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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  November 14, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PST

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. >> welcome to the program, tonight we begin with a major cybersecurity breach at the nsa. we talk to david sanger of "the new york times." >> in is the special forces of the nsa, the group that designs american attacks to get in the foreign computer systems. the attack against iran to cripple their centrifuges was a tao or partly a tao operation. the attacks you and i have discussed before against north korea's miss el program was partly a tao operation, the attacks against the islamic state. so this is the most critical group of cyberwarriors that we have. and it looked like they were beginning to hemorrhage many of their own tools. it probably needed the help of an insider, maybe several. and part waf we discovered as we
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dug deeper into this subject was that inside the nsa they think there may still be insider was were part of this. >> and we begun continue with the latest in politics with robert costa of "the washington post." >> i have been in indiana recently, pennsylvania, new jersey, and virginia. and the voters there are noticeably still angry about the global economy. not necessarily in love with president trump politically. but they still have some of the grieveance that lead president trump to be elected. so this idea that suburban voters are turning just on temperment or just on tweets, i don't see it yet in my reporting. >> rose: we conclude with cartoonist chris ware. >> the act of drawing is seeing, trying to see something and it puts new a completely different men tl state it puts you into a state of being in that moment for that specific moment and understanding reality in a way that adults are very, very good at not doing. we spend most of our lives kind of getting out of the way of
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things, trying to remember stuff, trying to get through the day. certain regrets and problems, mistakes that we made either an hour before or years before come back to us. so we spend much of our time just in this sort of cloud of remembrance and anxiety that trying to live in that moment is a very difficult accomplishment, i think. drawing encourages that more than anything. >> rose: sanger, costa and ware when we continue. funding for charlie rose is provided by the following. bank of america, life better connected. >> >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications
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from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> the nsa has been grappling with a massive cybersecurity breach over the past 15 months. "the new york times" reports today that some of the agency's most sensitive information has been stolen by a group of expert hackers known as the shadow brokers. the paper describes the damage as an earthquake that has shaken the nsa to its core. david sang certificate "the new york times" national security correspondent. he's one of the reporters who broke this story, he joins me now from boston, welcome. >> great to be back with you. >> here is the new york times today. deep security breach cripples nsa. mysterious group steals powerful hacking weapons putting world in danger. so explain to me, please who did what to whom and what does it mean? >> well, charl yea, this story really goes back to august of 2016, a month that you may remember we were all thinking about another hack. it was really when we discovered
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the depths of the russian hacking into the democratic national committee and the release of emails and so forth. it was just the moment when the russia hack was beginning to gather steam. that same month this group called the shadow brokers who we didn't really understand then and really don't fully understand 15 months later began publishing what looked like very obscure computer code that they advertised as coming out of the deepest depths of the nsa, a group called the tail erred access operations unit. this is sort of the special forces of the nsa, the group that designs american attacks to get into foreign computer systems. the attack against iran to cripple their centrifuges, that was a tao or at least partly a
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tao operation. the attacks you and i have discussed before against north korea's missile program, that was partly a tao operation. the attacks against the islamic state. so this is the most critical group of cyberwarriors that we have. and it looked like they were beginning to hemorrhage many of their own tools. it probably needed the help of an insider, maybe several. and part of what we discovered as we dug deeper into this subject was that inside the nsa they think there may still be insiders who are part of this. they also suspect that it's the russians who are playing the central role directly or indirectly in distributing this material in public to cause precisely the kind of chaos that was involved here. what we found also interesting about this is that these lost weapons as we reported before, were wrapped up in weapons that
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the north koreans and the russians later designed and shot out against allies who were partners. so the want to cry attack that crippled the british health system was a north korean designed weapon that made use of what was stolen from the nsa. and the attack on ukraine over the summer was also based on a set of weapons that were stolen from the nsa. so charlie it's a little like losing a tomahawk missile and having parts of it shot back to an ally. >> so who, what do they think who do they think the shadow brokers are. >> they think they're a group of hacking group that may be loosely affiliated with the russians. >> rose: i got that. >> or at least had some russian money. but you know, they-- they speak at least when they write their ransom demands and so forth, they use a sort of broken
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english that seems to be an effort to sort of cloak who they are. and yet at the same time, they seem to have a deep familiarity with the american system. and there are a lot of cultural references and political references in their demands that make it clear that if they're not americans, then they know a lot about americans. >> rose: who is jake williams. >> he's a former tao operator who my colleagues scott shane found. and who told scott that he, after he had left the tail erred access operations unit had written some about shadow brokers on a company blog, a company that he had help found. and suddenly shadow brokers was coming after him, outing him as a former member of the tao, accurately. so they had some insider knowledge there. and then he found himself looking at code that had
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references in it that clearly indicated that they knew about operations that he worked on. so they were in pretty deep. he speaks on the record. >> rose: he says in fact whoever wrote this, talking about hacking him, eithers with a well placed insider or had stolen a lot of operational data. here is what some of the commentary including the new york times in your piece says today. this was much worse than snowden. not only did they take the code words, they took the code. >> that's right. and that is the essence of this. when snowden released his data it was incredibly damaging am but it was code words and descriptions of operations, whether it was breaking into the chinese leadership communication system or whether it was breaking into angela merkel's cell phone. this actually releases the real code that is used, which tells
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you how much the nsa had to go back and rip up and start again. now in the world of cyber, you often have to rip up code and start again because your target shifts and they change. what works against the north korean missile last year may not work against it this year because the designs of the missiles have changedment but in this case, they lost many of their signature codes and they even lost some of the manuals about how to go use them because those had been published as well. >> so when you describe this as damaging to the world, what does that mean? >> if you are relying, charlie, on the united states and its allies to be able to conduct the kind of cyberoperation that we think might keep the peace, whether it is disabling north korean missile test or going after a country trying to get a nuclear weapon, or trying to get
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inside russian network, then you have to believe that this is incredibly damaging to the united states. but it also raises, charlie, a much deeper question. we focused a huge amount of our effort in the past decade to building up american cyberoffensive cap abilities. and we have done that with considerable success. and i think it's fair to say that the united states is probably the best at the-- in the world right now, although the lead may not be a very long one, at using cyberweapons in an incredibly subtle way for both destruction and for espionage. what we haven't done as well is protect what we have got. and this explains to you why it is that in the cyberworld it's entirely possible that you can lose your lead overnight for the same reason that general electric or westinghouse could
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lose an industrial design overnight if it is stolen out of their system. >> rose: is there some worry that we're losing our lead? >> well, there was worry that we were losing our lead even without shadow brokers. the thing about cyberis it's relatively cheap to start up. you don't need rare materials, no uranium or plu tonium needed in this case, thank you. you just need some very smart talent and an ability to figure out how to roam around the networks of the world and how to crack into the ones that are blocked to you. now that takes a lot of work, time and attention. it is not especially expensive. and so it is that the north koreans prove pretty good at this. they did the sony attack. they did that wanna cry attack. they got $81 million out of the bangladesh irtral bank but for a type graph kal error they would have gotten a billion. so if north korea can do it, you got to think a lot of other places can do it the iranians
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are big players, eastern european countries have a lot of talent in this territory as well. so this is as we have talked about before, the new area in which countries compete and conflict without starting a war so big or at least they hope that there is retaliation. but now the stakes are rising with every single year. and this is becoming now with, if russia is playing in the election space, the electric power space, and now the nsa space, it is becoming a new area of superpower conflict as well. >> there are also reports that they are shadow brokers, being then, are selling it. >> well, they're trying to sell it. interestingly they had to put on a fire sale the other day where they cut their prices. and that may be that people are discovering that some of this data is outoutdated or they wonder if they pay their money will they really get the best stuff they have. but that is an element of ransom
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ware, you know, people take a look at this and try to sell it. it's also a way sometimes of diverting attention. if somebody is trying to sell something, you may think they're in it for financial gain when in fact that may be to throw investigators off the scent. >> before i leave you, think for a moment about what progress or lack of progress the president might have made in his trip to asia, meeting with those countries that he met with, especially xi jinping where he was seated rather well. did he gain everything in the effort to stop north korea? >> i don't think he gained much, charl yea. we'll have to wait until we hear about what took place in the actual conversations. i think the trip started well and went down hill over some period of time. he had a good start in japan where clearly his relationship with prime minister abb is the strongest relationship he has among the asian allies and maybe one of the strongest in the world. i thought he gave a ver solid
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speech in front of the considerrian, south korean parliament it was a speech that you could have imagined george bush or barack obama giving about the human-rights abuses in north korea. and about the threat of their nuclear program. it was very much within the tradition of american presence. then when we got to china it wasn't clear to me that despite all of the pomp and circumstances of how he was received, that he actually got the chinese to do anything that would truly change the tra jectory of what the north koreans are doing. i'm not sure that is within the chinese power. and meanwhile the other countries he was meeting got together and approved the transpacific partnership. >> so going ahead without us, i thought we looked pretty isolated. by the end of the trip he was in the philippines with a philippine leader who is responsible, we believe, for thousands of extra judicial killings in the-- in his effort
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to run out the drug trade, that had been used for many other purposes. and there was no public discussion of the human rights implications of this, even though he was sitting in the palace of a major american ally. >> rose: thank you, david. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: back in a moment. stay with us. i'm pleased to have bob costa here. five women as you no he have accused alabama senator yal candidate roy moore of sexual assault. in a press conference this morning senate majority leader mitch mcconnell said moore should step aside from the race. on capitol hill house and senate republican negotiations on tax reform earlier today. s five country tour of asia from later this week. and over the weekend he spoke privately with russian president vladimir putin. president trump says he believed putin when he said he absolutely did not meddle in the 2016 election. for all of that we turn to robert costa national political
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reporter for "the washington post," moderator of washington week on pbs and it's always great to have him here in the studio. welcome. >> great to be with you. >> we talk about all of that. but let me begin with the senate candidate from alabama, roy moore, where does that stand? >> what a headache for the republican party. they're not really sure what to do with this. you have roy moore with now five women coming out with accusations, a new one today on monday in new york, i was there as gloria aldred the attorney spoke with her. then beverly young down in alabama made new accusations about roy moore. but he is defiant in the senate race. he doesn't want to leave. so they are con tell plating inside of the white house today and on capitol hill what to do, can you have a write-in candidate. can you maybe even not seat moore if he wins the seat outright on december 12th. they're really not sure what to do he has the base with him in alabama. >> rose: could he win? >> he certainly could win. >> rose: not withstanding all this he could winness this is a
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state won overwhelmingly by president trump last year. doug jones the democrat, a prosecutor, respected, inching up in the polls, he made this race competitive but this is still a deep red state. >> rose: what is the president saying or doing. >> i was talking to people insood the white house today and they say it's difficult for them to make a decision politically inside of the white house because the president is in asia. and he hasn't made a firm decision i'm told about how to handle roy moore in light of this latest accusation. they're waiting for the president to take a firmer stand. >> rose: how do they consider this president doing on this tour of asia beginning in japan and then going on to china? >> i mean talk about the chapters of this trip. that is how they think about it. there were before tweets, after tweet, before tweets they felt good, they felt he was on mesessage. >> rose: off to a good start in japan. >> he built a relationship with abb, they had a krozy airport, they articulated different things on north korea and trade but he never stepped too far outside of the lines that they
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had a he grood to. they thought it was going swimmingly and then the president when in vietnam decides to start tweeting and showing his wrath about a variety of different issues, especially about russia and it's been a challenge for them to say the least. >> rose: exactly what happened in the conversation with putin. i have looked at it a number of times. what was he saying, was he saying i believe putin believes what he says or was he saying at the first glance i believe what putin is saying. >> he is saying both. he says i believe what putin is saying more than anything. >> rose. >> it is serious because he made a statement later saying he now accepts the intelligence community's conclusion. >> rose: which is different from what putin is saying. >> but context matters. because the president believes that the russia investigations and he growses about this privately, are about the election last year. about nullifying the election last year. so whenever he makes these statements about putin, it's not just about the context of the conversation that those two lead ares had, it is about the
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context of the broader conversation in the battle he feels he's waging on russia. one of the reasons we walk back the statement, questioning the intelligence community is he does have a lot of faith in mike pompeo in fact there is not a bigger kf dant ne this administration than the director of the cia mike pompeo. he gives the president the daily brief, some what unusual for the cia direct tore do that. he has built this relationship as someone who channels the base with president trump. he's been floated as a potential successor to rex tillerson as secretary of state. and so because pompeo, the president has walked it backment that doesn't mean the president is show happy now with the intelligence community. he still believes as steve bannon and others used to whisper to him that there is a deep state aligned against him. >> rose: he says i believe these guys what is what he basically said. >> his people. >> rose: tax reform, what is going to happen? >> the senate and the house have to figure out a path forward. it's been ruptured by what happened in virginia, the elections a few days ago.
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it's been ruptured by the ri moore controversy. and you have this major factor is how populist should the tax reform plan be. by that i mean should the corporate tax rate begin immediately to come down to 20% or should it be extended. should this be full of deduks or in the. >> the senate suggesting they wait until 2019. >> that is because they want to have an appeal to working people. they don't want to be seen as a procorporate part in this age of poplism you go at the tame time this say mainstream republican congress. they are not really naturally populist. at the it end of the day most of them privately tell me they want to make sure the corporate tax cut happens because that is important for their donors, that's important for the party. they think it's progrowth. >> rose: is it likely they will get a tax bill before the first of the area. >> if they don't it's a political disaster. people close to ryan, the speaker, mcconnell the majority leader say they will get it done. every day i call, i say is this thing falling apart. the senate and house are not
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close together at all. m not sure if in the course of my reporting i'm hearing a lot of confidence rather than fact when it comes to will this thing happen. because they still have to close the gaps and you have kevin ntrol it orrin hatch, thes to senate finance committee chairman he want to hold it it and president trump starts tweeting about different deductions and other things from asia, that is a major kurve ball, they really haven't had a unified front. >> rose: they cannot go to the country because of what their promises have been without having tax reform especially since they did not get the repeal of obamacare. >> they may, they want to make sure they have tax reform but charlie, look at the whispers on capitol hill, listen to them. it's mitch mcconnell and his ai loos are starting to talk about how much progress he made on judicial nomination, not just gorsuch for the supreme court earlier but throughout different lower courts, circuit courts, how much progress senate republicans have made in nominations because they need to have a plan b. >> rose: because they have no legislation so therefore their plan is to say we changed the
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judiciary. >> exactly. if they can't come to a consensus on taxes you could see them plawsably running a campaign on 2018 on grieveance, culture politics plus the progress they made on judicial nominations. >> rose: what is your interpretation of the election. >> suburban voters are starting to turn. dnt mean they flipped. these are states that went for the democrats last year, didn't go for president trump but in northern virginia, suburbs of pennsylvania and sushes of new york city suburban independents and swing voters are saying we maybe had enough of president trump. the question everybody has to ask in washiton, they are telling me every day s it because of trump's conduct and temperment or because of his policies. >> rose: what is your response to that. >> i have been in indiana recently, pennsylvania, new jersey, and virginia. and the voters there are noticeably still angry about the global economy. not necessarily in love with president trump politically, but they still have some of the grieveance that lead president trump to be elected. so this idea that suburban
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voters are turning just on temperment or just on tweets, i don't see it yet in my reporting. >> rose: but what are they turning on then? are they turning on. >> they're turning on trade, on health-care issues. and the biggest challenge for republicans, perhaps, is they may not be turning toward a tax plan. you don't hear the noise mooning votedders have i spoken to for this tax plan. out in the grass roots. even on the republican side. >> rose: great to have you here. >> thank you. >> rose: robert costa public television's guy on washington week in he are view and washington reports primary key political reporter. it has been a great banner year for "the washington post." we'll be right back. stay with us. chris ware is here, a cartoonist whose work is characterized by his metic lus design. emotional depth and ambitious scope. smith says quote there is no write worst work i love more than chris. here is a look at his work.
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♪. >> marlt part of comics as a medium is based around that idea of drawing spaces and moving through memory spaces and seeing what happens when are you drawing on the page. i try to allow that to structure the stories that i write. >> the way chris thinks what he is obsessed by does have to do with memory and loss, as if each panel was kind of like a little memory palace where you store a thought, a past, and find it again. >> drawing is simply another way of seeing which we don't really do as adults. children see all the time, children are always drawing with their eyes. i think that's part of what becoming an artist is is getting back in touch with that sense of experience and wonder that you have as a kid. i grew up in a middle class neighborhood. i went to a private school with very small classes so i had the
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unfortunate experience of not being able to reinvent myself every year. so i was just like, you know, i would come back the next year. oh, there he is again. and that would be, i was the nerd. >> i started drawing as a way of controlling things and disappearing too another reality. when are you drawing something you are engaged in a way that sort of shuts down language and allows to you see reality as it is. >> i will be drawing a character sometimes like i will have to cut my habit of ignoring that fact and the hair of the character will get longer or if i'm not paying attention to exercise and that character will get fatter. it's really weird. there's some sort of mirror neuron thing in comics. >> chris' unique, the sheer scale of it, it is almost like he has so much he wants to do visually that it's like the pages aren't big enough to have these pages where like there
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will be a giant baby in the center of the page. or there is a series of pages in one of his books where like on one picture there is a woman standing there with her clothing. you turn the page and she is without clothing, you turn the page and it is the skeleton and that upped all around there are other things happening. the sheer inventiveness of the visuals. just like the colors and draftsmanship is just so beautiful. >> there is such a thing as a chris ware pallette. there are some blues, some blue grays, and some tones. it's a language. you can speak in color. >> for me color is sort of like a second story that is kind of overlayed on the page itself. when i'm drawing a page, i know that a certain character, there is going to be something that has to be a certain color and when i start to color the page, things start to happen on the page in the same way that happened when i'm drawing the page that they start to connect in ways i wouldn't have predictd. a red thing here will connect to something red down here. if i want that highlighted and make things more blue, the blue
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becomes a secondary sort of story. >> there is a tremendous amount of mel an kollee in this stories. and chris defends that. the whole part of living which you just feel that way. >> there are two kinds ofliliness and theliliness of being with another person. that is kind of what life is. >> i often have to people say oh, chris ware, depend-- depressing. it is often people who haven't spent time with him. >> what is interesting with about the work is while the stories and people are often very sad, like the images are just like bursting with like life and color and e pressiveness. >> jimmy corigan, the book itself is about somebody who doesn't see the world in a beautiful way so the book itself i designed to be hopefully as beautiful and colorful as i could to contradict the characters malaise and to say
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no, that is not actually true. the world actually is this way if you pay attention to it. >> his work isn't just an interesting set of graphics. one can also see once one enters into it that they have an incredibly strong emotional wallop. >> stories jump forward and backward in time, span generations, from the most private internal feelings to wide shots of the city, a vast expense to the world's fair. there are dream scrapes, robots and overweight superheroes, temptations of monogamous marriage life are poarnded near a discarded soda can by that people are being so nice about my stuff. it's great. >> rose: that was brilliantly done by a guy named torp piquet.
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>> he did it well. i'm really flat erred. my hands are shaking. >> rose: go he capture snu. >> i don't know. whenever i see myself on the outside i forget what it's like to be on the sign side and vice versa. i forget what my face does and my very strange, it's sort of, that is what the job of a cartoonist is is to inhabit a body and try to put that on the page so when the reader reads that they can feel through that but when i see myself in reality that is not the experience i have at all. >> all of this came from only what, nebraska. >> i suppose omaha, nebraska. >> i suppose t is a very middle of the country, middle class, middle everything, at least that was my upbringing. so i had a very charmed childhood, i think. >> rose: charmed. >> i think so, yeah. very little to work against other than maybe being the nerd in the school and not terribly athletic which is a very mild way of putting it. so but you know, that is the
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story of hundreds of thousands of kids. >> rose: majority, i think. >> yeah. i was going to end up going into the humanities, as they used to call it. >> rose: you were raised by your mother and her mother. >> yeah, i didn't know my dad. he left very early on, my biological father. and i spent a lot of time at my grand grandmother house when my mom was at work at the omaha herald. both were supportive and generous encouraging me with my artwork. especially my mom, signed me up for art classes, and took me down there to look at the artwork, the renaissance paintings they this on display in the modern art. and i would scratch my head and wonder what it was all about. i really wanted to learn how to draw. it seemed like something that i could maybe possibly a-- attain show or have the skill it seemed lake my 0e7b8 hope as a human being was to be able-- . >> rose: what did peanuts
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mean. >> charles schultz was the first cartoonist to reality an empathetic character. before his comic strips, they were something you looked down on and laughed at. and his genius was to take his heart and put it into the artwork and into every line that he made so that the reader would go into the picture and come back out through the characters. and feel through those characters. charlie brown was a character that you felt not only for but through. i mean it moved me so much when i was a kid that he didn't get valentines that i sent him a valentine or gave to my mom to send to him. i don't know what she did with it. >> rose: i'm sure she sent it. >> i don't know. the fact that somebody can do that, just for the simple little doodle. is he capturing something about the fundamental truth of a human being, in a tiny little, almost dumb drawing that would make a kid, kid's heartbreak in a way, that's something. there is really something there that is powerful, i think. >> rose: take a look at this.
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this is from an earlier show of mine, may 9th, 1997, here it is. >>. >> i suppose there's kind of a melanalcoholy feeling or an area in i think a lot of cartoonists because cartooning like all other humor comes from bad things happening. people say well, why don't you have charl yea brown kick the football, why don't you do there or do that. i said well, that would be wonderful, it's happy. but happiness is not funny. i wish we could all be happy. but it isn't funny. >> rose: is it your experience then for great comics and for people who can make other people laugh that coming, that humor in fact comes out of bad lies. >> definitely, one of the great scenes of all time is city lights where the girl, the blind girl recognizes the charlie chaplynn is the one that paid for her surgery. i don't think there's ever been a more tender scene ever filmed
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but it was sad but funny. >> even hearing his voice, i listen to a recorded interview can schultz that was done for the comics jurnl as a way of sort of centering myself and kind of keeping, keeping that sense of what it is really all about. he is such an unpretentious warm person. and it comes through in not only just what he is saying but just the way he says it. >> rose: did you learn about empathy from him? >> i think so. i think probably, and i remember being deeply moved by certain wilder's our town, there was a televised version in the '70s that i watched that moved me, the scene where the character is trying to get the family members to look at her. to just simply look at her because life is going by too quickly. >> there are so many references to your mom and grandmother. >> uh-huh. >> rose: that had a profound influence. >> i think i'm lucky. i was raised by women. i think that is a good thing.
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i think it's a big plus. for awhile i thought maybe not having a male role model other than maybe my grandfather or later my stepfather david who has been by far the greatest role model of my life in that regard. and a great man. but i feel lucky as a kid being-- because i am didn't know how to fix things. i didn't want to punch kids. i didn't want to be aggressive. i wanted to kind of back off and keep to myself and understand thirngs and fundamentally be nice to people. which sounds naive and childish but i don't know,. >> rose: the drawing in your undergraduate art department did what for snu. >> they helped me see and helped me to empathize with people. you can't not empathize with somebody when they are sitting there in front of you with no clothes on. some life drawing teachers would say like don't think about the fact it is a naked person. how can i not think about the fact that it is another person there that is very vulnerable.
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i think it's important to try to put that into the drawings and also to not think about the human body, necessarily, as an accurate construction. but what is it really, what are these particles that make up our bodies and the chemicals and the biological form that then contain this consciousness and the sense of potential wounding or arrogance. it's very strange. that's what you need to try to get down. i'm not the light in the dark or the angle of the elbow, nobody cares about that. >> rose: you once said i think that drawing is one of the most valuable skills anyone can learn. >> uh-huh. i think it's totally true. i mean i think i kind of said this earlier but just the simple, the act of drawing is seen, as trying to see something. approximate tut puts you into a completely dirve mental state it puts you into a state of being in that moment for that specific moment and understanding reality in a way that adults are very, very good at not doing.
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we spend most of our lives kind of getting out of the way of things, trying to remember stuff, trying to get through the day certain regrets, problems, mistakes, an hour before, years before come back to us. we spend much of our time in this sort of cloud of remembrance and anxiety that trying to live in that moment is a very difficult accomplishment, i think drawing encourages that more than anything. >> tell me about windsor mccay. >> windsor mccay was a cartoonist at the more or less the turn of the century, invented a character, but also is more famous for inventing essentially inventing animated cartoons. he didn't invent them but refined them to the point that he might as well be giving the credit for inventing them. and he, his ability to divide time and space on the page allowed for a language of gesture to kind of inculcate a
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sense of movement on the page that felt real. if you read his pictures, not work, don't read the work, you read his pictures as a sequence, go over them the same way you would read words, it comes to life on the page in a magical way that suddenly seems like there is something moving on the page it is a strange sort of alchemy. and that to me is the basic engine there of comics. of making a drawing seem to come to life on the page. and george hariman was the artist to take that. >> rose: an early insurance fleuns as well. >> yes, he created crazy cat was his best known strip by far. >> when did you experiment with animation. >> when i was in art school. i did some animation and it took a very long time for just a few seconds of reward. and i didn't like the passivity of it. i didn't like when were done with something you wamped it i like the activeness of comics that you read them and that you make them come to life in your mind. the animation is a art of
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watching, rather than making it happen, i guess. >> rose: and art speegleman. >> i started reading reading raw magazine in my teen years when i was searching for, to put if mildly, searching for pornography in the back room of my, the comic shop in omaha, nebraska. and i managed to graduate to the point where the owner of the store would sort of sur rep ti shusly let me go back and look for the copies heavy metal and stuff like that. there was a magazine sticking out of the back of the bin that said raw. and i said all right, this is it. >> rose: the mother load. >> but it was just weird european comics. but i bought it anyway. and that one issue changed my life, front cover was my a dutch artist, colored by fran sois-- now editor of the new yorker and art slice. and that issue, can i point to
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that issue as making me realize there was something in that, of putting pictures together on a page that-- . >> rose: changed your life. >> and that was something almost kind of literary. >> rose: what have you learned from him. >> from art? >> rose: yeah. >> everything. i don't, i talk to him, every month or two on the phone and i just think i don't know what good i'm doing to him talking to him. pretty much every idea i have in my brain came from him in some way or another, either some sorted of, from reading his work or talking to him over the years, all of the ideas i have i can trace back to his efforts, so, and i certainly-- taking the efforts of artsts like robert crumb and kim underground cartoonists and taking it, and so basically presenting it in a way that dig niified it and didn't make it dismissible or, which a lot of cartoonists didn't really likement they laked that throw away junkie qualitied of underground comics.
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approximate when did the relationship with "the new yorker" begin? >> i think it was about in college or so, fran sois started asking me to contribute ideas for the cover. i was very, very nervous so it was completely not up to snuff or up to par but over the years she has been extraordinarily encouraging. >> rose: aren't you too smart to be too modest? >> i mean i don't-- i think that you have the relationship inverted. if you can-- i try to see things as accurately as i can. and i can see very accurately that i'm first of all not very smart and second of all have i serious deficits in the aesthetic skill set that i'm continue allly try to rectify. and it's if is an attempt to see-- . >> rose: when you see a deficit you constantly try to rectify. but at the same time it should not-- i can understand that, i really do understand the sense of believing that you can see
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you have the power to see how great things can be. or how much there is to know. >> yeah. >> or how much reference would be valuable, all of that. that seems like a mountain yet at the same time, don't you have to look at what you have created, and see it for what it is, and what it means and what it reflects. >> i try, yeah, that's kind of the bad part because that's when i actually do see it. all i see are the problems and mistakes. >> this doesn't make you use a terrible expression, or half empty guy, does it. >> probably half empty guy sefl definitely, at least at 3:00 in the morning when oorm's trying to sleep. i don't know. >> trying to sleep. >> yeah. it's my own problem. i guess everybody is just-- i thought if i tried hard enough when i was younger i thought if i just keep going i will get to the point where i won't feel this way any more and feel confident about what i do.
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and that just never happened. >> rose: you have never, never? >> when i'm done and it sat there for two or three months and look back i say well, maybe it wasn't as bad as i thought it was. >> rose: jimmy cor i began, smartest kid on earth. >> when i see that now, i see a lot of problems. >> rose: you see a lot of problems but can you see a lot of accomplishment. >> sure, yeah, i'm not going to-- but at the same time, i-- i think brahm said something doesn't have to be good t just has to be complete or something, i'm misquoting him but something about that, and there is a lot of unattended deficits in that and other books that i have done. so i actually try to structure books in such a way that allow for this unintended things to ther than antagonistic.ory >> rose: what did jimmy cori gan do for you? >> well, other than proving to me that i could stick with something for seven years and get through a whole book, i
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guess, certainly that. it also helped me pay the rent finally, waiting for my own stuff which then changes your life completely over because before that i was just drawing comics on the side, and then to draw the stuff and have it be the source of food and sus tenance for myself and my family, becomes a completely different relationship then. and then you have to worry about certain things like you start to get towards that moment where you feel less inventive or worried that if you try something new, it might not work out as well which is a bad state to be in. so it is a difficult, a difficult thing. i look at frank lloyd wright and how he reinvented himself so brilliantly every few years, like he took the one thing he was avoiding in one phase of his work and embraced it in his new work. and i wish i could do that. i try to do things like that but i'm much too hesitant i think, so. >> rose: too hesitant?
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>> i think so, yeah. i wish i had a little more umph. i will do anything can i do to avoid sitting at the drawing table. >> rose: will you really? >> yeah. >> rose: the thing you love the most, the thing you love the most. >> well, that's probably being a little charitable. >> rose: well w i love being done with it when i finish a page but getting started. >> rose: what, because it's hard, because it's painful, because it's. >> it's difficult. it's self-accusatory. it makes me feel like i'm not, you know, getting started is very hard. but once i get going it say little easier. since i'm writing as i'm drawing, when i get to the point where i'm actually inning it it is not quite as difficult. so-- i don't know. >> how long has this been in the creation? >> i think charles meyers the publisher invited me to do it 2006. hi a show at the m.c. lz 11 years ago. >> yeah, i know, i'm sorry. the m.c. a chicago and i didn't feel at that time that it was-- that i had enough work yet to make an art book, you know, worthy.
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i don't even know if i still do am but once i finish my previous book-- . >> rose: so when you finish this, did you feel a great sense of pride, accomplishment, satisfaction wfntion it printed well, i was happy about that because thras' the horrible part of being a cartoonist is if you work years on a book and it goes to the printer and comes back and the blue is off it, the whole thing is ruined. >> rose: that would be a bad day. >> yeah. but it didn't, it was printed well and you know, it was an attempt just to put everything, because working in a medium of reproduction that all cartoonists have to do, and especially in my generation doing work occasionally commercial that o could be expecterred as artwork but wasn't t was simply drawings made to pay the bills, i didn't want to confuse those. i wanted to separate the two and i really, i like the junkiness of comics. i want to present it well. but the fact that they are digs
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missable as a printed medium is important to me. because that allows for an honest relationship with the viewer that i think in the fine art world is not necessarily as cut and dry. if you read a comic strip and you look at a painting and you don't understand t you blame your own ignorance of art history. if you read a comic strip and don't like it you just think the cartoonist is an idiot. i think that is a very honest relationship. >> rose: with a cartoonist. >> with a reader. >> rose: oh, you, oardz. >> i think the fact that people feel free to criticize or throw something away or say i don't want to take this book to my next apartment, i will just throw it away. i think that's good. >> rose: tell me about building stories. >> building stories is a book i started in 2001 and finished in 2011. it is 14 separate books and a box so the idea was to have a story with no beginning or no end. you wouldn't know where to start or stop it. and that hopefully reflected something of the way that we remember reality rather than the
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way rethink we go through it which is straight straight, which we don't. with he can go through it and put it back together in all sorts of different ways. it's also a way we meet people, we learn about them, in a piecemeal way. you don't meet somebody and hear their biography from birth to that moment. you figure things out about them and put them together in sort of a mosaic. so and the whole book itself was kind of an attempt to try to make like a dream book that sort of thing that everybody, i think, imagines at certain points this inn their dream life or hear a beautiful peeses of music or see a beautiful-- wonderful painting or amazing film and wake up and realize wait, i made that up, that was in my mind. i did that myself and then it fades. and i wanted to try to make a book that had that sensation to it, at least. something that seemed almost untenable in a way. >> who is the woman at the center of it? >> the woman at the center of it is an unnamed protagonist who goes through art school, sort av voids the creative life out of self-doubts and then end up
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getting married and having a kid and finding a certain sol as and centeredness in her life because of that but then regrets her giving up on her-- on her creative life 6789 but the book it siff is the attempt to make that dream object the one moment in her consciousness where she imagine this book in a box about her life just in a flash. so-- . >> rose: you like the tack tillness of books. >> very much so. it's the most interactive technology there is, yeah. all of this stuff about things that move around and click and-- i hate all that stuff. i mean there's nothing more interactive than reading pictures around having something happen on the page or having something that you don't have to plug in or worry if you have the right decoding software. i have done a few things. >> rose: go ahead. >> i have done a few things for animated things online that now aren't watchable any more because the language they were written in or whatever is just no longer available. so it's disappeared. but books are still readily
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readable to anybody who has the technology of eyeballs and a brain. >> rose: listen to cha charles schultz said. >> he once said that cartooning was a fairly sort of profession. you have to draw fairly well. if you draw really well you would be a painter. you have to write fairly well. if you wrote really well, you would be writing books. it's great for fairly person like me. which raises the question, what happens if you draw beautifulfully and you are an expressive, point yabt writer what sort of cartoons result from that. you hold the answer in your hand. to be fair chris ware is not a enlo. part of a generation of artists who create comics with ambitious imagery that are also just great emotional stories. >> very nice. >> rose: that's pretty damn good. >> yes, he is a very nice person. he's been a good friend for many years. i mean in a lot of ways he kind
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of showed me how to shall-- how to structure a story. i mean i think he's probably the only person in maryblg with a degree in semiotics without actually is employed. >> rose: the only one i know. >> yeah. but from working with him and collaborating with him on stories and seeing how he structures them i really learned a great deal. >> rose: memory is an important theme. >> it is all there is. that's all we have. >> rose: memory. >> yeah.s honestly there is nothing else, nothing else we can grab on to. there is nothing else that doesn't matter, that is the only thing that we can claim as our own, that is how we get through life. >> on memory. >> uh-huh, yeah. >> rose: a memory connects us to everything. >> yeah, and it's a construct and like i said earlier, in large part i think is imaginary and a fiction. a lot of what we-- believe in about certain people are just simply stories we made up about them and we start to believe.
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you know, imagine what are my friends doing right now, i wonder if they really think this about me, they probably do and that ends up in your larger novel about yourself that you are writing about yourself and you know. >> beautiful book. >> well, are you very kind, thank you. i appreciate it. >> rose: i'm very accurate. so you want the read tore take away what? >> a feeling of what it feels like to be alive. i guess to have a sort of a-- sim pathetic sense of-- yeah, that feeling. >> rose: to connect to what it means to be alive in your time. >> yeah, definitely. what else can we do? i mean that's what i look for when i read books. when i read books in the 19th century, i want to know what did it feel like to be in a human body at that time. and in as much detail as possible so that i can hopefully not make some of the same mistakes, you know, and understand how to live my life, but again it's not a
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predescriptive instruction manual kind of thing. it's like listening to a song or understanding a sense of something intuitively, or something. or internaling something. >> rose: you say by writing, i mean not sitting down and writing everything out and tediously adding in images later, but allowing it all to happen at the same time, uncertainty, the way we remember life itself. with just as much overlap and exchange in our minds' eyewitnesses uh-huh. that's true. and i think in am couldics, that is what all writers do anyway even if they plot everything out. once they get down to the business of writing you're still filling in the cracks and there is a degree of improvisation that comes from the way one's brain is connected. it is a highly organized thing. the only organ that named itself. but as a cartoonist you have the added advantage of drawing and remembering at the same time am when you draw something that you have recalled, it remaineds you of something else and you actually enter that space on the
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page and it becomes this sort of, this kind of continuous loop of memory and understanding that grows on the page as you are working on it. so and then something about the reading of the pictures that makes it especially tied to language and memory, i believe. so it's not like painting. >> rose: how long have you been working on rusty brown? >> it's like a-- it's embarrassing. since 20016789 have i done other books. i try to work on them at the same time so when i get sick of one-story i can work on another one. >> yeah rrs so it's coming out next year. >> part of it is. the first half. the other half will be done when i'm very, very old. the lie i tell myself now is the idea of working on a book for 17 or 20 years is possibly interesting because otherwise it's just completely insane. i don't know, i work as fast as can i. >> rose: some kid comes up to you and says-- why are you a
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cartoonist? like. >> my daughter asks me that freakily. she was recently sitting at my drawing table looking at my pages that are hanging i have for kerches. and she said dad, is there anything you have been really excited about this book coming out and i thought maybe there is not. >> maybe she is totally-- there's nobody. i'm me, i want to have it done, you know. but i don't know. she asked me recently too, she said are you, are you sad, do you dislike yourself. i said well sort of, you know. she said yeah, but are you doing all this work and it looks good and people seem to like it, you know. you shouldn't feel so bad about yourself. in fact, to do that is kind of self-indulgent, don't you think? >> gosh. i thought wow. >> rose: you don't need a psychiatrist, you have your daughter. >> i guess, 12 years old, so weird. >> rose: it's amazing. >> she's something else. >> rose: thank you. >> thank you. >> i don't know what to say.
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i am so flat erred and deeply moved to be here it means a great deal to me. >> rose: it means a lot to me. >> thank you. >> rose: thank you for joining us. see you nengs time. >> for more about this program and earlier episodes visit us yn-line and charlie captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh
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>> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. >> you're watching pbs.
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