Role Models by John Waters
Johnny and Me: The first chapter is a pop culture platter stuffed with short vignettes on everyone from the Wicked Witch of the West, Captain Hook and John Travolta.
- Waters describes Johnny Mathis as the "polar opposite" of him. How so?
- On page 8, he describes Mathis as "beyond fame, something I'll never be." What does he mean?
- Towards the end of the chapter, Waters alludes to Mathis's sexual orientation but is vague. Why do you think he makes this subtle in a chapter filled with overt references?
- Waters claims that Williams saved his life twice. Can literature be life-saving?
- According to Waters, which of Tennessee Williams's works are considered "bad"? Why are these his favorites?
- Waters finally bring up an agenda. Does his case seem genuine or is it another example of pure, entertaining shock value?
- What connections does Waters make between cinema and murder? Manson and Hollywood?
Rei Kawakubo: Waters reveals the secrets behind his iconic "look" - Maybelline eyeliner in Velvet Black and thousand-dollar ill-fitting sports jackets.
- Young people can get away with anything fashion-wise, according to Waters. But once you're old you need... a direct line to designers and a big bank account. Has Waters strayed away from his thrift shop style mentality?
- Waters's wardrobe is full of intentional, expensive staining. He also mentioned in an interview that he fought his publisher to have a white book cover, easiest to stain. Do you think that was the point?
Baltimore Heroes: Waters takes us bar-hopping in Baltimore, to a time when cheap dive bars used to be exclusive and strip joint locals all had an outrageous story to tell.
- "Bad motherhood" makes a comeback in this chapter. Is Waters trying to make a point about the stability of a conventional, nuclear family?
- Despite the racism, drug use and corruption, Waters manages to make Baltimore nightlife glamorous. Will we too learn to appreciate the bizarre, backwards beauty of our shit-hole hometowns?
Hope you've all enjoyed getting to know various different sides of John Waters while reading his non-traditional memoir. Discussion of the second half of Role Models will be held at Magnet on Tuesday, July 27 at 7:30 pm.