Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Jack White creates the worst plentyoffish profile ever

There was a big interview with Jack White in Sunday's Observer, which found a man struggling to balance the weight of his self-created mythos:

A lazaretto is a medical quarantine, traditionally occupied by contagious sea dogs returned from voyage. White is so busy these days that the idea of such a place has become almost exotic: "I fantasise about living in one-room apartments and being in a work camp somewhere, where there's absolutely nothing around me but a cot and a teapot and a sink."
Of course, it's not all as bad as that.
Lazaretto is dedicated to three feminist pioneers: Florence Green from Norfolk, the last surviving veteran of the first world war until her death in 2012 [actually, Tim Lewis, her death didn't stop her being the last surviving veteran]; the American anarchist and writer Voltairine de Cleyre; and "Amazing" Grace Hopper, a computer scientist and rear admiral in the US navy.
That actually sounds quite interesting. So, has this album been informed by those women's experiences?

Er, no:
White admits that he barely knows more than a paragraph's biography of each of them, but he jotted their names down at various points in the recording process. He says: "So, just another way to provoke thought, I guess."
If he'd picked up a different page of his notebook, the album might have been dedicated to 'set PVR for Game Of Thrones' or 'potatoes/washing up liquid/half pound of bananas'.

Maybe not the PVR, though:
White is doing his own bit to turn back the clock: at his gigs, he enforces a strict ban on the audience shooting pictures or video; at home, he only allows his children – Scarlett, eight, and Hank, six – to play with mechanical toys. "There's romance and beauty in that in a real physical way," he says, "and that's more important for them than to just quickly cop to video games and iPads."
Mechanical toys? Mechanical toys? Isn't clockwork a little too fast-pace-of-modern-life for you, Jack? What's wrong with a chunk of wood and a whittling stick?

I feel for his kids. Going to his house must be like when I had to visit a great aunt who only had powdered milk and one chair.

There's one bit, though, where I think the real Jack White peeps through:
"I'm incredibly complicated, incredibly full of energy, incredibly busy and I never stop thinking, I never stop creating. Sitting next to me in a room or laying next to me in a bed, it could be a lot of work. To be friends with me, have breakfast with me, have coffee, is a lot of work, too. It's like you're going to lunch with Larry David, Alan Partridge and Chris Rock all in one person – maybe with a little bit of Woody Allen mixed in there. And some people might not think it's funny!"
Basically, White is a chilled-out entertainer entertainer. I'll bet he does funny voices, too.

But, oh, what work to keep up with a man who channels so many sharp wits! No wonder poor Meg got so tired out.