Heeb: Why? Has the music business made you cynical?
AP: Yeah, but I mean, but no, it’s not that. There’s so much more important things, like Israel and Palestine. About history and things and humanity and all that shit that needs to get sorted out. I don’t have anything to say about the fucking music, anything about the music . . . It kind of speaks for itself. You don’t talk about it. You don’t give it critical praise or whatever . . . People are so stupid. Musicians are so stupid. Everyone’s so stupid because they just talk about everything else besides terrible things that are happening in the world just so they can live in the world and think it’s a TV show.
Heeb: So media is just a distraction from the bigger picture?
AP: Goldman Sachs! I mean just like, the fucking criminals who are ruling the world now. I’m not talking about the Illuminati or like, it’s just a few businesses that just . . . the empire is money. And that’s it. They have to keep it there. They are trying to convince everybody that that’s what runs the world and the world is scared to shrink from that. The idea that we need all these things and they want us to believe that we need these creature comforts . . . And we’re all very complacent in regards to all these terrible things that are happening in the world, which are happening to you and I. Not to like, any of the rich people who are playing the game and fucking each other and fondling each other and making sure that they have their fucking castles . . . and Jews are the worst. The worst.
* * *
These are pretty big statements, so I ask him to explain. He tries, but I get a four-minute verbal rampage that jumps from the British, to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, to blaming Jews. Children are being indoctrinated by TV while Goldman Sachs and capitalistic greed cause the collapse of civilization as a whole: “All this shit with Wall Street, the arguments that are going back and forth, it’s so missing the point because they’re having an argument about what it means to be capitalist. Goldman Sachs is very successful and we rose to the top and that’s how they see it: We’re successful because of it. Greed is good, right?” I’m not sure if this is a rhetorical question.
Even with all Pink’s angsty energy, there seems to be no real focus. “As long as you’re outside the law, as long as you convince the law that it doesn’t know what the law is, it’s just lawyers that need to get hip to this shit so they can actually prosecute. But people in Congress are just . . . it’s leading to the collapse of civilization!” As the tirade continues, that couch takes a real beating. His small, pale fist slams into the cushions over and over throughout my psychedelic history lecture, courtesy of Professor Pink.
* * *
Heeb: Okay, but let’s get back to what you said earlier, ‘Jews are the worst.’ Is that just normative self-hate, or is there more to it?
AP: You know what, I am whatever everybody thinks I am. And Jews . . . Jews just like to be called Jewish. That’s all that they care about. They’re fucking stupid. The ones that are like, not in Israel, they’re just so stupid. They’re all like, beefed up with national pride and all that kind of stuff. It’s just bullshit. I’m totally against all that. I think you’re a man of the world. Worldly. We’re all from the same DNA strand, you know. It’s like potatoes are our brothers. So, so, so silly.
With the potato comment, it’s pretty obvious Pink won’t be getting any more coherent, so I start to wind things down. I shut the tape recorder off. We walk out and Pink gets more relaxed as he fidgets with a box of Marlboro Reds. Offering me one, he thoughtfully points out that the “Mar” in “Marlboro” printed near the filter looks like “Jew” when you see it upside down. We bond over complicated family histories and, as we chat about the recent oil spill, he becomes gentler. I wonder who was leasing the rig, and he replies, “Goldman Sachs, dude!” with the most genuine smile I’ve seen the whole hour. He’s joking, but he’s also deadly serious. It’s a strange moment of self-awareness — Pink knows that he might come off like an arrogant mad man, but he’s kind of okay with it. And, oddly enough, I’m okay with it too, and I leave wishing our interview was just beginning instead of ending.