The Virtual Memories Show

With her incredible new book, THE FURIES: Women, Vengeance, & Justice (Harper), journalist Elizabeth Flock explores the lives of three women who responded to violence with violence, and how they run up against the social institutions that seem designed to grind them down. We get into how the book grew from her interest in female vigilantes and her own experience of sexual violence, how she wound up reporting on the YPJ all-women army in Syria (but didn't tell her mom until a few days before flying out there), how we try to reconcile revenge and a just world, and how cultures of honor wreak havoc on women and men. We talk about how she balanced reporting with the near-mythic characters of some of her subjects, what she's learned over 15+ years in journalism (including how not to re-traumatize her subjects as they tell her their stories), the mind-body connection & how wrecked her body got by the time she finished writing this book, and how she went into this book starry-eyed and came away with a muddied picture. And we discuss how flexible podcasts are for journalistic storytelling, how women and men have responded to The Furies, what it was like reporting during the pandemic, guns & gun culture (& my embarrassing gun story), that time her dad took her to a murder scene when she was a kid (tbf, he was a journalist), having her first child a few months ago, whether things are getting a little better for women, and a lot more. Follow Liz on Twitter and Instagram • More info at our site • Support The Virtual Memories Show via Patreon or Paypal and via our e-newsletter

Direct download: Episode_574_-_Elizabeth_Flock.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:52pm EDT

Hey! Anything good on TV? No? Then listen to legendary film critic David Thomson as we discuss his amazing new book, REMOTELY: Travels in the Binge of TV (Yale University Press)! David & I get into how TV has changed and how it's changed us, the communal experience of going to the movies vs. sitting on the sofa, the ways his relationship with his wife deepened in front of the tube during lockdown (and why he gave her some of the best lines in Remotely), and the personal, political, & social implications of watching crap over a long period of time. We talk about falling into the stream of streaming, how advertising was the snake in American TV's garden, BBC's very strange exception for its licence fee, the courage in actually writing about what he's watching (even though Remotely isn't a critical guide), and what made Ozark special to him. We also discuss Clive James' transformation of TV criticism, the end of a golden age of TV, the importance of live sports events, the joy of seeing Barbie in a packed theater, how everything points to a world where no one is in charge, and a lot more. • More info at our site • Support The Virtual Memories Show via Patreon or Paypal and via our e-newsletter

Direct download: Episode_573_-_David_Thomson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:40am EDT

With his graphic novel, BLOOD OF THE VIRGIN (Pantheon), Sammy Harkham tells a story of personal and professional disintegration, against the backdrop of exploitation movies and the Iraqi Jewish diaspora in '70s L.A. We get into the obsessions and family lore that drove him to make the book, why it took him 14 years to complete it, what it means to focus on the 'novel' part of 'graphic novel', and how craft is always trying to catch up to ambition. We talk about the need to get past the cliches of the 'inside Hollywood' story, what he learned about his process over the course of making this book, why he didn't read the earlier chapters until he finished the story, and the John Steinbeck advice that got him over the finish line. We also discuss his comics upbringing, his thoughts on the late Joe Matt, the Jim Woodring panels that have haunted him for decades, the joyful anxiety of not knowing what his next project will be, and a lot more. Follow Sammy on Instagram • More info at our site • Support The Virtual Memories Show via Patreon or Paypal and via our e-newsletter

Direct download: Episode_572_-_Sammy_Harkham.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:26pm EDT

The great cartoonist and humorist Ed Subitzky gets his long-delayed due with the new collection, POOR HELPLESS COMICS! (New York Review Comics). We talk about Ed's amazing career at National Lampoon, how he developed his "can't draw' style after taking a cartooning class with RO Blechman & Charles Slackman A DOZEN TIMES, how the Rapidograph became his Excalibur, and why this collection includes some of his favorite prose pieces alongside all the comics. We get into how he began experimenting with the form & structure of comics, his lifelong curiosities for science and philosophy and how he wound up getting published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies, his longtime career writing direct marketing pieces, and how it took preparing this book and looking back at his work for him to realize his comics were really funny. • More info at our site • Support The Virtual Memories Show via Patreon or Paypal and via our e-newsletter

Direct download: Episode_571_-_Ed_Subitzky.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:05am EDT

Did you make a 2024 resolution to put down your phone? This week's guest might make you rethink that! Chris Silverman has been making gorgeous, weird, haunting artwork daily for more than 2 years, using only his iPhone's Notes app and his fingertips. We get into how #notesArt began, how it's evolved, what his drawing process is like, what it's been like to build an audience for his art, and how viewers bring their own meanings to his #notesArt. We talk about the challenges of keeping up a regular art practice (daily!), how upgrading to iOS17 jump-started his new creative phase, the artists and cartoonists who influence him, whether Undo is his friend or enemy, his fascination with traffic lights, empty buildings, and masks, and the subconscious burbling that gives birth to the images he draws. We also share our thoughts on mortality, authenticity and identity, what it means to share your art with the world, the pressure that comes when someone is watching, and a lot more! Follow Chris & #notesArt on Instagram, Mastodon, Glass, and at • More info at our site • Support The Virtual Memories Show via Patreon or Paypal and via our e-newsletter

Direct download: Episode_570_-_Chris_Silverman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:29pm EDT