national treasures

David Milch’s Milch-iest Lines From GQ

Photo: Kevin Winter/2007 Getty Images

Matt Weiner, Vince Gilligan, and David Milch all have very interesting things to say about TV, the state of American television culture, how storytelling works (and should work), and their respective writers’ rooms and processes in this extremely compelling roundtable discussion. But there can only be one David Milch, and to our great delight, he is in his full Milch-ian glory in this piece. In this one conversation, Milch defines love, explains the pitfalls of egoism, and explains the movies-as-hallowed-ground ideology that permeated culture for decades. These are the seven Milch-iest Milch lines from the story, and lo, they are Milch-y:

• “Learning to live with the given is the great humbling educational process of life. And I’ve had a sufficiency of education this past year.”

• “Hospitality to the theme of change — to change as a theme, not necessarily to change as the organizing principle of the storytelling — must be present if the show is to continue to develop.”

• “Even having all the time in the world, it’s better to collaborate with your brothers and sisters. It’s ultimately the richest experience. But there’s a kind of intolerant economy that happens: ‘Just let me do the fucking thing myself.’”

• “I think it’s more of an osmotic and less cognitive process.”

• “That’s the definition of love, that going out in spirit to a separate and other soul and being received similarly.”

• “Ego suppression can be an act of ostentation.”

• “The whole idea of going out to a movie was really a secularized version of going to church. And there was a certain expectation you brought to a movie which, as we’ve said, has taken all this time to be demystified. Commercials were once TV’s version of the church. Which is to say, you couldn’t offend the sponsor, therefore certain values had to be underscored in the subject matter. Now, with the move to cable, we’re in the process of exploring the anti-versions of all these forms.”

The best part? He brought a bunch of scratch-off tickets to the meeting, both as a symbol and also just because scratch-offs are fun.

David Milch’s Milch-iest Lines From GQ