Monday, 21 December 2009

The View From the Shoe: Moxie Mezcal

Moxie Mexcal is one of those indie free spirits it's impossible to pin down with definition. Artist? Writer? Filmmaker? Or plain old creative anarchist? So I won't try. The only thing I know for sure about him is that he's one of the good guys. Here he is in his own words:

Moxie Mezcal is a dangerous malcontent, a delusional megalomaniac, and a foul-mouthed Mexican-American glitterpunk with a penchant for black lipstick and bad wigs, who writes punk-as-fuck guerrilla fiction on MoxieMezcal.com and lives under an assumed name in San Jose, California.

Thank you so much for your time. So, Louboutin or Converse?
Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars all the way! Not that I don't love a good pair of pumps, but not for fucking $1,000 – and anyways, I don't think Louboutin makes them in US Women's size 13. You have no idea how hard it is for me to find cute footwear; San Jose doesn't have as many options for TVs as San Francisco, but there are a couple good vintage stores where I'm able to pick up devastatingly-awesome platforms in non-dainty sizes.
I actually do own a pair of red Chuck Taylors, just like my character in Making Dylan Maxwell, who is also the main antagonist in the novel I'm working on. They are my go-to comfy shoes for running errands and stuff, and I absolutely love them. I wrote them into the story as his idiosyncratic quirk because I always intended for him to be a villain but wanted some hook to make me identify with him personally – the thought being that I'd be less prone to writing him as a one-dimension baddie if I could find see a little piece of myself in him. And the Chucks did it, because how can you not love someone who wears a pair of red Chucks with expensive custom-tailored suits?

Why is there no one in the world who does it quite like you?
Probably because I have no idea what the hell I'm doing, I just fake it as I go.
But also, because I don't really care about being taken seriously. I've never fit in too well with the mainstream in anything I do – from lifestyle to appearance to art or anything else – so I don't really see why I should start trying now. And honestly, not giving a fuck is liberating. I write the stories that I want to tell – that I need to tell – the way I want to tell them.
I frankly couldn't give a shit about trying to shoehorn my work to fit into some restrictive formula of “serious fiction” or “genre fiction”. I don't want to be focus-grouped, I don't want to be polished. I love that handmade, DIY feel – give me a cheaply photocopied zine over a glossy full-color magazine any day. There's nothing wrong with leaving a few rough edges or letting the seems show.
I'm not trying to get a book deal or get reviewed in Publishers-fucking-Weekly. I'm taking destiny into my own hands, grinding it out to build an audience from the ground up, not wasting one ounce of time or energy wishing upon a star for the fucking publishing fairy to wave her magic wand and turn me into a “real writer”.
I have no fucking strings.

What do you really, really love about it?
What I really, really love about writing: It's really the only way I can sort out this unholy mess I call a head. It's a form of therapy, cathartic as all hell, and keeps me busy and out of trouble. Seriously – whatever neuroses or obsessions that pop up, I just put it into the stories. Guilt, addiction, paranoia, technology, gender identity, narcissism, celebrity culture, alienation, fear of dying. I just open up a vein and let all the craziness come gushing out onto the keyboard.
What I really, really love about being read: It's an experiment. What happens when I unleash giant raving chunks of my psyche into the collective unconscious? It's all about making human connections, sharing something deeply personal with other people to see if it entertains them or inspires them or makes them think about the world just a little bit differently.

A bit more time in the day, or a bit more money in the bank?
Without a doubt, more time in the day. Between everything I want to write, my nerdy tech tinkering, ongoing misguided experiments in graphic/web design, and several ill-considered attempts at music and audio production, I could use all the time I could get. Especially since all this has to fit in the few hours a week left after taking care of the really important stuff like the job and love and family and maybe even a social life.
And besides, what do I need more money for? I'd only blow it on cheap whiskey and obscenely expensive cosmetics.

Imagine you “make it”. You wake up, and imagine the day ahead. Tell us about breakfast.
I'm assuming in this context to “make it” means to achieve widespread notoriety and/or financial success, as opposed to being a euphemism for “fuck”. It would probably be the same as any other day – breakfast would be a ridiculously large amount of strong black coffee, I'm talking so strong you could stand a fucking spoon in the bastard. I use coffee to compensate for the fact that I no longer allow myself to cram ungodly amounts of filthy, corrosive chemicals up my nose.
I'm still not really sure what exactly I've “made” in this hypothetical, though. I guess the difference would be that while I was drinking my coffee, I'd be on the phone with Bob Iger or some shit negotiating my share of the after-market gross for Disney's adaptation of Sweet Dream, Silver Screen. And maybe the coffee would be a more expensive brand? I don't know. Did I get the question right?

What’s your Jimmy Choo? And what’s just cobblers?
Jimmy Choo: My iPod, Food Not Bombs, San Jose's South First Fridays, Creative Commons, MAC, Nick Cave's Death of Bunny Munro e-book app, Amanda Fucking Palmer, Johnnie Walker Black Label, and my love.
Cobblers: Right-wing tea-baggers. Releasing new books as expensive hardcovers first and holding back the e-books and paperbacks.
Tell us about the last time a fan made you feel 100 feet tall.
Honestly, every time I hear from someone who's enjoyed my work, I feel like a fucking rock star. Part of it is because I'm such an ego-maniac that even the smallest modicum of validation will send me through the roof.
The one specific comment that stands out in my memory was someone who read 1999 and said that even though his lifestyle and experiences were very different from the characters', he still believed in them as real, breathing people, and believed that's how they'd react within the context of the story's events. Which is very straightforward praise on the face of it, but if you think about it, that's really what fiction is all about – finding those universal human characteristics that exist under the all the superficial differences we manufacture to categorize and divide ourselves. No matter who we are, what neighborhood we grew up in, what we do for a living, how we dress, who we fuck – at our core, we all have basically the same fears, the same insecurities, the same need for love, the same craving for validation. That's the stuff that makes you believe in a character you've never met in real life.

Independent and poor, or under contract and rich?
Obviously I'll always be a poor indie.
I'm not even trying to make money off my writing. I'm an attention whore; I want as many people to read me as possible, and making people pay would be completely at cross-purposes.
The only stuff I charge for is the merch in my Cafe Press store, and even then everything's priced at cost. And frankly, I don't expect anyone to actually buy that shit (and they're not). I just wanted to make my own T-shirts for funsies, and I thought it was hilarious that I could make a doggy shirt that says “Punk as Fuck”.

Do you remember that bit on Play Away where Brian Cant stood behind people and did the actions whilst they spoke? If you could choose anyone to stand behind you and do the actions to your sales pitch, who would it be and why?
I'm not sure what Play Away is, but I think I get the gist of it.
Johnny Depp doing Hunter Thompson from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, preferably while actually high.

Frocks or socks?
Frocks. That word reminds me of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: “Just what this country needs, a cock in a frock on a rock.” We don't really use it here, so that probably was the last time I actually heard it.

Thank you SOOO much

4 comments:

  1. " It's really the only way I can sort out this unholy mess I call a head. It's a form of therapy, cathartic as all hell, and keeps me busy and out of trouble. Seriously – whatever neuroses or obsessions that pop up, I just put it into the stories. Guilt, addiction, paranoia, technology, gender identity, narcissism, celebrity culture, alienation, fear of dying. I just open up a vein and let all the craziness come gushing out onto the keyboard."

    is the best damn summary of my own writing psyche I've ever come across, having miserably failed to express it for myself. Thanks Moxie! You are a star.

    marc nash

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  2. Sabina, you would get on get on like a house on fire - two "punk as fuck" legends in cahoots!

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