Interview with The Infamous Tao Lin
Tao Lin is the author of two books coming out from Melville House in 2007. He has been published everywhere, won a bunch of contests, and has the finest little asian ass you ever did see.
1. You were accused of being a "pet chink" that dances to the grinding organ of The WASP literary community. But I do not think of you like this. I think of you more as a Disney writer. Since you are from Orlando Florida. And that's what I want to get into today, the influence of Disney World upon your writing. How has being around humans dressed up as mice, dogs, and mermaids affected your writing?
I am flattered that you called me a Disney writer. Disney World was so close to where I grew up that sometimes I walked outside and saw a five foot hamster drinking a Wendy's supersize soda. This affected me deeply. I felt afraid. My writing reflects this, I believe.
2. William Faulkner the great southern writer said that he thought how to write A Rose for Emily his famous second person short story while drifting along on the It's a Small World After All Ride, have you had similair experiences?
I was at Disney World and a six foot rabbit rubbed my crotch when I hugged it. I went home and wrote a story about it, but I changed the six foot rabbit to a magician and my crotch to a magic eight-ball. I submitted the story to Nickelodeon's ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK and eight months later I saw it on TV. They never sent me a contributor's copy and they edited the dialogue, which made me feel sad.
3. When I read your writing I get a somewhat Disney World Ride sensation. Like I'm stuck on one of those little boats and there's weird music, then I pass something weird like drunk pirates or little eskimoe children singing, then I pass some pirates sword fighting then the boat falls really fast and there's a talking Abe Lincoln. Do you think it is conscious or unconscious that your writing is like this?
It's definitely unconscious. When I see a little eskimo baby in my head I want to find out about the eskimo baby. What it's favorite color is, if it loves its mother or father more, how long and what color its turds are. I write to find out about the eskimo baby. Sometimes I get an image in my head of a pirate screaming, 'GET THE FUCK OFF MY DIRTY BANDANA,' and no matter where I am I must go home and find out what the pirate is saying that. Just read every author interview ever given. The author is a magical genius who sometimes has images or phrases or pieces of dialogue magically put inside his or her head. The job of the author is to find out why the eskimo baby's face is there. And God Bless them for that. God Bless the authors of America.
4. Would you say your writing is more Epcot Center or Animal Kingdom?
Though I might include some technology in my writing I am not a science fiction writer. I focus only on human beings. Nature is pretty but it is there only for humans to put fences around and then look at and say, 'That is pretty.' So I guess it is more Animal Kingdom. Thank you for asking me this question, it's been plagueing me for days.
5. In that comment directed at you the person said WASP. Which I don't like. First I am considered 'white'. Which means somehow I'm connected to Bill Gates, George Bush, Al Gore, Prince Charles, and Jean Genet all the same time. Like I am somehow to connected to them in some magical way. I don't know those people, I have nothing to do with Bill Gates, or Tom Cruise. Also I'm half Italian which the kkk hated as many northern europeans that got to America early did, for most of the last century the Italians were considered their own race like Mexicans are now, but as time passed they became white people. Also Bernice Mullins is Melungeon and a quarter Hungarian Jew. Two races that were oppressed and hated by white people. But her great grandfather the Hungarian Jew ran out on her great Grandmother so no one bothered to tell her to be Jewish, and to escape the oppression and racism against Melungeons they told people they were Native American. But now, she is white because her skin is white. Millions of immigrants went to Italy during the reign of The Roman Empire, now they are all Italian. I think my question is, do you think that whole mentioning your race thing was stupid?
Yes, it is stupid to mention anyone's race. Loyalty is stupid. Friends 'sticking by' each other is stupid. If my friend is being an asshole then I will tell them they are being an asshole the same as if my friend was an extraterrestrial being an asshole. Most people believe that they share a magical bond with:
1. Family members.
2. People who live near them.
3. People who live in the same state as them.
4. People who live in the same country as them.
5. People who are people, just like them.
This is why there are fights and wars. People believe that other people in their 'group' deserve more than people in other 'groups.' For example if you made a machine that you push a button and five people die, and you are forced to push the button but you get to choose if the people who die are Americans or Chinese most Americans will choose Chinese while most Chinese will choose American. Same with family, friends, sports fans, religions, and a lot of other things, including blogs. You can't fight this. Even liberals. Liberals love liberals more than republicans. They would choose that republicans die. Ideally everything in the universe would be labeled 'Thing in the universe.' Less ideally, everyone on Earth would be labeled an Earthling and on the news it would say, 'Five earthlings died today in a bus crash.' Each time a person uses a word that is a 'Label' it makes it harder to achieve that ideal. It doesn't matter anyway, since actually ideally, the extreme of the ideal, would be for everything to be labeled 'Atom.' But humans are conscious and they move around and don't let their atoms scatter randomly. Same with plants and stars and things. There is no way to explain what I'm talking about to about 99% of human beings. The other 1% knows the sentence I just typed is probably true so doesn't care.