Chad Kultgen, author of The Average American Marriage, talks porn, squirrels and civil rights
So it was pretty average, so to speak?
Yeah, it was pretty average. I did read a lot and I think that has contributed more than anything to my general view of the world and what ultimately drives me to write all these books. It's a disdain for the status quo. It ties into what I was saying earlier about people trying to stop progress, social or technological, and I hate that. I want to stop that from happening. When something is clearly beneficial to the populace, like legalizing gay marriage for example, why would we want to stop that? It's just some ridiculous, outdated, ideological view that comes from religion.
Yeah, I'm with you on that one. Especially right now with all the gun control debates and protection of the Second Amendment. Last time I checked the Constitution was written how many hundreds of years ago? I think it's safe to say our founding fathers would have included some kind of footnote-caveat to that amendment if they saw what was happening today, don't you?
Yeah, the real beauty of the gun control debate is that the original Second Amendment was written so that we'd never be run over by the government. It was written in an era when the Internet didn't exist -- obviously -- and when the flow of information isn't near what it is now. So these days the government can say, yeah we'll never take away your guns but what we will take away is every other right: we can look at your e-mails, we can drag you out of the house and arrest you instantaneously for no reason, we can do whatever we want. So the actual freedom has been completely removed but the government allows us this idea of freedom through the Second Amendment.
You were recently up in Portland signing books at Powell's. Did you go to the really big one that takes up a whole city block?
Yeah, I did. I love going to Powell's and Tattered Cover in Denver. Those are like my two favorite bookstores to go to when I do book tours. But yeah, it was great. Twenty to thirty people showed up. There was a lady who brought her baby and said she started reading The Average American Male during her pregnancy and this was the baby's first outing into the world, its first experience beyond the hospital and its home. She brought it to this book signing where I was reading all kinds of vulgar stuff and weird stuff I'd written in college. I also made a prank call to a prayer line and offended them. So that was super interesting.
Then at the very end a kid came up to me who was in his twenties. He didn't bring anything to sign. He waited in line till the very end. Then he came up to me and said, "Hey I don't have anything to sign I just wanted to tell you your books were very important to me. I came across The Average American Male at a tough time in my life where I wanted to be a writer but was kind of disenchanted with the whole idea of it. So I stopped writing, then I read your book and it also helped me through a sort of identity crisis in my life." I write my books for a lot of reasons, but I honestly never would have thought that anything I had written would have that kind of an impact on somebody. It was a bizarrely moving experience for me to have this conversation with this kid.
In closing, what the hell is up with that video on YouTube of you feeding squirrels then filming your own TV?
[Laughs] So, here's the whole back story on all the squirrels and shit: The area that I live in has a bunch of shrubs and vines growing all over my upstairs kitchen window. There's a bunch of squirrels that chill out there. I don't have any pets because I'm not a fan of having to walk a pet or pick up a pet's turds with your hands or have a box of their turds in my house. So I started getting some nuts and leaving them out on the window of my kitchen and watching these squirrels come around and eat them and play with each other. And they kind of became my surrogate pets, so much so that some of them have allowed me to pet them like cats for extended periods of time. Some of them will wait for me if I leave in my car. Some of them will greet me as I get out of my car; they will be sitting on or near my shoes. So it's kind of become known among my friends that I have this weird obsession with squirrels... which I guess I kind of do.
Damn. That's kinda weird. What was that commercial that was on the TV? I remember laughing at it.
I think it was BlackPeopleMeet.com. I'm very interested in those weird dating websites. ChristianMingle.com is my favorite. If you believe in a god, the idea that that god has a perfect match for you but that he needs you to sign on to this website first, is insane. It's just insane! How anybody can believe in a god and still sign up for that website blows my mind! And I'm sure they still get millions of dollars for that stupid website. I mean, what did God do before the Internet? Didn't he just put that person in your life? Can't he still do that or is he too busy? It's just absurd. It's beyond absurd. It's just another example of why I hate religion.
Chad Kultgen will be at the Tattered Cover in LoDo at &;30 p.m. on Thursday, February 21. Find more information here.