"If you go through your life expecting moral purity from every artist you love, you're going to have a very lonely life, aesthetically." – Tom Bissell

Tom Bissell is an American author, journalist, and critic. He co-authored the book The Disaster Artist, which has been adapted into a movie starring James Franco, Seth Rogen, Dave Franco, and Alison Brie.

In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and Tom discuss Metallica and thrash metal (5:25); violence in music and video games (23:30); how one's relationship to one's own writing transforms over time (28:10); the shallowness of cultural criticism in social-media (33:55); the dubious concept of "authenticity" as applied to food, music, and travel (42:00); co-writingThe Disaster Artist with actor Greg Sestero, and making sense of The Room (58:50); and finding joy and contentment within the creative process (1:06:00).

Articles, books and movies:

The Geto Boys, by Rolf Potts
Slayer’s Reign in Blood, by D.X. Ferris
Some Kind of Monster (documentary film about Metallica)
The Defiant Ones (documentary about Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre)
Straight Outta Compton (movie about N.W.A)
"My Holy Land Vacation," by Tom Bissell
"Euphorias of Perrier: The Case Against Robert D. Kaplan," by Tom Bissell
"One Man’s Odyssey into ‘Eat, Pray, Love’," by Rolf Potts
Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture, by David Kushner
Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads, by Paul Theroux
"The Mystical High Church of Luck," by Rolf Potts (about Las Vegas)
"Humor Doesn’t Translate Internationally," by Rolf Potts (about The Asylum)

Bands, songs, and albums mentioned

Metallica (thrash-metal band)
Anthrax (thrash-metal band)
Slayer (thrash-metal band)
Testament (thrash-metal band)
The Exploited (punk band)
Public Enemy (rap group)
NWA (rap group)
"Angel of Death" (song, by Slayer)
"Wake up Dead" (song, by Megadeth)
"Indians" (song, by Anthrax)
"Creeping Death" (song, by Metallica)
"Disposable Heroes" (song, by Metallica)
The Black Album (1991 album, by Metallica)

Other Links:

Dungeons & Dragons books
Cliff Burton (Metallica bassist)
Chuck D (rap artist)
James Smith (Rap-A-Lot Records founder)
Dr. Dre (music producer)
Rick Rubin (music producer)
Paul Theroux (travel writer)
Pico Iyer (travel writer)
33 1/3 (book series)
Virtue signaling (concept)

Tom Bissell's favorite Metallica albums:

Kill 'Em All (1983)
Ride the Lightning (1984)
Master of Puppets (1986)
…And Justice to All (1988)
St. Anger (2003)
Death Magnetic (2008)
Hardwired..to Self-Destruct (2016)

Other books by Tom Bissell:

Chasing the Sea: Lost Among the Ghosts of Empire in Central Asia (2003)
God Lives in St. Petersburg: and Other Stories (2005)
The Father of All Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam (2007)
Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter (2010)
Magic Hours: Essays On Creators and Creation (2012)
Apostle: Travels Among the Tombs of the Twelve (2016)

This episode was sponsored by the Paris Writing Workshop, an intensive one-month course in the artistic heart of Europe.

The Deviate theme music comes from the title track of Cedar Van Tassel's 2017 album Lumber.

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