All The S2 Interviews

I can’t believe the third national season of Articulate is already most of the way out the door and will be released so soon (April!) and that for the first time, I’ll be on camera interviewing! This is a weird, exciting transition from behind the scenes, so I wanted to take a moment to take stock of the wonderful conversations I’ve had so far.

Contributions:

Every one of these folks were totally inspiring. Check out their segments to get a feel for what’s so special about each of them.

 

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Better than Kings

For your family vacation in an electricity-less cabin, or the inevitable date 5 conversation lull, or whatever other silence you need to fill. Pick a card, any card.

♠A: Pokemon sidekick of choice?

♥A Biggest concern?

♣A Favorite way to eat potatoes?

♦A Something you find offensive?

♠2 Most difficult hike of your life?

♥2 Something you wish you had more of?

♣2 Dream job?

♦2 Pick a director for your biopic.

♠3 $1000 to spend- no taxes, bills, loans, or gifts.

♥3 Would you pay for sex?

♣3 Who’s your role model?

♦3 Favorite feature on yourself?

♠4 Your biggest personality flaw?

♥4 Favorite feature on a partner?

♣4 Dumbest mistake?

♦4 City you’d enjoy living in?

♠5 If you had to pick a religion…

♥5 Favorite dessert?

♣5 When was the last time you pooped your pants?

♦5 Skill you wish you could wake up with. 

♠6 Pick a food to eat an unlimited amount of, calorie free, forever.

♥6 You get to save one classical art form from the Fall of Culture. Which?

♣6 Worst sexual experience?

♦6 Place you’d only visit via teleport.

♠7 Failed hobby?

♥7 Favorite veggie?

♣7 Favorite AND least favorite mode of transport?

♦7 Best NYE memory?

♠8 Best Halloween memory?

♥8 Best Valentine’s day memory?

♣8 Best college memory?

♦8 Last time you cried?

♠9 Trade places with someone (living) and tell me why.

♥9 Last time you were scared?

♣9 Terrible drug experience?

♦9 Who’s your famous doppleganger?

♠10 Car you’d spend too much money on if you had it?

♥10 Favorite time of day?

♣10 Perfect day?

♦10 Great meal you had recently?

♠J Animal that matches your personality?

♥J Top of your sexual bucket list?

♣J Skill you wish you could wake up with?

♦J Word you wish you could expunge from the English language?

♠Q Talk about someone you considered a best friend that you don’t see anymore.

♥Q Earliest sexual awareness? 

♣Q Superpower?

♦Q Worst thing you’ve ever said to someone’s face? 

♠K What irritates the f*ck out of you?

♥K Where don’t you like to be touched? 

♣K What was the most expensive piece of clothing you’ve ever bought?

♦K Desert island TV show? 

ELDERS Podcast Pilot: Esther McManus

Early last year, I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with renowned chef  and elder stateswoman of bad-assery, Esther McManus. She was kind enough to entertain the early efforts of my millennial rite of passage- a podcast. My initial plans for a show exclusively featuring interviewees over 60 have since sputtered, stalled…and stalled some more. So, it is with great relief and excitement that I share this record of our conversation, which, even a year later, brings me great joy to recall. I hope it impacts you as profoundly as it did me.

Esther's favorite postcard
Esther’s favorite postcard, from her daughter. (She really does bike everywhere…still)

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah is a Gorgeous Human

I’m still nervous about my interview with trumpeter/composer/all around gorgeous human Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, and it happened 6 months ago.

He’s a beautiful man, with a beautiful mind, and all I really have to say is that I hope we did him justice.

https://www.articulateshow.org/articulate/christian-scott-atunde-adjuah-2nd-century-jazz

Fun fact / useless tidbit…he sleeps in short bursts instead of “full” 8-hour stretches- a technique he learned when he was a boxer. I remain incredulous, but he insisted he feels great.

 

On Bullshit

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I just got home from a whirlwind 10 days on the West coast with Articulate where I’m proud to say, we knocked it out of the park on 12/12 engagements (it’s pretty amazing to observe growth in real time). But between meeting one of my personal heroes Scott McCloud, exploring Gary Baseman‘s wonderland of a home studio, and getting all choked up by the incredible Luciana Souza, I made time for reading exactly one book for pleasure.

As our operations manager, my girl Constance is a pro at knowing where things belong. So when she ran across Princeton Professor Emeritus Harry G. Frankfurt‘s pocket-sized manifesto On Bullshit at the v charming The Last Bookstore, she somehow knew we would be happy together. Please enjoy below my Kenneth Goldsmith-inspired rendering of the 67-pager that you should totally go read in full for yourself.

Bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are. 

It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction. 

The indifference to how things really are- that I regard as the essence of bullshit. 

The fact about himself that the bullshitter hides, on the other hand, is that the truth-values of his statements are of no central interest to him. 

Bullshit is unavoidable whenever circumstances require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about. The production of bullshit is stimulated whenever a person’s obligations or opportunities to speak about some topic exceed his knowledge of the facts that are relevant to that topic. This discrepancy is common in public life, where people are frequently impelled- whether by their own propensities or by the demands of others- to speak extensively about matters of which they are to some degree ignorant. 

It is more expansive and independent, with more spacious opportunities for improvisation, color, and imaginative play. This is less a matter of craft than of art. Hence the familiar notion of the “bullshit artist”.

Unlike plain lying, however, it is more especially a matter not of falsity but of fakery. The essence of bullshit is not that it is false but that it is phony. What is wrong with a counterfeit is not what it is like, but how it was made. 

Excrement may be regarded as the corpse of nourishment, what remains when the vital elements in food have been exhausted. 

The bullshitter is faking things. But this does not mean that he necessarily gets them wrong.

NOTE: For as timely as it seems, Frankfurt wrote this back in 2005.

Have you read On Bullshit? Did I miss one of your favorite points? Let’s talk it out in the comments 🙂

My Glam Rock Morning

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Another day, another segment from season 2 of Articulate with Jim Cotter where I secretly conducted the interview. This time it was with the very fabulous (and fairly sleepy) band The Struts. This is one of few occasions where our promo really hit the nail on the head, so I’ll just share it verbatim.

“If you feel like you missed out on British 1970s glam rock, don’t worry—The Struts are here to help.”

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And that’s not a joke. Frontman Luke Spiller’s fashion sense, enigmatic Britishness, and totally obsessive dedication to his genre makes for an endearing package. Enjoy!

https://player.pbs.org/viralplayer/005959849/?wmode=opaque

That Time I Took An Hour of Daniel Handler’s Life

I’ve been working at Articulate with Jim Cotter for quite some time now (since I graduated in 2014). Though I’ve done my share of interviews during that time, Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket of A Series of Unfortunate Events aka 12-year-old-me’s favorite books that weren’t Harry Potter) was by far my most intimidating celebrity encounter to date. Happily, Handler couldn’t have been nicer, funnier, or easier to talk to. The resulting segment became the leader of our show’s second national season premiere. Hope you enjoy watching it as much as I liked making it!

https://player.pbs.org/viralplayer/3005269739/

The Panda Plan; A Guide To Overall Wellness

It’s not a diet, it’s a way of life. 

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Stressed-out Western types have long been looking East for guidance on how to live better. It is in this proud tradition that I present to you- The Panda Plan; A Guide To Overall Wellness. 

Drawing from the ancient wisdom of the lumbering and adorable panda bear, The Panda Plan marks a revolution in self-care for the 21st century.

  1. Wear black and white. That is to say, keep it simple, and don’t waste too much energy on decisions that ultimately don’t matter that much. You only have so much energy, so set yourself up to use it wisely.
  2. Work what you’ve got. The World Wildlife Fund could have chosen any one of many more severely endangered species for its logo. But while it’s not particularly useful, nor nearly as endangered as it could be, the panda is damn cute (and, not-so-coincidentally, cheap to print). Werk. Your. Brand.
  3. Eat roughage, semi-constantly. Though it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to match the panda’s volume (up to 30 lbs) or stamina (14 hours a day), keeping a steady flow of roughage to the face, a happy body makes.
  4. Sleep!!! Again, you won’t hit the panda’s 10-16 hours a day (what a life, am I right?), but you should take a page out of their book of shameless rest. As fun as it is to wear exhaustion as a badge, it’s even better to walk around with the clear head and skin that come with the selfish indulgence of a full night’s sleep.
  5. Chill out, you have nothing to fear. Pandas sit comfortably at the top of their food chain- no apology, no anxiety, nothing beyond the fact of existence. Assume you won’t ever reach the level of zen of an animal that doesn’t have to do things like pay student loans or do laundry, but give the present an honest shot a couple times a day.
  6. Most importantly, enjoy yourself. 

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