VIBES: the Vanity Fair Proust Questionnaire with DJ Khaled
This time of year is a time to reflect, to be grateful, and to give. But amidst so much hustle and bustle we can lose sight of the larger picture, and may miss out on the beauty that is this time of renewal and refocus.
Enter the December issue of Vanity Fair, a glossy tome of Arts & Culture that arrives in my mailbox monthly. Their Proust Questionnaire -- which shows up as the very last page near the back cover of the magazine -- is one of my favorite recurring features in current magazine writing. Apart from Jim Nelson's monthly Editor's Letter in GQ and Vogue's reliably astute books round-up, Vanity Fair's 'Proust Questionnaire' is always a breezy, affable, and wholly digestible bit of celebrity interview that is both illuminating and hilarious. This month's featured celebrity, DJ Khaled, offered an optimistic and wise perspective that I hope to adopt in the coming months of 2017.
We cannot deny that 2016 has been a smack-down of a year. We were having a hard time at the start with the loss of Bowie and the tragic demise of Prince. Then we lost Sharon Jones, there was Orlando, there was Philando Castile, there was Brock Turner, there was the rise of fake news, a flurry of un-friending across an entire country's Facebook page on November 9th, and we learned of a terrifying man named Steve Bannon and his equally terrifying news site, Brietbart. We saw the rancor of a country divided throughout a divisive election and all of this was book-ended with the election of Donald J. Trump to the highest office in the land, and the death of musical heroes Leonard Cohen and now, today. George Michael. When the people that brought a country feel-good classics like 'Hallelujah" and "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" are gone after such a tumultuous and anxiety-ridden time, what is one to think? Surely, 2016 was not the end of time, but at some points, it certainly felt that way.
We must remain optimistic, and we must become stronger and more sage-like from our losses. We must, as DJ Khaled says, remain exultant and extravagant in our celebration of life, remembering to wake up, rise up, and breathe, seeking out positive vibes and keeping those who bring negativity at bay. So with that, I bring you DJ's Khaled's answer to the 'Proust Questionnaire', first published in the December 2016 Issue of Vanity Fair. I hope you find it as inspiring and motivating as I did.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Health, life, everything around me on a daily basis, being grateful for life -- every day is a blessing.
What is your greatest fear? I fear nothing, except for flying.
Which historical figure do you most identify with? My grandma. She understands me.
Which living person do you most admire?
Jay-Z. He's a mogul. He's a Sagittarius like me. I love his business moves.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
People who do not love. If you are not loving, you are not living. Why wouldn't you love? What's the problem?
What is your greatest extravagance?
Every day is a great extravagance, when I wake up and rise up and breathe -- life.
What is your favorite journey?
Life, Every day it's time for greatness. Every day climbing up that mountaintop where you get the key, and each key leads to the next key.
On what occasion do you lie?
I don't lie. I speak what I know. I don't need to lie.
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I love my appearance; I love everything about me.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
"We the best," but it's the truth!
What is your greatest regret?
I have no regrets -- life is beautiful.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
God and my newborn son, Asahd Tuck Khaled.
When and where were you happiest?
I'm happy every day I wake up, man. You know what I'm saying?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Staying away from They -- whoever is bringing negative energy to positive vibes.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing what do you think it would be?
We're forever -- we don't use those words.
What is your most treasured possession?
Where would you like to live?
I love Miami. Miami is my home, but we travel everywhere too.
What is your favorite occupation?
What is you most marked characteristic?
My whole body. Everything about me is great.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Someone being grateful for everything in life.
Who are your favorite writers?
The author of the Holy Koran.
What is your motto?
"We the best." "God is the greatest."