The Secret Interview: Phil and Nate Parker
[I][CENTER]We've all been wondering what's been going on with the Cult's very own double personality, NateBunkle. xec8 brings you the inside scoop.[/CENTER][/I]
[B]What are you doing with yourself these days?[/B]
I've taken to starting to describe life nowadays as "Dabbling." it just seems the perfect description of everything I do anymore. Dabble in reading and writing here and there, dabble in house and yardwork, a little dab of sleep.
I have gotten the itch back to start dabbling with drawing again, which I enjoy; but I do wish I could get myself to get more focused on just one thing for a length of time instead of so many little things spread out.
Whether it's art or work or whatever, I think I'm more productive when I focus on a single task at a time instead of spread out like a fan.
[B]Your interests in books seem to lie in European literature (Hamsun, Dostoevsky) or books written by Americans in Europe (Miller, et al). Is there a particular reason for this? Have you been to Europe? [/B]
I don't think it's so much as being focused on a particular location for literature I like as it is the way an author tells and shapes a story. A lot of people when they start reading will naturally just start with books that are around them. I did the same thing. Starting off with the likes of Stephen King and comic books, because those were what were at hand. After awhile though, you start looking for something with more substance or structure.
I liken it to the same way you start a baby out on babyfood and strained peas and whatnot, but eventually the kid grows some teeth and needs something a little meatier to get by on.
I'm in a period now I think where I'm going out and exploring those authors of different nationalities. Europe just seems the next logical step in that progression for me. However, just finished Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore and it was good, so the exploration branches out a little further. And the more I read of his, Cervantes is looking more and more like a literary superfreak!
What makes these authors even more amazing to me is you have to know that something is lost in the translation of their work and even so there's still this tremendous amount there to chew on.
As to the second question, no I've not been to Europe yet. With where I am in life right now though. I'm looking forward to getting some little job on the side and take the money from it for a trip. I'm very excited about this just to get over there and experience some normal everyday life. See how much is different from what we're exposed to over here, how much is the same, that sort of thing.
[B]Where do you most want to go in the world? Is this for sentimental reasons or just because you’re curious to see the world?[/B]
I've always had a desire to get over and see Greece. I don't know why really, for all the history I suppose. The landscape just looks beautiful as well, but anywhere you go you could pretty much find beautiful and amazing landscapes, so I still don't know why that one place in particular holds such fascination for me.
I've also always wanted to visit Antarctica and the South Pole. Again, I don't know why. It seem all there would be to do is go out, have your picture taken next to the little monument and then start heading back north.
One of the strangest though is, I want to go to Mt. Everest. Not to climb it or anything, just to go there at the foot of the mountain and put my hands into the dirt. Just to stand there in front of it in awe and take it in.
Now that I think about it, I guess most of these have to do with the experience of having been to these places more than the places themselves.
[B]I was just watching a standup comedy show on TV, and Mitch Benn sang a song about an anorexic model. “She’s a size zero” is the chorus. Anorexic body types are becoming so common that it would actually be shocking – however unfairly – to see a “normal”-sized model on a catwalk. Are you attracted to this body type? Why?[/B]
A girl has definitely got to have some curves for me to start imagining myself getting rejected by her with a slap to the face for my advances.
I've always looked at the whole heroin chic craze as the polar opposite of female bodybuilders. I don't really find either one attractive. Almost like circus freaks. Even worse really because I have always had some twisted attraction the the circus freaks because I've always thought having sex with the bearded lady would be awesome just for the story of it. These girls that you can literally encircle their waists between your hands though...as someone else once said, "make me go a big rubbery one."
As far as attraction goes, it has more to do with how someone carries themselves. There's all sorts of different body types. Trying to fit into one that doesn't belong to you is what makes it unattractive.
What's even worse though is these people that resort to having the stomach staple surgery to get thin, they look like cadavers!
[B]It’s often clear that these girls go through hell to look “pretty,” and they starve themselves to near-death in order to conform to a beauty standard that seems to be shifting consistently. Have you ever felt as though you failed to conform to a standard set by “Them”, maybe career-wise, or money-wise, relationship-wise? Do find yourself trying to become something without really understanding why?[/B]
I'm sure I have in the past but nothing springs to mind. Probably more on a small scale though. I'm usually the one to make sure I stood out. I had a lot of people confused at me when I quit my job to take care of my dad. Some even getting downright mad.
They just couldn't get it around their heads as to why someone would give up such a good paying job and security, having money to go out partying, not getting that big wheeled pick up truck and bass boat to basically go play Mr. Mom.
I just don't feel comfortable conforming to things. There's been times where I look up and realize something I believe or am doing is what everyone else is thinking or doing and I'll have the little internal dialogue going as to whether I'm doing this for me or to fit in. More often than not though it's the former.
It does bring up a good question though; whether if what you believe just happens to be what the masses are doing is conforming or not. You just got to keep digging and discover why you think the things you do and what influences those decisions and go from there.
[B]Let’s suppose that your job is to read anonymous letters asking for advice and to reply to them. You get one letter whose author reminds you so much of you, down to the last detail, that you can’t believe you didn’t write it yourself. His situation is exactly like yours. What advice would you give him? How easily would you be able to take your own advice?[/B]
My advice would have to be doing what's right and doing what's best for you are not always the same thing.
Quitting the job was definitely not the best thing for me. It sucks balls being broke all the time now, basically living off an [i]extremely[/i] limited allowance.
I should be out establishing a career, looking for a wife and building a family. I'd really like to be doing that. Have a couple kids and a mortgage. The longer I do this though, that window closes more and more. But it was the right thing to do at the time.
It's just one of those moral questions I asked and answered for myself long ago that I always want to do the right thing as opposed to anything else. Not to say you shouldn't enjoy life though. I enjoy the hell out of my life. It's just a matter of finding different things to enjoy.
I suppose that answers the second question about following that advice. I'm pretty good at sticking to that ideal.
[B]What’s your favourite Biblical story, and why?[/B]
It's got to be the story of Ehud and Eglon (Judges 3:12-26.)
It's just some little anecdote inserted among all the other historical stories that no one would ever even know about unless they were pointed to it or studied Old Testament history specifically. It's just such a ridiculous and incredibly detailed story about a young Jewish man being raised up to free his people from the evil King, who they describe as a "very fat man.". The king, Eglon, is killed by Ehud stabbing him in the gut to where he can't even pull the knife blade back out with some even more 'colourful' descriptions and gets away because the king's guard think the reason they haven't seen him is because he's taking a crap. It's a perfect example for anyone that thinks there is no comedy in the Bible.
[B]Do you, or have you ever considered yourself a Christian? What does being a “good” Christian mean?[/B]
I consider myself a Christian, went to a Christian school for six years and even went to a Bible college for awhile till the money ran out.
I think a "good" Christian is someone that is what the title says, Christ-like. Living a loving and peaceful life, spreading his message of salvation where you can, searching God's face for strength and guidance. It's not anything that is even attainable because none of us can be like him completely. Like a lot of things, it's more about the journey. The striving to be like Christ. It's not some specific point in your life you can look at and say "Here, I am a good Christian." It's something you got to look at as a whole.
Even so, I think considering yourself a "good" Christian already takes you down a notch because it's a bit of a prideful statement. When you put someone like Jesus as the benchmark, the best you could be in comparision is the lowest of filth.
I should also add, there are tons of people out there that don't even believe in that faith that are more Christian than a lot of those who do.
[B]What were you like as a child? Were you difficult?[/B]
I was probably difficult as a kid, but not horribly so. I'm the oldest of four boys and I know it's usually the youngest that gets away with more garbage. But I was always the one among us that would push those boundaries to see just how far we could go.
I still have very vivid memories of us going to the grocery store every Saturday and going crazy in the aisles, only to get home and get the tar beat out of me for acting up.
Still, I'd look forward to those trips every week for the fun of it even knowing what was coming later. The idea of performing superceded the punishment I suppose.
Had a spell of shoplifting in me for awhile and got caught a couple times, so that was trying times.
I never did get into the whole drinking and drug culture as a teen or anything though so that's why I'd say I wasn't horrible. Hell, I didn't even start smoking till I was twenty-one. It just wasn't my kind of thing at the time.
Not like I had any kind of threat of death or grounding from it or anything. My parents were never heavy drinkers to begin with but they'd have one every now and then and wouldn't shy away from letting us take a sip or two with them.
I still got a scar along my left eye-brow today where I had a little too much one New Year's Eve when I was around five years old and fell on the corner of a coffee table. As far as a good or bad kid though, I'd say I fall squarely on the average there.
[B]Were you basically the same throughout your high school years? Tell me an embarrassing story from your teenage years.[/B]
I think I was the same, maybe dumber though. But that was more just from lack of experience and education at the time. Even then I was always looking for ways to enjoy myself no matter where I was.
The first time I saw Monty Python and the Holy Grail was from some kid sneaking in a copy and four of us evading the authorities to hide out in a cramped little closet and watch it on the school's tv/vcr.
Then there was the time I really, [i]really[/i] wanted to lay down and take a nap so I crawled up into the ceiling and took a nap for one period.
It's rough for me to come up with an "embarrassing" story because I rarely get embarrassed by anything I've done. I guess a good one might be when I was like 10 or 11 and there was some big school dance coming up and my mom and dad trying to teach me how to dance. Slow dancing with your mom in the living room isn't the most fun thing in the world. The whole time though, all I could think about was how I didn't even want to go to the school dance to begin with.
Blowing out a window at school with a 2-liter bomb and then trying to use sandpaper to file down my finger prints in case they caught me wasn't exactly a shining moment either.
[B]When was the first time you felt really proud of yourself?[/B]
I remember being proud of myself in kindergarten when I was the first to complete some list we had to learn. It was things like knowing our address, tieing our shoes, learning the alphabet, things like that.
I remember in 10th grade I had been putting off reading Robinson Crusoe for so long just because I wasn't interested in it at all. Then two days before it was due just sitting down plowing through the book and writing a paper on it and getting an A.
I was always proud of never having homework mostly. To this day I don't really have an understanding of what that means, to do homework. The way our school was run you basically taught yourself, so as long as you did the required amount of work during the day, you didn't need to take it home.
Pride, to me anyways, has always had a negative connotation though. I mean, there's a reason it's listed as one of the seven deadly sins. When people say their "proud" of something I think they're really just appreciative or satisfied with an accomplishment. Maybe that is exactly what the definition is, I don't know. But there's always been a difference between the two for me.
[B]And the first time you thought you might hate yourself?[/B]
I can't think of a time I've really hated myself. There's been thousands of times though where I realize something I did was stupid and just curse myself out for being retarded. Accidently cutting someone off in traffic because I wasn't paying attention, arguing a point without having all the facts and then realizing how dumb it made me look, just those moments when all you can do is slap your forehead and say "Why the fuck did I do that?!"
I think I should hate myself for the way I treat people sometimes but I just can't bring myself to do it. If someone is doing something wrong or stupid and I feel the need to tell them, I do.
I don't have much of a filter for that sort of thing and I have a hard time telling myself that that's a bad thing; even though I know it probably is sometimes.
[B]Have you ever been in love with someone who didn’t love you back? How has this influenced who you are today, if at all?[/B]
I don't mean for this to sound bragadocious or anything but I've probably been on the other end of that more than not.
Mostly due to the fact that I am completely naive around women and just oblivious to any advances they may have made. Even to this day, I've been out and about and then the next day had some guy ask me what the hell I was doing? Why I didn't go after her? She was so into you! And the only thing I can say is "Huh? She was?'
There was one though.
When I had my first job working at Burger King, there was this beautiful red-head with just the deepest, most piercing green eyes I've ever seen. Instantly smitten.
I had never felt this way toward a girl before and just a scant few times since, and I honestly think it was love.
We were still good friends and all. Went to a bunch of the same parties; whenever there was a group of us going to the movies together, the two of us always seemed to be going also.
Still though, we never did these things together. And I knew I should have stepped up and tried to take things further but at the time I was really afraid of losing the friendship.
It's probably the closest thing to a regret I really have, but it was what made me realize that you have to take those chances to see if things can happen. Even to this day, I have her senior picture she gave me and look at her as my muse for a lot of the things I do.
[B]What would your ideal career be? What did you study during your time in college?[/B]
College was interesting because the school is primarily for teaching aspiring pastors and missionaries, neither of which I had a desire to do. I mostly went with no major and took several Bible history classes and an administration course. The most important one to me though was the creative writing course. Since it was a Christian college, there were a lot of subjects that no one wanted to even write about. I could see watching the foul language in a piece; shying away from entire topics just because they were taboo, I couldn't get behind. Any of the submissions I made there, I always tried to push what I could get away with getting up and reading before the whole class stood up, pointed at me and started chanting "Blasphemer!" To their credit, no one ever stoned me to death.
An ideal career would be, of course, having nothing to do but write for a living. I'd like to make enough of a name for myself to be able to go out and write and draw my own comic book also. That's probably the extent of what I would try to get with any sort of "fame." Mostly because the comic market just seems so cluttered with crap as it is, I don't have the patience to try and break into it as an unknown.
[B]What new features can you imagine the Cult having?[/B]
I think something cool would be our own version of YouTube on there, CultTube maybe. Where people could upload their own videos of Chuck at his readings, little fan made films and whatnot. It'd be hard to keep uncluttered from GD type videos. But maybe there should be a section for that type stuff as well. I don't know how much of a server strain that would cause though, so it might not be viable.
I'd love to see more people getting involved and making a new fan art section again. That thing used to be pretty full back in the day, but after awhile it just sort of dwindled out. That would be the easiest thing to resurrect I think. People just got to start sending in work to where it makes sense to put one back up in full force.
[B]How soon do you think you'll be willing to resume your posting life at the Cult?[/B]
I really don't know. And if I do, I'm not sure what form it'll take. If I'll be back as often as I was, if it'll just be sporadic pop-ins or even never again. I once likened The Cult to high school, and not for the obvious reasons either. But you go through the phases of a high school there. When you first join up, you're the Freshman. then after being there awhile You become a Sophomore, (which I still maintain is Latin for Sophisticated Moron.) Move up to a Junior, and feel like you really got some sway in the way things are going. And all of a sudden you're a Senior, and think the Universe revolves around you and you can shit in the gym teacher's coffee cup because...hey, why not?
I've been there for four years now and it really feels like Graduation time. To me, staying longer would be a little like Wooderson from Dazed & Confused.
There has been plenty of members better than even me (shock!) come and go from that place and it's still there. The Cult has got some long legs and it'll be running for awhile still yet.
[B]Finally, would you like some lobster?[/B]
I would love some lobster actually. I've only had it maybe three or four times in my life. Mostly I end up with crab legs, which are good and all but it's way WAY too much work to get them open for such a little amount of meat. Even worse is that imitation crab meat which is better than nothing, but not by much.
thanks for sharing.blackhawk tactical pants.
"I could have done worse!" exultantly cried the murderer Lebret, sentenced at Rouen to hard labor for life. — Félix Fénéon