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Book review: "Make Trouble"

This book, by John Waters of “Hairspray” fame, was an impulse purchase. After all, who could fail to notice a small pink book with large white textured letters saying “Make Trouble”? It is a transcription of Waters's commencement address to the Rhode Institute School of Design's Class of 2015. Those who have known me over several decades might be surprised by this purchase, but what old man could resist a book whose flyleaf states “Anyone embarking on a creative path, he tells us, would do well to realize that pragmatism and discipline are as important as talent and that rejection is nothing to fear.”

They might be even more surprised that I agree with much of his advice. For but three examples:

  1. “A career in the arts is like a hitchhiking trip: All you need is one person to say ‘get in,’ and off you go.” Not really any different from my advising people to use the “high-school boy” algorithm when submitting papers and proposals.
  2. “Keep up with what's causing chaos in your field.” Not really any different from my “Go where there is trouble!”
  3. “Listen to your political enemies, particularly the smart ones”. Me, I would omit the word “political”, but close enough.
The book is mostly pictures, so if you are short of money, you do have the option of just reading it in the bookstore. See, I am making trouble already! ;–)

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Comments

yubinr
Dec. 24th, 2017 12:15 am (UTC)
What’s the high-school boy algorithms
Something like “ok I will do it anyway”?
paulmck
Dec. 24th, 2017 06:22 am (UTC)
Re: What’s the high-school boy algorithms
The (old school) high-school boy wants a date for the upcoming dance. Like the hitchhiker, all the boy needs is for one girl to say "yes", at which point all the previous rejections are moot.

And just in case there is any confusion on this point, clumsy use of this algorithm might not be advisable in USA at the moment.