These are some excerpts from an interview I did for Whack! magazine a few months ago.
W: Do you feel perfection in people is a turn-off? Do you feel like a person with some vices, faults, scars and blemishes would be more attractive, more interesting?
SS: I like both. I like a perfect looking specimen and I like an interesting specimen. The problem is, beautiful people tend to also have shit personalities, so they immediately become staggeringly ugly because they’ve adopted all of these unfortunate traits.
The worst is that they feel they are only valued for their looks so they view themselves as a
commodity. A commodity too valuable to give away of course, so they tend to be lonely, predatory, and unfaithful. Of course, viewing yourself as a piece of capital is dehumanizing. I find that most of these people are very bored and very neurotic because they have very few interests outside of maintaining their looks or maintaining everyone else’s perception of their high value.
It’s especially hard in this industry to stay grounded, because people are very quick to flatter you and feed your head with endless bullshit about how great you are until you feel like you’re practically curing cancer. I feel like the work we do here can be important, that it can have sacred purpose. However, we are not curing cancer or feeding starving children in Africa. The cure for the AIDS epidemic is not going to come from being physically perfect.
W: What does ”being content” mean to you? What are the moments where you feel the most content with yourself and your life?
SS: I’ve never actually felt content. I know what they symptoms are, I’ve heard people recite them ad nauseum, but I’ve never really experienced it myself. [redacted] I’m addicted to my ennui and my melancholy. I suppose there is some state of dynamic tension between the having and wanting that I would describe as perfect, and in that sense, content. I’m always striving and always searching.
I used to think that the ultimate goal in life was the avoidance of pain. I thought this was a very honorable and noble way to live. It didn’t get me very far at all. I was a classic overachiever, a junior in college by the time I was nineteen and desperately underwhelming as a human being…I
was so determined to do everything perfectly, to never make mistakes and to experience my life as gracefully as a perfectly locking box. I had already achieved pretty much everything the average/typical/ordinary person is supposed to want by twenty-one…but all the trappings of a “normal” life and all of the obligations they brought just made me feel suffocated.
The problem with the American Dream is that it’s too easily achieved if you have any determination or ambition. It leads to a kind of boredom that metastasizes in your soul like the worst kind of cancer. And you know what? None of it was able to protect me from life’s inevitable outrages and tragedies.
So, I don’t like content.
And now here is a present for reading words: