My College Radio Application

Dear mom and dad,

I went to college from 1999-2003, where I lived, ate, breathed, and smoked college radio (WOBC-FM) all day every day. Then, with a year left, I dropped out to move to CA to work for a magazine. I worked there for the next eight years. Then I fell in love with a beautiful woman and she got a job in town, so I decided to follow her here and finish my B.A. To my intense delight and surprise, this makes me eligible for a show on [yr station]. When I dropped out of college, I cryogenically froze my radio show and now, eight years later, [cue music bed:] my beloved show is going into the industrial microwave on MEDIUM for 6-8 minutes and dragging itself through the halls of the academy once again!

My show (TITLE TK: “WEIRD OLD GUY?”) will be freeform radio at its finest, pushing into the red w/r/t innovation and FUN. Fun must never be sacrificed to innovation. And vice versa.

Music is the bedrock of the show, and I plan to make the most of [yr station]’s rock library, in addition to my extensive personal vinyl/CD/MPEG collection. The best rock — from oddities, novelties, classics, forgotten b-sides, to brand-new singles and previews of bands coming through town. But sprinkled throughout the music will be the true jewels of the show, the multiple talk-based segments. Possibilities include:

• “Walking the Line”
Each week, a different writer (from creative writing profs, to visiting poets, to MU poetry/fiction PhDs and even undergrads) brings in one line — a line of their own poetry, or their favorite poet’s, or a sentence from a novel, or from a piece of journalism, anything — just has to be one line of “literature” for us to discuss.

(Each of these segments will have its own musical intro. Maybe Grandmaster Flash’s “White Lines” for this first one? Or Johnny Cash, sure)

• “Comics Digest”

A weekly verbal recap of what happened this week in the comics page of the Missourian

ex: “It’s been a tough week for Lois of ‘Hi & Lois’; she’s been home with the measles and her little brother won’t leave her alone!” etc etc

• “Vibin’ with the City Council”

Each week I get a Columbia city councilperson on the phone (pre-recorded, most likely; I have a ZOOM H4N I can produce several of these segs in advance, but I’ll always cue and introduce them live) and ask: what’s the vibe of the city council like this week?

• deranged/brief Self-interviews; fake interviews with pre-recorded interlocutors

• I might try a recurring feature about being a 30 year old dude taking computer science with freshman; I will probably rip lots of samples from my DVD of Rodney Dangerfield’s Back to School for this (maybe rent Happy Madison, too…). Find other old undergrads and ask them about their lives, what it’s like here for them

• I have an MU football-related idea that I’ll only tell you if you give me a show with a legit timeslot

• Reviews (with field recordings) of frat party bands (!!!!!)

• as many opportunities for live call-in segments as possible (TBD)

• Guest singles (a guest — anyone from the dean of grad studies to that girl who works at Sparky’s brings in 5 singles and we play them and talk about them)

• tiny, hilarious 5-minute radio dramas

• even tinier, even more hilarious 2-minute radio dramas in foreign languages feat. students in various MU language departments

• Much, much more

• Seriously, so much more you have no idea

• And, as I mentioned above, all of these segs, some of which may happen every week, some once a month or so, will all be sprinkled like cherries and chopped nuts over the wide swath of whipped-creamy dark-chocolate sets of top-shelf weird/funky/great music. Wire, the Fall, Olivia Tremor Control, Pixies b-sides, Unrest, Big Dipper, Deerhoof, Beefheart, Squeeze, Elvis Costello, Sonic Youth, Truman the Tiger’s Drug-Hell Singers, Is That a Real Band?, That Would Be Amazing If So, Go Betweens, Soft Boys, Soft Machine, Soft Cell, Soft Bulletin, Don Cherry, Destroyer, Cluster, Tyvek, Essential Logic, Glasser, Wreckless Eric, Nick Lowe, Sparks, Magazine, Melvins, Cardigans, Acrylics, Pterodactl, Fela Kuti, R. Stevie Moore, et al!!!!

Please let me know if you have any questions. I love you.

Link to an Interesting Article About Twitter

SHOUTING INTERNET GUY: I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL EVERYONE LEAVES AND IT’S JUST ME IN THE OFFICE BLASTING STREAMING WEIRD INSTRUMENTAL HIP HOP AND MY TINY BOWL OF HONEY ROASTED CASHEWS RUNNETH OVER, WEARING A CRAZY WIG OF PAD THAI THAT FALLS INTO MY EYES, GCHATTING WITH MC PAUL BARMAN, GCHATTING with self-loathing people in New York who are not sad that JD Salinger is dead, who are not sad that Twitter wrongfully terminated a Jewish woman last night, who are not sad that a robotic cat raped a drawing of a mouse in plein air on 32nd St and Harrison in San Francisco that same night; these fuckers are unmoved by the outrageous story of all the caffeine in an unsteeped Earl Grey teabag deciding to GET HIGH USING A GRAVITY BONG, and then go back into the teabag, and then a toddler, only 3 years of old, ordered the tea from his Russian nanny, demanded tea, NANNY FETCH ME TEA, and so the Russian nanny dutifully steeped it, and served it, and the kid died, 86 years later, of natural causes. Nobody  is concerned that I’m not friends with Harmony Korine? That I have Dutch gentials with the brain of a Dane? That I sometimes dip articles from Harper’s into boiled water and watch them steep and then drink the tea while I read the leaves?

I’m glad Jessica Hopper was outraged by the new Vampire Weekend record. I think she’s a smart and funny writer. Martin Amis is, too, but that doesn’t mean JM Coetzee denies his readers the pleasure principle. I’m not fluent in Italian, French, German, or Swiss French. I’ve never brought a Swiss woman to climax. I’ve never denied the pleasure principle to JM Coetzee. He asks, and I tell. Every time. @moodygroovin is the darkest, dankest 140-character assassin on twitter. Every author who’s ever published a novel as a paperback original with FSG or Picador has at one point in print claimed that one needs to be a coffee-drinker in order to be a successful novelist, and each and every one of them is wrong. My fictional female alter ego, Beth Pails, drinks nothing but hot tea in greens and Grays and wrote a novel that Amis and Coetzee agreed could “only have been produced by the Internet and its attendant depravities.” It sold several, several copies. If I were a woman, I would have the body of a woman. Do you remember that time I paraphrased Steve Martin’s line from L.A. Story about how he would spend all day feeling himself up if he were a woman when we (you, the reader, and me, Bethany) were in seventh grade and Mrs. White was scandalized and I got in “pretty big” trouble?

One more paragraph: “I still like hip hop.” Of all your favorite living novelists under the age of 40, which do you think likes hip hop least? This is among the questions I’ll be asking tonight on a panel I’m moderating at the Garricks’ Library, 800 Valencia St, just kidding, 5:15 p.m. Appearing on the panel will be Cameron Stipené, Shellie Coup, and (I’m just kidding, 800 Valencia is the increasingly gourmet bodega on the corner) Lydia Brousserrie. $5 suggested donation. Enter through Rhea’s Deli.

The Passion According to B.M.

Benjamin Moser on “Why You Should Know Clarice Lispector”

Colm Tóibín, at a wedding in Italy, rushed up to me to proclaim his love for her, and said he would do “anything anything!” to get more people to read her. Orhan Pamuk, who had read “The Passion According to G.H.” in Turkish, confessed at breakfast in Stockholm one morning that he had been fascinated by her ever since. Guillermo Arriaga, a famous Mexican novelist and screenwriter, said that you can’t read Clarice Lispector without falling in love with her.

I’d recast this last sentence thusly: “Guillermo Arriaga, a famous Mexican novelist and screenwriter, RECENTLY said ON A HELI-SNOWBOARDING TRIP IN CHAMONIX WITH ME, ITALO CALVINO’S DAUGHTERS, AND GARY SHTEYNGART that you can’t read Clarice Lispector without falling in love with her.”

OK to make this change? Everything else looks great.




My work has appeart in Shit Furnace, Papal Nutsheath, The Crow’s Li’l Quarterly, Preen, Lobestone, Nepali Ice Review, Pindelyboz, Jamiroquai, Text of Whispers, bulsht, Webslingazz, Postal Mouth, The Meal, Ripyarns, Cambridge and You, Frowncake, Busty Feminist Review, Clamhouse, Ars Poetica, Hayden’s Ferry Review, McSweeney’s, Fence, BOMB, The Paris Review, Open City, The Quarterly, Genesis West, Titmouse Express, The East Bay Express, Nudity Furnace (UK), Black Clock, R: The Ron Howard Magazine, O: The Oprah Magazine, D: The Dean Stockwell Magazine, n+1, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Punch, Arthur, Tina, George, Macaulay, Der Spiegel, Der Spielberg, The New York Times Disney Magazine, Stone Soup, Scholastic, Newsweek, B: the Bette Midler Magazine, and work is forthcoming in Commentary

Brainstorming Session

SHANNON: Maybe we should have called this a barn-storming session!

[General laughter.]

SHANNON: [Cont] No but really, Jacob, you haven’t been updating the admin site, and we’ve all fallen behind because of your laziness. What’s been going on?

JACOB: Well, I stopped being a vegetarian, and it’s really thrown my digestion for a loop. I also started smoking pot again, pretty heavily, so I’m up all night twitching and watching Adult Swim and Hentai instead of sleeping. (Pot, as most of you know, gives me insomnia.) So that cuts into my productivity. Also, I eat so much food, all day every day, that I’m constantly lethargic — I never seem to be able to think. Updating the admin site sounds like a brainless task that even a pot-hungover, obese lethargio  could manage, but it’s tough — you have to gChat with the dB’s—

MARIANNE: The band?

JACOB: I wish. No, that’s my name for the off-site gatekeepers you have to gChat with in order to get anything done on the admin site.

MARI: Hmn! [She’s adorable, she knows it, I hate her?]

JACOB: Yeah.


JACOB: So that’s why.

SHANNON: [Cuts in, is self-conscious 100 percent of the time, I hate her, too, in a different way; do you guys watch that new show “Parks and Recreation”? Aziz Ansari is funny. Will you email me a link to your blog? I’d like to read it!] Well, it’s not an excuse. I’m concerned about you. You need to go to counseling.

JACOB: I have! I’ve been going!

SHANNON: Well, you need to go more.

JACOB: OK. I’ll start going twice a week.

SHANNON: Good. [Shuffles and ruffles little papers and cell-phones and e-books and shit] Last item on our agenda for today is: T-shirt ideas! We need a new round of T-shirts to sell in the store.

B: [That’s his name. “B.”] Today I was walking back to the office from lunch and I had a really intense desire to be wearing a black T-shirt, white lettering, “I hate myself.”


JACOB: Perfect.

SHANNON: In “Plays Well With Others” typewriter font?

B: Nah. Sans-serif, some dumb typeface you’d find out of the box in MS Outlook.

SHANNON: You’re brilliant. B., listen: You smoke weed every day, you eat more food than anyone I’ve ever seen, but your productivity is through the roof! What differentiates you from Jacob?

JACOB: You guys.……..

B: I can sleep when I’m stoned. I can get shit done. Jacob smokes pot to whip himself into a body-conscious frenzy. Dude is incapable of even watching a cartoon when he’s high. All he can do is br—-

JACOB: [Just joking around] Damn, B.!

[General laughter. Laughter subsides, the lights dim, and a film is projected on the meeting-room wall.]

NARRATOR: [Voice-over plays over clips of different whatever I hate you] There are a bunch of reviews out now of The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes (Pantheon, 552 pp., $40.00). This one was probably the clearest. I didn’t read this one yet, though I am “semifascinated” by the author’s blog(s). Benjamin Moser, the new “New Books” guy at Harper’s (taking over for John Leonard, 1940–2009) wrote about it. He also  just published a biography of Clarice Lispector, whose The Hour of the Star I just read because of Sheila Heti.

An interview with DOUGLAS PAUL TOBY

JONATHAN HUMMY, FILM CRITIC FOR THE NEW LONDON WEEKLY: How were you able to sustain a relationship with a beautiful woman while you were obese, gay, blind, rude, weak, fearful, and dumb?

DOUGLAS PAUL TOBY: It’s a wonderful question. I don’t know the answer. What can I say? I had a rich childhood, and it sustained me. Apart from the great flagons of pork, cheese, beef, bread, potatoes, and rice I regularly consumed, I practiced Green Ethics—I’m acutely conscious of the environment.

I’m also quite a funky poet—maybe she dug that? I don’t really know. I’m a terrific fusion violinist—in fact, I studied for many years with Jean-Luc Ponty.


But really, what can I say? Women are insane. Some of them like the fat ones, some prefer the dumb ones. Men are the same way. Hand them a flagon of beef, and a fortnight later, they’ll present you with an inverted nativity scene: the Jesus floats on top, while the posole residue, with all the salt and onionskins, is encrusted along the bottom of the pan.

JH: What?

PT: Call me Paul. I’m just riffing; don’t take it personally. Did you get enough to eat?

JH: We’re conducting this interview over email; I’ll feed myself. Do you drink much?

PT: I spend my days at my office job, longing for a drink. I spend my evenings pounding my beloved India Pale Ale–styled microbrews. That’s if  I’m with friends (such as they are); I take colossal, frowzy, pickled-egg mutant Bloody Maries when I’m alone. Which is quite often, at least until my sweet caramelized onion came along…

JH: You’re referring to Douglaseena, your first wife.

PT: Right.




Clubhouse — Keep Out!

Hey guys head’s up it’s come to my attention that there’s been another “Gamblesong Breach,” meaning that someone other than my best friend Parker is reading this blog. I don’t know how many times I need to post warnings like this but if you’re not Parker then please log out!! This is a private diary blog intended for the sole use of Parker and myself for us to talk about boys, food, sex, life, lit, litblog, Classics, music, rap, country, classical, art, djs, maps, legends, porn, buddhism, Christianity, obesity, childhood obesity epidemic, carpal tunnel syndrome, carpet kleener, chris ware’s genius, dan clowes’s, graphic novels, the nyt book review, the nyrb, salsa packets, drugs, lsd, “coke,” prevention, aids, safety, sanity (health), sanity (mental), sanity (like cleaning the house, chores), sports, disease, medicine, south america, brazil, spain, ‘splain (like “can you please explain what you mean”), sexual organs, other organs, “organ grinder” (heavy petting), organ grinder the real kind, carob chips, carob sauce, practice, perfect, makes, pampers, polvo, paper rad, pavement, paper rodeo, the anxiety of influence, the anxiety of affluence, the anxiety of marijuanafence, the anxiety of fraternies, egalites, libertes, the anxiety of “Writing,” the anxiety of Wine, wine is stupid, the anxiety of college, middle school, oceans, oceans 11, oceans 13, buncha other oceans, seaweed islands, li’l georgie clooney, li’l stevie soderbergh, li’l godardy, martha toomey, jazz, jazz-comedy, cecil taylor, cecil brown, cecil parker, everybody loves raymond, Dorothy Parker, James Baldwin, Hilton Als, everybody loves monopoly, everyone loves MoMA, Everybody Loves the Whitney (TV show), Marantz Mania, Kalup Linzey, BOMB magazine, Cabinet, Mildred’s Lane, I Ain’t Gonna Work on Mildred’s Lane No More (TV Show—IMDB link here), fame, Fame (film), A.D.D., Fripp, Eno, ADHD, MDMA, P.E.A.C.E., The A-Team, The B-Team, Cheerleaders’ denial of sex to the protagonist, The H-Team, Los Cranes, Zen Cranes, Zen Egrets, Zen cocks, Zen hens, zen henz, Theresa Heinz, Theresa “Mrs. 57” Heinz, Co-Ed Naked Field Hockey, “Here, let me help you out of  that ‘Co-Ed Naked Volleyball’ T-Shirt, cutie,” Swimming, Irony, Reed College, Barthelme, Barth, Beavis, Beefeatazz Feat. Old Purplonius, Ozomatli, Readerly Nudity, The Naked v. the Dead, Mailer v. Vollmann, Eggers v. Mailer, Didion v. Ephron, Spanikopita v. Kunkel, Gessen v. Arsenal, Hornby v. Frere-Jones, Ui v. Don Cab, Oxfard, Oxford, Oxferd, Oxfurd, Oxfird, Oxfyrd, Mr. Wonderful (film), Mr. Nice (link).