Jan Burian, singer, composer, publicist
Written by: Anita Lišková
Art: Nenad Vitas
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be big. Now sometimes I wouldn’t mind if it were the other way around.
What country would you like to live in?
Right here in Bohemia. We could be a little more kind-hearted, educated, tolerant, honest, cheerful, maybe like the Danes.
What truth about yourself would you like people to know?
In fact it isn’t my desire for anyone to know anything about me. Maybe just that I’m a good guy; that I’m talented and audacious.
What is your favorite daytime activity?
I don’t know, but I have the feeling that there’s something I’d much rather be doing. Like getting up in the morning, going to the bathroom, and smiling at myself in the mirror. But usually some older, bald guy is standing there wondering what’s going on.
Where will you never go back to?
School. I really regret it, because I’m only half-educated, like almost all of our generation.
What is never missing from your fridge?
Food. Sometimes there are even some cosmetics or medicines there, or film for my camera.
Your favorite saying?
It’s better to be happy than rich, if you can’t have both.
Your favorite insult?
” Blocked artery”, from the Woody Allen movie Everyone Says I Love You. The son of the character played by Alan Alda was always expressing strange and off-the-wall opinions, then it turned out that he was sick, that he had a blocked artery. Sometimes, when my wife and I are watching the news, we wonder how many people like that, with blocked arteries, are all around us.
What do you like most about men, and what do you despise?
Creativity, playfulness, tolerance, the ability to think of others. I’m repulsed by vulgarity, judgmentalism, and self-assured behavior when we should be humble, empathetic, and circumspect.
What do you like most about women, and what do you despise?
Intelligence, intuition, gentleness, sensitivity. I’m repulsed by superficiality, an inclination to hysteria, narrow-mindedness.
Have you been lucky in life?
It’s hard to say. A long time ago I won the sperm lottery, and that was a wild struggle. I still think it was worth it.
If you were organizing a dinner to which you could invite five people from any place and any era, whom would you invite?
I’d invite my great uncle Karel, my grandfather Emil, and my deceased parents, and my great grandfather František would sit at the head of the table – he was a cabinet maker from Rousínov, near Rakovník. Many questions would beg answers!
Do you have to be in love to make love, or can you make love even without love?
I love myself a lot, and thank God I’m faithful to myself, and without ardent love I can’t imagine it at all. I wouldn’t be able to stand the feeling that I was two-timing.
Would you like to travel in space?
Each year I do about a hundred concerts outside of Prague, so one more stop wouldn’t kill me.
What would you like your gravestone to say?
Recently I was wandering with my camera through cemeteries, and I saw some rather depressing inscriptions. Such as: “They had no time to talk to each other”, “Vanity over vanity”, and so on. I’d like to have something more optimistic there, like “Occupied.”