Sometimes, he's quite blunt and intense:
We go through a lot of shit. The hitting-bottom thing: I so relate to that! I felt throughout my punk years that I had no right to my own rage because I myself had had it comparatively good. I was not from the gutter. I aspired to the gutter! But I came from the suburbs! I aspired to the gutter because the gutter would explain everything; it was the objective correlative to my poverty of spirit! I aspired to the gutter and eventually attained it but not without struggle and hard work! And then, having attained it, having reached my dream of ending up face-down in the gutter, I finally felt, having lost everything, that I had the right to my own suffering!
(From Mom is alcoholic, Dad is dead: Why do I feel so alone? Cary Tennis's advice column on Salon)
This paragraph reached out and grabbed me because once, I too "aspired to the gutter," and I've never really had a better explanation for it than how, upon reaching the gutter, my outsides finally matched how my insides had for a long time felt.
He said another priceless thing in this same column: "Do you identify with power or do you identify with those upon whom that power is cruelly exercised?" I've never heard it put like that before - I've often wondered why I always cheer for the underdog, relate to the tenant and not the landlord, raise a metaphorical fist for the downtrodden. I haven't been a member of the underclass for a long time, but I still relate to them better than to those with money, power, etc. Now I don't feel so mistaken about it.