At Marfa Ballroom's 2019 spring celebration at the Times Square Edition hotel, the Pope of Trash revealed why the White House needs a brutalist makeover.
If anyone knows nicknames it’s John Waters, a.k.a. The Pope of Trash, The Duke of Dirt, The Prince of Puke, The Ayatollah of Assholes, and—Waters’ personal favorite—The Anal Ambassador. It’s not shocking that the cult film icon is underwhelmed by 2020’s most whimsically named candidate, “Mayor Pete,” a.k.a. Pete Buttigieg, of South Bend, Indiana. “It hardly inspires power,” Waters lamented at a special performance for Ballroom Marfa that Ian Schrager’s Times Square Edition hotel hosted last week, kicking off a high-camp rant encompassing everything from “theybies” to monkey artists to the Satanic Temple, and expanding upon his new collection of essays, Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder—which he spoke to author Edmund White about for Document’s S/S 2019 issue.
The book is an unconventional self-help guide, full of surprisingly apt advice about how to fail upwards, thrive through a press scandal, and decorate a mansion so ugly no one wants to live in it. Which all seems like sound advice for someone hoping to be President of the United States. Especially one not fortunate enough to be given a catchy moniker like Buttplug of South Bend (which, for the record, Waters much prefers). Here a few more prize nuggets of insight from the Anal Ambassador’s Ballroom Marfa spring celebration.
Have a sense of humor.
Waters’ vote would go to Alfred E. Neuman, the fictitious cover boy of Mad Magazine, a which Pete Buttigieg evidently failed to pick up at any point between The Odyssey and the original Norwegian-language edition of Naïve. Super by Erlend Loe. A big mistake in Waters eyes—perhaps even more grave than Elizabeth Warren’s biotechnology snafu. “Elizabeth Warren? She’s never said a funny thing in her entire life. She never has,” Waters remarked, pinpointing his main gripe with the Massachusetts senator, adding that Warren’s Native American identity claims at least alerted him to the wonders of biotechnology, and subsequently, to his distant relative Maxine Waters. As for Kamala, “she’s the enemy of prisoners’ rights,” She was the most right-wing thing, for parole, and everything.”
Name-drop a porn star.
Stormy Daniels isn’t the first porn star to earn a chapter in the American political history books, and she won’t be the last. Long John Silver unintentionally became the talk of D.C. during Anita Hill’s testimony against Clarence Thomas in 1991, thanks to the then-Judge’s extracurricular consumption of pornographic films. “[Joe Biden] really does owe not only Anita Hill an apology, he owes Long Dong Silver one,” Waters believes. “Anita Hill had to say that term, and believe me, she didn’t know who Long Dong Silver was.”
Get a good healthcare plan.
Waters would be a thing of beauty. He would “offer men abortion leave from work if they were the father,” and “end the war on drugs.” Parents should be glad, after all, if their kids smoke pot, which is infinitely better than liquor. And speed? “That’ll help you clean the house!” Waters doesn’t, however, endorse young people taking LSD—“I’m telling old people to take LSD.”
And a good interior design policy.
“Be willing to change everything,” Waters says in a book chapter titled “My Brutalist Dream House.” The house in question is his private residence in Baltimore, but he has an equally Stalinist chic vision for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C., at least one better than the current White House, which looks like “Jeff Koons decorated it without any artistic history, wit, or intelligence.” Think one step further, think hostility, think crap concrete and stuffy nostalgia, and “move beyond any kind of taste to a new level of architectural defiance.” Marry Dina Martina, “since we have kind of a goth, living-dead first lady” already. “What we really need is another crazy white man,” Waters claims: “Me!”