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Updated: 22 min 43 sec ago

Ferguson Grand Jury Decides–Police Press Conference (Parody)

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 07:58

Ahead of the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Mo., law enforcement held a press conference detailing how they would respect the constitutional rights of citizens.

Performed by Justin Monticello. Written and produced by Monticello and Paul Detrick. Graphics by Will Neff.

Run time: 2:20 minutes.

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GamerGate: How Consumers Are Influencing the Culture Battle

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 16:30
Video games have become America’s favorite hobby. A culture clash over identity was probably inevitable.

Katherine Mangu-Ward talks immigration, Ferguson, and health care on After The Bell

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 13:19

Reason managing editor Katherine Mangu-Ward appeared on Fox Business' After the Bell to discuss the topics of the day, ranging from Obama's pending immigration executive order to the gathering storm in Ferguson, MO in anticipation of the grand jury decision, to the cost of Obamacare for Americans.

Approximately 11 minutes. Original air date: November 20, 2014.

No, Hillary Clinton Is Not Too Old to Be President

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 12:00
The real problem is that she'd likely remain vigorous enough for eight years of military crusading, budget expansion, economic meddling, and irritating moralism.

Can FBI Cut Internet, Pose as Repairmen to Enter Your House?

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 11:07
Don’t cops have better things to do?!

If You Liked the Peace and Stability of Henry Kissinger's Foreign Policy, Vote Hillary Clinton in 2016!

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 10:30
The horrific failures of our bipartisan foreign policy establishment.

How the Fed Got Huge

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 08:30
The financial crisis fundamentally changed the nature of central banking.

Obama Playing With Constitutional Fire on Amnesty

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 07:00
A presidential action may be lawful at the same time that it is unconstitutional.

Anthony L. Fisher Talks with "The Independents" About Jerusalem Massacre

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 20:25

Reason TV Writer/Producer Anthony L. Fisher spoke with Kennedy, Kmele Foster and Reason Editor-in-Chief Matt Welch on Fox Business Network's "The Independents" about the fallout from this week's Jerusalem synagogue massacre.

Original airdate: Tuesday November 18, 2014.

Gandhi vs. the Mafia

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 16:30
An anti-crime crusade conducted by neither cops nor vigilantes.

Q and A With Andrew W.K.: "A Role Model for Fun"

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 13:20

"I never thought I would be a role model for anything. But a role model for fun, I can do that," says musician Andrew W.K., who has been called "the great unwashed rock star" and "the great god of partying" since he first hit the charts with the release of his 2001 album "I Get Wet." That record featured the anthemic tunes "Party Hard," "We Want Fun," and "Fun Night." Rolling Stone praised the album as "the loudest and funniest metal you've heard in ages" and Allmusic.com pronounced that "resistance to its hard-partying charms is futile."

Born in 1979 and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Andrew W.K. has also delighted a generation of children as the host of Destroy Build Destroy, a live-action Cartoon Network series in which teams of kids compete for the right to blow up each others' creations. Of the popular and sometimes controversial show, Andrew W.K. says, "Isn't this great that we're using weaponry purely for fun? Just for the spectacle, like a fireworks show. Now that was very offensive and frightening to other people. But certainly none of the kids, they thought that was awesome. Because you can have fun blowing something up, and it doesn't have to be violent."

He's a regular on Fox News' Red Eye with Greg Gutfield and is known to show up on channels ranging from MTV to CNN to Glenn Beck's The Blaze. "Every once in a while someone will say, what are you doing on there?" explains Andrew W.K. "And I say, Oh I was invited. And that usually ends the conversation. I go where I'm invited. [It's] very easy to go and hang out with someone even if you don't agree on every single thing."

He's also a motivational speaker and, through his weekly "Ask Andrew W.K." column in The Village Voice, arguably the greatest advice columnist working in the U.S. today.

Reason TV's Nick Gillespie sat down to talk with Andrew W.K. about how his struggle with depression led to his passion for partying (2:23), why the prospect of "blowing up the school bus" can be thrilling and cathartic for a kid (4:23), how he soldiered through the red tape of New York City's regulatory regime to open the concert and dance venue Santos Party House (6:54), his book-in-progress, The Party Bible (9:59), the sage wisdom he doles out in his advice columns (17:00), the politics of partying (25:51), his new kids show on Maker.tv, Meet Me At The Reck (28:20), and his unabashed and unapologetic embrace of fun and libertine abandon.

About 30 minutes. 

Interview by Gillespie. Produced by Anthony L. Fisher. Camera by Jim Epstein and Fisher. 

Subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube channel to get automatic notifications when new material goes live.

Scroll below for downloadable versions and a rush transcript (check all quotes against video for accuracy).

Reason TV: Andrew W.K., thanks for talking to us.

Andrew W.K.: I am thrilled to be here, thank you Nick.

Reason TV: What's up with the partying?

Andrew W.K.: Well it’s something fun to do, and that's what attracted me, and I imagine most folks to it. Out of all the things I could imagine spending my time doing, I figure if I was going to devote myself to a mission, or dedicate my life to a cause, it should be an enjoyable one. And partying was the most fun thing I could think of; and also that other people could relate to.

Reason TV: Is this a lightning bolt that came out–you know, were you walking down the street and almost got hit by a falling safe, or something?

Andrew W.K.: Full of Piñatas, and party favors?

Reason TV: Yeah.

Andrew W.K.: No. Unfortunately that would have been much more dramatic, but also painful, so I'm glad it didn't involve injury. No, it was–I moved to New York when I was 18, from Michigan, from Ann Arbor, Michigan. There I had done all kinds of stuff, but I decided not to go to college and moved to the biggest city I could think of, and try to do something big. From that emerged a lot of confusion, a lot of disappointments, a lot of dead-end jobs, and sort of od-ball experiences. And then at one point I got this idea that I could, sort of cheer myself up and maybe cheer other people up, because that was really the reason I wanted to do something fun.

Reason TV: Were you in a depressed state?

Andrew W.K.: Yes.

Reason TV: What was the nature of that, just a kind of coming of age dislocation? Was it a chemical imbalance?

Andrew W.K.: Probably both, a mixture of all of those things. Anything that felt bad I experienced some version of it. It never got overwhelming, where I couldn't function at all–and I have seen and have had friends that have suffered from that level of depression. But it was just a lot of anger, a lot of anger. A lot of anger, a lot of animosity towards the world around me–which I do think is part of, maybe that coming of age. You're starting to call BS on a lot of stuff, and realise that you can, and it's quite thrilling to do so. But I also realized there was times I didn't feel like that, I felt quite good, and I wanted to figure out how I could feel like that more of the time.

Reason TV: In one of the Village Voice columns that you wrote, somebody had written in on the lines of "Hey, what's up with the partying?", and I want to read a quote from you on that. You talk about the very nature of partying is to provide a life saving release from the constant pressure to "take things seriously", "I'm having a party to celebrate life," and you talk about partying as an end in itself. Now this is radical and subversive in an age when you're not allowed to smoke anymore, you're not supposed to do drugs, you're not supposed to exercise too much or too little, you're not supposed to have fat, or not trans-fat, or not carbs, no gluten. Where does this end, and what kind of pushback do you get against the idea of partying?

Andrew W.K.: I would say–now this is from my perspective, being in the middle of the party, and attracting and certainly hanging out with a lot of people who are also in to partying–it seems that most people are relieved to have someone tell them its ok. And that they have more than been fighting against these kinds of pleasure themselves, they've been wanting to engage them, but just been made to feel very guilty about it. I think its just such a great release for all of us, to be able to say: "Hey, I'm thinking about this stuff too. I'm doing this stuff too, and I'm actually enjoying it and not feeling bad". And if I can be a role model in that way, I never thought I would be a role model for anything, but a role model for fun, I can do that. 

Reason TV: And you are a role model. You have hosted a couple of kid’s shows: the great "Destroy Build Destroy", which–explain the premise, for the one or two viewers who haven't seen this.

Andrew W.K.: With the structure that we're on right now, talking about fun, I mean this was a very subversive show. It didn't necessarily set out to be, but there was a lot of explosions. And in fact, there had never been that level of destruction, and young people, in such close proximity on TV before.

Reason TV: And so this is a competition show, where there is...

Andrew W.K.: It's a game show, yeah.

Reason TV: Yeah, there are two teams of kids, and they destroy a bunch of stuff, usually blowing it up. Then they build something, and then the winner of the competition gets to destroy the other team’s thing.

Andrew W.K.: Exactly. And these were really big explosions; and we had Tanks; and we had Bazookas. But I thought: "Isn't this great that we're using weaponry purely for fun. Just for the spectacle, like a fireworks show." And that: "Isn't it satisfying, especially as a kid to, you know–if you're riding a school bus everyday to school, blow up the school bus." Now that was very offensive and frightening to other people. But certainly none of the kids, they thought that was awesome. Because you can have fun blowing something up, and it doesn't have to be violent.

Reason TV: Yeah, and this puts me in mind of–you toured, not too long ago, with Marky Ramone, right?

Andrew W.K.: Yes.

Reason TV: Yeah, ok. And in the great movie "Rock 'n' Roll High School", that ends with the destruction of Vince Lombardi High. It’s unthinkable now, you would never be allowed to do that.

Andrew W.K.: You're right. You're right.

Reason TV: Are we in a particularly sour period, where people just don't want to allow that excess; of pleasure, or of fun, or of unbridled ecstasy?

Andrew W.K.: I would like to think that there have been waves of this. We've certainly seen more buttoned down eras before. We came off maybe a high point of free, open-minded thinking and exuberance, that now we're, maybe, retreating from again. Maybe that's just the ebb and flow of human nature. But also, there are people that want to do things in life, and then there are people that don't know what they want to do. So I think they think telling other people what they're doing, is what they end up doing. Sort of like if someone's excitement is to create a song, and someone else can't come up with a song, maybe their thrill is to tell someone else what they think about their song on a very passionate level that even involves impacting that person's ability to get that song out. And I thought that, maybe this adds more dialogue, maybe it doesn't have to trample on anyone's party, because no one has actually been able to stop me partying so far.

Reason TV: And you own, or you operate Santos Party House, which is a party facility.

Andrew W.K.: It is, this is a...

Reason TV: And I guess it went up in Mike Bloomberg's New York, of all places.

Andrew W.K.: Yes it did.

Reason TV: So it's kind of like you're striking blows against the empire, here.

Andrew W.K.: And it was not easy. It's a concert hall, and music venue, dance club, but it was the first brand new–meaning we built it, it wasn't just moving in to someone else's club and changing the name, we built this place from scratch, got all the liquor licences, got the cabaret license...

Reason TV: And explain why a cabaret license is better than just a bar license.

Andrew W.K.: Because you can dance. There are laws that prohibit dancing, and they will crack down on them. They will come in and if someone is moving their body in a rhythmic way, even if you're walking with too much passion, then you're breaking the law, because you don't have a cabaret license. We got the cabaret license—that was the biggest work that we had to do, just getting the licenses. But I think also, its sort of like a maze, it's a labyrinth, a challenge, an ordeal, to weed out the people that really aren't capable of running a party house. That's how I interpreted it.

Reason TV: Ok, so you're not just saying, "What the hell is this?"

Andrew W.K.: I mean, I always try to find a less frustrating way to look at things. So I thought, "well this was like our running the gambit, we had to prove that we had what it took to run a party house, and maybe you have to go through these steps to show that you're serious".

Reason TV: Around 2005 or so you decided not just to be a music maker, and concert maker, but you wanted to be a motivational speaker.

Andrew W.K.: Yes.

Reason TV: Explain a little bit where that came from, and then also talk about your events. Your, kind-of-lectures often times–I don't want to say devolve–I guess they evolve into partying.

Andrew W.K.: No, they devolve. They devolve.

Reason TV: To me it’s almost like a performance art piece from a fluxus artist in the early 60s. It's a happening. It's not a lecture anymore, and it's not a concert.

Andrew W.K.: Oh, sure.

Reason TV: What's going on with that?

Andrew W.K.: Well it’s much like this, being in a room together. That's how I thought of it. We're in a room together, and after that we'll sort of see what happens. I don't really think about it as performance art, out of respect for people I've seen who actually are performance artists. I'm not trained in that, or really even interested in it personally, because I don't have that skill. But, I thought there are people out there that, for whatever reason, it’s hard for me to fathom but they don't loud music or they don't like rock music. And I've met those people who have said "I've read something that you did, an interview"; or "I saw a TV clip, and it connected with me". And they got the same feeling that I was getting, and trying to get other people to feel, through music. They were getting it through words. And I thought, "This counts, this is another way." My main focus was that feeling of physical joy. That hands over your head, I couldn't possibly feel better, this is why I'm alive feeling. And if I can get that feeling conjured up through talking, or doing an interview like this, then I figured that it works...

Reason TV: Well it's not working for me. Although I do want to thank you for dressing up, we both dressed for this.

Andrew W.K.: You're right. Yes, this is...

Reason TV: It's spy versus spy.

Andrew W.K.: It's yin and yang. Absolutely.

Reason TV: Let me ask you about The Party Bible. Which is a book that you’re under contract, you’re on the hook, for. Is that moving forward or when are we going to see that?

Andrew W.K.: I’ve been writing this book in earnest for about the last year and I’m now in the crunch time, this is the home stretch. I have to get it done in the next few weeks. It’s the first book I’ve ever written. It’s not an autobiography by any stretch. I’m actually trying to eliminate anecdotal content and really make it talking about life through the lens of partying. And doing my advice column has given me a lot of great feedback, but certainly just practice writing—and practice writing about things that I haven’t even thought of that much. It feels like it’s a reverse ghost writing process. I feel like someone else is telling me what to write versus me telling them so it’s been a mind-altering—

Reason TV: I think I’ve seen this movie, it’s called The Shining and it doesn’t end that well.

Andrew W.K.: It’s not that frightening—

Reason TV: Can you party too much? What is the role of either moderation or balance in a world of partying and of exuberant joy?

Andrew W.K.: You don’t want to die. That’s pretty much the threshold. But with that being said, out of respect for people who have gone all the way to the edge and then died, I wouldn’t say they that messed up. Maybe that’s what they wanted to do. You miss them, you wish they were still there, but you celebrate what they left behind them. I want to be able to party for as long as possible. That’s the one thing I always thought was: identify your limits, push past them to a degree to create a new limit, like exercise, expand your soul. And that can be a painful process, but then your body recovers, your soul expands, but you don’t need to kill yourself having fun because that hurts.

Reason TV: Let’s talk about The Village Voice column "Ask Andrew W.K." It comes out every week in The Village Voice. Someone asked you to talk about procrastination, they said they have a problem with procrastination and you are Mr. Upbeat and optimistic, you’re always looking for a lesson to be learned as opposed to a pain to be suffered. You talked about how procrastination is not necessarily a bad thing and that it takes a while to get into whatever you’re doing. You said, "Discomfort is a small price to pay for brilliance." What are you getting at with that?

Andrew W.K.: Sometimes the torment of wrestling with productivity, with work in general—whether it’s very tedious work or whether it’s very esoteric work that demands the higher mind that isn’t easy to access—practicing piano, for example, that was hell for me. I learned piano lessons starting around age four and a half, and just thinking about everything having to do the recitals and the tests, to the lessons themselves—and especially practice—was torturous. But I can tell you, I wouldn’t be sitting here doing anything or talking about anything, had I not gone through that. So I’m not saying that I am the most brilliant piano player, but the suffering that I went through in that ordeal certainly rewarded me. So I think struggling with work, you have to sort of just take that as par for the course if you’re going to do good work. It’s not going to feel good all the time.

Reason TV: At the core of a lot of your activities there’s this incredible empathy, which I find phenomenal. In a column, a person wrote in about what’s with white privilege, why are people attacking people for having white privilege, other people are saying no that’s bullshit? You wrote, in the context of a long and interesting response, you said, Love is never naïve, compassion is never inappropriate. Love and compassion make life livable." Where is that thought coming from in you?

Andrew W.K.: That’s coming from, again, from me trying to cheer myself up, me trying to retain some sort of humanity and sanity in my own life, having people that I’m angry at, having people I don’t relate to, and then having people tell me: no but there’s certain people that you should never have any love for or compassion for—and I can understand what they mean, like very extreme examples like a killer or something—but what if I can still find some way to not feel that hatred towards them and that that’s a worthwhile mindset and, in fact, to keep very close and up front in your mind.

Reason TV: You can party by yourself, but then more often than not you run the risk of being Michael Hutchence or David Carradine, you’re along in a closet somewhere. Or the party is a kind of hive mind or almost an organism that’s made up with individual cells of people, but it’s also throbbing and pulsing. So it almost seems like there’s always a social dimension to partying in your cosmology.

Andrew W.K.: Yes, I like the idea that you can be an individual that’s part of a group of individuals. A friend of mine—who’s actually become a very successful, real philosopher—he was talking about the word "partying," about how it essentially came from the root word "parte" or "partition," which is to actually remove yourself from a larger group, to identify with people in a specific way in a closer—not necessarily not even celebratory way—but as a party of like-minded individuals. But there’s something very funny and paradoxical about that. You’re celebrating a collective feeling by removing yourself from a larger collective group. Ultimately, I do think a party of one is sort of the strongest mindset or that is what this is getting at, that you can party with people that you don’t know at all and have nothing in common with and you can party completely by yourself with the understanding that other people are out there doing the same thing. I’m someone who has felt left out, so I’ve always wanted to draw people—my biggest goal, actually, coming out of high school was try to connect with people I didn’t like, that didn’t like me, and to find someplace where we had a common ground—and that was that party mindset.

Reason TV: Talk a little bit about your childhood. You’re the son of academics, you grew up in Ann Arbor, which means you suffered under going to the University of Michigan, which as somebody who graduated from Rutgers—even Rutgers football can beat Michigan these days. It’s a horrible place to be from. What was your childhood? Why did you feel so alienated?

Andrew W.K.: First of all, it was a great place to grow up because it was very radical. As far as culture goes, I had access and exposure to stuff that still blows my mind. The more time I spend away from where I grew up, I realize that that really was special. So I was very thankful for all the weirdoes and wackos and extreme people that I got to encounter that showed me how vast the world was. It was like the exact opposite of a sheltered childhood. But I did find myself very angry at a lot of the—not college students, but just the general atmosphere of the school, I guess. That’s maybe why I didn’t go to college, even though my dad still is a professor. He said, look, I teach college, it’s no big deal. He knew from firsthand experience that I didn’t have to go. But I think that did probably push me away to find some other way of connecting with those people without having to do it on their terms.

Reason TV: Speaking of fathers. In a great column from a little while ago, a person wrote in saying my dad is a right-wing asshole and then the writer went on to say he can’t stand his father anymore—and he loves his father. but his father’s politics are so awful. You responded saying, hey, you have to step back and I quote, "The world is being destroyed by one side believing the other side is destroying the world." Again there’s a push towards empathy. Okay what about extreme people. What about ISIS, what about Islamic radicals who are beheading people, how do you deal with that in the real world?

Andrew W.K.: I think that, fortunately, there is a way to apply even these most extreme, potentially idealist or even naïve ways of thinking to the real world. I think even in that same response I said: And if we’re put in a position where we have to kill someone or be killed, realize you’re killing a human. A person probably much like you. And it’s just that’s what it has come to. What has really bothered me is when someone says, that person is a monster. Sort of alluding to that there’s no part of me that has anything to do with that human, that I would never even be capable of it—and I think we’re all capable of all kinds of things, there’s mental illness, there’s people that are wired differently—but I want to be able to relate to that person and feel good that I didn’t choose to do those things.

Reason TV: Are there particular writers or artists—we mentioned The Ramones briefly—who are your influences in this kind of thing? Because actually in talking with you, I do get the sense that The Ramones are like that: They were outsiders and then they became insiders, a lot of the times they were trying to explore what it meant to be a pinhead, what it meant to be a cretin, what it meant to be a male prostitute. There’s an interesting attempt to empathize or to show a world that people don’t have any sympathy for.

Andrew W.K.: Marginalized. Yeah, well, if the in-between spaces, people that occupy those in-between spaces that are neither this nor that, they ultimately just become themselves. They’re one-off people and that’s always been who I’ve always been most interested in. Probably my biggest idol is Santa Claus because there’s no one else like him. Everyone is familiar with it, you don’t even have to believe in him to believe that he exists, in this idea and he cheered people up. Yet he’s completely of himself. Yet there could even be a million Santas, it’s a state of mind. So I like that idea and anyone who is able to truly be themselves and carve out enough space in between everyone else, they always get me excited—athletes, musicians, writers, magicians, anyone.

Reason TV: Who are the musicians that have really fired up your creative juices?

Andrew W.K.: I like all kinds of music, but the ones I have to give credit to are my piano teachers because that was the first time that I ever felt anything about probably anything. The first time I had a orgasmic feeling, it was actually when they would play. Every lesson they would show me what they were working on and that’s what kept me going to these lessons, to hear them playing at that level. I would get chills up and down my body, I would get this feeling that I’d never got before. And after a while, a few times I said, wait a minute this isn’t a fluke, this happens from music, this happens from things in life. This means I like this thing. That’s how primitive my thinking was. Chasing after that feeling and trying to create it over and over and over again and hopefully for other people too, that’s joy, that’s my mission. The joy boy.

Reason TV: Is the joy boy the real you, willing to try on different masks or different identities in different circumstances, we go through different phases and you’re kind of conscious of that. Do you think that that is more common these days—Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers—maybe there’s more of a sense of play, of: well I can try on this identity for a while and see how the world looks from it and is that a good thing?

Andrew W.K.: Play in general and playing with yourself—in every way—

Reason TV: We cut can that out.

Andrew W.K.: Oh no please don’t, playing with your own life is about as good as it gets. Being able to see your life as something that can be played with—in fact, that’s the most respectful way to take advantage of this gift of being alive in the world. I strongly believe in that. The idea in what you’re getting at with maybe authenticity and things, I like processed existence, things that have been worked over and fine tuned to make them more exciting. I like processed food. I don’t find a plain vegetable as interesting as one that’s been processed I like that people have worked very hard to make this experience for me, that they’ve manipulated it. I like a show. I like life to be that I can look at the air and see it as for what it is or I can ingest air that has different molecules in it and it makes me feel different. So I like it all, but I think it is scary to think that somehow a more boring life is somehow more noble.

Reason TV: And more authentic, if you’re just like, this is how it is.

Andrew W.K.: Everything counts, everything is real.

Reason TV: In that same 2009 interview you talked about how when you were building the Andrew W.K. stage show or presence or persona, that you said that it was done in the spirit of entertainment, which usually goes hand in hand with commerce. Reason, our slogan or our tag line is "Free Minds and Free Markets." We like the idea that creativity and commerce go together. Where does the—and this may be from an older generation of artists, there always seems to be a lot of handwringing about oh my god if we’re successful, then we’re selling out. Or there was the idea that you either do pure art or be a sellout. That doesn’t seem to have any standing in your universe and it seems to be liberating.

Andrew W.K.: Yes. And I had a lot of friends who felt the same way as you’re describing: That it was bad to make money or want money. But very early on I wanted to do things that required money to do, whether it was go on tour with the full band and be able to pay them or produce a video that looked the way I wanted it to look. But also—and this was even more important to me—I was attracted to the sheen of highly produced content or art or whatever you want to call it—the world. I appreciated, again, like going on a pony ride that was fun in a way, but I would much rather have gone on a roller coaster, a really big roller coaster. That just appealed to me. I liked movie posters that looked like it took six or seven hours just to get that shot and to manipulate it and create a logo that looked really, really striking—not just something that was hand written and cast off. That was just my aesthetic. I liked things that involved high production. So I like TV. I like advertisements. I like the way they look, I like the way they feel. The music I made was made to be used that way, was made to be played at a sporting event. That was to me the biggest compliment, was having my song on a football game or on a basketball game or something or at a baseball stadium and everyone is singing along—that to me was my dream come true.

Reason TV: Do you feel like we’re living in a particularly great moment for art of the sort that you’re talking about—creativity, in that the tools of production are cheaper now, obviously they’re still out of the reach of a lot of people, but you can do in your home studio now what The Beatles couldn’t do at Abbey Road in their heyday. Book publishing, art manipulation, distribution by the Internet, is this a particularly rich moment for that? And if so, does that create more of an interest in that kind of aesthetics of people realizing that objects don’t just happen, they’re made and you have to take time?

Andrew W.K.: Yeah, well, first it was very threatening because I was right in the middle. I was signed to Universal Music Group and [I went to Def Jam] like '99, 2000, right when things were changing over, right when Napster was starting. I got to experience the tail end, we had budgets that were just so big that we could back just to reshoot one scene in a music video for tens of thousands of dollars, where now I wouldn’t even get one percent, a regular video would cost one percent of just the reshoot day—and you’d be lucky to get that. So it’s been really interesting to see that transition, but also to see that, well, I don’t even need that much money to film this because I can do it inside the computer with 2 people instead of 200. The only thing I didn’t like about that was there was some kind of feeling like you were winning a prize if you got access to work with that version of the industry because it was so rarefied. Once anyone can get those tools it kind of took away the feeling of like, I worked so hard to get in there. But then you realize it wasn’t that great inside there anyway.

Reason TV: Is there a politics to partying? Not necessarily are you a Democrat or Republican, a liberal or a conservative, but is there an ideology here that threatens the status quo or leans in one direction or another?

Andrew W.K.: Not that I’ve seen and I’ve been very thankful. I’ve been nervous at times that whenever politics would come up or values and morals and ethics, if that ever became part of the conversation that automatically people would leave because they wouldn’t agree or someone else would say, well I didn’t want this to involve that kind of thinking, I can’t be a part of this. I’ve been very, very surprised and delighted that this party has enough room for all kinds of stuff, for pretty much all modes of thinking, for all modes of people. It seems like people enjoy, again, having a space, having a mindset where you don’t have to pick a side all the time or have an opinion about every single thing or every person.

Reason TV: What would be your ultimate party? Would it be that it starts out with Dick Cheney on this side of the room, Barack Obama and his Kenyan socialists at the other end and by the end they’re in a full clench in the middle?

Andrew W.K.: Wow, that could be an incredible movie, just seeing that played out.

Reason TV: I don’t think so, but—you do a wide variety of show, you’ve talked to pretty much everybody, you’re a regular on "Red Eye," the great Greg Gutfeld Fox News Channel show. Do people look at that and say, you’re on Fox News, what’s going on? You’ve done the weather on Fox, as a matter of fact, and you’ve had a great conversation with Glenn Beck—

Andrew W.K.: Yes. Every once in a while someone will say, what are you doing on there? And I say, oh I was invited. And that usually ends the conversation. I go where I’m invited. I have no animosity towards any particular group that's that vast. These are huge organizations as well, people have been nice to me. That’s another thing that means a lot, that makes it very easy to go and hang out with someone even if you don’t agree on every single thing. Even when my band formed, I barely even knew a lot of the people I was working with and I had to find common ground. A lot of them grew up in very different ways, in totally different parts of the country, had different backgrounds, but we’d connect on something like a song or a certain movie we liked. And that was enough to be able to get through the day and I didn’t go into all the other stuff that we didn’t agree on or we couldn’t really do. We just picked what we could get along with and then the party kept going.

Reason TV: Tell me, what’s the best way to watch "Meet Me at the Wreck," which is your latest enterprise?

Andrew W.K.: "Meet Me at the Wreck" is a new kid’s show. It’s a project base, so it’s short clips that you can watch all back to back, but each one has a project, an activity you can learn and it’s on maker.tv, also on YouTube, but it’s on demand and it’s all out now. There are episodes with Jack Black and his son, where they go explore Minecraft, this amazing world of professional video games. We have Zach Woods, who is from "The Office," he played the character Gabe. Now he’s in "Silicon Valley," another amazing show. Bobby Lee, who’s an amazing comedian. So it’s a lot of fantasy, some almost supernatural elements, but it all adds to hopefully a very entertaining TV party.

Reason TV: As a parting thought, you’re very optimistic about the future. We live in a world where people are constantly predicting the end or that the future is going to be much worse than it is now. Can you leave us with a happy, upbeat thought?

Andrew W.K.: World’s always ending and it’s always beginning. If we’re able to keep love and a celebratory sense of making the most of what we can with what we have right now, I think that’s all we have to do.

Reason TV: Well, we will leave it there with Andrew W.K., the great unwashed rock star, improbable host of children’s TV and a great motivational speaker. For Reason TV, I’m Nick Gillespie.

Control Freaks Still Targeting Tobacco

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 12:00
Rule-makers always want more.

How the Government Steals from Citizens

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 10:30
From civil asset forfeiture to eminent domain, the government covets your cash and property.

Bulldoze First, Answer Questions Later

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 07:00
A New Jersey ruling invites eminent domain abuse.