Joe Rogan Speaks with Dread Central - Part Two
In our last interview installment, comedian and UFC commentator Joe Rogan talked about being a fan of horror books and movies, psychedelic drugs, growing up wanting to be an artist, and how dangerous both chimps and polar bears can be. In this, our second part of three, Dread Central delves deeper into the mind and philosophy of Mr. Rogan.
Once again, it should be said that the following interview includes some of the notorious “7 words” George Carlin warned you about. So buckle up…
DC: You once showed some drawings on your podcast that you did back when you were younger, and they were quite good. Was drawing something you lost interest in and replaced with something else?
JR: I had a bad high school art teacher who was kind of a dildo. He was one of those guys who was always telling you that life was going to suck. “You’re not going to be able to draw what you want.” He was a failure, you know? And he was promoting failure. He wasn’t saying, “If you work really hard, you can have a job as a comic book artist. You can do it. You can live your dreams.” He wasn’t that guy. He was the guy telling you, “Well, not that many people get that job. You probably won’t. You’ll probably wind up doing diaper ads.” That’s what I remember him saying… that you may have to draw diaper ads. That was like a big thing that he was pushing. I don’t know why it was diaper ads or why it really stuck in my head, but it did. I was like, “What the fuck, man?” All I wanted to draw was monster shit. I wanted to draw like CREEPY and EERIE type comic book shit. I used to make my own comic books and it was all that kind of stuff… and some Marvel stuff, too. I was really into THE PUNISHER and THE HULK and things along those lines. I really got into it, but this guy was just such a drag that, in my senior year in high school, I didn’t even take Art. I just stopped taking it. I kept drawing on my own. I still did it, but really I was just doing it for my own fun.
DC: As this was happening with the art thing, was this also around the time you found martial arts?
JR: Well, the art thing started really, really early. It started so early I don’t really know when. My mom just sent me a box of drawings and stuff from way back when I was like four and five, so… There was never a time in my younger years when I wasn’t doing art. It was as I got more into martial arts and as my art teacher started bumming me out… He was just really negative. He just never saw potential. It was like, “Why do you want to draw this all the time?” All my drawings were like axe murderers or werewolves or dragons or some Conan-type dude fighting off some three-headed beast. It was all that kind of shit because that’s what I was interested in, man. I was fucking fourteen years old and instead of nurturing that, he was the doom and gloom guy.
DC: Isn’t that always the way? “Those who can… do and those who can’t… teach.”
JR: It’s horrible, man. It makes me sad when I stop to think about it… Yeah, I know, it’s a really minor thing. “Boo-hoo to me... I had a douchey teacher.” Nobody raped me or anything. It’s pretty minor, but… It’s fine though. He actually probably did me a service because my life turned out really fun. This was my thought at the time, “Well I could always do art on my own. I don’t really need to do it for a living. I could always just do it for enjoyment.”
DC: It’s funny how a good teacher can elevate you and vice versa… I had a guy in junior high school who taught Hamlet and really made it come alive. That’s one polarity. The other is this art teacher who just shit all over everything.
JR: Yeah, man… you can get lucky. I had a really bad math teacher, too, which is the same thing; just doom and gloom and negativity. It was like, “You’re gonna be a loser.” You know, when you really stop and think about that, it’s almost criminal - telling kids that they’re going to be losers. You fuckin’ asshole. You’re a grown adult and you’re putting that seed in a child’s mind. But, they’re really doing that because they’re incredibly weak human beings. It’s so sad that that is what we’re left with in a lot of the public schools. We’re left with these people who don’t have this massive passion, for the most part, to be educators. They just don’t have a lot of options and this is what they’re doing. What they’re doing in teaching kids is… they’re providing these kids with their first sort of real view of the world. This is the real view of how you’re going to perceive mathematics and history and life and future careers and options as far as what you do for the rest of your life, and they’re idiots. It’s the weirdest thing. It’ll never make sense to me how teachers don’t get paid exorbitant amounts of money. I mean, martial arts teachers get paid really well. You can get a lot of money by teaching martial arts. I know guys like Renzo Gracie who probably makes a million dollars a year teaching jiu-jitsu. And yet, there’s these fuckin’ teachers who are really shaping the future of all these kids and they’re garbage.
DC: There’s nothing as depressing as when you go into a public school teacher’s lounge. Just broken people sitting there smoking, dreading their next class… and all for like nineteen grand a year.
JR: Ugh… can you imagine? It’s so hard to believe that that’s what they get paid, but those are real numbers. You can barely get by if you’re a fuckin’ teacher, and it’s such an important thing to provide for children.
DC: You look at the political arena and hear how everything is “about the children,” but then you start talking about raising the education budget and people flip out.
JR: I know, right? Think about all the money being spent on these wars, and even more so, how about the war on drugs? What about all the nonsense money being spent on that and they can’t come up with shit when it comes to education?
DC: Look at the prison system…
JR: Well, there’s a lot of money in the prison system now. The most frightening thing about the prison system in this country is that it’s being privatized. That is terrifying.
DC: How do you lock people in cages for profit?
JR: And no one says anything about it. No one’s clamoring for this to stop.