Terrence Howard is a brilliant actor, and owns an incredible assortment of hats (and scarves), but he also belongs in a rarefied air of wacky interview subjects – your Steven Seagals, your Gary Buseys, your Jean-Claude Van Dammes – who can scarcely open his mouth without saying something so perfectly him that it borders on parody.
At least, that’s the way it used to be. After this latest Rolling Stone profile on Howard, I’m starting to worry that he’s legitimately crazy. It’s also illuminating – you hear about Howard’s domestic violence troubles, but I don’t remember hearing that his dad stabbed a guy to death while he and Terrence were waiting in line to see Santa (!!!). That’s not an anecdote, it’s an origin story.
Anyway, to the crazy:
He had a theory. It might seem crazy, it may even be crazy, but a long time ago he’d gotten hold of this notion that one times one doesn’t equal one, but two. He began writing down his logic, in a language of his own devising that he calls Terryology. He wrote forward and backward, with both his right and left hands, sometimes using symbols he made up that look foreign, if not alien, to keep his ideas secret until they could be patented. […]
After high school, he attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, studying chemical engineering, until he got into an argument with a professor about what one times one equals. “How can it equal one?” he said. “If one times one equals one that means that two is of no value because one times itself has no effect. One times one equals two because the square root of four is two, so what’s the square root of two? Should be one, but we’re told it’s two, and that cannot be.” This did not go over well, he says, and he soon left school. “I mean, you can’t conform when you know innately that something is wrong.” […]
“This is the last century that our children will ever have been taught that one times one is one,” he says. “They won’t have to grow up in ignorance. Twenty years from now, they’ll know that one times one equals two. We’re about to show a new truth. The true universal math. And the proof is in these pieces. I have created the pieces that make up the motion of the universe. We work on them about 17 hours a day. She cuts and puts on the crystals. I do the main work of soldering them together. They tell the truth from within.” [RollingStone]
You know who else solders shapes and crystals together and thinks they’re on the cusp of a historic discovery? Crystal meth addicts. Are we sure this isn’t meth? This sounds exactly like meth.
It’s weird being single, reflecting on your own life while reading stories about a guy who invented his own language and math and found a woman to spend all day gluing crystals together to help him communicate the truth of his proprietary arithmetic. I can’t decide if that’s incredibly sweet (there really is someone for everybody!), or something that could only happen to handsome movie stars.