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John Waters, of all people, takes on bad taste

Baltimore’s native son, writer and director John Waters, takes on today’s shockmeisters and opines on the merits, and failures, of bad taste in WSJ. Magazine’s April Men’s Style issue on newsstands today and online.

In “Soapbox,” Waters – still impish, hilarious and subversive but mellowing a bit with age – discusses his weird childhood, the sorry style of today’s rebels and Occupy Wall Street (he supports the movement, but declined to join, saying “I have three homes and a summer rental, and some of my money is in Wall Street.”).

The world according to Waters:

“When I was a kid, my parents were a little uptight because the things I was interested in weren’t the proper tings for a six-year-old. It wasn’t, ‘Isn’t that nice that he wants an encyclopedia?’ I wanted to look up heroin addiction. Did it say in the Dr. Spock book what to do if your child played car accident all day? I don’t think so. It wasn’t easy to find out what to do with me.”

“I like rap music. But bragging about being rich to poor people is really offensive. I want to hear a gangsta rap song about buying a Cy Twombly painting or dating a museum curator.”

“It’s not important to scare people. I want to surprise way more than to scare. Scary would be, like, me in skinny jeans.”

“A 65-year-old man who’s angry is a loser. A 20-year-old angry man is a sexy leader. Nothing makes me angry anymore.”