Siege’s #CBR5 #6: Role Models by John Waters

(I’ve been really out of the blogging game this year. Not sure why, but I just WAS NOT FEELING IT. I’ve been reading at my usual pace, but the effort needed to get online and write up a blog and then copy it to the other blog and blah blah blah was not making the top of my priority list. So I thought “Well, that’s it for book blogging, I guess.” Then one day, I discovered that as I was finishing books, I was feeling inspired to add a little review blurb over at Goodreads (where I diligently keep track of all my book activities). Nothing major or in-depth, but just a little something to let people know what I thought. As time went on, I thought “Maybe I could copy these little blurbs on my blog? They’re obviously not great criticism, but they’re SOMETHING at least.” So that’s what I’m doing. Take it or leave it, people.)

I find John Waters totally adorable. His gleeful enthusiasm for all things tacky, crude, and macabre makes me think that we would probably get along famously. Role Models is a series of essays, loosely gathered under the theme of “role models” but it’s mostly musings on his twisted way of seeing the world. Whether it’s a heartfelt explanation of his friendship with former Manson girl Leslie Van Houten or an in-depth investigation of the lives of underground gay porn filmmakers, Waters brings a boundless curiosity and a certain amount of sweet affection to all his subjects. He’s unapologetic about his own quirks and flaws, which makes him very understanding of the neuroses of others (unless they don’t read, in which case, “don’t fuck them”).

Although a few of his essays can seem a bit endless (the one about his favorite clothing designer reads a bit like the chapter of American Psycho when Patrick Bateman describes in detail each item of clothing and skin care product he owns) most were glorious little blobs of cheerful crudity and giggling chaos. It’s not for everyone, but if you love his movies, you’ll probably love his books too.

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