Sufjan on The BQE, comic books, the Internet, and privacy

Sufjan Stevens

Brandon Stosuy interviews Sufjan Stevens on BQE project, the joy of making comic books, the Internet, the need for privacy, and other topics:

STOSUY: You mentioned “context.” I wrote you once and asked for a quote about a project you were doing. I posted the quote an hour later and you wrote me joking about how there’s no synthesis anymore — there’s just this quick block-quote turnaround. It must be a little bit nerve wracking to know if you say something publicly, it’ll end up in a place where someone is going to comment on what you just said, even if it’s out of context.

STEVENS: That’s the nature of gossip, really, and the Internet is just one big gossip chamber — that’s why it’s so fascinating and entertaining. It’s a fabulous platform for superficial communication. I feel like the Internet needs to be disarmed in some way. There needs to be a philosophical undermining of the Internet. We take it too seriously and too literally. For a reference we go to Wikipedia, which is full of inaccuracies and misinformation. It’s kind of beautiful — it’s all the product of imagination; it’s not reality at all.

Someone was telling me there was a video of Steve Gadd, or some benevolent drummer, playing on YouTube. It was the most inconsequential upload, but within two or three comments two men were arguing about who was the best drummer in the world and they were planning a place to meet and fight. And it was full of expletives. It seemed strange how quickly you get from this to this. That’s what the Internet cultivates. It’s manic. It’s very strange. I don’t think it’s healthy. They should outlaw posting comments! It’s a bummer to go somewhere to get information or buy tickets and you encounter profanity everywhere you go. I guess it’s like graffiti in a bathroom stall: You just want to take a piss and you’re stuck looking at profanity on the wall or crude explicit drawings.