Fledgling attempts over the last few years to build one of the world’s largest freak magnets, seems to be finally paying off for Disinformation. Intended as an online porthole to subversive information, and a way to ‘use new media to make money from old media’, founder Richard Metzger has managed to spin-off books: ‘Abuse your Illusions’, ‘Everything you know is Wrong’, ‘You are being lied to’, and an ‘Invisibles’ reader, a Tv series: mash of sex, drugs and conspiracy for UK screens, and a corresponding DVD (shown recently at the Melb.underground film fest, and available online). Meet Richard:
I gather the Disinfo show documents your interests well – but what are you particularly fascinated by right at the moment?
Charles Ludlam, the founder of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company who died at 44 from AIDS during the late 80’s. There is great new biography out about him and it’s just an amazing story and much of it takes place during a time in New York when I was living there. Ludlam was a totally singular man, a true mutant/freak, but a genius as well. This book “Riculous”: by David Kauffman tells the story of an entire era and scene thru the lifetime of one man and it’s just a great read. I’ve been collecting Ludlam artifacts now wherever I can find them.
And I’ve been reading a lot of those “new school” books on the life of the “real” Jesus, from what they can *really* tell and these “lost books of the Bible” things. Fascinating. “The Book of Enoch” is the one that’s really the most interesting because of how, uh, “real” it seems. To explain what I mean by that, it’s full of details that stand out and give it a unique “context” for a document of that vintage. It’s also been stepped on a whole lot less by translators and this gives it more authenticity as well.
What sort of UK-TV feedback have u had for the Disinfo show?
The ratings were strong. This show followed “Alley McBeal” for the first season and it often had more viewers than she did. One guy wrote in to Channel 4 that my show was promoting dangerous ideas for yourg people. He was quite sincere and I think that he was “correct” from his perspective, too. He didn’t go overboard and I couldn’t find fault with his logic, although I disagreed with him.
Why can’t Disinfo be shown in the US?
It could be shown here, but only on HBO or Showtime. I *knew* that the SCI FI Channel couldn’t air this thing. I can’t believe that they bought it from us. Here’s the funny thing: They paid for it, the check cleared and THEN they watched it and freaked out. Thanks, guys!
Which of your interviewees surprised you the most?
I don’t know. No one really. I always knew what I was going to get going in pretty much. Many of the people in the show are personal friends. Most are in fact or it was someone I knew about for a while like “Rocketboy” –I met him almost 10 years ago– or Mr. Awesome who was described to a “T” by Adam Parfry in Apocalypse Culture II and genersouly supplied his phone number.. Uncle Goddamn is pretty surprising I guess!
As a New Yorker, your take on the ‘war on terror’ and the rash of patriotism?
Well, how would you feel if a bunch of fucking religous fanatics took out 3000 people in Melbourne?
How has the NY arts scene changed / responded since S11?
It hasn’t at all except that sales are sluggish at all the galleries. It was briefly much easier to get laid for a short time after, that I was told (I live in LA now). Apparently *much* easier. Nothing much happens of interest in New York anymore anyways. It’s too expensive for artists to live there. All the bohemians live in LA now.
What’s the Disinfo – John Safran connection?
My business partner knows his manager and he told us about the McDonald’s piece that John had done that the ABC refused to air. I was in complete hysterics when I saw it. John has to be one of the funniest people on the planet. Hopefully someone here will see him on our DVD and want to hire him to do a US or Brit TV series. Everyone should know about him, he could be the Ali G of Oz. Respeck.
A Disinfo website, cable tv slot, BBC series, books & DVD – what’s next?
A theme park! Just more. More Disinformation. I would like to do a version of this new occult book that I am doing now as a limited edition art book. It’s called “Book of Lies” and I’d like to a leather-bound version of it on rice paper, laid out like a King James Bible in a special slip cover and with an original piece of art inside.