GUY RITCHIE, 50, MURRAY HILL
GUY RITCHIE, 50, MURRAY HILL
WORD ON THE STREET: Do you suspect you have any unrealized talent?
GUY RITCHIE: No.
You’ve discovered all your talents?
The bottom line is that we live in a society where everybody thinks they are a superstar on stage. But in reality, most people are suited to be in the audience.
It’s brutally true. Special talents? There is nothing special about us. What makes us special is the way our mothers sees us. Other than that, we are pretty much the same.
You alluded to reality TV culture. Is this where our sense of everyday superstardom comes from?
I think it comes from the soccer mom phenomenon, where there is no competitiveness, they don’t keep score and everyone gets a ribbon for participating. I think it was meant with good intentions, but American Exceptionalism has come from competitiveness — not because everyone is a winner. As far as narcissism goes, it also comes from the lie of saying, “If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love others,” but the people who love themselves are the people who leave their children behind. Loving others is not loving yourself; it’s giving of yourself to others. Therefore the whole concept of tradition and pragmatism surrendering us to believe in narcissism is the reason we have reality TV and we all think we are superstars.
What was the last talent you realized?
The only talent I have is that I believe God.
You believe in God?
No, I believe God; I don’t believe in Him. I believe His Law, I believe Him, I believe the things He says. I don’t believe God is obligated to forgive my sins and bring me to heaven just because I believe.
Do you think Jesus would like you?
Jesus would love me even if I was horrible. Why do the religious people not help the poor even though God commands it? Their hate for the poor is stronger than their love for God. Jesus died for people who spat on him, hit him, scourged him and said, “Crucify him, crucify!” It was because He loved them, not because they deserved His love. Jesus’s love for God was greater than His hate or His own sense of self.
Do you like being homeless?
I put it like this, my friend: Wherever I find myself, there I am. I was an optician in Houston, a young urban professional, a yuppie. There I was, and now that I am homeless, here I am. I did not stop learning, I did not stop loving to learn, and I don’t stop being inquisitive just because I am poor? I don’t succumb to depression because all this bad stuff, God’s in control of it. In the end, even if I die, I am not worried about it. Since I know God is in control of good and evil, let it be what it’s going to be. I am not sitting here saying, “God is going to save me, I am going to be raptured away!”, which is bull.
Why don’t you hold down a job and an apartment?
I could do that, but there’s a problem: They won’t give me the job.
Because I’m an American, because I’m homeless, because I don’t have a shower, I don’t have clothes. This will be my 21st homeless winter.
Are you pretty good at being homeless?
Well, am I pretty good at it? Are you pretty good at being a person who lives inside? That’s an odd question.
I’d say I am well-adapted to living inside.
I am not good at anything. It’s God’s grace that people give me food, it’s God’s grace that I’m intelligent. It’s God’s grace that I am healthy. It’s not my doing, it’s God’s. You have to realize, I have a horrible diet, I live in horrible living conditions, my body should be gone, but it’s not. I live in a place where boredom is probably the biggest reason why I go to the libraries and I read and study. I hear Rush Limbaugh say stuff and he goes, “Don’t doubt me.” It’s not that I doubt you, Rush, I just want to see you if you’re telling the truth. I am inquisitive. When rabbis or preachers say God said this or that, I’ll go straight to the Word of God and I’ll walk up to them and ask how they can reconcile these things. A lot of times they tell me not to come back to the church.
So you consider yourself to be an utterly talentless person.
Well, no, I put it like this: We all have our fortés.
Can’t the things we are good at make us special?
You know what? It’s not the things we are good at that make us special; it’s our idiosyncrasies, our oddities — the things that aren’t special — those are the things that endear us to the people we love.