Barry Crimmins, who is the subject of a new documentary film, “Call Me Lucky” directed by Bobcat Goldthwait has an incredible way of looking at the world. As a child he was a victim of the terrible crime of violent sexual assault. As an adult, he’s made some amazing choices, choosing to be a protector, an activist, and a vocal citizen. Earlier this month, Barry and Bobcat sat down with Ron Bennington at the SiriusXM studios to talk about the film, and Barry’s experiences. During the hour long interview, Crimmins shared quite a bit of the philosophy that has gotten him from there, to here.
In the interview, both Bobcat and Bennington said that Crimmins made them want to be better people. We picked our five favorite Crimmins quotes that made us want to be better. You can hear the full hour long interview in its entirety exclusively on SiriusXM satellite radio On Demand.
5 Pieces of Crimmins Wisdom Every Person Needs to Know
During the Unmasked interview with Ron Bennington Crimmins shared a lot of wisdom, and we collected our five favorite quotes that you’ll want to hold on to.
1. Barry Crimmins on Why He’s Not a Hero
“The big problem I have with all the hero stuff is, I’m being called a hero for behaving decently and noticing things that you know, ‘oh I’m sorry did I disturb you, let me close the door and walk away.’ There’s nothing I did that other people couldn’t do. Maybe they’re not going to run into the same combination of things I have but I don’t wanna make it seem inaccessible to be a hero. And a hero is sort of like, ‘oh well heros will take care of that for us.’“
2. Barry Crimmins on Overcoming Being a Victim
“What I had to learn was to not take life personally, just live in it. I’m in the world, it’s not all around me. And I think that’s very important for people who have been through things like I’ve been through. If you set up these situations where if you set up this expectation for the whole world to come and apologize to you, you’re forgetting that everybody has had horrible things they’ve had to deal with, at one time or another. There’s various degrees or whatever but if you set up this situation where everybody is supposed to think in terms of you all the time, then you’re just going to end up deciding you’re being persecuted and you’re going to wallow and you’re going to stay in that pit. Well, you know, its just not a good approach.
I already lost my childhood to this shit so once I had a chance when I was older– I was like 38 before I really dealt with it– once I had a chance, god dammit I wasn’t going to waste any more time. I wasn’t going to cut corners but I was going to deal with what had happened to me, try to get as much healing as possible and it turned out the trick to healing for me was helping others, it really was. I got out of my own way and I was able to do some stuff.”
3. Barry Crimmins on Playing to the Ages
“Play to the ages not the age. I have a couple books– they published Mark Twain’s notebooks and there’s all these notes in there, “well I think I’m opposed to capital punishment,” and Twain kind of formulating his thoughts, working it out. And I know what came of it and how far ahead of his time he was. And I decided play to the ages not the age. In other words when I write something, I think about what somebody 100 years from now- and hopefully things are a little more civilized, and they’ll go, ‘you know this isn’t bad. You know how dumb people were in 2015? This works out. . .’ I’m not thinking I’m going to be revered by the world or whatever its just some poor bastard like me 100 years from now will go ‘look at this guy.’ Cause I find stuff like that all the time, these little moments in history.
4. Barry Crimmins on Talking to the Audience
“I was never one of those harass the audience guys. Why do women go to the bathroom in pairs? Cause they get harrassed by drunk men. Write an act. You know nice shirt…the guys got a shitty shirt cause he spent his last 5 bucks coming in to the show tonight. On the other hand if you gave me shit back then it was on. But I got too noted for that so after 3 or 4 years of really hammering hecklers I just started jesusing the fuck out of them just to make it as boring as possible.”
5. Barry Crimmins on Reacting to His Abuser
Bobcat Goldthwait” “One of the things that made me want to tell Barry’s story was we were having a discussion and he had discovered that the guy who had raped him as a kid had died in prison. And he said “that made me really sad” and I said “cause you didn’t get to confront him and you didn’t have closure?” and he said “no cause he died alone.”
Barry Crimmins: “He had a bad life and then I later came to learn he grew up in foster homes and had been abused himself a lot and I feel really fortunate. I was trying to find where his grave was so I could go put flowers. Not to honor him… but to say ‘I didn’t become you.’ Guess who won. Guess what prevailed here. Decency. I am so lucky.