Garbage Man

John Waters, Twelve Assholes and a Dirty Foot, 1996, thirteen C-prints, wood, velvet curtain, 1' 10“ × 11' 7” × 6 3⁄4".

GORE VIDAL, the author, once said that people should never turn down the opportunity to have sex or be on television. Having seen television recently, I doubt he meant to equate the pleasures of sex with the experience of being on TV; rather, I suspect, he was trying to suggest that America is a land of opportunity, and that it would thus be un-American and potentially rude for a citizen of this country to turn down one opportunity or the other. I’m not sure. Many people might assume that the act of appearing on television validates lived experience in a manner similar to the way that intercourse can be life-affirming, or that no other media genre, aside from pornography, substantiates human life quite as efficiently as talk shows, news programs, documentaries, or reality TV, what with their unsubtle characterizations and narrative constructions of divulgence, discovery, and

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