This Week's Guest: Andrew Slade
If you're like me, right now you're searching for something -- anything -- to lend you comfort. We've just ended a horrifying election season, and are about to embark on four years that will likely be even worse. How do we even start to recover from this, how do we get out of bed for the next four years, what can we do to move forward?
Well the future, good or bad, starts with us. We can shape it. The world in which we live begins in our imaginations, and then through our work we bring it to life. And that's why art and culture and ideas and entertainment and daydreaming are all so important, particularly at moments like these.
I spoke to this week's guest, Andrew Slade, before the election about his passion for escape, whether it's into a video game or a drag character. We talked about how imaginary worlds can become real, how a fantasy can become reality, and how one person's late-night idea can blossom into a collaboration and then into a performance that changes lives. Back when we recorded our chat, we weren't thinking about politics. But as you listen this week, I hope you will.
This week's Recommendation: Chaka Corn
Thanks again to Andrew for joining me. I cannot recommend highly enough that you go to YouTube and type in his drag name -- Chaka Corn -- and watch him perform. His acts are even more strange and geeky and fun than you can imagine, and half the pleasure is listening to the audience roar with approval.
It's not easy to connect to a room full of people, especially when your references are to 8-bit videogame characters that may be older than some of the people watching. But Chaka corn isn't just referencing culture -- she's making something new, from love stories to revenge fantasies to declarations of queer power. And even if you don't exactly know who Megaman is, or which Pokemon does what, the story they're telling is clear. And seeing the pleasure of the show spreading from the stage to the far corners of the room is magic. Pure magic.
If you, like me, feel like any hope of recovery from this election is so far away as to be imperceptible, remember we have magic. We tell stories, we make art, we share the books and music and movies and shows that have moved us. And in so doing we have the power to transmute ideas into messages and messages into movements.
So my recommendation this week is also to make stuff, watch stuff, go to stuff, share stuff. And make that stuff count. Don't squander your magic.