MITCHELL: Do you remember the first time you met La Monte [Young]?
ONO: All I remember is that he took off his sweater, and he was wearing a shirt that had all these holes and ripped parts. I saw that and said, “Well, that’s cool.” But we were the kind of people who didn’t discuss so much about art or philosophy. We worked. I didn’t really even listen to other peoples’ music back then. Whenever I did, I did mostly just by chance. I found other stuff was boring—that’s why you make your own. Everything was of me and natural to me. That’s why things happened. Art is life … It’s about living, but it’s a way of making your life elegant.
MITCHELL: Is that important to you—to live your life in an elegant fashion?
ONO: Yes, it is. I mean, we could be monkeys and just eat bananas and scream all day or something. Or we could have coffee in the morning. We created a thing called culture and civilization, and now we’re about to lose it because we’re trying to destroy everything. And I kind of miss it. I miss culture and civilization.
MITCHELL: Is that what you grew up with, that kind of culture?
ONO: The culture that I was brought up with was not like this. This is like a rebellion to that culture.
MITCHELL: Still, even though you rebel against that culture, it is a strong part of who you are.
ONO: Yes. It’s an almost annoyingly strong part.
The fast-food industry says that what is going on here is a structural anomaly: that its wages were not intended to sustain a permanent work force — especially adults supporting families — and that it is happening because of larger economic forces. “The minimum wage was never meant to be a living wage,” said Steve Caldeira, the president of the International Franchise Association, a trade group for restaurants and other franchised firms. “It was meant, from the start, for entry-level workers and for those with lower skills.”
Essayist William Bradley shares his favorite journals and websites for creative nonfiction.
What do you always put out at a dinner party and what always do you bring to one as a guest?
I usually bring a dozen fresh eggs to my hostess or host, in a basket, because that’s something that’s special to me. And they love getting the fresh eggs and they have them for breakfast. Something that I always put out? I don’t put out snacks. I don’t put out hors d’oeuvres usually, because the dinner is, you know, very sufficient. I have good wine. I always have a good drink or good wine.
What won’t you travel without?
An iPad loaded with good movies and good books.
What’s always in your refrigerator?
In my refrigerator is always good butter, good milk, my vitamins, lemons, and usually oranges.
Only good things for Martha Stewart.
INTERN magazine, concerned with internships in the creative industries. A “tactile showcase for the precocious talent currently working in these fields unpaid and as interns.…initiating a long overdue and frank debate about the current state of the intern culture, and its potential implications in both the short and long term…”