DeWitt Brinson: You make this connection between shaving a mustache and castration, and tie it in with removing the problem in the relationship--the "beef" with someone. I thought it was really clever and fascinating. Why do you write clever and fascinating things? Do you try to or does it just happen? Did you mean for me to read beef in those ways?

Kate Durbin: I love this reading of the beef--I think the beef wanted you to read it in this way. All of these things really happened on E!, the television network. I am just the messenger, like Joan of Arc, or like Joan of Arcadia.

DB: These pictures are horrifying. The Kim one is like a Heavy Metal cartoon. Are these real people?

KD: Maybe these are real people. What makes a person real? This is a serious question.

DB: I see E news in the corner. Is that important?

KD: E! news is always in the corner of our life-screens. Whether it’s important or not—that’s up to you.

DB: Why did you choose these crying faces?

KD: I chose these crying faces because we love to watch our screen women suffer. Don’t you think they look beautiful?

DB: There’s another interesting take on what might otherwise be cliche: when you compare Kim’s pose to a statue. The statuesque woman. Which usually means tall and dignified, but here she's in an act of acquiescence. Have you ever been attracted to a statue. Like, really attracted?

KD: Yes. I really like objectified human bodies.

DB: When you were younger, did you believe in fairy-tales? How do you feel about that?

KD: I still believe in fairy tales. I feel mostly bad about that.

DB: Do you own anything in jungle print?

KD: Not yet.

DB: You play the guitar? You play the violin?


KD: I play the piano.

DB: Again, in The Hills, everyone seems lavishly adorned. The display of wealth on one's person reminds me of those large, red-assed monkeys just sticking it up in the air in the face of other, mateable monkeys. As I type this, a pot-bellied dude keeps raising his shirt and sucking on a cigar at this coffee shop. What's the difference to you between a Mercedes and a vagina? (in evolutionary terms).

KD: The large, red-assed monkeys analogy seems perfect to me. I am fairly certain a Mercedes is simply a vajazzled vagina.

DB: When people flash their teeth in these stories, it always seems bad. But then I think, all these people seem bad. Do you believe in bad people? Or aren't they kind of great?

KD: I think we are all bad and it is a little bit great.

DB: What would be the difference, to you, between reading these pieces or printing them out to hang on the wall of a house but never reading them? What would be the advantage or loss of either appreciation of art.

KD: Since these pieces are transcriptions of television shows, I am not sure that hanging them on the wall and never reading them would be very different than the way most people watch these shows to begin with, which is to say, blindly. I want them to be finally read.

DB: If you could be either Heidi or Kim, which would you be? Who do you think has more money?

KD: I want to be Heidi, because she is blonde and looks like Barbie, and I want to feel what it feels like to be Barbie. However, although I do have one Spencer ex-bf, I relate personally more to Kim’s work ethic. Like Kim, I have finally found my Kanye West.

 As for the cash, Kim has more $$$ than Heidi, since Heidi spent all her Hills $ on plastic surgeries.



interviewed by the tender, young, virile writer

DeWitt Brinson

Kate Durbin is a Los-Angeles based writer and performance artist. She is the author of The Ravenous Audience, E! Entertainment, and The Fashion Issue. She is also founding editor of the online journal Gaga Stigmata, which will be published as a book from Zg Press in 2012.