Mon, 28 July 2014
Ron Rosenbaum returns to the show to talk about the new edition of his amazing book, Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil (Da Capo Press)! We talk Hitler, the meaning(s) of evil, determinism and free will, Hitler-as-artist vs. Hitler-as-suicide-bomber, "degenerate art," the tendency to blame Jews for their misfortune, and how internet culture has warped the meaning of Hitler in the 16 years since Ron's book was first published.
Direct download: Season_4_Episode_28_-_Re-Explaining_Hitler.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 8:50pm EDT
Mon, 21 July 2014
"It's said that the sources of writing are mysterious, but the sources of not writing are pathological."
Ron Slate spent more than two decades in the corporate world before returning to poetry and writing The Incentive of the Maggott, an award-winning collection praised by the likes of Robert Pinsky. We talk about his roots in poetry, how those "lost" years weren't so lost, what it's like to be the guy who sees things late, and how his life was forever changed when he saw Buddy Rich's teeth.
Direct download: Season_4_Episode_27_-_Buddy_Richs_Teeth_and_the_Corruption_of_Reality.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:23pm EDT
Tue, 15 July 2014
"Artistically, LA's a disaster. It's full of amazing stories. But as a city, it's not a city. Nobody but bus-drivers see the whole place."
Singer-songwriter, musician, inventor, dad, reader, and writer David Baerwald joins the show to talk about the ups and downs of his career in the music biz, his crazy family history, the perils of grafting personalities onto up-and-coming musicians, and why he doesn't trust happiness. We also talk about the Watchmen-like trail of destruction that followed Sheryl Crow's breakthrough album, why the drug business is notoriously filled with short-tempered people, how being a script analyst for a movie studio taught him how to write a song, and why he's a firm believer in the notion that to tell a big story, you have to tell a small one.
Direct download: Season_4_Episode_26_-_Fail_Better.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:40am EDT
Tue, 8 July 2014
Comedy legend Merrill Markoe joins The Virtual Memories Show to prove Christopher Hitchens wrong: women can be very funny! We talk about her career, helping launch Late Night with David Letterman, her opinions on today's late-night TV scene, the show she'd write for if she was starting out in TV now, her literary influences, her favorite cartoonists, and why Curly was the greatest of the Three Stooges!
Direct download: Season_4_Episode_25_-_Dogs_of_LA.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:09am EDT
Tue, 1 July 2014
How does a man go from being a ne'er-do-well in a Pennsylvania mining town to a tutor at St. John's College? Peter Kalkavage joins the show to talk about his path to that Great Books institution, what he's learned in his 38 years as a tutor, how he fell in love with the music program, what he learned from his study of Hegel, what he'd add to the St. John's curriculum, and more! (Also: Iliad or Odyssey?)
Direct download: Season_4_Episode_24_-_From_Billiards_to_Bach.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:21am EDT