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John W. Love, Jr.

John W. Love, Jr.

in a class by himself

Weird Charlotte: Are you originally from Charlotte, or did you come here from somewhere else? If you came here from somewhere else, where was that, when did you land here, and why?

John: Born and bred.

WC: Of all you've contributed to the cultural fabric of Charlotte, what are some of your personal favorites?

John: Simply by honoring my right to think, speak, and create passionately, richly, and with a healthy dose of defiance, without trying I’ve always managed to disturb the previous notions friends, colleagues, acquaintances, supporters, haters, and enemies have had about me. I find that to be rather freeing. My contribution to the cultural fabric is sometimes as a pick, nick, or snag, and oft as a stitch, weave, stain, or embellishment that is invisible to some, intriguing to others, and absolutely necessary to a few. Then again, my contribution is probably as varied as my pursuits: theatre, film, literature, music, dance, performance, experimental sound, internet initiatives, sculpture, design, healing initiatives, activism, health pursuits, advertising, me the intuitive, me as Unc-Daddy Tough Love, and me as fierce protector of my peeps, passions, ideals, and relationship to the simple muthafuckin’ truth in all of its complexity.

WC: What strengthens your dedication to do what you do, in spite of the fact that Charlotte has not yet developed a critical mass of creatively-attuned people?

John: My desire to participate is thoroughly inner directed. The deeper I delve into the dark, dank, funky, thick, sweet, bitter, salty, gritty, grimy, fluffy, raggedy, smooth, silky, and elusive edges and hot spots of my unknowns, the more enriched my celebration of the goody-goody. That shit is a must do regardless of who’s in the mix. However, in appeasement of my compulsion to share, miraculously there never seems to be a lack of peeps eager to taste a little bit of whatever it is I’m offering up.

WC: What sometimes discourages you about Charlotte and makes you dream of living somewhere else? And where would that somewhere else be?

John: Politically, socially, culturally, and creatively, Charlotte is consumed by fear and cowardice. Now while those demons have a rightful place at the table just like any other, they needn’t be allowed to fucking shit in the punch bowl and expect everyone to take a sip without question or a little ass-kicking. I want to be at home all over the world, therefore I need places in NY, LA, San Fran, Paris, London, Tokyo, something in Canada, all throughout the Mediterranean, a few undecided tropical islands, a mountain or two to satisfy my goat sensibilities, and some fantastical place that tends to collect all of the cultural, intellectual, and sexual progressives.

WC: What would help make Charlotte a more vibrant cultural city?

John: The pursuit of living poetically.

WC: What can we do right now to make Charlotte a more vibrant cultural city?

John: Be a player who creates the game, owns a piece of the game, and shares the game with the rest of the world. In fashion, art, theatre, film, music, design, and all things that define a culture, support the creation of the product here, create the product here, use the product here, value the product here, evolve the product here, and sell the product to everyone else. Don’t just be a consumer or an interpreter. Be an originator and make it all so exquisite that everyone wants a piece.

WC: Let's say there's some creative person out there who's considering moving to Charlotte. If you could say one thing to them, what would it be?

John: What lie are you clinging to in order to convince yourself to move to this piece? After that question is laid out there, then we could have a real conversation about what it means for a creative individual to roll up in this joint.