Roderick on the Line

Ep. 116: "Smilin' Alligator"

 

  this episode of rock on the line is [TS]

  sponsored by Squarespace the all-in-one [TS]

  platform that makes it fast and easy to [TS]

  create your own professional website [TS]

  portfolio or online store for your free [TS]

  trial plus ten percent off anything you [TS]

  by visit squarespace.com and use the [TS]

  offer code supertrain at checkout a [TS]

  better web starts with your website [TS]

  hello [TS]

  I John I'm Merlin has gone pretty good [TS]

  how are you going [TS]

  we should break the fourth wall we [TS]

  should at least you know Pierce the [TS]

  fourth wall how we gonna do that [TS]

  well I don't know bye-bye being a [TS]

  forward-thinking let's be [TS]

  forward-thinking appears the fourth wall [TS]

  well I you know me I don't talk about [TS]

  the show on the show right now I know [TS]

  other people don't like us to talk about [TS]

  the show on the show but but we're [TS]

  recording episodes because early and [TS]

  second them as you say because because [TS]

  we're both going to be away parts of the [TS]

  summer of this year 1978 and and so I we [TS]

  hope that everything we see on here will [TS]

  still make sense that uh uh as we've [TS]

  done this before where you and I have [TS]

  recorded multiple episodes in one [TS]

  sitting and my dive founded generally to [TS]

  be a success [TS]

  no I agree they're nice and loose and [TS]

  warm right all warmed up [TS]

  ah but I've already blown through all my [TS]

  grateful dead material i prepared [TS]

  problem [TS]

  yeah well I'm the thing I you know I [TS]

  feel like the 800-pound gorilla in the [TS]

  room is really a 450 pound gorilla [TS]

  wearing a gorilla suit [TS]

  I'm listening but you know part of the [TS]

  problem with doing episodes because I [TS]

  you as you have said many times you like [TS]

  to feel like our show is timeless [TS]

  evergreen yeah and you can listen to the [TS]

  show at any time any episode will work [TS]

  but the real world doesn't rude [TS]

  sometimes right and we are recording [TS]

  this show immediately after the [TS]

  electromagnetic magnetic pulse [TS]

  yes destroyed all of civilization and a [TS]

  lot of our listeners are going to be [TS]

  wondering you know did this happen in an [TS]

  alternate universe [TS]

  I'm how did how did they do it it's a [TS]

  lot to explain but also there's a lot of [TS]

  Macintosh talk and all my ears this much [TS]

  mcintosh stock and you and I have very [TS]

  studiously avoiding talking about all [TS]

  that's a shame that we should talk about [TS]

  the Macintosh talk because it's you know [TS]

  because we want our show to be evergreen [TS]

  we don't want to be top [TS]

  all who are the same guys each weapon [TS]

  ghazi open ghazi is all it's on [TS]

  everybody's lips Bergdahl oil a popular [TS]

  brand of motor oil [TS]

  it's that the hostage guy i mean i think [TS]

  we're giving away when this show is [TS]

  being recorded enjoy the Hillary Clinton [TS]

  book uh still reading it still raining [TS]

  pretty dense I'm trying to get into Game [TS]

  of Thrones are all my gosh [TS]

  because I met george RR martin do you [TS]

  know I kind of want to hear about that [TS]

  yeah yeah it's a I mean you know [TS]

  studious rock on the line scholars will [TS]

  know almost exactly when we're recording [TS]

  this now based on this topical [TS]

  information we've given thanks mama [TS]

  partly feels like that is destroying the [TS]

  illusion that we are that we are posting [TS]

  these from the future but but yeah so I [TS]

  so I so I i spent the day basically with [TS]

  george RR martin would you would you [TS]

  forgive me a a slight law here at this [TS]

  point turn [TS]

  ok you are a man who exists out of time [TS]

  correct your man who is not a fan in [TS]

  italics correct right but that isn't it [TS]

  fair to say that that in your studies [TS]

  dark web and otherwise in the past [TS]

  you've read a lot of books [TS]

  yes that's true but you know I mean [TS]

  you've read like you've read some [TS]

  science fiction stuff right [TS]

  I have you talked about it i do not [TS]

  generally I mean and part partly it is [TS]

  you know like I went through a phase [TS]

  many years ago when I read everything [TS]

  that Harlan Ellison wrote wow and i [TS]

  really enjoyed it [TS]

  although his politics were inexcusable [TS]

  like it seems to be kind of things like [TS]

  firefighters right i mean like is just [TS]

  like the Ender's Game move his idea of [TS]

  like what with the proper gender roles [TS]

  were even 25 years ago when i read all [TS]

  those books it was it's just [TS]

  unconscionable you can't you can't [TS]

  endorse it but at the same time great [TS]

  stories great imagination [TS]

  I think it is I think it's ultimately [TS]

  like you know I i talked about this in [TS]

  my i'm not a fan article for the LA [TS]

  weekly which produced what I can only [TS]

  imagine was a very entertaining comments [TS]

  section that I absolutely did not visit [TS]

  or we learned your lesson [TS]

  I expressed I expressed to myself no [TS]

  curiosity about it like oh I'm sure [TS]

  there are people yelling at me on [TS]

  they're not going to give them even the [TS]

  pleasure of thinking about that i would [TS]

  go read it but uh but you know the the [TS]

  complicated thing about reading the [TS]

  product of someone else's imagination [TS]

  for me is always that I absolutely enjoy [TS]

  the experience but but i am always [TS]

  conscious of of occupying like some [TS]

  rented real estate in someone else's [TS]

  imagination for a short period of time [TS]

  it's not a place I i want to buy or [TS]

  build a house it's not a place that I [TS]

  want to I don't want to put my [TS]

  imagination there or I like there are [TS]

  things that I experienced in in in [TS]

  entering someone else's imaginative [TS]

  world that I wanted you know that I [TS]

  absolutely want to borrow or take with [TS]

  me and like put into a cigar box if you [TS]

  will in my imagination right i wanted i [TS]

  want to walk over I want to walk out of [TS]

  harlan ellison's world would be like oh [TS]

  it never occurred to me that for [TS]

  instance incest bias was a cultural [TS]

  thing right i read i read Harlan Ellison [TS]

  story one time where the plot was oh why [TS]

  do we have a prohibition on incest [TS]

  there's there are ancient reasons for it [TS]

  but really it's a cultural bias rather [TS]

  than a necessary one or or an opera or [TS]

  e1 and i was like huh that makes me [TS]

  uncomfortable [TS]

  that's an idea that someone else put [TS]

  into a story and it makes me [TS]

  uncomfortable to think about and that [TS]

  very interesting and that and that story [TS]

  was a success because you know the [TS]

  reveal was like poof out huh i'm gonna [TS]

  take that away i'm gonna chew on that [TS]

  and yet my my first instinct he even [TS]

  when I you know even the star wars [TS]

  universe or anybody else's universe my [TS]

  first instinct is like okay that was fun [TS]

  thank you for having me over and now [TS]

  it's time to say goodnight and goodbye [TS]

  maybe i'll come back and visit you [TS]

  another time [TS]

  it's an Airbnb of the mind you don't [TS]

  want to lead on to move in yeah right [TS]

  because my own imaginative world is is [TS]

  almost completely fulfilling like I do [TS]

  not I do not sit around and and ever [TS]

  feel like while I've run out of things [TS]

  to imagine like I am so bored sitting [TS]

  here imagining things I would like to [TS]

  see what other people are imagining I [TS]

  mean you know every once in a while I do [TS]

  out of just sort of uh I hear people [TS]

  talking about something enough or or but [TS]

  it's never a case of like I'm having a [TS]

  real imagination drought over here and [TS]

  I'd like to go somewhere else and like [TS]

  and just to you know that whole business [TS]

  that people talk about like I just turn [TS]

  off and just you know and have absorbed [TS]

  with someone else's story like i [TS]

  understand the feeling of like turning [TS]

  off but you know turn off and go into my [TS]

  own the playland a library of [TS]

  speculative fiction right and so so I [TS]

  mean all the comments all the angry [TS]

  comments that that made their way to me [TS]

  about that fan article you know just or [TS]

  we're having the same sort of defensive [TS]

  reaction that the that the angry [TS]

  comments about the punk-rock article had [TS]

  which are like this is my world this is [TS]

  important to me why are you attacking me [TS]

  and you know and i think a lot of that [TS]

  is just the tone that I right or am I [TS]

  you know by a know-it-all tone [TS]

  but of course I'm not attacking and just [TS]

  like you really are talking about [TS]

  yourself talking about myself and and [TS]

  and and the best comments i got word [TS]

  that handful of emails from people that [TS]

  were like thank you for writing that you [TS]

  described me perfectly i never thought [TS]

  about it that way before I always feel [TS]

  like an outsider and i'm not a fan and [TS]

  and now i know that a that I'm not alone [TS]

  and then just like oh good I'm glad that [TS]

  I made that connection with you people [TS]

  like to think like you know and I I [TS]

  don't really have a dog in this fight [TS]

  too much but people but people tend to [TS]

  think and I feel that sometimes when I [TS]

  meet people who are really into comics [TS]

  that don't like or not into not even [TS]

  don't like that are into some comic that [TS]

  all of my other friends and she was like [TS]

  we have to stage an intervention [TS]

  it's like you don't understand it yet [TS]

  you know and so I know that I know that [TS]

  feeling that feeling of community that [TS]

  comes out of out of fandom but you know [TS]

  and I don't I didn't get that you were [TS]

  like saying that the other people [TS]

  shouldn't be fans know God why all means [TS]

  be fan like your fans i do i like all [TS]

  fans i like so many people who are fans [TS]

  it's just a I'm just kind of describing [TS]

  like a like my state and it's not really [TS]

  that I mean in some ways nothings and [TS]

  check myself too much but like it's kind [TS]

  of how I feel with me in like politics [TS]

  and current affairs like I don't hate [TS]

  politics and current affairs i don't [TS]

  even hate that people have strong [TS]

  opinions about it's just not my thing [TS]

  and I really feel like it in that case [TS]

  I'm the one saying i'm not a fan like I [TS]

  feel like an outcast I feel like people [TS]

  think I i don't know i don't know what [TS]

  people think but sometimes i wonder if i [TS]

  come across someone who doesn't care [TS]

  about something I care a lot about stuff [TS]

  I just don't feel the need to have that [TS]

  like arguments about it with people [TS]

  well that's the and that's the thing i [TS]

  mean in the form of politics the people [TS]

  who are fans of politics don't describe [TS]

  themselves using fan language they [TS]

  describe themselves using language where [TS]

  if you you know if you aren't interested [TS]

  in politics that you're not engaged in [TS]

  the present world and you don't care [TS]

  about the fate of mankind [TS]

  you know and really you're absolutely [TS]

  right their motivation is is very fan [TS]

  based or or a lot of a lot of the [TS]

  politics groupies are fan-based the [TS]

  people that are writing about politics [TS]

  everyday and writing about politicians [TS]

  like they are stars and you know that's [TS]

  true that's true of any of any of these [TS]

  you know the way our culture is siloed [TS]

  and somebody wrote somebody wrote an [TS]

  interesting so so the the bass player of [TS]

  skin yard who went on to own CZ records [TS]

  one of the seminal Seattle grunge labels [TS]

  he posted he reposted my fan article on [TS]

  his facebook page and typically like his [TS]

  friends on Facebook are all the Krusty [TS]

  grunge era cross towards that that hated [TS]

  my punk rock article 2 and there was a [TS]

  lot of shit talking there and he posted [TS]

  it like this is interesting to me at [TS]

  this that i'm not sure i'm not sure [TS]

  about this but i but I kind of feel like [TS]

  I might even be one of these people [TS]

  that's in this category of like as a [TS]

  difficult relationship to fandom but [TS]

  there was a lot of angry yelling on his [TS]

  facebook page and that was kind of the [TS]

  extent of the angry yelling that I saw [TS]

  that I allowed myself to see before I [TS]

  shut the whole system down [TS]

  yeah yeah but there was an interesting [TS]

  comment from someone on there that said [TS]

  like this the this John Roderick person [TS]

  seems like somebody who is primarily [TS]

  interested in the breadth of experience [TS]

  and not especially interested in the [TS]

  depth of experience and I was like and I [TS]

  you know I walked away and chew on that [TS]

  for a while and feel like that's [TS]

  absolutely true [TS]

  it's certainly a conclusion that could [TS]

  be drawn it's a conclusion that can be [TS]

  drawn it was a hundred percent accurate [TS]

  all the time it's it's certainly [TS]

  interesting thought technology it's an [TS]

  interesting thought technology and I and [TS]

  and what I felt what I feel like is that [TS]

  we all use the power of it [TS]

  extrapolation to to get through life [TS]

  right [TS]

  you don't have to i mean somebody that [TS]

  had a memento like condition where every [TS]

  experience they had to figure out the [TS]

  terms of it a new completely a new with [TS]

  no prior experience you know that what a [TS]

  nightmare that would be yeah like you go [TS]

  through enough situations that when you [TS]

  see a guy when you see a guy who has [TS]

  bleached his goatee you pretty much know [TS]

  what you're you pretty much know that [TS]

  you're dealing with somebody that once [TS]

  jalapenos in their food you know like [TS]

  you that's me and face test it [TS]

  you don't have to think of you have to [TS]

  you don't have to meet this guy and [TS]

  figure it out again right like oh you [TS]

  believe you bleach your facial hair [TS]

  betting that you think that your foods [TS]

  not hot enough i guess if you when [TS]

  you're thinking of asking do you want to [TS]

  hit off of this [TS]

  you don't have to ask you want to hit [TS]

  off of whatever it is exactly he wants [TS]

  to hit off of and he's the pad person [TS]

  who want to get off of everything you [TS]

  want cream cheese on that I bet you want [TS]

  cream cheese on the key so so uh so you [TS]

  know my my experience of depth when it [TS]

  comes to anything kind of culturally or [TS]

  experiential e is that I experienced the [TS]

  depth of things largely through [TS]

  extrapolation like I I i go down a [TS]

  street in a neighborhood and I say okay [TS]

  I got a picture of this neighborhood now [TS]

  because I've gone down this street and [TS]

  maybe I turned and went down a second [TS]

  street and i'm going to extrapolate what [TS]

  the character of this neighborhood is [TS]

  through through that experience now next [TS]

  time I'm going on a trip from point A to [TS]

  point B do i go down this same street [TS]

  again because it was the route because [TS]

  it was the fastest route or do I take a [TS]

  guy take a second route a new route so [TS]

  that i can increase that power of [TS]

  extrapolation [TS]

  I can increase my like my sample size so [TS]

  that again i start to get a picture of [TS]

  this whole part of the town i start to [TS]

  get a picture of this whole community [TS]

  that's interesting instead of being a [TS]

  fan of this particular route and because [TS]

  you like it more than the one other one [TS]

  you tried you're saying I want to see [TS]

  what all these do right and and and that [TS]

  is my experience of culture to like I'm [TS]

  always trying to increase my sample size [TS]

  so i can use the power of extrapolation [TS]

  to know more and and what I what I think [TS]

  is you know like i do not have it i do [TS]

  not have a deep knowledge of of a of any [TS]

  process right like how do you get to be [TS]

  a how do you get to be a great luthier [TS]

  how do you get to be the ultimate sushi [TS]

  chef you know you do the same thing over [TS]

  and over and over until your knowledge [TS]

  of it is like in your hands it's in your [TS]

  bones [TS]

  you are the you are the ultimate [TS]

  practitioner other thing because you [TS]

  have you have turned that experience [TS]

  you've gone through wrote into like body [TS]

  memory [TS]

  uh-huh uh-huh and I don't have that with [TS]

  anything even with guitar like I'm not I [TS]

  i find it very very difficult to [TS]

  practice the same thing over and over [TS]

  again I'm always playing something [TS]

  different and new and other and and in a [TS]

  way that that informs how I how I make [TS]

  music [TS]

  the problem is it's I never do that I [TS]

  never play the link multiple times until [TS]

  i can do it you know and it's you know [TS]

  that's why I'm not a not a real [TS]

  technical musician but but what I what I [TS]

  do instead is always take a different [TS]

  route always trying new food you know i [TS]

  was i was at a restaurant with a friend [TS]

  the other day and they were like I come [TS]

  to this restaurant with you 50 times [TS]

  you've never ordered the same thing [TS]

  and I ordered the same thing every time [TS]

  I i always order the same thing [TS]

  yeah and I think that's true that's true [TS]

  for a lot of people and they were [TS]

  remarking on it and it took them 50 [TS]

  visits with me to to realize it like [TS]

  that every time you order something [TS]

  different and I think that that makes me [TS]

  a little uncomfortable like each time [TS]

  you're going to try something new like [TS]

  is it all like it can't always be good [TS]

  and I'm like no sometimes it is not good [TS]

  sometimes it's not but each but a meal [TS]

  is just a moment you know and if you get [TS]

  if you get a bad one like like sweeping [TS]

  into the trash you know tried to try and [TS]

  the new thing the next time so it's a so [TS]

  it's a it's a relationship to phantom [TS]

  that's really part of a larger [TS]

  relationship to experience which is like [TS]

  I don't care to do the same thing enough [TS]

  times that i developed a deep knowledge [TS]

  because deep knowledge of a process or [TS]

  of a of a any any real deep knowledge is [TS]

  a thing i feel like i can approximate [TS]

  through analogy and like I would much [TS]

  rather see the IC increase my breath [TS]

  over right now and but let me let me [TS]

  just help add a note here that I think [TS]

  is important which is I don't hear you [TS]

  saying that means nobody else should [TS]

  have deep knowledge of things or ignore [TS]

  that that's not valuable you're not [TS]

  saying that at all [TS]

  the only way i could be this way is that [TS]

  I is that I'm surrounded by people that [TS]

  have deep knowledge agree though that [TS]

  isn't that something that people here [TS]

  when you use when you say i have chosen [TS]

  to like know enough about these couple [TS]

  things to be able to extrapolate and [TS]

  learn and learn about a new thing I want [TS]

  to know about your you're curious person [TS]

  that doesn't mean that you don't think [TS]

  other people should become experts know [TS]

  and I don't understand how anybody could [TS]

  I mean I guess I feel like it's weird [TS]

  even have the 66 [TS]

  yeah I and I feel like when I talk about [TS]

  my experience I talked about it with a [TS]

  with with unnatural pride right like i [TS]

  am proud of how I am I i don't i'm not [TS]

  defending how I am against attackers i [TS]

  just am proud of it because [TS]

  because i feel like that whole modern [TS]

  tendency to apologize for who you are [TS]

  first like hello hi nice to meet you [TS]

  listen I'm sorry that I'm different from [TS]

  you but I'm just gonna I have to express [TS]

  my difference and I know it's bad but [TS]

  please don't hurt me but here I am I [TS]

  hate that I i feel like i I'm I'm proud [TS]

  of Who I am and that that's not [TS]

  something i should be ashamed of but [TS]

  expressing who i am in a way that is [TS]

  that seems like just sort of a contented [TS]

  or happy or or or that I prefer the way [TS]

  that I am is immediately interpreted as [TS]

  judgment of other people and my [TS]

  preference for myself is is somehow an [TS]

  expression that I am better uh want to [TS]

  share the church is categorically [TS]

  disrespectful almost yeah right like oh [TS]

  yes I I don't prefer to be an expert so [TS]

  anybody that's an expert is a fucking [TS]

  idiot like and I don't know where people [TS]

  how people make that leap it's in it's [TS]

  an invisible missed in a culture today i [TS]

  feel i feel it all the time it's bananas [TS]

  it is and it's it's so it's so cocky and [TS]

  self-involved to assume that you can [TS]

  understand that much about somebody [TS]

  who's not who's not even saying anything [TS]

  against what you believe or saying [TS]

  anything against the very idea that you [TS]

  like to believe what you believe it's [TS]

  it's so it's a caustic and unnecessary [TS]

  but I feel like it's everywhere and if [TS]

  you and you really you sound one sounds [TS]

  very self-involved or insulated if you [TS]

  don't excuse yourself for not knowing [TS]

  everything about somebody and you don't [TS]

  mean tennis is such a weird situation [TS]

  well this and again this this this [TS]

  comment section in on the Daniel house [TS]

  facebook page there was a guy and at a [TS]

  certain point of the full disclosure at [TS]

  a certain point I started to comment on [TS]

  his Facebook page no because John the [TS]

  first commenter was a guy that was just [TS]

  like you know what this guy's a fucking [TS]

  asshole i hated his punk rock article i [TS]

  hate his whole attitude he thinks he's [TS]

  better than everybody else he thinks [TS]

  he's smarter than everybody else and [TS]

  that's fucking bullshit [TS]

  his music sucks and he's got a fucking [TS]

  stupid haircut and his glasses are dumb [TS]

  everything about this guy sucks and it's [TS]

  fucking and that he's an asshole and I [TS]

  hate him and you know so that's the [TS]

  first comment and it's known as well you [TS]

  know and it gets like it gets a like [TS]

  five times or something and it you know [TS]

  that but then there's three or four [TS]

  comments from people that are like I [TS]

  don't know this article seems pretty [TS]

  well it seems pretty reasonable i mean [TS]

  i-i don't know if I agree that kiss is [TS]

  no good because I like kiss but you know [TS]

  but you know a couple people defending [TS]

  or at least making that conciliatory [TS]

  facebook like medium post and then the [TS]

  guy comes back and he's like no you know [TS]

  what you guys Bob habitat you're all [TS]

  wrong and another thing about this guy [TS]

  like his she's got bad taste in shoes [TS]

  and he's like Ed perturb and so finally [TS]

  of course I'll III show up here I come [TS]

  through the door in a cape [TS]

  I'm like huh i'm the writer of this [TS]

  article and I'm reading your comments [TS]

  you know I'm reading your comments and [TS]

  I'm and I feel like I'm not trying to [TS]

  attack anybody with this article I'm [TS]

  just expressing who i am i'm just [TS]

  talking from my perspective it's not a [TS]

  bad thing and so angry guy comes back in [TS]

  and now he feels a little bit like o.o [TS]

  the there's an adulterer like bit adults [TS]

  are in the room now so i have to pretend [TS]

  I'm an adult and he's like well I'm it's [TS]

  very I'm very pleased to see that you're [TS]

  here defending yourself but I just have [TS]

  to take issue with the fact that you are [TS]

  such a that you're so arrogant and I was [TS]

  like well I'm not arrogant I'm just [TS]

  talking about my experience and why [TS]

  would I why would I apologize for for [TS]

  you know what i mean and he's and he [TS]

  comes back again a third time with like [TS]

  chastising me about my tone and and so i [TS]

  wrote i would like you sir to read back [TS]

  on your posts on this facebook page and [TS]

  reflect on your tone and then contrast [TS]

  it with my tone and tell me which tone [TS]

  you prefer like my know-it-all tone that [TS]

  is [TS]

  like so offensive to you because I'm [TS]

  because I'm proud of myself right you're [TS]

  an idiot and he's speaking truth to [TS]

  power now or yeah exactly or you're like [TS]

  you are pouring vitriol against someone [TS]

  you don't know and don't understand and [TS]

  your instinct your first instinct is to [TS]

  be butthurt and up and like pissy bitchy [TS]

  so what world you want to live in you [TS]

  know like I'm i and and and that that [TS]

  idea that two to be to not apologize for [TS]

  yourself is the greatest crime is the [TS]

  first crime you know is the is the is [TS]

  the premier crime in in our internet [TS]

  culture now to not begin with a I have [TS]

  no right to speak but now that I've [TS]

  acknowledge that i'm going to proffer my [TS]

  humble opinion and I and now i'm gonna [TS]

  slowly back out of the room bowing and [TS]

  scraping and that and that's what's [TS]

  necessary to not be to not be taken as [TS]

  like a strident combative and ultimately [TS]

  like you know angry troll [TS]

  I don't get it I don't get it it's um I [TS]

  think when you're doing any kind of [TS]

  personal writing when you're talking [TS]

  about yourself when you're talking about [TS]

  yourself it as a member of society which [TS]

  is what a lot of personal sites are in [TS]

  some ways it's um I mean it'sit's you [TS]

  have to be skillful to say something [TS]

  interesting [TS]

  it's be very skillful to say something [TS]

  new and used to be somewhat courageous [TS]

  to say something honest I think it's [TS]

  very difficult to efficiently say [TS]

  anything that's interesting and new and [TS]

  honest without a lot of people getting [TS]

  upset sometimes very little reason and [TS]

  it isn't it isn't a mean people can sit [TS]

  and I think that reads you're right i [TS]

  think that people read that as arrogant [TS]

  but like the thing is though if you [TS]

  don't want it so what do you do to not [TS]

  get that reaction from people you say [TS]

  something uninteresting you say [TS]

  something that's not new and you say [TS]

  something is dishonest you say something [TS]

  that everybody can agree with because [TS]

  they already think that and that's why [TS]

  bother you [TS]

  right thats that's just asking for [TS]

  compliments and that's that's not making [TS]

  anything [TS]

  yea yea it is an enemy and it's part of [TS]

  i think the growing sense of like online [TS]

  life as a as a group think consensus [TS]

  machine where we're we're not we are not [TS]

  trying to invent something new right now [TS]

  in our at this moment in our culture we [TS]

  are not trying to put a man on the moon [TS]

  we are not trying to push the boundaries [TS]

  of what it is to be a you know human [TS]

  animal or 0 or a global culture we are [TS]

  just at least online just trying to [TS]

  round off all the nubs and sand the [TS]

  corners and figure out and and basically [TS]

  like shout people into a consensus that [TS]

  makes us feel like that validates our [TS]

  own prejudices and figure out how much [TS]

  of that is about corralling a temporary [TS]

  tribe of people who categorically agree [TS]

  on who is a bad person and why they can [TS]

  ask yourself how many things that people [TS]

  consider like important conversations [TS]

  all mostly stopped at who's a bad person [TS]

  and why [TS]

  uh-huh and then ask yourself what you [TS]

  get out of that in terms of making [TS]

  something [TS]

  well yeah you're not making any [TS]

  specially if 36 hours you move on to [TS]

  find another tribe that you can agree [TS]

  with and I really do I really honestly [TS]

  do believe that but I mean you know of [TS]

  several years ago 10 years ago we were [TS]

  very worried about the Millennials and I [TS]

  don't want to dump on the Millennials [TS]

  because I some of the smartest people I [TS]

  know are part of that generation is so [TS]

  arrogant and some of the fuck you know [TS]

  some of the funniest stuff that is being [TS]

  bandied about is coming from Millennials [TS]

  who have a who have a a different enough [TS]

  take and a kind of let you know and the [TS]

  power of youth but but ten years ago we [TS]

  were we were all very concerned about [TS]

  this brand new generation that was [TS]

  arriving had never gotten a bad grade no [TS]

  one had ever given them an F no one has [TS]

  ever told them they needed to try a [TS]

  little harder [TS]

  her they were congratulated at every [TS]

  step of the way and now they were 18 [TS]

  years old they were entering the world [TS]

  and they were really unhappy to find [TS]

  that they didn't get a round of applause [TS]

  every time they pooped and this was you [TS]

  know this was ten years ago when we were [TS]

  adults and we were like oh there's a new [TS]

  generation arriving on the scene and [TS]

  it's kind of weird interacting with them [TS]

  because they are indignant that you know [TS]

  like and and their indignant is you know [TS]

  we were characterizing it as this as a [TS]

  product of this era of no bad grades k-8 [TS]

  if I effective make it worse they seldom [TS]

  seldom analyzed and ignorance but it [TS]

  really felt like something that arrive [TS]

  by fedex one day and that they really [TS]

  completely deserved was this just this [TS]

  constant sense of like explain i don't [TS]

  mean to be negative about it but I just [TS]

  got this sense of-of always looking for [TS]

  bad stuff and everything as a way to [TS]

  explain why your life sucks right and [TS]

  and and and crucially unreflective [TS]

  that's that's exactly right they were [TS]

  not reflecting inwardly they're fine [TS]

  reflecting on other people and we're [TS]

  planning on what they need to be doing [TS]

  differently be more unhappy like them [TS]

  yeah well so here we are 10 years later [TS]

  and we're no longer really talking about [TS]

  Millennials in that way because that was [TS]

  that was the way that we thought about [TS]

  them when they were newly minted adults [TS]

  they weren't kids anymore but they still [TS]

  were very kid-like now that generation [TS]

  is in its thirties and it is it is [TS]

  producing a lot of culture it is really [TS]

  like it is really generating that it the [TS]

  tone of the conversation and and so i'm [TS]

  i'm beginning to try and do what we've [TS]

  done with every generation so far in my [TS]

  life which is kind of slop them in to [TS]

  what the story is you know what the [TS]

  story of our culture is and and [TS]

  Millennials are typically the children [TS]

  of baby boomers [TS]

  and you're in my generation is this this [TS]

  intergeneration that is largely going to [TS]

  be forgotten [TS]

  you know we're a smaller population wise [TS]

  words were much smaller than the Boomers [TS]

  before us or their children after us [TS]

  there fewer of us and we're going to be [TS]

  marginalized we already are marginalized [TS]

  we always were marginalized when we were [TS]

  18 the popular music on the charts was [TS]

  still boomer music and we had our brief [TS]

  moment in the early nineties where our [TS]

  culture poked through for a little while [TS]

  and we were regarded as a sulky entitled [TS]

  generation ourselves and then we just [TS]

  got like we just sort of got dust heaped [TS]

  as the culture moved on like they [TS]

  weren't really interested in hearing [TS]

  from us anymore whatever it was that we [TS]

  contributed was just kind of like ironic [TS]

  and everything every year we're moving [TS]

  more and more out of the target demo [TS]

  yeah right you know we were like the [TS]

  sneer errs who sneered our way right [TS]

  into like a position where we acquiesce [TS]

  to total sellout status which [TS]

  invalidated entirely our prior sneery [TS]

  mentality you know like we we self [TS]

  invalidated ourselves in a way that that [TS]

  it took the Boomers 25 years to do and [TS]

  we just got on it pretty-pretty [TS]

  announced today that the idea of selling [TS]

  out is it is disappearing away we [TS]

  couldn't imagine even five years ago [TS]

  yeah right and and and in it in one [TS]

  sense good riddens because that was that [TS]

  was self-defeating but in another sense [TS]

  everything isn't there everything is [TS]

  marketing now I mean everything is [TS]

  marketing including journalism I mean [TS]

  things that we thought were were [TS]

  unassailable including a personality [TS]

  your personality you're a mean every [TS]

  fucking thing and I say that as somebody [TS]

  who who embraces the fact that you and I [TS]

  have found an advertiser for our program [TS]

  hello [TS]

  like love a love the idea of making a [TS]

  living doing creative work but my god i [TS]

  go on the internet i'm trying to find a [TS]

  thing I want to search for the the I [TS]

  want to search for some information on [TS]

  the thirty years war and the fucking [TS]

  thing pops up and it's like if you like [TS]

  the Thirty Years War you're gonna love [TS]

  the new nissan sentra a team that Carl's [TS]

  jr. you know go click to this BuzzFeed [TS]

  thing and it's and you're just gonna and [TS]

  every time you look for the arrow to see [TS]

  the next picture it's actually going to [TS]

  be an arrow that takes you to a chase [TS]

  credit card and people usually what [TS]

  happens tricks [TS]

  that's like fuck you everybody like [TS]

  everybody fucking but so so we're living [TS]

  in a world now where Millennials have [TS]

  have have melted into the larger adult [TS]

  population and have brought their values [TS]

  into the adult conversation they are [TS]

  adults now and have their have this [TS]

  value system that we perceive to be [TS]

  founded in an untruth which is the [TS]

  untruth being that everyone is special [TS]

  and we feel that to be intrinsically [TS]

  untrue and an unexamined lie but it's [TS]

  now in its in the water that that that [TS]

  draw that you know that LSD is in the [TS]

  water supply now and you cannot you [TS]

  cannot take a 30 year old and segregate [TS]

  them from a forty-five-year-old and say [TS]

  like well you still are you sir are [TS]

  still living in a state of delusion [TS]

  whereas we at 45 have exclusive access [TS]

  to the truth because the baby boomers [TS]

  ahead of us are also living in a [TS]

  delusion like we're the only ones that [TS]

  that step here the claim of [TS]

  metal-on-metal I mean we're all just [TS]

  dummies but I'm you know you you have a [TS]

  kid I have a kid that are part of a jet [TS]

  part of a generation that we have to [TS]

  imagine I i have to start imagining what [TS]

  their viewpoint is kind of pain now and [TS]

  our are Millennials [TS]

  are they the aberration or were we you [TS]

  know our are they establishing what the [TS]

  new tone is and weird i mean in a way [TS]

  absolutely they are we are always from [TS]

  now on going to be living in a world [TS]

  that is somewhat defined by the the [TS]

  group think and you know like [TS]

  rights-based thinking you know kind of [TS]

  justice based thinking of the generation [TS]

  that came after us but somebody's got to [TS]

  come along with a fucking plan for [TS]

  something exciting and new [TS]

  right right we can't human history [TS]

  cannot just turn on itself and bite its [TS]

  own tail for the rest we should have [TS]

  more kids we should have more kids we [TS]

  should teach them science until trail [TS]

  get get them out there get there they're [TS]

  healthy strong bodies building trail in [TS]

  the Sun and then set them loose with [TS]

  tools and math right teach them math [TS]

  which together math and computer maths [TS]

  teach them standard math if they know [TS]

  their maths well enough by computer [TS]

  maths will be easy because computer [TS]

  mouths are just a trade that anyone can [TS]

  learn [TS]

  meanwhile back in santa fe i think if [TS]

  you ask the typical pop quiz hotshot us [TS]

  the typical erotic online listener which [TS]

  one of us had read your me which of us [TS]

  had read any token I have a feeling most [TS]

  people would guess that i have read some [TS]

  token right i've read note okay see [TS]

  that's insane to be right now i'm going [TS]

  to a lot of people i have read all the [TS]

  tools see in this way the silmarillion [TS]

  isn't that the hard one which is that [TS]

  it's impossible to read that's like much [TS]

  that's his metal machine music right [TS]

  it's like reading a hundred years of [TS]

  solitude if all the story was taken out [TS]

  of this episode of rock on the line is [TS]

  sponsored by our very good friends at [TS]

  Squarespace you know Squarespace they [TS]

  are the all-in-one platform that makes [TS]

  it fast and easy to create your own [TS]

  professional website portfolio or online [TS]

  store they make the whole process so so [TS]

  all have an easy drag-and-drop interface [TS]

  and beautiful free templates you can [TS]

  tweak to suit your needs all the [TS]

  squarespace six designs are responsive [TS]

  which means they look great on every [TS]

  device [TS]

  Squarespace also offers free 24 x seven [TS]

  support through live chat and email with [TS]

  dedicated teams in New York City dublin [TS]

  and Portland John and I have u square [TS]

  space to host rock on the line for three [TS]

  years now they have been great to work [TS]

  with [TS]

  we would love it if you would give them [TS]

  a try to remember Squarespace plans [TS]

  start at only eight dollars per month [TS]

  eight dollars a month that includes a [TS]

  free domain name if you sign up for a [TS]

  year [TS]

  please remember to tell Squarespace you [TS]

  heard about it from your positronic on [TS]

  the line listeners of this program get a [TS]

  free trial plus ten percent off any [TS]

  package they choose by using the special [TS]

  offer code supertrain at checkout our [TS]

  thanks to squarespace for supporting rod [TS]

  on the line we could not do it without [TS]

  the one Tolkien I haven't read is his [TS]

  apparently genius translation of Beowulf [TS]

  which went unpublished until very [TS]

  recently that was his like his a cassie [TS]

  is young master work before he did all [TS]

  the other before he did the fantasy [TS]

  writing he wrote this like really [TS]

  translation of Beowulf and then never [TS]

  published it just sat on it huh and [TS]

  Auntie think is a state did that as a [TS]

  state has finally published yeah but you [TS]

  gotta be careful what you leave on your [TS]

  computer yeah I'm shaman know another [TS]

  beer sketches by genre but he he wrote [TS]

  this thing and I think it might have [TS]

  been his leaves of grass he kept writing [TS]

  it or or no monkeying with all didn't [TS]

  think it was ready I don't know [TS]

  but george RR martin very curious [TS]

  character very interesting to interact [TS]

  with him who he is a nerd [TS]

  oh really yes but of the old-school you [TS]

  know like remember when we were young [TS]

  nerds [TS]

  yes and the difference between the Nerds [TS]

  that you know that play Dungeons and [TS]

  Dragons and nerds that were actually [TS]

  trying to learn sword Smith three you [TS]

  remember there were you know they were [TS]

  real nerds even when we were nerds who [TS]

  were just a dimension beyond like the [TS]

  guys who talked about swords there was a [TS]

  good there's a kid in my ninth grade [TS]

  science class who was a friend of mine [TS]

  we talked about we talked about fantasy [TS]

  writing and science fiction together and [TS]

  we enjoyed Dungeons and Dragons culture [TS]

  but he had notebooks full of designs of [TS]

  swords that he was sincere about [TS]

  learning the ancient arts swordmaking [TS]

  222 craft these swords to shoo them out [TS]

  of the metal and i remember at the time [TS]

  feeling like you know that there that [TS]

  that is you are choosing to pursue [TS]

  esoterica down a rabbit hole to the end [TS]

  like swordmaking is never going it's not [TS]

  relevant it's never going to be relevant [TS]

  now it's you are on a siding and i [TS]

  appreciate like that that I appreciate [TS]

  the art I appreciate the history I [TS]

  appreciate everything about it but [TS]

  and I think there was a part of what [TS]

  what what what made it possible for him [TS]

  or what made it exciting was that there [TS]

  was a part of the fantasy where he [TS]

  believed that maybe one day civilization [TS]

  would crumble and swords would be the [TS]

  way we interact with each other again [TS]

  telling a freethinker like you know [TS]

  you're not a political way but I mean [TS]

  like he's definitely he's got his own [TS]

  thoughts about how stuff is going to go [TS]

  he's not he's not doing it to be cool [TS]

  he's not doing it because you know it's [TS]

  the next obvious step given that his [TS]

  father's a swordsmith he's got a larger [TS]

  world view [TS]

  yeah and I feel like there's a there's a [TS]

  part of steampunk culture renfaire [TS]

  culture fantasy culture cosplay culture [TS]

  that is that it the there are under [TS]

  under threads undertones of apocalypse [TS]

  in those things you know people are [TS]

  aware that they are in my charity and [TS]

  they are enjoying these cultures and and [TS]

  I cannot help but feel like they all [TS]

  secretly hope that the grid goes down [TS]

  certainly can read done a little bit [TS]

  that these are red dawn fantasies and [TS]

  that when the grid does go down their [TS]

  swords smithing there uh you know the [TS]

  fact that they can cook a hearty meal in [TS]

  a kettle the fact that they know how to [TS]

  entertain themselves with just a flute [TS]

  and foot bells they've dealt with in [TS]

  period lice and that's right that's [TS]

  right thing in the civil war thing you [TS]

  gotta it's okay if you have please like [TS]

  that makes it more realistic [TS]

  yeah you figure figure out the fleas in [TS]

  the lights you figure out that that [TS]

  though that suddenly those skills which [TS]

  we all thought were laughable are going [TS]

  to be are going to come in very handy [TS]

  and the traveling minstrels and the and [TS]

  the the jugglers and the Juggalos [TS]

  what are all technology just waiting for [TS]

  the apocalypse they are and I and I feel [TS]

  like I mean and this may be the the this [TS]

  may be my cold war childhood speaking [TS]

  but I cannot help but think all these [TS]

  alternative cultures are in some ways [TS]

  secret apocalypse cults and everybody is [TS]

  privately preparing for what they have [TS]

  because this is absolutely true [TS]

  on the flipside like all the gun nuts [TS]

  all the survivalists all the people who [TS]

  are more out about what they call [TS]

  preparing for the race riots or [TS]

  preparing for the water wars are [TS]

  preparing for the when the government [TS]

  comes and what they're really doing is [TS]

  fantasizing about those things they're [TS]

  praying for those eventualities because [TS]

  their preparation is like it's so [TS]

  excited they're so enthusiastic about it [TS]

  they are hoping to God that the grid [TS]

  goes down and that they are defending [TS]

  their homes against hordes and anna and [TS]

  i really feel like like the fantasy [TS]

  world and the and the what we you know [TS]

  what we think of as the nerd world at [TS]

  least the at least the steampunky ran [TS]

  fairy artisanal craftsman side of things [TS]

  it's also like suddenly prepping for the [TS]

  for the end times in and the other did [TS]

  never never thought of that because when [TS]

  you think about somebody you know that [TS]

  the typical thing would be when you say [TS]

  like not even renfaire just like a [TS]

  medieval Middle Ages kind of dressup [TS]

  thinking why would you want to spend [TS]

  your weekend acting like you're living [TS]

  in this really squalid time with no [TS]

  resources and you know horrible health [TS]

  conditions and terrible food and if you [TS]

  look at instead instead of looking to [TS]

  the past and pining is the instead of [TS]

  thinking let's look into the future and [TS]

  preparing yeah thats turkey leg is going [TS]

  to look pretty good couple years I think [TS]

  what they're doing is making apocalypse [TS]

  fun [TS]

  and and you know and its really like the [TS]

  tech people who are right in the middle [TS]

  of the culture who are you know the tech [TS]

  people are betting that everything keeps [TS]

  going you know protect people are laying [TS]

  the groundwork for the fact that the [TS]

  grid does not go down and that really [TS]

  the skill sets that are going to be [TS]

  needed in the future our skill sets [TS]

  built on what we're doing now and it's [TS]

  like that conversation i had with [TS]

  jonathan coulton many years ago when you [TS]

  know when my daughter was born his kids [TS]

  are a little bit older than mine and I [TS]

  was like you know I was expressing my [TS]

  kind of hippie like suspicion of screen [TS]

  time [TS]

  well i don't think i'm going to you know [TS]

  i don't think i'm likely going to let my [TS]

  kid what you look very interesting [TS]

  thoughts on that that really have [TS]

  heavily influenced me [TS]

  yeah and he he was like well why are you [TS]

  doing that like all they're going to [TS]

  have our screens in the future where [TS]

  we're going [TS]

  the future where we're going where [TS]

  that's going to be their lot they're [TS]

  lighter in which we will spend the rest [TS]

  of our lives right and so the longer you [TS]

  deprive her of screens it's like you are [TS]

  it's like you are refusing to let her [TS]

  use a fork because they didn't use to [TS]

  have Forks or something like these are [TS]

  tools things like a even ate like to me [TS]

  this is super productive but might that [TS]

  I walked away with thinking well you [TS]

  know I i want i read so much bullshit i [TS]

  don't like to my daughter but she wants [TS]

  to read it so it doesn't matter if it's [TS]

  barbie or my little pony or green [TS]

  lantern like I will read it to her [TS]

  because she wants to be read to [TS]

  I want her to hear lots of words I want [TS]

  her to read lots of words and if those [TS]

  are the words to get her excited that's [TS]

  good i i music there's a part of me that [TS]

  I really admit this is reductive but [TS]

  after to having that conversation with [TS]

  with you know we have different names [TS]

  John that falling really different sides [TS]

  of the fence about this it's interesting [TS]

  to talk to them about this [TS]

  no yeah they argue with one another and [TS]

  still they still do but you know but for [TS]

  me it's like that's the new literacy [TS]

  like it just doesn't feel like literacy [TS]

  to us I so what I say to my daughter [TS]

  you're only allowed to look at [TS]

  educational books for an hour a day I [TS]

  know it's not exactly the same thing you [TS]

  can look at books but they need to be [TS]

  educational there was a time when people [TS]

  thought books were like or something [TS]

  they're gonna be really upsetting a time [TS]

  with a you know theocracy in place like [TS]

  that's really dangerous information [TS]

  well I mean I feel like even when she's [TS]

  playing monument valley like even when [TS]

  she's trying to buy and failing thank [TS]

  God to buy buy toys for talking a [TS]

  cartoon cat on a screen like at the same [TS]

  time she's learning to manipulate that [TS]

  she's learned that she's learning to [TS]

  type a little bit and I didn't really [TS]

  learn to type until I was like 18 right [TS]

  and Mike my God if you don't have that I [TS]

  mean god bless the people who don't play [TS]

  their kids recorded music and make them [TS]

  play with blocks [TS]

  haha we have a friend who goes to [TS]

  waldorf and water is a very interesting [TS]

  educational program but it on the face [TS]

  of it freaks me out a little bit like my [TS]

  psu group also well I don't know enough [TS]

  about it everybody does what r says it's [TS]

  not as bad as it sounds but you know the [TS]

  idea is it's really all about playing [TS]

  playing play which is great but like you [TS]

  play with fairly simple toys and you're [TS]

  not supposed to listen to recorded music [TS]

  you've never let you never do anything [TS]

  with screens at all until a certain age [TS]

  and anyway I don't be productive about [TS]

  it but like for me like I feel like [TS]

  somewhat my life has been made so much [TS]

  better and frustrating sometimes [TS]

  bye-bye this computer stuff but we have [TS]

  to understand that back to your thing [TS]

  about the Millennials we still think [TS]

  about this computer stuff for them [TS]

  that's just life in the sooner like she [TS]

  gets good at that version of life the [TS]

  more prepared she'll be to make good [TS]

  decisions when that stuff gets weird [TS]

  which it will in a couple years right [TS]

  anyway I've never so far off george RR [TS]

  martin but-but-but but-but-but in what [TS]

  you're saying so I swear I I feel like I [TS]

  feel like it's very interesting how much [TS]

  how how many trends in the popular [TS]

  culture in and sort of every direction [TS]

  of every political stripe can be traced [TS]

  back to a kind of 222 an apocalypse [TS]

  origin story and the mainstream [TS]

  culture just putters along in a state of [TS]

  of like unreflective mass of block step [TS]

  informant even the negative thinking is [TS]

  that things will get worse in a way that [TS]

  will mostly understand [TS]

  yeah right its gonna be like oh but you [TS]

  know it's gonna be hard it's gonna be [TS]

  harder to it's gonna be harder to get a [TS]

  my shade of lipstick in the future [TS]

  because uh because apparently it's not [TS]

  as your Selina Kyle and the dark knight [TS]

  rises like great cosmetics after she got [TS]

  off the electricity [TS]

  she really did and I did I can only [TS]

  assume that she spent all the time she [TS]

  wasn't on screen like up at macys going [TS]

  through the darkened I think it's clear [TS]

  that she moved into account a mac [TS]

  cosmetics store before being shut off [TS]

  all the attack [TS]

  yes and she's just to disappear for a [TS]

  while you'd be like where did you know [TS]

  did you notice that I was like personal [TS]

  and halfway very beautiful woman but [TS]

  like which everybody else [TS]

  it looks like half a Dickens character [TS]

  that she looks amazing [TS]

  well this is the thing I think a lot of [TS]

  the female superheroes what we forget is [TS]

  that their mask is makeup right they [TS]

  don't [TS]

  the female superheroes often do not wear [TS]

  masks because they because they're [TS]

  pretty face is necessary and so Batman [TS]

  and bein have these hideous the [TS]

  appendages on their faces [TS]

  she is you know it's it's a it's a [TS]

  skin-tight bodysuit and a animated face [TS]

  like that's her costume but in any case [TS]

  the tech people are the ones that are [TS]

  curious to me because they are not part [TS]

  of the lockstep mass culture that is [TS]

  just going into the future and [TS]

  reflectively they often trend culturally [TS]

  with with these like apocalypse and [TS]

  modern primitive calls but everything [TS]

  that they do is contingent on if a on [TS]

  faith that technology and technology [TS]

  will survive that progress is linear and [TS]

  always you know always building on the [TS]

  last thing and that [TS]

  that you know that if your kid doesn't [TS]

  learn the swipe gesture across asswipe [TS]

  screen that 10 years from now they won't [TS]

  they won't be able to even read a book [TS]

  because everything will let the swiping [TS]

  is like once but now that we're in a [TS]

  swipe world everything will follow from [TS]

  the swype and that's a that is a curious [TS]

  kind of faith and a curious like [TS]

  whatever the Articles of Confederation [TS]

  are of people that go to Macworld and [TS]

  are like tell us [TS]

  oracle with what what are the new you [TS]

  know are finding his lips [TS]

  yeah what are the new swipes is plural [TS]

  marriage allowed yet in at back world if [TS]

  not it's only a matter of time like that [TS]

  that whole that whole subset of and [TS]

  which makes up a huge part of my world [TS]

  the people that I know and r & m friends [TS]

  with we discuss you at the meetings I [TS]

  know you do online journal like and its [TS]

  allies get see it there's a lot of [TS]

  livejournal talk that's like when is [TS]

  just when are we gonna finally when will [TS]

  jontron into the room when well Jon [TS]

  teach the swipe his negativity has [TS]

  become problematic apocalypse apocalypse [TS]

  george RR martin here here here was the [TS]

  first story that george RR martin told [TS]

  me I said how to you and your wife meet [TS]

  and he said in the early seventies she [TS]

  was she worked for Ringling Brothers [TS]

  Circus and we went to a early convention [TS]

  cut comics convention [TS]

  and because it was the early seventies [TS]

  there was an all like a women-only sauna [TS]

  at the comics convention and I went into [TS]

  the women's only sauna naked to liberate [TS]

  the gender bias inherent you know in a [TS]

  woman's only sana-i I went in there as [TS]

  like a as a warrior men's rights warrior [TS]

  so what's already 1971 or whatever [TS]

  that's very courageous and she it's the [TS]

  real oh she felt like there is no it was [TS]

  very appealing my you know my bolt the [TS]

  seasoning serious this is the real story [TS]

  yeah and I was just like I mean I'm [TS]

  standing on top of like a teetering pile [TS]

  of like under stories or I'm just like [TS]

  okay wait a minute now what will [TS]

  she's she works for Ringling Brothers [TS]

  you guys are at a at a world con there [TS]

  is a woman's only sauna that you were [TS]

  liberating and that's how you met and [TS]

  he's like well I mean I was you know my [TS]

  wife hit bottom of the hill [TS]

  exactly he may your wife of john bands [TS]

  like show he and he's like well and then [TS]

  I married someone else for a period but [TS]

  then we met again always look prettier [TS]

  for Windows but I was like okay this is [TS]

  all happening in 1971 this is a separate [TS]

  thread of the culture that goes back a [TS]

  long long time that he is one of the you [TS]

  know he's one of the early early early [TS]

  he said he you know worldcon was like a [TS]

  big part of his his universe at a time [TS]

  up the where with the the coach culture [TS]

  at large and even the nerd historians [TS]

  like have a hard time going that far [TS]

  back in the culture to a time when like [TS]

  I I so I and I swear to you that that [TS]

  they they absolutely were probably [TS]

  wearing puffy sleeve garments there [TS]

  might have been a good jingle stick gets [TS]

  our apt though and so I'm I'm like I am [TS]

  so enthralled and so elated picturing [TS]

  these nerds at the dawn of what we think [TS]

  of as like fan culture and so his wife [TS]

  is sitting there and I'm like tell me [TS]

  your version of this story and she's [TS]

  like well you know what Iowa i'm a fan I [TS]

  am one of the early fans and we were the [TS]

  first generation of people who recognize [TS]

  that being a fan was its own thing and [TS]

  I've spent my whole life as a fan of [TS]

  science fiction and um and fantasy and [TS]

  it's made a beautiful life for me so [TS]

  that's lovely [TS]

  it was extraordinary extraordinary to [TS]

  hear like that they were they created [TS]

  that culture in the quiet in a way you [TS]

  know what I mean like they were not [TS]

  trying to interact with the larger [TS]

  culture they found one another at these [TS]

  at these comic cons and it was an [TS]

  imperfect it was an imperfect center [TS]

  probably but close enough for the circus [TS]

  people and the burlesque people and the [TS]

  vaudeville people and them fantasy and [TS]

  science fiction people like they all [TS]

  they all found each other in a way that [TS]

  I think we think of we think of that [TS]

  experiencing experience happening really [TS]

  in modern times like that's the nerd [TS]

  narrative but what you just described in [TS]

  some ways is what how people talk about [TS]

  things like Woodstock how you get that [TS]

  mean i mean and i don't mean to sound [TS]

  productive but I mean like in the same [TS]

  sense of going like there was a time [TS]

  when people who are really into free [TS]

  speech and weed and free love and beat [TS]

  poetry and all these things that now we [TS]

  all just slapping the same pile [TS]

  there was a time when the all the people [TS]

  who are if you like outsiders of a [TS]

  certain kind of middle-class you know [TS]

  outsider like found a commonality in [TS]

  that and now that all seems really [TS]

  obvious but at the time it probably was [TS]

  not that obvious [TS]

  not at all and in this case it's even [TS]

  more obscure the nerd thing was [TS]

  contemporaneous with that and and yet a [TS]

  tiny tiny fraction of the size of you [TS]

  know like it was not general interest it [TS]

  was very specific so so it's also like [TS]

  one underground you know that's when [TS]

  your when your body are chrome was [TS]

  started to come out this rod up [TS]

  underground comics were huge then for [TS]

  its the cabs are old you know which is [TS]

  franco is doing with with Marvel stuff [TS]

  was pretty out there that [TS]

  yeah right never then everybody's [TS]

  getting hi to her but so so meeting him [TS]

  and his wife and seeing their connection [TS]

  to this culture and then he has cs4 [TS]

  assistance George RR Martin's for [TS]

  systems whom he describes as his minions [TS]

  they describe themselves as his main [TS]

  lights right all four of them are women [TS]

  who are a little zaftig who have dark [TS]

  curly hair but they wear in braids and [TS]

  one of them is British there couple that [TS]

  are like a Americans one of them never I [TS]

  never actually saw only heard spoken of [TS]

  they're all like hilarious super-smart [TS]

  like in their thirties or forties and [TS]

  they act as his intermediaries as his [TS]

  planners as his you know they're there [TS]

  more than assistance you know they're [TS]

  like executive assistants but like there [TS]

  are four of them and they interact with [TS]

  one [TS]

  one [TS]

  another seamlessly like it's a culture [TS]

  night at hand and it's very captivating [TS]

  and been like why and you know when they [TS]

  kind of a flirt with him and he flirts [TS]

  with them like it's a their interactions [TS]

  are very flirty and it and it's exactly [TS]

  the way that people on the jonathan [TS]

  coulton cruise or people at Comicon [TS]

  interact with one another [TS]

  you know I've seen it before I've seen [TS]

  this culture before where it's there's a [TS]

  lot of flirtation there's a lot of [TS]

  sexual energy combination like [TS]

  confidence and lightness sometimes you [TS]

  know what i mean but isn't it kind of [TS]

  like oh I'm I don't know what I'm doing [TS]

  I'm a flighty idiot but now like the [TS]

  smart people but we're very confident [TS]

  and as you like to say like aren't [TS]

  asking for your approval about how this [TS]

  is going exactly and I think if you if [TS]

  you got into a political conversation [TS]

  with anyone of them their politics would [TS]

  be absolutely dead on you know what I [TS]

  mean like there there's no it isn't a it [TS]

  isn't a a patriarchal cult-like all [TS]

  these women are fully empowered and yet [TS]

  they are play-acting a kind of sexuality [TS]

  and george RR martin is the is the Papa [TS]

  figure and everybody's very comfortable [TS]

  with that they're very comfortable with [TS]

  with I mean you know this is a guy who [TS]

  in the early seventies when liberated [TS]

  the women sauna can't forget that you [TS]

  know and and when I think about and a [TS]

  husband and I had a long conversation [TS]

  about this where we were both like you [TS]

  know there were the nerve they were the [TS]

  cool kids over here having sex with each [TS]

  other and wearing polo shirts with the [TS]

  collars up and going to beer parties and [TS]

  then they're they're nerds over here [TS]

  having sex with each other and go into [TS]

  beer parties and wearing their velvet [TS]

  collars popped or whatever and how the [TS]

  fuck did we end up being like right in [TS]

  between in the in the narrowband [TS]

  pinheiro cultural band of kids that just [TS]

  weren't having sex with each other you [TS]

  know we were sitting there silently [TS]

  judging both cultures and in fact uh [TS]

  sleeping the district slept alone every [TS]

  single night [TS]

  it's so I'd love John's describe it [TS]

  might have been in it when the husband [TS]

  interview Martin was a pretty [TS]

  interesting interview but point John [TS]

  Hodgman was describing the way that he [TS]

  dressed when he was in high school here [TS]

  to talk about this like kind of a doctor [TS]

  who thing going on he carried a [TS]

  briefcase he had a ponytail yeah yeah he [TS]

  was you know he was working working a [TS]

  lot of different angles and figure out [TS]

  which one was going to be coming [TS]

  together like a lot of people cobbling [TS]

  together your own idea of what cool was [TS]

  with without you know much outside [TS]

  influenced this dear you want another [TS]

  yeah I i understood that uh I my mom [TS]

  would not buy me an izod shirt because [TS]

  they were $85 or something like that at [TS]

  a time when you could get a shirt with a [TS]

  little fire breathing dragon on it from [TS]

  sears for fourteen dollars right and uh [TS]

  I remember going to the fabric store [TS]

  with her one day when I was in ninth [TS]

  grade or something like that which is [TS]

  already like you're going to the fabric [TS]

  store with your mom in ninth grade loser [TS]

  and I'm walking through the fabric store [TS]

  and there's a little embroidered [TS]

  alligator do but she's he's like he's a [TS]

  happy alligator this island clearly not [TS]

  the look at southgate he's about twice [TS]

  as big as the cost allegorical and he's [TS]

  like looking at the least looking at the [TS]

  viewer and maybe even is giving a [TS]

  thumbs-up and I said you know what [TS]

  that's my alligator and i bought it and [TS]

  I had it sewn on [TS]

  [Music] [TS]

  I had it sewn on actually my Levi's [TS]

  jacket and then like smiling alligator [TS]

  was my little motif and and I I i might [TS]

  even had it i bought a second one and [TS]

  had its own my ski sweater you know like [TS]

  I was I like Laverne with al [TS]

  yeah except there's a smiling alligator [TS]

  pears up and I was like I firmly [TS]

  believed that I would be respected and [TS]

  loved for my hilarious [TS]

  outsider take on being an insider and we [TS]

  will be constant version who made I was [TS]

  just reviled I was reviled by everyone [TS]

  no one liked it no one thought it was [TS]

  good you know and I was so proud like [TS]

  you know smart my smile an alligator [TS]

  check me out [TS]

  I you know I get it right no wrong [TS]

  although you know maybe yes maybe if I [TS]

  just stuck around in my smile an [TS]

  alligator 10 long enough [TS]

  good now you know I'd now be at the at [TS]

  the center of some you know some advil [TS]

  burlesque culture think of all the songs [TS]

  you can deliver haha [TS]

  [Music] [TS]