Can I play devil’s advocate and say that I think hope for a cultural revolution may be slim at this point in time?
Oh, there are certain tools to pierce the boil. I believe that the culture can flip over with saying the right things, the right spell, incantation. Like at certain points in our history, an individual or an event has come along that has captured people’s imaginations and I do believe that that’s brewing. I do have faith in the youth and in young people working it out for themselves. It’s the law of nature. We’re working with archetypes. There comes a point when it’s uncomfortable for the human spirit. For example, I struggled with alcoholism for many years. There comes a point when you thrown in the towel and say, ‘I’m done. I can’t do it anymore. My quality of life is affected. People around me are suffering; I’m suffering. It’s not working and I’m not being productive.’ And then you start going to people who are a little bit further along than you and you say, ‘How do you work this shit? This thing called life, how do work this stuff?’ But what could be better is to prevent it straight off, at the beginning when you’re at school. Give every kid creative tools, everybody’s allowed to express themselves creatively. It’s not just like it’s part of the day, like, oh yeah, for the next forty minutes kids can color and scribble. No, as important as everything else that’s happening. It should be art 24 hours a day. I don’t know anyway. Don’t get me started, well, I’m already ranting.
But you talk about the Love album, the band’s career, about me, to me, we created a body of work. It’s kind of like an aspect of my life but it’s not my entire life; it’s not my entire story. I make music in different contexts. I’ll make music for these films and collaborate with other artists. I think the real way forward is to work with other artists and get back involved with the community. You don’t see that so much now. People don’t want to share their shit, well, maybe in the hip hop community people seem to share records and that’s served them very well. I think, in another sense we should all do that cross-cultural thing. It works. I’m deeply focused on the indigenous issues and the feminine issues. I try to disseminate it down to what are the most important resources that we have and for me it’s human resources, feminine resources, education, awareness, culture, good film, good music, and art. All those things inform us of who we are and define us of who we are, they define us. The written word. On my rider [laughs] on my rider before a performance, I don’t have blue M&M’s or white lilies. I have newspapers, like New York Times. They have to be in my dressing room every night, and Cuban cigars, if I can get them.
Maybe you’ll learn more from a newspaper than from blue M&M’s?
I don’t know. The M&M store in Manhattan is like one of the most popular destinations for tourists.
I was in the city earlier in the year with my daughter’s class. We went to The Met and I’d expected as much, but was surprised at how disinterested the kids were in front of, say, a Jackson Pollack.
They’re not present. You have to be able to be quiet and experience it. That’s another great resource we don’t have: silence. And how much does that cost? Nothing. How do you educate people to be quiet in a culture? It’s a phenomenal thing, to be quiet with yourself for five minutes, even for a minute.
I feel like everything you’re talking about, everything we’re doing now as a society, is in exact opposition to the way things should be done.
Every orifice is full. If there’s any space, there’s someone trying to squeeze a new product or a new perspective in there. We live so much by, ‘Well, other people do this or other people do that or it used to be like blah blah blah…’ You know, I’m in Vancouver, Canada now and what a pristine city, aside from one area where there’s just the most concentrated group of prostitutes, drugs, and most bizarre little area in the city. I guess everybody comes here because of the beautiful, temperate climate and health services. There’s a lot of aboriginals on the street here and fifteen minutes away there’s eagles, bears, killer whales, dolphins, The Rocky Mountains. Fucking amazing! And how many kids are going to get to experience that? We’re moving forward in our culture and as a society. And we’re talking about populating another planet? You’re fucking joking. Are you kidding? ‘Hello, Mr. Extraterrestrial Being. Have a Coca-Cola.’ It would be like ‘Ohhhh, Earth! Sugar!’ Forget the oil. Give us the Coke. [Laughs] Give us the porn. Give us the Coke. Give us the fossil burning fuels. Give us the shit we don’t need. ‘I want the monster truck. I want the Coca-Cola. I want the pizza and the video game and that’s what I want.’
And the boobs.
And the boobs and they’re coming to Earth to get it. And, you know, our cultural ambassadors are like, ‘Four score and twenty years ago…and here’s a copy of Hustler magazine.’ You know what? That’s one of the theories, right? Drop a load of pornography and Coca-Cola into the Taliban region and that’s going to be far more effective. That would really get them going. They’d be too busy. You know, me taking a hammer to a situation that could use more a finesse tool…I’m not saying I’m a pacifist. I believe that sometimes you have to use extreme methods when extreme situations occur, but the idea of using intelligence and cultural nuance could really deflate a situation. For example, silence and listening haven’t even been tried. To sit there and say, ‘Okay, let’s see your side of it. Let’s hear it until you’re finished.’
But the defense industry is big business.
Yeah, but it’s all fear based, afraid of the great unknown. And what is the great unknown? It’s the feminine, which men have always been terrified by, men have always coveted, men have always destroyed, used their physical strength to oppress. Isn’t that far more abhorrent than anything on the planet? I see the solution in talk of sustainability in big corporations looking at their models and talking about the actual sustainability of the corporation. How do we do business in the 21st century when resources are lacking and when the public and consumer is becoming more and more discerning? How do we sustain our product? And part of that is in going green. You have to consider the fact that resources are depleting and that it’s costing you more to produce basic things like paper. So that is an aspect of nature that is affecting a male, patriarchal form or philosophy about marketing. So they’re having to consider nature and confront the divine principle of the great holy mother of the planet. Within that the best technologies are the feminine technologies. At some point they’re going to figure out they can make money off of it. When they figure that out they might not need money because life could be so much more pleasant.