Andrew W.K. is a musician and self-described “philosopher of partying.” He writes regular columns for the Village Voice, and last week, stunned Glenn Beck with his response to a reader complaining about his conservative “asshole” father.
“You’ve reduced your father — the person who created you — to a set of beliefs and political views and how it relates to you,” W.K. wrote the reader. “You’ve also reduced yourself to a set of opposing views, and reduced your relationship with him to a fight between the two. The humanity has been reduced to nothingness and all that’s left in its place is an argument that can never really be won.”
Beck was so impressed by W.K. that he invited him on his television program Monday, saying the man’s message was “absolutely amazing and what needs to be said everywhere.”
“I can’t thank you enough for reading it, taking the time to read it, for connecting with it, for relating to it,” W.K. said. “It’s not surprising to me that you would. I think that we’re all, in one way or another, trying to stay in touch with these most fundamental feelings. But it’s good to remind each other now and then.”
Beck said we are a society that has “gone off the rails” with partisan politics, and we have “all been a party to it.” He asked W.K. how to get people to “shed the argument of politics,” as well as the cynicism and accusations that “you were part of the problem.”
“It’s a very good question, and perhaps the pondering of that question itself is one of the best ways to get there,” W.K. said. “The confusion that we feel in trying to decide what we think, what we believe, that’s natural. And I think it’s actually very healthy to dive as deep as we can into beliefs and ideas and opinions, and allow them to make us passionate and inflame us at times, but to never let them replace who we really are deep down inside, which is a person.”
W.K. said it is important to hold on to who you are, but not let it “define you in a way that cuts you off from the rest of humanity.”
The musician added that it’s important to remember that “it’s OK to be happy in life, even with all the strife — maybe especially during times of great pain and suffering.”
“We still have to be able to stay close to that joy, because we can’t save the world in a bad mood,” he remarked. “It just doesn’t tend to go very well.”
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