That's Just Unconstitutional! Interview With Colin Quinn

00:00 January 07, 2014
By: Emily Hingle

 There’s so much going on this Wednesday: Gogo McGregor hosts a hot Beach Blanket Burlesque show at Tiki Tolteca located above Felipe’s in the Quarter for free beginning at 9 p.m. If this can’t get you warmed up, nothing can! After Sword and Backpack game night at Siberia at 8 p.m., stay and watch Dario Argento’s director’s cut of Profondo Rosso at 10 p.m. Both events are free so that you can spend more on the bar and delicious Ukrainian food from Kukhnya! This film is the first in the bar’s monthly Beyond the Darkness cult horror film series that also includes horror film soundtrack DJing before and after the movie. Nearby at the Hi Ho Lounge, Isaac Tichauer, Javier Drada, and Bouffant Bouffant play beginning at 10 p.m. for $10.

The cerebral Brooklyn comedian Colin Quinn performs his one-man show Unconstitutional at the Joy Theater on Thursday at 8 p.m. In his show, Quinn will explain the state of our union as he sees it. You can read my interview with Colin Quinn below.

Songstress Emily Kopp performs on Friday with Bryan Hyken and the Wanderlust and Luxley at Gasa Gasa at 9 p.m. for $10.

The Saints take on the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in their second playoff game. As it was last week, we are playing in the cold on the road and against a team that is expected to brutally beat us, and, as it was last week, we know that the Saints can very well win. To celebrate this win (or swear to go to the Bowl next time), you can dance to the soothing tunes of the King at Kingpin Bar with Clockwork Elvis at 9 p.m. or band your head to a plethora of new metal bands including Gristnam, House of Goats, Eat the Witch, and Dragunov at Siberia at 10 p.m.

WYAT: What do you think are the problems with America today?

Colin Quinn: One of the biggest problems is that everybody’s got a different viewpoint about things and there’s no room for compromise anymore. Compromise is considered selling out. One of the biggest problems is that crazy person in the corner of the bar that used to mumble to themselves are now the people that make all the important decisions in society.

WYAT: What does it mean to be a true American?

Quinn: To be American means to try to navigate the concept of individualism within community. That’s a hard thing, you know.

WYAT: Do you think that our country is better off than it was 20 years or even 50 years ago?

Quinn: I don’t think our country’s better off. I think our country is a lot phonier than it’s been in a long time. The national dialogue is phony, and in the culture today, people just aren’t allowed to speak honestly and off-the-cuff because somebody may mistake it and the mob mentality just takes over and takes you out.

WYAT: When there are political discussions on TV, there’s a huge emphasis on being either Democrat or Republican, left or right, and very little talk about the actual issue. Does this just distract from solving the issues?

Quinn: Any actual issue can never be gotten to also because you give in one bit to the other side, everybody goes, “You’re giving them ammunition!” So now you have people that are totally uniform, regiment, down-the-middle left or right.

WYAT: Where is our country headed, in your opinion?

Quinn: Our country is headed to become like the Soviet Union, like six different countries.

WYAT: Throughout your career, you've done many different types of comedy. What do you prefer?

Quinn: I think live is the most exciting. You can say your own words, nobody’s there to edit you, or tell you, “Hey, no one’s going to get this.”

WYAT: Have you visited New Orleans before?

Quinn: I have but I’ve never spent time there, just a day here or a day there. But I’ve read Confederacy of Dunces so many times in my life; I think about it, I read it, I’m just obsessed with it.

WYAT: Do you think that book or parts of it can be transposed to the rest of America?

Quinn: Yeah, I do. I think that book is a great example, even then in the 60s, it was already exactly about the madness of everybody and everybody being extreme, and everyone being in this deluded state of how to fix everything. I love that book, it’s the only thing I ever want to talk about. It’s a great American novel. That’s the worst part about his suicide; John Kennedy Toole was a great American novelist. New Orleans has the best and worse qualities of America, doesn’t it? It’s got a little bit of a European feel to it too. It is pretty distinctive. 

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