Trash/Pop Culture as more subversive than “art”
I am a very big believer in the power of trash: trash pop culture, trash literature. I really have a lot of affection and belief in that stuff, because art scares people. Trash, pop culture doesn’t. You can put in all the subversive crazy stuff you want in trash culture that will change people’s perceptions of the world, and they will read it and they will take it in. Whereas in art they are going to run from it. So subvert the world through trash.” — Kill The Dead author Richard Kadrey, on Minnesota Public Radio
This echoes some of the arguments I’ve made (e.g., in my Hypatia article on Peaches) that critical/radical political movements need pop culture. If you want people to hear your message, you need to make it accessible, and, even better, pleasurable (hell, pleasure in itself can be radical and critical–cf. on this one to Breyer-P-Orridge). What’s interesting in Kadrey’s remark is his emphasis on the fact that “art” gets heavily policed (e.g., by the post-Mapplethorpe NEA), whereas trash culture, b/c of its supposed insignificance, is policed much less.