John Waters has always had great taste about bad taste. The filmmaker, performer, and wit has made a long career out of the shocking, the transgressive, the offensive, the crappy. He’s been called the Pope of Trash, the Duke of Dirt, the Prince of Puke, the Ayatollah of A*sholes, and other, more unprintable nicknames. But now, he says, bad taste is dead, and the culprit is Donald Trump.
“Trump ruined it,” Waters told The Guardian. “As soon as Trump was president, it just ended the humour of it. He was the nail in the coffin. He’s the first person that had accidental bad taste that wasn’t funny.”
Waters also discussed camp, a term that has long been hard to define. “Usually, accidental bad taste is what camp originally meant,” he explained. “But today people try too hard. And I think that never works. Because true camp is innocent, it doesn’t do things on purpose. It takes itself very seriously.”
Does that mean his own films — classics like Multiple Maniacs and Pink Flamingos and Desperate Living, which lean into their own crapulence — technically aren’t camp? Maybe not. “I am parodying everything,” Waters explained. “I think I’m parodying writing a novel in the first place, by even calling it a ‘feel-bad romance’, something that no one would put on their book.”
Anyway, clearly Waters wasn’t amused by the time Trump freaked out over trucks. Or when he bought athletes McDonald’s. Not to mention his wife’s notorious holiday decorations. If John Waters doesn’t think those examples of bad taste are funny, they’re probably not. RIP bad taste.
(Via The Guardian)