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Deke McClelland Answers Proust's Questions

By Sara Peyton
July 7, 2008

During his long career, Deke McClelland has pioneered new ways to reach his audience. With the release of his dekepod.pngnew music video "101 Photoshop Tips in Five Minutes," the Photoshop expert, trainer, and author reflects on his loves, an extravagance, and a favorite writer.

Which talent would you most like to have?

To run up a wall and do a backflip like Donald O'Connor in "Singing in the
Rain." Or dance like I'm talented as hell, like Gene Kelly.

What is your greatest fear?

Obsolescence. To be meaningless, is there anything worse?

Which living person do you most admire?

It's a tie between Harry Shearer and Ira Levine. Neither has diverged for a
second from his personal vision.

What trait do you most deplore in others?

Their tendency to put their needs before mine.

What is your greatest extravagance?


On what occasion do you lie?

Days. Days of the week.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

The fact that my greatest extravagance is gin.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Honesty. People use honesty to defend their worst actions.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

"For what it's worth." "As it turns out." "You look great in that pantsuit."

What is your greatest regret?

That I paid more attention to my regrets than my achievements.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

What: my house. Who: my boys. When: right this second.

When and where were you happiest?

Recently: I was reading a book without pictures to my youngest son and he
said, "Daddy, can we skip the boring stuff?" And I thought, life is the
boring stuff. Life is delicious. I told him so, and then I tickled him.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what would it be?

Me with an extra thousand-year lease on life.

If you could choose what or who to come back as, what would it be?

SpongeBob. He's enthusiastic. He lives in the moment. His house is a
precisely ripe pineapple. By which I mean, if I had a few mangos in a tray,
some guava juice in the fridge, and my house was a pineapple, I'd have
little to complain about.

What is your most treasured possession?

My septic system. That sounds messed up. But it's totally clean. Our
family's poop, it doesn't go to a treatment plant, it goes back into the

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

That part where Kathy Bates hobbled James Caan. C'mon, she didn't have to do

What is your most marked characteristic?

My first name. What's that about?

What do you most value in your friends?

Their ability to understand my answers to this survey.

Who are your favorite writers?

I'm going to go out on a limb with one modern writer: Bill Bryson. I guess I
should cite some classic fart. Like Shakespeare. I saw a Shakespeare comedy
recently, and it occurred to me, Shakespeare sucks. But Bill Bryson, now
that s**t's funny.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

The Thing. Granted, "The Fantastic Four" movie, that was awful. But forget
the movie, The Thing, he's amazing. Starts out a moody guy, gets zapped by
gamma rays, turns into a dude made of rocks. Suddenly he can kick
everybody's ass, but all he can think about is, if only I could make love to
a woman. That's pretty sweet. When provoked, he gets to unload on some bad
dude and say, "It's clobberin' time!" Just like Beowulf, only more
clobberful. What boy wouldn't want to be that?

What is it that you most dislike?

Mean people. Global warming. Death.

How would you like to die?

In the throes of life.

What is your current state of mind?

New Mexico. If that sounds flip, go there. You'll understand.

Tomorrow, July 9, tune in to dekePod's next episode--"Metadata Forensics, What a Crock." Check it out here!

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