It’s the ONE-HUNDREDTH EPISODE of The Virtual Memories Show! And they said it would never last! To celebrate hitting the century mark, I asked past guests, upcoming guests and friends of the show to interview me this time around!
This special episode includes questions and recorded segments with Maria Alexander, Ashton Applewhite, John Bertagnolli, Lori Carson, Sarah Deming, Paul Di Filippo, Michael Dirda, Robert Drake, Aaron K. Finkelstein, Mary Fleener, Drew Friedman, Josh Alan Friedman, Kipp Friedman, Richard Gehr, Ben Katchor, Sara Lippmann, Brett Martin, Zach Martin, Seth, Jesse Sheidlower, Ron Slate, Tom Spurgeon, Levi Stahl, Maya Stein, Rupert Thomson, Peter Trachtenberg, Wallis Wilde-Menozzi, Frank Wilson, and Claudia Young.
Find out about my reading childhood, my dream list of pod-guests, my best practices for productivity (don’t have kids!), my favorite interview question, my top guest in the afterlife, the book I’d save if my house was on fire, what I’d do if I won a Macarthur Grant. and more! Give it a listen!
About our Guest
Gil Roth is the host of The Virtual Memories Show and the president of the Pharma & Biopharma Outsourcing Association.
Credits: This episode’s music is Stupid Now by Bob Mould. Several of the conversations were recorded on a pair of Blue enCORE 200 microphones feeding into a Zoom H5 digital recorder. I recorded the intro and outro and the self-interview segments on a Blue Yeti USB Microphone. Processing was done in Audacity and Logic Pro. Photo of me by Aaron K. Finkelstein.
Sheesh! Only a week left in 2013? How’d that happen?
I went into 2013 with the goal of putting out a new podcast every other week. I managed to exceed that goal and even bumped up to a weekly schedule for the last quarter of the year. I’m pretty optimistic that I can sustain that in 2014, with an occasional week off.
I’ve got an extra-special (by my standards) episode of The Virtual Memories Show on tap for New Year’s Eve, but I thought we’d revisit the show’s most prolific year with a countdown of the top 10 most downloaded episodes.
I only had this countdown idea with 7 days left in the year, so let’s go with #s 8-10 in today’s post! I’ll post another top 10 episode each day until we reach Dec. 31:
#10 – The Importance of Being Out – It was our first double-episode of the year! First, Craig Gidney discussed his new YA/bullying novel, Bereft, which went on to be nominated for an NAACP Image Award, the Moonbeam Children’s Award and the Lambada Literary Award in YA. Then Ed Hermance talked about the history of Giovanni’s Room, his queer bookstore that’s celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2013. Later in the year, Ed looked to sell the store, but it looks like there are no takers, so this interview chronicles the end of an era. Lots of great conversation about writing, publishing and bookselling in this episode. (4/2/13) – mp3
#9 – Episode 21: The Guy Who Drew the Liver Spots – Drew Friedman, the Vermeer of the Borscht Belt, the great painter, cartoonist, and chronicler of modern fame (and infamy), invited me out to 2nd Ave. Deli in NYC one morning to record a conversation about art, show biz, R. Crumb, Joe Franklin, the Friars Club, Howard Stern, Abe Vigoda, the gallery show commemorating his books on Old Jewish Comedians, and more! It’s a fun conversation with someone who watched even more TV and read even more comic books as a kid than I did! (10/8/13) – mp3
#8 – Episode 9 – Putting the “Pro” in Profanity – Jesse Sheidlower, editor-at-large for the Oxford English Dictionary and author/editor of The F-Word, talks about the shifting idea of “offensive” language, how one becomes a lexicographer, the OED’s digital challenge, the history of Jesse’s Word, and more! (4/30/13) – mp3
Check back tomorrow for lucky #7! Thank you to all my guests for the great conversation, and thank you, dear listeners, for each and every download! And have a great Christmas, if that’s your thing!
“Language is a proxy for our thoughts. And if you’re upset by something, it’s usually not the words but the underlying concept. We’re squeamish about sex, about excrement. We don’t like for our gods to be insulted. These are perfectly normal things to care about.”
Lexicographer Jesse Sheidlower joins us to talk about his work at the Oxford English Dictionary, the process of pitching The F-Word, how what we find offensive has changed over time, the ways words get into the language, the OED’s transition to digital, the roots of “dropping an F-bomb”, the value of kids’ texting habits, and the importance of hosting dinner parties and wearing fine suits. Plus, you get to listen to me obsess over word choices and still embarrass myself!
“Many things that people bring up as signaling the end of language as we know it tend to mean the exact opposite.”
Note: if you’re uptight or sensitive about F-words, N-words, or other “strong” language, don’t listen to this episode.
About our Guest
Jesse Sheidlower is currently the President of the American Dialect Society and Editor at Large (North America) of the Oxford English Dictionary, where he has been since 1999. His current responsibilities focus chiefly on the revision of American and Canadian entries for the OED. He is also the author of The F-Word, a detailed historical study of the word fuck. He has been profiled on the front page of The New York Times and on 60 Minutes, and New York Magazine has named him one of the 100 smartest people in New York. Before he joined the OED, he was an editor in the Random House Reference Department, specializing in slang and new words. While there he was also project editor of the Historical Dictionary of American Slang. For more information, visit jessesword.com.
Credits: This episode’s music is Word Up by Cameo. The conversation was recorded at Jesse’s home in NYC on a pair of AT2020 mics, feeding into a Zoom H4n recorder. I recorded the intro and outro on a Blue Yeti USB mic into Audacity. All editing and processing was done in Garage Band. Photo by Miss Scorpio.