Joel's favorite interview quotes of 2021

A sampling of the interview snippets that stuck out this year

Joel Oliphint
Columbus Alive
Marc DeWerth with a white oak tree in Spencer, Ohio

“I wanted to open people's eyes to the reality that Ohio has a hell of a lot of big trees in it.” - Big Trees Ohio founder and Bigfoot enthusiast Marc DeWerth

“I asked [FOP leadership], ‘Why are you fighting me on this stuff?’ And they said, ‘Because we're the police.’ The FOP is a different animal.” - former Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman

“I went to a bunch of therapy, dude. It's not like I magically took time off the road and went for walks in the woods. I mean, I did lots of that, and I love hiking, but I didn't have a Thoreau enlightenment thing. I went to a lot of therapy for hours and hours every day. ... I've spent a lot of my life as a musician in interviews idealizing suffering for a purpose, and I don't think I want to do that anymore. I coped, yeah, but it's not magical.” - musician Julien Baker

“I accept that we're all here, we're all suffering, and in the midst of that, we have these bits of beautiful joy." - author Bela Koe-Krompecher

“The landlords just file [evictions] regardless. A lot of landlords and their attorneys are telling tenants, ‘The moratorium doesn't apply to you, so we’re going to go forward with this eviction.’” - Legal Aid attorney Jyoshu Tsushima

“I personally believe that there is another realm, another world that is adjacent to ours that we don't notice.” - Toadstool Shadow musician Chris Till

“I think because it was a Black-owned space, we felt comfortable coming to it. There weren't other places where you could go to be embraced, to walk in and see art that reflected you on the walls.” - Linda Fleming-Willis, founding board member of ACE Gallery

“The way we've been running restaurants needs to change. People need to come together and lead that change, and I hope to be on that team." - Sangeeta Lakhani of nonprofit Service!

“Music is alchemy. A song can be dark and calamitous, but the experience of singing it together — the experience of standing and sharing the music — is necessarily ecstatic, no matter how sad the song itself might be.” - the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle

“Rich people write history; poor people just live it." - Doreen Uhas Sauer, co-author of Forgotten Landmarks of Columbus

“When somebody has your back, your confidence level rises up and you don't second guess what you're doing. Having someone say, ‘You are an artist. You're creating art.’ I finally started to believe it. And look what happened!” - Donte Woods-Spikes, founder of Empathize With Me

"Anybody making less than a living wage, it's just ridiculous anymore, and I think it's time for employers to evaluate [their situation] and do whatever they can to get there." - Pierogi Mountain co-owner Matthew Majesky

“I remember we wanted to get rid of Columbus." - former DOJ official Robert Driscoll

"That messed me up, man. I remember being, like, ‘Well, they wouldn't show him this long if he's dead, right? He's going to get up, right?’ They just show us the dead body of Mufasa for like two minutes, man!” - author and poet Will Evans on "The Lion King"

“These artists weren't thinking about the fact that people just wanted art because they didn't want [Downtown Columbus] to feel like a shantytown. They didn't want to look at a city all boarded up, but the city kind of deserves to be looked at all boarded up. That's what a lot of hearts are. This is just a visible version of that. … I think that’s something people need to be reminded of as they look at these boards separate from the protests.” - artist Lisa McLymont

"There's no smartphone usage. I’m talking to you right now on a flip phone. I'm not, like, surfing the web.” - musician Damien Jurado

“If you want to do economic development work, and you want to do it right, and you want to court businesses to come into the community to create those jobs, you're never going to do that unless you address our housing challenge.” - Carlie Boos, executive director of the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio

“I think it's time that we treat the people that make and serve us our food with dignity and start considering it an industry that is a legitimate profession." - Yellow Brick Pizza co-owner Faith Pierce

“How do we bridge differences? How do we rewrite ourselves? ... I'm trying to say that we should listen, and we should question what we're doing. It's an important moment to think about that." - artist Melissa Vogley Woods

“I loved the nonchalance of Nancy and Sluggo, because they've seen it all, and it's kind of how we were all coping and dealing with things. A part of you can't really think about it. You just look at it and say, ‘OK, another day.’” - "MUTTS" creator and abstract painter Patrick McDonnell

“Regardless of how people understand American history and American culture right now, we should agree on the very simple fact that we're all human beings, and as human beings, we have a story to tell." - musician Mark Lomax