JohnkricAround 1977 John Kricfalusi began coming to my animation programs at Innis College in Toronto. John’s enthusiasm was infectious. His intelligence was clear to me if not to his teachers.

In my programs he saw everything his teachers turned their noses up at. As Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Henri Langlois,  the founder of the French Cinematheque said, “It is good taste not bad taste which is the enemy.

As David Mamet writes in BAMBI VS. GODZILLA, “Never forget that Diaghilev founded the Russian ballet because he wanted to bugger Nijinsky.”

John asked if we could mount animation programs at Sheridan. We did. His teachers thought our programs were a waste of time. They were not a waste of our time.

When I went to Europe in the summer of 1979 I left John in charge of my home, my dogs and the film archive.

My programs have always been about education, first for myself and secondly for anyone astute enough to take full advantage of them (admittedly very few but one of those few was John).

Here are excerpts from a few published interviews with John Kricfalusi.

Animation students ought to take a cue from John. Get your ass out of the classroom and into Hell’s Kitchen (The Cineforum).

Some say language makes us the most highly evolved species on the planet, others maintain our capacity for contemplation makes us human. Some contend our proclivity for self-destruction sets us apart. Still others will tell you it’s the ability to accessorize. John Kricfalusi knows better: “I have this theory about what humans need to be truly human,” he says. “They need food, they need shelter, they need companionship — but what sets them apart from animals? Cartoons!”

John Kricfalusi is thirty-eight years old. He lives in Sherm an Oaks, a suburb of Los Angeles, and works in Hollywood. He’s watched cartoons, studied them, dissected them, memorized them, researched their history, and made them himself. His entire existence has been defined by the conviction that cartoons are essential to a civilized life; that we’re human because we can take a series of drawings (usually of anthropomorphic animals, oddly enough), make them appear to move, and, through that process, hoot at some of the goofier foibles we’re stuck with after a few million years of evolution.

His cartoon factory, Spumco International, sits in a building that’s also home to a dentist and a printing business at the less fashionable end of Melrose Avenue. It was here that Kricfalusi produced “The Ren & Stimpy Show,” a wildly successful cartoon that debuted on the American children’s cable channel Nickelodeon and later set audience and ratings records for Canada’s MuchMusic, and where he earned a reputation as the saviour of popular animation. The series still exists, but Kricfalusi is no longer the creative force behind it, a bit of very serious cartoon business that’s a perfect parable for what’s gone wrong with the art form of animation.

The principal characters in”The Ren & Stimpy Show” continue the “funny animal” tradition in cartoons. Ren Hock is a scrawny, psychotic Chihuahua given to fits of towering rage and comic exasperation. He’s also too smart for his own good. Whenever he sets out to get the better of someone, he plunges himself into rage and misery. Ren’s savage selfishness is redeemed by his contrition over his excesses. He wants to be better, but his deepest emotions, pride, greed, and wrath, stymie his every effort. Ren’s boon companion is Stimpson J. Cat, a hopelessly stupid, ovoid feline whose witlessness is redeemed by idiot-savant flashes of genius and a total lack of malice; he operates on trust and a boundless love for absolutely everything, including his own bodily effluent. Stimpy embodies the notion that utter stupidity is the only surefire route to happiness.

“The characters of Ren and Stimpy are universal,” Kricfalusi offers by way of explaining their appeal. “Those two personalities — basically, an asshole and a retard— are everywhere; everybody recognizes them. You identify with them. And the conflict between them is not black and white. They don’t have one trait each. They have levels of traits.”

In Kricfalusi’s version, while Ren and Stimpy’s personalities remained constant, everything in their universe changed with each episode. They replayed the legend of Robin Hood in the roles of Robin Hoek and Maid Moron; they were shot into space and went crazy on a thirty-six-year mission
to the Crab Nebula; a confidence scam had them posing as a mouse-catcher and his quarry (“That’s the ugliest mouse I’ve ever seen.., and he’s beating up on our cheese!”); and they got stranded in a black hole after they missed the bus “now departing Black Hole for Jersey City.”

“The Ren & Stirnpy Show,” broadcast beginning in 1990, holds the record for the biggest audiences for a series on cable. “Ren & Stimpy” didn’t air in Canada until Much- Music picked it up in the fall of 1992, but itsoon became the music-video channel’s highest-rated series. Kricfalusi probably had fans like these in mind when he had Ren administer an oath to the audience in an early episode: “Put your hand on the TV screen and repeat after me: ‘I do hereby promise only to watch “The Ren & Stimpy Show,” to make under-leg noises during the good scenes, to wear unwashed lederhosen every single day for the rest of my life!’ That’s it— you’re in our secret club!”

The conspiratorial tone could well be Kricfalusi’s own. In “The Ren & Stimpy Show,” he saw a chance to reverse thirty years of an art form’s decline, to revitalize animation. The absurdist dialogue, the manic pace, and the absence of comfy moral bromides made his show subversive, dangerous, and funny.”You want to learn? That’s what school’s for,” he says. “You want people to have morals and ethics? That’s what parents are for. You want to have a good time? That’s what cartoons are for. Leave the cartoons alone. After these people who hate cartoons ruin them, they’ll be forcing the ice-cream companies to put homework in every third gallon of ice cream.”

But that’s not the way Nickelodeon saw it,and, according to Kricfaiusi, the network lobotomized Ren and Stimpy by degrees. This clash of cartoon sensibilities is the reason that “The Ren & Stimpy Show,” as millions loved it,is now gone. “I’ve been fighting for fourteen years to make cartoons that people like against people who thought they knew better,” Kricfalusi says. “I finally made one. I hope I can make some more.”

Seven-year-old John Kricfalusi (pronounced Kris-fa-LOO-see) moved to Canada after spending his early childhood as an army brat in Germany. “I was running around with lederhosen on and riding goats,” he told the film magazine Cinefantastique. “I ate a lot of sausages, yodeled, played the bagpipes, spoke German when I was a little kid. I remember running around in Belgium with a Sputnik toy attached to a long wire. It actually flew and had a remote control. That says itall: lederhosen and the future.

“I used to eat weird things and then throw up. I’d eat stuff that I’d find on trees — they didn’t know what it was—and then come home and puke it all up all over my plate.”

His second formative experience came after his family returned to Canada, sett ling in Ottawa: spending his days watching cartoons, mainly the Hanna-Barbera half-hours featuring Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, and Quick Draw McGraw. And he remembers the day Kennedy got shot: “That really pissed me off, because they didn’t run the cartoons.”

His love of cartoons didn’t translate into academic success. “1 wasn’t very good at anything in high school,” he tells me. “I failed art every year but, for some reason, they always put me in the next year. It was the seventies, right?” Instead, Kricfalusi drew in every class and in every book he wasn’t supposed to draw in: cartoon “flip-books” in the corner of his history text; caricatures of his French teacher in the exercise books, “or, as he called them, ‘eggzerzize booogks.’

After finishing with the public-school system in Ottawa, Kricfalusi enrolled in the animation programme at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, generally acknowledged to be one of the best in North America and widely respected throughout the industry. But Kricfalusi found its curriculum placed little stress on technical knowledge and even less on exploring the medium’s potential. “There was no education,” Kricfalusi says, blunt about the outcome but more diplomatic in explaining why not.”Part of it was my fault. I was more concerned with partying and stuff. I saw mechanically how animation was put together. So it was all right for that. They teach you some really basic technical things. How to draw? No. How to act? No. How to compose? No. No animation skills do you learn in animation school.”

John-KricfalusiAt the same time as Sheridan’s programme was infuriating him, Kricflilusi was getting a parallel education through a Toronto fixture, Reg Hartt, an eccentric one- man movie compendium who screens his massive collection of prints of classic films in bars, church halls, and his own apartment. A big part of Hartt’s collection consists of the MGM and Warner Bros. work that many agree constitutes animation’s acme — the seven-minute chunks of jazzy, stuttering, rubbery brilliance that careered out of Hollywood during animation’s finest twenty-five years. From Hartt’s screenings, Kricfalusi “discovered the Tex Avery cartoons from MGM, which I hadn’t seen much of. I really liked those, and I started to think, ‘Hey, Tex Avery’s my favourite director.’ But then I saw Bob Clampett’s The Great Piggy Bank Robbery,” a Dick Tracy lampoon.

For Kricfalusi, it was an animated epiphany: “It was the wildest experience I’d ever felt, like taking acid or something. The next week I went back to Reg Hartt’s and saw Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarves. And the week after I saw Kitty Cornered and Tin Pan Alley Cats. And I thought, ‘Wow, who is this guy?” Bob Clampett worked for the Warner Bros. animation department (housed in a bungalow on the Warne r lot that the animators dubbed “Termite Terrace”). He invented Daffy Duck, perhaps the most completely unhinged member of the Warner Bros. cartoon pantheon. “The cartoons are faster than other cartoons, more caricatured. The jokes are bigger, the expressions are wilder and more subtle at the same time,” Kricfalusi says. “There’s a cartoon language and a lot of people spoke it. But nobody spoke it more fluently than Clampett.”Justin Smallbridge, Saturday Night, April 1994.

“So, what type of person does it take to set television animation on its ear’? How about one born into a military household, who spent the first half of his Wonder Years growing up in the heart of Europe, and the latter half back home, gorging on the output of Hanna-Barbera? How about one capable of netting honors grades, who still wound up being thrown out of Canada’s most prestigious animation school? How about one who early-on embraced as a guiding light the most radical and inventive of all the Looney Tune auteurs and, in trying to adapt his mentor’s methods to the bottom-line atmosphere of modern animation, managed to delight fans even as he was driving corporate-types straight up the wall?

This is the career path taken by John Kricfalusi, founder of REN & STIMPY production company Spumco. Beaver Cleaver need not apply.

Born of Canadian parents, Kricfalusi would actually live out half his childhood before seeing home. “My dad was in the Air Force when I was young,” he explained, “so we were in Europe. I was running around with lederhosen on and riding goats. I ate a lot of sausages, yodeled, played the bagpipes—spoke German when I was a little kid. I remember running around in Belgium with a Sputnik toy attached to a long wire. It actually flew and had a remote control. That says it all: lederhosen and the future.”

Doesn’t quite sound like the Heidi lifestyle—an impression that Kricfalusi is quick to affirm. “I used to eat weird things and then throw up. I’d eat stuff that I’d find on trees—they didn’t know what it was— and then come home and puke it all up all over my plate. My dad would tell me I did that on purpose and then whip me. This background material may explain what you see on our cartoons [laughs]…1 think my Dad’s a nice guy, he’s just like a dad.

“I used to go to the movies every weekend, on the Air Force base, from when I was about two or three years old until I was about seven. Every weekend I’d go to the movies and see these weird cartoons, European feature-length cartoons like THE SNOW QUEEN.”

This idyllic existence was cut short at seven, when a return to Canada led to a case of culture shock. “It really twisted me,” said Kricfalusi. “We went to Montreal for one year. Soon as I got used to it, we moved to Ottawa. I lived with my grandparents for a couple of months which was really bizarre. I wasn’t going to school, because we were moving and it was in the middle of the school season. So I got to sit there and watch cartoons every day—all I did. I drew cartoons, I watched them. That’s when I discovered HUCKLEBERRY HOUND, YOGI BEAR, QUICKDRAW MCGRAW and BEANIE AND CECIL. That’s when I got my Huckleberry Hound bowl and my Yogi Bear cup, which I refused to eat breakfast without. “By the time I got back to school, I was never the same.”

School itself presented its own difficulties. “I couldn’t get used to wearing long pants; it was really weird. I used to love that feeling of the inside of leather [lederhosen] scraping against my nakeds. Never got that again.

“That year, when I got back to school, I got the strap twice, but also won a prize for being the first in class. I won a Golden Book called “The Way to
the Stars,” and then, after winning that, a couple of kids beat me up after I got off the bus. And that was the day Kennedy got shot, too—that really pissed me off, because they didn’t run the cartoons.”

With the onset of adolescence, things began to spiral out-of-control. “In 1966, for Christmas, I got a paisley shirt and some mod pants, and that was it, that ruined me. Then I stopped slicking my hair back, combed it down—I was a mod. I went out and got pointy boots with chains all over them, for grade six. Then I was just corrupt forever.”

Somehow, Kricfalusi was able to suspend the corruption long enough to win himself a slot at Sheridan College, Canada’s most prestigious animation school. But if getting in was one thing, staying in was another. “I was bored, I didn’t like it. I never went to class. I was partying too much; I was out watching cartoons. I just don’t fit in any kind of structured establishment. Soon as somebody tells me, ‘This is the way things are,’ I instantly go in the opposite direction and it pisses people off.

I love to prove people wrong.”

One of the few things that college life did do for Kricfalusi was to bring him into contact with the work of Bob Clampett, the Looney Tunes director whose fevered misc en scenes would have a dramatic effect on the younger artist’s view of animation.

REG-HARTT“In Toronto, there was a guy, Reg Hartt, who ran old films and old cartoons every Sunday at a college in Toronto. I discovered the Tex Avery cartoons from MGM, which I hadn’t seen much of. I really liked those, and I started to think, ‘Hey, Tex Avery’s my favorite director.’ But then, I saw [Clampett’s] ‘The Great Piggy Bank Robbery,’ and I died. I thought, “This is incredible. This is the best cartoon I’ve ever seen in my life.’ At the time I was just shocked at how much life there was in it, how right from the second it started, right to the very end, it was just solid intensity.

“Then I saw ‘Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarves.’ And week after week I started seeing more. And they weren’t just funny—Tex Avery cartoons are funny—but they were brilliantly animated; they had a story; they had personalities. They had all these different levels that other cartoons just didn’t have.”

How did the Clampett approach change Kricfalusi’s approach to animation? “I didn’t have an approach to animation when I saw those cartoons. I was a student. It just gave me inspiration. It changed the direction I was going in, definitely.

“I always liked funny stuff. I never wanted to compete with Walt Disney. I didn’t want to do heartfelt stories. I wanted to make people laugh more than anything else. But [the work of Clampett] made me think that you can do other emotions. You can achieve other feelings with this medium, not just the humor. You can make the characters live.”

But where could he go with this newly instilled sense of purpose? The world- renowned National Film Board of Canada—home of such festival favorites as Norman McLaren and Richard Condie—was one possibility. Kricfalusi rejected the option immediately—”I hated the National Film Board,” was the director’s one-sentence dismissal of the issue. Very well, then: Los Angeles—home base of companies lilce Hanna-Barbera, Dic, Marvel, and Murakami Wolf Swenson. At the time of Kricfalusi’s migration in 1979, the place was on the verge of a boom period based on broadcast deregulations that allowed toy manufacturers and production companies to turn cartoon shows into half-hour commercials for the latest line of action figures—good news for the suits, bad news for anyone interested in the artistry of animation.

Of his time in the cartoon mills, Kricfalusi said, “I hate even talking about the state that animation was in. We all know it; everybody’s written about it, it’s depressing. I want to be optimistic. I want to look towards the future. [I worked on] the same old crap that everybody was doing. HEATHCLIFF, THE SMURFS, some new versions of THE JETSONS where they were trying to ruin them—which I think they did a pretty good job on. All kinds of stuff.”

At the same time, Kricfalusi was beginning to wonder why the approach that Clampett had applied so successfully to Looney Tunes couldn’t be adapted to the pressure-cooker environment of modern, commercial animation. Ideally, what the director sought was a return to the days when artists skilled in the ways of visual humor created gags, rather than leaving the scripting to writers who tended to favor verbal humor (when they managed to create any humor at all). Kricfalusi began making the rounds of the networks, pitching shows featuring such characters as Wally Whimsey, the Goofy Gremlin and Brick Blastoff of the Outback.

It wasn’t until his work caught the eye of controversial animation director Ralph Bakshi that things started to fall into place. It was Kricfalusi’s visualizations of randy alley cats that punctuated the Bakshi-produced, Rolling Stones rock video, HARLEM SHUFFLE. And when Bakshi convinced CBS to give him a crack at reviving Paul Terry’s MIGHTY MOUSE cartoons, it was Kricfalusi who was charged with making something of the moribund character.

“Bakshi convinced Judy Price at CBS to let the artists write the stories,” said Kricfalusi. “And so Tom Minton, Jim Reardon and I wrote all the Mighty Mouse stories. We wrote them as scripts. We didn’t write them as storyboards—that would have been too much of a revolution at the time. It wasn’t all that bad. At least we were visual people. We had an idea of what would work and what wouldn’t.”

All told, Bakshi supported Kricfalusi in this hitherto untried experiment in artistic freedom. Sometimes, though, that support flagged. “He encouraged us to be creative, but he didn’t totally give us our head,” said Kricfalusi. “For every script that would get approved by Ralph, probably two would get thrown out. What actually happened was he made us work three times as hard as we really needed to.”

In the end, money disputes cut short Kricfalusi’s efforts on THE NEW MIGHTY MOUSE. And, despite the universally positive critical response to the show, Kricfalusi’s own judgment is more reserved. “Let me be frank: I didn’t know what I was doing. We were trying hard. It was the first chance to really try out our style and my system of production. We rushed through it. We did it really fast and it didn’t work. I watch them now and I cringe.”

There followed Kricfalusi’s sojourn at Dic, and the subsequent BEANIE AND CECIL debacle (see main article). It’s far from Kricfalusi’s favorite time period, and he lets a bit of temper show when questioned about his mood after that show’s cancellation. “That’s just the typical starving artist story. We starved and we stuck to our principles and we won.” What Kticfalusi won, of course, was vindication for his artist driver approach to animation, via THE REN & STIMPY SHOW.—By Dan Persons, Cinefantastique, June 1993.

Sunday-TELEGRAPH 200px-JohnKricfalusi goodman01_JohnK jk john-kricfalusi-04 john-kricfalusi-36th-annual-comic-con-international-14LDp3

Shock Troops of Animation


First we have to blow up the Disney studio, get all the animators out of there, detox them. Then we have to kill Saturday morning and come up with a new word for cartoon. They consider it as children’s entertainment, and that’s a horrible handicap. — John Kricfalusi on mainstream animation

Animation has emerged from the Dark Ages. Long considered an entertainment medium for children, animation experienced a renaissance in the early nineties. Generation Xers embraced it as a vehicle for satire and gross humour. Reclaimed by young adults, the genre elbowed its way onto prime-time television, and back into the movie theaters. It became a cultural stimulant for grown-ups.

The leader of the revolution was John Kricfalusi, the Canadian creator of The Ren & Stimpy Show (1990—95). Kricfalusi brought a self-deprecating edge to televis ion. Not only did he inject offbeat adolescent humour, he pushed to restore art to the craft of animation. It was his goal to reinstate full-blown animation with fantastic gags.

Animation evolved because a new television forum emerged: cable. In the late eighties, networks such as Nickelodeon, Fox and MTV were mere weblets in search of a larger audience.

Cable executives looked to independent animators to supply them with irreverent fare that would separate them from the big three networks. Cable’s invitation to independent animators was akin to a moose call. Artists went into hormonal overdrive. According to Kricfalusi, “It’s as if, for 40 years, you taped everyone’s groin shut and no one could have sex anymore, then all of a sudden you take all the tape off and everyone’s all crusty and smelly, but they start fucking again and say: ‘Wow, isn’t this fun.’

The new broadcasters opened a Pandora’s box. Animators who had been coiled in the square studios pumping out Saturday-morning schlock sprang into action. They had studied the Max Fleischer and Warner Bros. shorts and rued being born in the wrong era. Suddenly, there was a glimmer of hope. Two Canadians — Kricfalusi, followed later by Danny Antonucci, the creator of The Brothers Grunt (1994—95) — leaped out of the starting box. With their design arsenal and passion for animation, they took on traditional kids’ TV and reinforced scatological humour on the tube.

Nickelodeon executives Geraldine Laybourne and Vanessa Coffey gave the impetus to the new wave of animation. They wanted to break away from the traditional fare on competing networks. Kricfalusi was exactly the crusader they were seeking — a frustrated renegade with a mountain of ideas and a feverish pitching style.

Nickelodeon negotiated all rights for one of his creations — Ren & Stimpy. The cartoon quickly became a number one hit on Nickelodeon and MTV At its peak, it attracted 2.2 million viewers, almost half of whom were adults over 18. It spawned a huge merchandising campaign, and was the progenitor of the profane toon popular on today’s airwaves. Nearly half a century after the decline of the American cartoon, Kricfalusi reawakened audiences to the unadulterated joy of great design, and stretch and squash characters.

Kricfalusi was a typical nerdy preteen, obsessed with decoding the secret of animation. By age seven, he was rushing home to watch American cartoons: “Huckleberry Hound was on one channel and Quick Draw McGraw on another, and I’d go nuts wondering which one I would watch.”

By dissecting comic book characters into grids, he learned how to draw. “Once I got the hang of drawing the characters, I started writing stories about them. I was drawing storyboards with Hanna-Barbera characters without knowing what a storyboard was. Then I got really nerdy and wrote up illustrated biographies of each character. Eventually, I started inventing my own characters and writing stories with them. Jarzan was a guy made up of jars. He had a best friend, Nosy Hotface. I actually wrote a letter to Walt Disney suggesting that his next feature be Nosy Hotface in Africa.”

Like many young animators, Kricfalusi learned through experimentation, and by drawing unflattering caricatures of his sister. Kricfalusi’s mother, Mary-Lou, claims they could never find a piece of paper around the house) The family always knew “Johnny” had the ability to be a fine artist, they just didn’t know if he would apply himself.

Despite his obvious talent, Kricfalusi failed art in high school in Ottawa. He was popular, the girls liked him, but he lacked discipline and motivation. Exasperated by his son’s lack of initiative, Michael Kricfalusi decreed: “Go back to school, get a job or leave the house.” Kricfalusi moved out at age 17. His father thought he’d end up in the gutter, but after kicking around Ottawa for two years, Kricfalusi applied to Sheridan College.

His defiant approach to teachers continued in college. Kricfalusi soon decided he could learn more about animation by attending animation screenings organized by Toronto eccentric Reg Hartt…Kricfalusi quit Sheridan before completing half the course. He viewed his instructors as mere proselytizers of the Disney religion and left in search of work.

Nelvana passed him over, so he headed straight for Los Angeles, where he paid his dues working in the animation trenches of Filmation and Hanna-Barbera. It was there that Kricfalusi came to the conclusion that writers were the root of all evil in cartoon land. He argued that in order to be a good animation writer, a person must be able to cartoon. “It goes without saying that you have to be able to write, but imagine trying to write a symphony if you’ve never played an instrument. Good grammar is not going to help you.”

In Kricfalusi’s utopian world, animators would write and render their own stories and gags, and the ink and paint departments would be repatriated from the Orient. Banishing writers from production was Kricfalusi’s first act of defiance as senior director on the CBS remake Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures (1987). Series producer Ralph Bakshi (director of Fritz the Cat) backed him up.

Bakshi and Kricfalusi were already collaborating on ideas before they pitched Mighty Mouse to CBS. In the summer of 1983, the duo developed a handful of original cartoon characters and story concepts to sell to broadcasters. Kricfalusi’s favourite was Brik Blastoff of the Outback, a saucy science fiction series developed with the Playboy Channel in mind. The proposal was replete with sexual innuendoes such as: “Maybe if I cover the monster’s eyes with my bra, we can escape!”—Karen Mazurkewich, CARTOON CAPERS.


“Most teachers say you should go to school to get your degree to have something to fall back on. Aside from being a huge lie, that also creates a very high level of mediocrity, because nobody who really believes that is going to take the leap of faith required to be a serious artist. Stay out of school.”–Ellis Marsalis to his sons Branford, Delfeayo and Wynton.

“It is good taste not bad taste which is the enemy.”-Salvador Dali.

“Film students should stay as far away from film schools and film teachers as possible. The only school for the cinema is the cinema.”-Bernardo Bertolucci.

“It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wrack and ruin without fail. It is a very great mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.”–Albert Einstein.
“My schooling not only failed to teach me what it professed to be teaching, but prevented me from being educated to an extent which infuriates me when I think of all I might have learned at home by myself.”–George Bernard Shaw.

“Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.”–Bertrand Russell.

“School is an institution built on the axiom that learning is the result of teaching. And institutional wisdom continues to accept this axiom, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”–Ivan Illich.

“We get three educations. The first is from our parents; the second is from our schoolmasters. The third is from life. The last makes liars of the first two.”–Montesquieu.

“I had wonderful teachers in the first and second grades who taught me everything I know. After that, I’m afraid, the teachers were nice, but they were dopes…I have a lack of ideology, and not because I have an animus against any particular ideology; it’s just that they don’t make sense to me…they get in the way of thinking. I don’t see what use they are…University and uniformity, as ideals, have subtly influenced how people thought about education, politics, economics, government, everything…We are misled by universities and other intellectual institutions to believe that there are separate fields of knowledge. But it’s clear there are no separate fields of knowledge. It is a seamless web.”-Jane Jacobs.

Stay out of school.”–David Mamet.


« »