business?
why do you say that? >> i don't know how to talk about it. there's the first section is so unbelievably disgusting about these guys you call gwc, guys with cameras, and they sound literally like the worst people on earth. >> some of them were nice, just dudes. basically they were these guys that probably would have liked to have hired a private stripper but didn't want to think they were the kind of guys that would hire a stripper. so my job was to be maked in the hotel with them and concoct a dilution they were an artist who was making legitimate artistic products by taking photos of me, and some of them are really nice and sweet. some of them were pretty hilarious, one guy hads me pose with hundreds of hard boiled eggs in a warehouse and he was really offend by the idea anything would think he had an egg fettish. >> why did he have all the eggs. >> because they're beautiful in his words.
>> so you would have to sunday the guys out and -- suss these guys out? can you tell stories about the more difficult situations? one guy who paid a lot but was rude and disgusting. >> one guy got off on insulting women. so i posed for him and he gave me lots of money but he jaws critiqued my body in pretty harsh terms. i had a friend and i was like, -- you'll get $400 for two hours but probably be really mean to you because that's the sort of person he is. and the whole time that i was posing for this guy, he was like, your tits are awful, man, but the other model, her tits were great. when my other friend posed for him, he said, your tits are
awful. why don'tover how wins like mollie? and he was like the hobbit. >> in the beginning when you talk about this, seems like your really uncomfortable with the idea but pretty quickly you get over it and talk about how you were a sleek machine for extracting money. >> yes. >> did you actually take a lot of pleasure in this or just the fact you war making more money? -- were making more money? >> weren't that i thought it was so fun to pose. posing is uncomfortable, but it wasn't just the money. i certainly did like it but it was the idea i to get the money in a way that wasn't approved of. i didn't have to kowtow to the traditional trajectories of things. didn't have a degree, wasn't working retail. i was breaking the rules and defining a life on my own terms. >> you found that liberating. >> yes, found that liberating. i hate, i hate the discussion about the sex industry, is it
embauering or not who carolina. doesn't matter. but is getting paid what you would in a retail job in three hours empowering? yes. that's absolutely empowering. >> all these amazing stories of things you went through during this period. can you talk about the crickets? >> i was hired to pose for a music video shoot, and i was hired to be the girl in the bikini. it was a really low-budget heavy metal, and i was really broke, and they said, okay, we want to pour live crickets on you, and i -- they're gross, little feathery legs. and i negotiated that they wouldn't be on my face, but it was like, fine. >> either you specifically -- >> no face. so i'm lying there and my $15 bikini on the asphalt, then they powered them on my face and
i burt out in laughter. there's a lot of anger that there's like a girl that is hot, not sleeping with them, they have to pay to be around them so why not pour crickets on herfy's. >> a lot of these are intentionally mean? >> the cricket thing was but i demanded to be paid extra and wouldn't do it until i did. >> there was a really cool line during this section i wanted you to expand upon. you wrote that cool is not meeting, and you weren't cool yet. what do you mean by that? >> when you think of someone who is cool, what makes them cool is they don't want. they're not, like, begging someone, give me love, give memake give me affection, give me attention. their cool because other people are petitioning them and that part of my life all i wanted to do what make is at an artist. >> the fact you hadn't made it
yet -- >> but i wanted to. it was the wanting that made you uncool. >> did you ever get over that? >> i don't know. there's something really obnoxious' artists. we think we're outsiders long after we're inside. so many artists and writers that are fucking millionaires standing on the stage, speaking to an audience of 20,000 people, wild just like a poor gir and i'm still -- so i don't know whether i ever government over it or not -- ever got over it or not. i'm not -- i only know what is inside my own head but at a certain point you have to stop pretend you're an outsider. >> so, can you talk about the evolution of what you're drawing during this time period? obviously you start -- i've seen you withure notebooks. you have a process, and maybe this goes back to the think your great-grandfather said, make art every day. you're constantly drawing stuff, whether somebody asks you to or not and that started early in
life, right? >> remember when we heard -- took the course together and i'm drawing mean pictures. >> that was amazing. we went to this misdemeanor court where people were basically being sentenced for peeing on the street. >> , obstructing pedestrian traffic, and a whole room of people, almost entirely nonwhite, who are just there to get their tickets for something cops have allegedly seen them doing and mollie is smiling and going around to each person in the place and drawing their pictures and everything. >> and then this court officer -- i drew this picture of him like a -- he got so angry. >> everybody else had these really flattering caricature but the judge and bailiff didn't do so way. >> sometimes people's inner soul influences what you draw.
but in terms of my style, i always draw. i draw compulsively. then it got more and more detailed and got bigger and bigger. at one point i did an art show of giant paintings, one based on your article. >> i want to get to that decision of when you start making those epic paintings. you start off doing pen and ink. >> yes. >> and in little notebooks, and with that throughout your entire childhood up until when? you still do it, right. >> i still do them. i still do-do i have a sack of sketchbooks probably bigger than me at home. i guess i did it because -- you can get it anywhere but it's a door, kind of old-fashioned looking, the result, but only costs a dollar. >> right. and that is kind of -- did you ever work with ball pens? >> oh, god. he was mocking me for this back stage. when i was 12, i wasn't into and
it so proud to do this picture of this scran scrawny girl, long hair, and i was like, this is so cool, and i sent it off and it was in ball point pen. and they sent me a letter back that was like this artwork is lovely but we don't accept artwork with misexception in it. because i misspelled wreckum. >> i'm an artist, why does that matter? generally i used pilot pen and then slowly learned how to use color and learned how to use more advanced things, slowly let my style get looser, let it get more sloppy. started looking at steadman, a fucking idol. when you learn your medium so well, at a certain point you get bored with absolute control over and it you just want to let it
do the worst thing it can do and then make something good out of that. >> right, right. so you start branching out later. you didn't start doing these gigantic epic cancan -- canvases until later. jo wow working with the gwcs and then you had the episode with the suicide girls. >> i was suicide girl back in the day. >> one of the first ones. >> there were a lot. i was not like a founding model but suicide girls was interesting because it had this thing that when there was a big scandal around, it was ascribed to sex industry and wasn't about the section industry at all. actually about cool companies. there's a model with cool companies, whether they're american in peril or record label or whenever because they're like cool they get everyone to do free work, and put in a lot of unpaid labor, and then they get lots of venture capital and still relying on then free labor and
they like, we're cool, guys, we're not going to pay you and suicide girls was following that model. >> interesting, because you talk about your mother's three rules. that kind of violates the rule of never working for free, right? >> my mom's three rules were -- she told me shy be a teacher, which i -- she told me shy not move to the sub burks because commuting kills your soul, and she told me don't illustrate people's unpublished childrens books for free. nothing ever comes from that. >> so more specific than you said in the book. in the book, don't do anything for free, basically. >> i think she probably advise that, too but particularly children's books. everyone thinks they can write a children's book and they come to you, take my horrible five sentences and make them beautiful. >> right. for free. >> for free. >> that was funny. i had a mentor in journalism who gave me very similar advice an al-an early stage of my career
help had three rules also: don't write anything for free, never write about israel, and when you're really shit-faced drink a liter of water before you good to sleep. those were the three rules of journalism. so, this whole time you're drawing on pads and trying to get ahead in the art world as well. we talk about the breaks you had, like the cover for "screw" magazine. >> i was really crowd of it. my actual skills at that time were not so much but everyone cool works for "screw" magazine. all the underground artists did. once you're in the stage where you're drawing porn, you can draw anything. you had broken the first superficial taboo.
>> right. when did you make this transition into becoming a journalist? was that around the time of "occupy"? >> the time of "occupy." i guess journalism rubs off on you like a rash. i turned my parent into a press room and other journalists were around me, and i guess i was really tired of the idea of artists being these mute on observers stuck in their studio and never saying anything. my first big published piece, right after i got arrested and really mad and not just because my arrest was particularly bad. i had a stupid arrest but it was a sign, but -- >> you explain what happened? >> i was at an "occupy" protest and this very, very tall, pink cop came and arrested me because i was short and he thought it would be easy. 11 hours in jail was so shitty and awful it made me so angry that america uses this as
acceptable for using this on black guys. so much of white america thinks being arrests is fine because the never experienced it. >> right. what was it about "occupy" in particular that drew you to the movement? you didn't real -- you had arguments about politics with your father but don't talk about politics until you get to that section of the book. >> i had done a lot of antiiraq war marches and a lot of activism around sex workers, and i had never been seriously involved in political things. i thought it was boring. i hate meetings. i fucking hate them. i'll be honest. if that's the future, don't want to do it. and then also i guess i didn't feel i was -- i didn't feel i was intellectual enough.
i felt like i'm a naked girl that draws tits. i'm not good enough to be here. that sounds fucked up but it's true. but "occupy" was such inclusive space i didn't feel that way itch felt like it was for everyone. >> you started showing up and you were doing all kinds of things. drawing posters, one that worked its way to my desk, which is really cool, but talk about the work you did during this period. >> my first work around "occupy," noticed they didn't have any graphics so i drew a vampire squid. that's how i know him. he liked the t-shirt. >> which i later found out was a big no-no. >> that's okay. it was fine. that one people were allowed to do. but i did this sort of vampire squid. then it started drawing pictures of people, drawing posters, i did a poster for the general
strike in may 2012, latina women striking. >> excellent 'then you did shell games. >> then i did shell games. >> when i first saw shell games, at the first thing came to my mind, somebody would be insulted by this comparison -- >> not a comparison. i love that. >> because it's this gigantic epic russian of things and huge paintings with lots of minute details that are allegorical. so much work had to go into those. can you talk of the process. >> most of my life. >> there were nine of them. >> nine of them. they are well based on either an taggist -- antagonists or rebelons. so one might be a prost in greece, one about goldman sachs, one about health insurance, one might be about riots in london but i researched them like a
journalist. i'd ask them stuff, not just about fixing but about visual memories. remember interviewed paul mason, and he says the thing that struck him most was people with eyes covered with white because they pulled -- white strips on their eyes, and so i drew that, and i would take all of these experiences and memories and i would make them into a visual metaphor, and i would have a big allegorical woman and little allegorical animals and i did nine of these. they're so, so, so detailed. one about "occupy" has a drum circle and the others -- hiding their ears from it. >> the process was incredibly -- talk about the physical process of how you did that? because when i was reading that issue was stunned by it there were multiple people involved in different stages.
talk about that. >> the first thing i would do is do lots of sketches and notes. then i would do a super detailed pen and ink thing. and then i projected on to -- so much just manual labor goes into art. people want to pretend artist is something in your head. >> one of the first things that happened when molly and i met i was asking her about the possibility of doing a drawing...
something that they blanked out of it, they always want to pretend like your god. it's actually you making hand gestures and that it looks beautiful at the end. but at the entire time there's nothing to see your hand is just hurting. >> exactly. there in my me of editors ipad was on me to make changes it's actually fun for me. >> they feel those artistic. >> it's like it doesn't work that way. so you start to make these
amazing nine paintings for occupy. then he had a show after that, right? down the road you start working for vice and you become this multimedia multi dimensional journalists and artis. we talk about the significance of that in terms of what you might think the future could be? i think you and i have similar feelings to this about someone who does lots of different things all at once is going to be necessary in the terms of how things are going to develop in the future. >> many times and amassed to talk but the future of journalism, i i think the problem is the singular. there's an infinite number of features of journalism. it's the fact that the audiences day, the sources day, day, like
everyone is screaming all at once. perhaps what i have to offer journalism is just that sense of doing everything because that's what the future is. doing everything all at once. >> your part of the story in some cases right? your writing about it, your drawing it, you're also writing about things and participating in the same time. >> they have been amazing to me. my first investigative piece was for advice. i just got my security clearance to go to guantánamo. they gave me everything i have needed, unlike a lot of other places they do not demand that i change things.
>> i got to write an article for vice about donald trump. >> what did trump say to? >> he didn't say anything. his mouth puckered but he didn't say anything. but then i got yelled at by the publicist and other people said always remember this, the best follow-up question is mr. trump, you stand for luxury, is that why you love to buy? [laughter] >> that's a fastball. >> good journalism there. >> so you have a tremendous advantage advantage of a journalists that most people don't have, that's where you can meet people in a foreign country where you can't communicate with them in their foreign language
but you can draw them and have this report. you have all this bizarre foreign travel and all your younger life, and have these relationships with people in different places, talk about how be in and artis helps that. >> cameras are alienating in a lot of ways. who knows what you'll do with the photo, will it be used against them if they can't see the photo, people have their own cameras there is no great about having your photo taken. most people have not been drawn or they have only been drawn once or twice. they can evaluate you while you're evaluating them. so it's like you're putting putting yourself on the line when you draw. they can say it sucks to your face. they have to collaborate with you a little bit so many times i just hang out and draw people.
as we all know the best thing that happens in interviews are not when you're asking a lot of questions it's when everyone is relaxed and everyone is hanging out. >> that process for most people takes a really long time to get to that point. you don't develop that intimacy within five seconds for people. but if you're able to draw somewhat they immediately see what you are about. >> i love it. i feel so lucky that i get to do that. i remember once the me and the amazing guy who was translating for me, there like aliens, there like wired to white people showing up at this camp. it was the guy stay off so they set up this makeshift barbershop outside to make extra money. at first there like what are you doing, and then they said oh wow
that's my friend, i just got to hang out and chill with them. they they thought it was cool. who does that, just drop people. >> and you don't have to answer any questions the entire time, or be on schedule you can just hang out. >> a lot of times they would just tell me things i would talk to them while i draw. >> did they all could just hear picture? >> i think he knew what i was doing but he did not get to see my picture that i know of. >> will you talk about that experience. >> untenable was in guantánamo was an evil place. it was cheerful, self victimizing evil. it's a it has a gift shop.
>> what's in the gift shop? >> t-shirts that say it don't get no better than this. >> it wants to pretend that it is a normal caribbean military base with nothing going on is ever. it has a karaoke bar. >> i remember in iraq there is a cinnabon on a base that i stayed on i thought that was weird. a karaoke bar, that's outstanding. can you talk about some of the other stories that you have done, you've been to turkey a lot. >> i went to syria for like one day. ice recently in kurdistan, i was in lebanon, i did a big american
prison story. i feel so lucky that i have a place that will give me the freedom to spend months investigating prison stuff. you know how long it takes, takes forever just to get your letter to the prisoners takes a long time. >> you mean the arranging of it? >> or. >> or even getting contact with the prisoners themselves. setting up meetings, takes forever. they will give me that luxurious time that is so rare to get. they will also publish spontaneous things on me too. i've got to travel a lot. one of the things i'm proud of is i was able to go to gaza this year and i did it peace, look at me violating your rule here.
>> know you can write about israel. my mentor told me not to write about israel because he said in a matter what he said you're going to piss off a lot of people. >> i was able to interview these people, their homes were completely flattened but they were living in them anyway. i thought it was a privilege to be able to do that and not have someone censoring me it was just letting me write the facts as i knew them and how i saw it. >> what's the future for you now? do do you see yourself writing books forever in our everything. >> everything involves suffering doesn't it it's like i'm gonna be this horrible on baby troll
demon writing my book. >> especially a book where you really don't were close where you're doing it. >> no eyewear might boyfriends pain stain built encrusted shirt. i don't know, i guess more of the same but bigger and better. hopefully there's a break in there somewhere. i'm not good about thinking about the future. i'm not been want to be on this five year plan or anything. >> to see yourself as a journalist or artist or all of the above? >> all of the above. >> a few things i wanted to ask you about, does aesthetics me more more than morality? >> in the context of a drawing, we all know those horrible preachy propaganda paintings. while you are drawing, i'm not thinking this is the guy who
murdered neighbors. i'm i'm thinking how i make his face fit on the page. >> is that there also a conflict especially in journalism when you want to tell the truth about everything but when you do your going to lose your sources when you're trying to get information if you draw to accurately you're going to lose that person. >> well guantánamo was not very pleased about me about the article. the officer called up by screaming that i made him look like a fool. i'm a stink of my security clearance to go back and identify that back until i was in florida. but he gave it to me at the last minute. >> do you get that a lot? there's an artist in russia and
he said that's not me did that happen often? >> i was drying admiral butler who is in charge of gitmo, he decorated his office with beautiful photos and he had it big book with all the names in it. i didn't really like him very much but i think he thought i was some little woman or something so he was very charming to me to give me this interview and then he saw what i true and he said that was nice. >> this is a business that you forget about drawing and forget about art, even the written word
is going out of style, most everyone gets their information from video these days, it hasn't been hard to find a niche for yourself? >> you know what is strange? there are two ways to have a career, there one is to be the best, that's not me i've never been the boss but the other is to be so weird that you have no competitors. anyone who comes to you they want you. there's no competition, you can name your price because nobody else does what you do because you're so weird. inch instead of trying to be the best of many you just are being yourself. >> is there anyone even remotely like you? >> there is a artist to her be this technology in oakland. so we have a wide distance between what we do.
she's eurasia. >> you get everything else against technology in oakland. >> she gets all technology, don't write about that. >> so when did you decide to write this book? you're very, very young to be writing a memoir. >> kaman how old were you when you wrote your book. >> i was 27. >> so you are five years younger than me. >> what prompted the idea? >> i started writing personal essays, i think i only had five published pieces but when i got the book deal, people really like them and i had this fantasy that since i had written a 2000 word word essay that writing a 100,000 word book would be like writing 52,000 essays thousand essays and that will be that hard.
[laughter] >> there's an interesting passage in the beginning that we're talking about before but i wanted to ask you about. you're talking about how some of the girls in america go a certain way. >> well white girls are supposed to turn their anger inward. they're supposed to cotter star themselves or sleep with guys are mean to them. that's accepted narrative. then it's they get redeemed and get returned to healthy heterosexual thin but not unhealthy, obedience. i just thought i bet they turn their anger outward. >> so this book is not girl interrupted. >> know it is not. >> it's a great book i think everybody else will love it too. we can open it up for questions to the audience.
>> look at all their blank faces while we stare at them. >> the question is about the box >> i work for the house artist for the box since i was 20 years old. it's like the guys who wreck the economy with spent $20000 a night, but also my friends, they be on stage doing these acts of such beauty and anger was the most amazing place but also you hated everyone in the audience so much. >> do you think they played into your hole occupied by blader? you have this experience sitting
around. >> oh yes. including all the anger at the audience had to. you saw the guys that wrecked the economy attempting to dance to britney. [laughter] >> what were they like his people up close? >> there very entitled you would never say excuse me at that club because nobody ever would. >> the only place i ever really felt afraid was the day when it to syria because there is a lot of kidnapping there. it was dangerous. >> there's a section in the book where one of your numerous
boyfriends, the one who is angry about the fact that you are traveling alone everywhere. >> he thought that it was a unique quality to me that i was being harassed, it was just my fault it would never happen to anyone else. >> it was all is your fault right? >> there's this presumption that women are not supposed to travel or do anything fun. every fun thing women do is something that if they are ever raped they'll be blamed for doing this one thing. don't drink, don't travel, don't hitchhike, lock yourself inside an iron box. so that fear of doing anything is beaten into your head. >> there is never a moment in the book where you're wondering if i should ever do that. >> what's the alternative? not living in equal life?
>> we did a book together. >> my last book molly did the cover. it's all amazing, molly also also did a number of really cool posters for occupy that were based on some of my articles and at least a couple of them was based. >> one of them was the great american bubble machine. >> especially in terms of the wall street stuff we saw, i think it really came out well.
[inaudible] >> when i was 22 i started something called doctor sketchy's which was really a reaction to problems i saw with traditional art classes. it it was really objectifying and not like the sexy of jack defined way, like i'm going to demonstrate how a now bulwarks because i'm not a human. just an elbow demonstrator. at all these friends who are amazing performers performers and i wanted to do something where artists would draw them. i said started this in a dive bar when i was 22 and no money. i haven't really been with it for five years because i had my own our crew got so big. is still happening in new york, i believe you went to it in singapore. so it's awesome.
it gives me such joy that this crazy, our fantasy that i have when i was 22 is still going on, over ten years later now. i did learn from it that i do not want to be in a managerial role again. that's not my personality. >> anybody else? >> i have never actually had a blog series because i draw for a living. drying for a living. >> the question is whether or not you ever -- you're constantly drawing right? >> yeah even if i'm not feeling creative all destroy my hands or something. i draw all the time. a lot of times i i draw eyes,
hands, just, just everything. be like having a part of my life where i didn't breathe or talk. >> the question is whether new york is an artist really place or new york? >> not if you are poor it's not. the thing is, artist, where the parasites of the rich. new york has concentrated the rich on little tiny islands. i think it is a place where you can live in you can make art, you can have a living for yourself but it is hard. it's harder every year. >> you tell me some funny stories about some of the patrons you've had who clearly misunderstood what your work is about but they are willing to pay. >> so there's a guy who wanted
to buy original of the book cover i did for matt. i didn't sell it to him. he's a.com entrepreneur. he told me, i really want i really want to buy it, i love americana. [laughter] >> you should have sold it to him. >> there my children, i don't want to send them to bad homes. >> yes i have that, it's beutiful. >> the question is whether or not there is a place he would not go or is there place that you haven't been that you would want to go. >> i would not go back inside syria at this point, i be too
scared and i think it's too dangerous. where i would like to go, i would would like to go to iran someday. or pakistan. fingers crossed. >> you wrote about a problem in the book little bit in some muslim countries that there is an issue with the drying animals. >> i've never had a problem with it myself except once. when i was in morocco this jerk took my sketchbook and ripped out the page and tore it up in front of me. i was really sad and the next day i went back to that area and this young guy had taken the driver started taping them together. he said that guy was a a total jerk and he started taking them together. that was the only time, i've i've never had a problem otherwise. [inaudible] >> the question is whether you
[inaudible] >> former transportation secretary is next on book tv. he recenly appeared on c-span's a morning program, the "washington journal" to address partisan politics in washington. >> we are back with ray lahood, he served from 2009 until 2013, he 2013, he served seven turn in the u.s. house. let's talk about this highway debate between the senate and the house. do you like what the senate is doing? they have a six-year bill, they are not going to fund it by raising the gas tax but do you like with her head. >> guest: i like the fact that there is real bipartisanship between senator in half, who is, who is now the chair and senator boxer.
this is the same thing that happened a few years ago when senator boxer was chair of the committee. they work together and they put a two-year bill together, map 21 which is now expired but extended in the house. the bipartisan part of it i think is a good signal. transportation has always been bipartisan. there there are no republican or democratic bridges or roads. this is about what we can do for our friends and neighbors around the country in terms of putting them to work in filling potholes. i prefer six-year fully funded bill, i prefer raising the gas tax which has not been raised in 20 years. but the idea that the senate has come together and is working together i think is a very strong signal. it's a good signal. >> the "washington journal" editorial board wait in this morning said it would really keep the status quo, the senate bill and it would increase funding by $76 billion or about 3% a year. politicians in washington will still pick winner and loser states as they have since
eisenhower. the bike trails, scenic overlooks and that consume every gas tax will proceed as scheduled. >> guest: that's why i prefer 500,000,000,000 dollar bill funded over six years. raise the gas tax 10 cents a dollar. i think that strict sent a strong signal but we are where we are. the idea that senator in half and senator boxer and people on the e pw committee, both parties have come together, it's a little bit of progress. it's not everything i would want but it's progress. we should be applauding them from doing that and encouraging the house to take a close look at it. >> host: is that how it works though? the politicians here in washington get to choose the winner and loser states? or transportation funding? >> guest: the wall street
journal doesn't really have a quite right. this bill is a bill that reflects what needs to be done around america. we need to fix up the interstate system which is crumbling. we need to to fix a lot of bridges, many of which are in very bad repair. here in washington the bridge that leads to arlington cemetery's about falling down. there are a lot of bridges like that. there are plenty of roads and bridges all over america without any politician picking them, and really, really then it's up to the governor's and people in the states to make those decisions. in the era of no earmarks, the idea idea picking and choosing does not really exist. the idea of saying to the states, here is an amount of money that is going to be allocated to you and then there are also opportunities for other funding to. >> host: the "washington journal" says