Sunday, December 22, 2013

Being truly free [with the help of Robots?]: 'Whatever You Wish' by Isaac Asimov

What the future holds: Plotting new systems of living in Vilcabamba, Ecuador
GardenofParadise.net
One of the interesting things about my time in South America is seeing people adopt realities that suit them. Travelers in general live lifestyles outside the norm but often times this is only a temporary endeavour. Because of its relatively low cost of living and the culture of lucha and revolution in South America, people all over the World come here to forge new lives.

A reality above the clouds
SacredSuenos.wordpress.com
Hippies trade their wares and perform their craft. Entrepreneurs and free spirits open Hostels and eateries. Dreamers start Eco Farms and assemble intentional communities. Retirees swarm to stretch their lifesavings or get a headstart in spending it. A few people are even escaping governments they feel are on a downward slide.

You can't help but ponder what it would be like if everyone had the means to create their ideal future. If everyone had the time, money and access to pursue their longheld dreams. Whilst in Quito, Ecuador crashing with a lovely couple and their newborn I read 'Robot Visions' by Isaac Asimov. A collection of short stories and essays envisioning our possible future with Robots. It provided an insight into what that utopia might look like:

Will future generations live in a Utopia made possible by Robots?
'Whatever You Wish' by Isaac Asimov
What about the majority of the human species in this automated future? What about those who don't have the ability or the desire to work at the professions of the future—or for whom there is no room in those professions? It may be that most people will have nothing to do of what we think of as work nowadays.

This could be a frightening thought. What will people do without work? Won't they sit around and be bored; or worse, become unstable or even vicious? The saying is that Satan finds mischief still for idle hands to do.

But we judge from the situation that has existed till now, a situation in which people are left to themselves to rot.

Consider that there have been times in history when an aristocracy lived in idleness off the backs of flesh-and-blood machines called slaves or serfs or peasants. When such a situation was combined with a high culture, however, aristocrats used their leisure to become educated in literature, the arts, and philosophy. Such studies were not useful for work, but they occupied the mind, made for interesting conversation and an enjoyable life.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Exploring Worlds in life and in Video Games - The Indoor Kids #59: Why we Play, with Pete Holmes

This world is "Super"
Funnyman Pete Holmes in a discussion with the Indoor Kids' Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon describe the appeal of Videogames. The liberty and achievement found in them that isn't always as accessible in real life.
The Indoor Kids #59: Why we Play, with Pete Holmes
EMILY GORDON: (28m 22s) When you're a kid there's so little you have control over... when I was a kid playing games part of it was that I got to exert control over a world because in this world I was a f*cking kid. I had no control whatsoever. And the older you get and the more control you have, you're just using the knowledge you have. "I can f*ck this up"
KUMAIL NANJIANI: And you trying to f*ck it up it is the ultimate expression of control. Like you're now even trying to control the boundaries of the game and get outside it.
What are we waiting for?
Travel to me is taking the time to discover the wonders the world has to offer. Exploring the many people, cultures and landscapes.
PETE HOLMES: (24m 38) Kids get more excited about how is this game going to be made, or what details and Easter Eggs are they going to put into the game... when I was kid I wanted to take it apart... let me give you an example because I'm not being very clear... everytime I got a new Sonic game the first thing I would do was start the level and then have Sonic stand still
KUMAIL: Oh yes so he could do the things, tap his foot, look at his watch
EMILY: Cause you feel like somehow its a communication between you and the people who made the game... what did they think of to thwart what you were thinking of
KUMAIL: So that's interesting for you its more of a dialogue between the makers and not what's inside the world. You're trying to sort of, in a way break the game but just sort of see what the boundaries of what they've thought of are
Let's go out there F*ck shit up
In my travels I'll walk around aimlessly looking for things that pique my interest. I never found the appeal of guide books, preferring just to stumble onto things or take suggestion from others. Better yet ego-tripping with new running mates.
PETE: (30m 07s) Everytime I get Grand Theft Auto and I start from the beginning [I like to play the story] but then I'll try to go to parts of the island you're not suppose to because I want to see what happens
EMILY: and there's always a Police Line or something really stupid set up
KUMAIL: and you know what's really awesome, if you find a place that you're not suppose to get to and when you get there, there's like a little message on the wall and you're like "You knew I'd be looking for this. You win this one"
Other posts on "Life as a Video Game"
- Dan Harmon and Duncan Trussell: We are in a simulation echo. God was originally a mortal programmer who "sacrificed himself as a player"
- Exploring Worlds in life and in Video Games - The Indoor Kids #59: Why we Play, with Pete Holmes
- Onnit Blog: Self Improvement in Video Games VS the "Real World"
- Kumail Nanjiani and Pete Holmes talk about "affecting the world TODAY"
- Skateboarders GoPro Train Derailment aftermath - 'Strange Days' visceral experience
- On being a Badass: Comedians Harland Williams and Pete Holmes featuring band 'Biting Elbows'

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Technology VS Human instinct: From Inuits in Northern Canada to Jungle Guides in the Amazon

All Can Be Lost: The Risk of Putting Our Knowledge in the Hands of Machines 
The hunters’ ability to navigate vast stretches of the barren Arctic terrain, where landmarks are few, snow formations are in constant flux, and trails disappear overnight, has amazed explorers and scientists for centuries. The Inuit’s extraordinary way-finding skills are born not of technological prowess—they long eschewed maps and compasses—but of a profound understanding of winds, snowdrift patterns, animal behavior, stars, and tides.
Spending a few nights in the Amazonas I was mightily impressed by our Ecuadorian guide. I'm fascinated by human intuition and curious about the effects technology has had on our natural instincts and abilities. With his experience in the jungle and routine habits formed in a job, our guide was able to spot monkeys, frogs and tiny mushrooms with ease in the dense forest.

One of his most incredible feats was to steer the boat in pitch black darkness for 15 minutes after a night hike. I told him I'd recently read an article in 'The Atlantic' that referenced the astounding prowess of Inuit tribes and how recent forays using modern technology like GPS had dulled their abilities.

I quizzed him on his approach and how he viewed his own skill navigating the waters blind. He replied "To me, its just like a Video Game".
Like this. Except in pitch black.
All Can Be Lost: The Risk of Putting Our Knowledge in the Hands of Machines 
Whether it’s a pilot on a flight deck, a doctor in an examination room, or an Inuit hunter on an ice floe, knowing demands doing. One of the most remarkable things about us is also one of the easiest to overlook: each time we collide with the real, we deepen our understanding of the world and become more fully a part of it. While we’re wrestling with a difficult task, we may be motivated by an anticipation of the ends of our labor, but it’s the work itself—the means—that makes us who we are. Computer automation severs the ends from the means. It makes getting what we want easier, but it distances us from the work of knowing. As we transform ourselves into creatures of the screen, we face an existential question: Does our essence still lie in what we know, or are we now content to be defined by what we want? If we don’t grapple with that question ourselves, our gadgets will be happy to answer it for us.
- Comedians Pete Holmes and Eddie Pepitone on the phone as a "Life Companion"
- Comedian Louis C.K. on what Smartphones are taking away

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

National Geographic: The Japanese perspective on aging and happiness

Ecuador is an intriguing place, easily the most striking Country I've seen. A place you truly believe you could relocate too. You'll find many others have had the same idea and followed through. From retirees and escapees to young hippies and entrepreneurs. One of the perks of these settlements are the fancy eateries and artesan spaces that crop up for a fraction of the cost back home.

I found this rasta joint in Baños with some old school National Geographic's for table reading.

Vintage 'National Geographic' magazines at Afro Caribbean joint in Baños, Ecuador
National Geographic, January 1994
Kyushu: Japan's Southern Gateway
"Life is more comfortable than when I was growing up," he said, as we watched the sun dip behind the emerald hills that bordered his rice fields. But he added mischievously: "Too bad people have become so boring".

"Our village has a big electronics plant here now employing 1,200 people" he explained. "Golf courses are popping up, and we've got plenty of tax money rolling. But something's missing. The young people stumble around with a dazed look on their faces". The old folks, whose stories of village life were once the riveting source of entertainment and wisdom, can't compete with MTV...

Nowadays, the old folks watch Game Shows on TV. What good is long life asks Yoshihiro, if it ends in loneliness and boredom?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Comedian Louis C.K. on what Smartphones are taking away

I celebrated my birthday alone in Rio de Janeiro because of a mixup connecting with one of the few people I knew in the city. It was partly because I didn't have a phone. There was a melancholy to the day but stumbling onto this video that night really cheered me up.
I got to hang with my buddies the day after. All's well that ends well.

VIDEO: Louis C.K. Hates Cell Phones  
Louis C.K.'s Explanation of Why He Hates Smartphones Is Sad, Brilliant
You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. That's what the phones are taking away, is the ability to just sit there. That's being a person. Because underneath everything in your life there is that thing, that empty—forever empty. That knowledge that it's all for nothing and that you're alone. It's down there.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

16-Year-Old Malala Yousafzai's message on the 'Daily Show': "That's what I want to tell you, now do what you want"

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
Malala Yousafzai delivered a powerful message on the 'Daily Show', the Pakistani teen shot in the head by a Taliban soldier in 2012 when she was only 14. An advocate for education and women's rights, she has released a memoir co-written with veteran journalist Christina Lamb. A book the 'Washington Post' says should be read "not only for its vivid drama but for its urgent message about the untapped power of girls."

VIDEO: 'The Daily Show' Extended Interview - Malala Yousafzai
'The Daily Show' (September 2013)
MALALA YOUSAFZAI: I started thinking about that, and I used to think that the Talib would come, and he would just kill me. But then I said, 'If he comes, what would you do Malala?' then I would reply to myself, 'Malala, just take a shoe and hit him.' But then I said, 'If you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others with cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education.' Then I said I will tell him how important education is and that 'I even want education for your children as well.' And I will tell him, 'That's what I want to tell you, now do what you want.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Apollo Robbins, master pickpocket featured in the New Yorker

I've often wondered why the things I'm most fascinated by are the things I should be most fearful of. I've always been drawn to charisma, psychology and manipulation. My most memorable encounter with it in real life was in Istanbul, Turkey when I was exposed to the "Clip Joint" scam. Now that I've been in South America a few months I've been alert to pickpockets. So far only the sauce scam has been attempted on me;

I'd seen Apollo Robbins on one of my favorite shows, 'Brain Games' with Jason Silva but had never heard his full story until I found this interesting New Yorker article in a Porto Alegre hostel.

VIDEO: Apollo Robbins, The Master Pickpocket: Tricks of the Trade
A PICKPOCKET’S TALE: The spectacular thefts of Apollo Robbins
by Adam Green for The New Yorker
Recently, psychiatrists, neuroscientists, and the military have studied his methods for what they reveal about the nature of human attention. Teller, a good friend of Robbins’s, believes that widespread recognition is only a matter of time. “The popularity of crime as a sort of romantic thing in America is profoundly significant, and Apollo is tapping into that,” he told me. “If you think about it, magic itself has many of the hallmarks of criminal activity: You lie, you cheat, you try not to get caught—but it’s on a stage, it has a proscenium around it. When Apollo walks onstage, there’s a sense that he might have one foot outside the proscenium. He takes a low crime and turns it into an art form.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Comedian Pete Holmes on the "Cosmic Joke"

"They understand the cosmic joke which is the idea that everything is kind of funny. Like everything that happens is a little bit funny just by the virtue of it happening. And some people get that and some people are like ”No, The Cosby Show is on at 8:30”. You know what I mean, they just get it. They accept the world as it is."
- 'You Made it Weird' with Pete Holmes: Episode 177 - Tig Notaro

Friday, September 13, 2013

"By doing interesting things" excerpt from 'How to be single' by Liz Tuccillo

Found this interesting excerpt on a bookshelf at a Backpacker's in Rosario, Argentina. You can almost imagine the type of solo traveler that would have brought this book for their journey. I've definitely felt pangs of this in my solo adventures abroad and at home.

'How to Be Single: A Novel' by Liz Tuccillo
Excerpt from 'How to Be Single' (USA Today)
"By staying busy. By doing interesting things. I kayak in the Hudson, rock climb at Chelsea Piers, take carpentry classes at Home Depot, which you should totally do with me, by the way, I made an amazing cabinet, and I'm also thinking about taking this sailing course at the South Street Seaport. I'm keeping busy doing things I find interesting, so that I can trick myself into forgetting that I'm really just trying to look for guys. Because you can't look desperate. That's the worst."

As she is telling people this, she often comes across as a little deranged, particularly because she's usually chain-popping Tums as she says all this. Her indigestion problems stem, I believe, from a little acid reflux condition called "I'm terrified of being alone."
The book was written by Liz Tuccillo who co-authored the runaway phenomenon 'He's Just Not That Into You' with comedian Greg Behrendt.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

"The most important things are the hardest to say". The trouble with language

The language barrier has been tough in South America, truth be told I'm enjoying the challenge also. Ultimately though "words are inert"



Waking Life (2001)
KIM KRIZAN: Creation seems to come out of imperfection. It seems to come out of a striving and a frustration. This is where, I think, language came from. I mean, it came from our desire to transcend our isolation and have some sort of connection with one another...
I found an excerpt of this quote in a bookstore in Germany at the start of my EuroTrip in 2011. It's always stuck with me. Didn't realise how awesome it was in full.
“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them -- words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear.”
- Stephen King, 'Different Seasons'
It captures the feeling I have when I can't quite impart the experiences I've had traveling and partly why I don't bother so much with photos.

Sourced from amigo: 'Nada en Realidad' Tumblr
It's why I take stock in living in the moment and valuing the fact experience is felt in the bones.

- When words fail: Language and Connection in South America
- 'Loz in Transit' on the radio: Talking 'Waking Life' and existentialism

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Francesca Borri on the disconnect in realities, at war and in peace

A brilliant existential piece by Italian freelance journalist Francesca Borri, describing the disconnect between the frontlines and the other ugencies of our comfortable realities.

Francesca Borri: The twisted reality of an Italian freelancer in Syria
Woman’s work
He finally wrote to me. After more than a year of freelancing for him, during which I contracted typhoid fever and was shot in the knee, my editor watched the news, thought I was among the Italian journalists who’d been kidnapped, and sent me an email that said: "Should you get a connection, could you tweet your detention?" 

That same day, I returned in the evening to a rebel base where I was staying in the middle of the hell that is Aleppo, and amid the dust and the hunger and the fear, I hoped to find a friend, a kind word, a hug. Instead, I found only another email from Clara, who’s spending her holidays at my home in Italy. She’s already sent me eight "Urgent!" messages. Today she’s looking for my spa badge, so she can enter for free. The rest of the messages in my inbox were like this one: "Brilliant piece today; brilliant like your book on Iraq." Unfortunately, my book wasn’t on Iraq, but on Kosovo.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Rhe Dogg and Stephen Fry: Living the life and being unhappy

Our minds our powerful and our existential weight can be immense if we ponder it. Below is a fascinating look at depression as elucidated by Stephen Fry:
Only the Lonely
But I can still be sad. Perhaps you might go to my tumblr page and see what Bertrand Russell wrote about his abiding passions (it’s the last section of the page). I can be sad for the same reason he was, though I do so much less about it than that great man did. But I can be sad for personal reasons because I am often forlorn, unhappy and lonely. These are qualities all humans suffer from and do not qualify (except in their worst extremes) as mental illnesses.

 Lonely? I get invitation cards through the post almost every day. I shall be in the Royal Box at Wimbledon and I have serious and generous offers from friends asking me to join them in the South of France, Italy, Sicily, South Africa, British Columbia and America this summer. I have two months to start a book before I go off to Broadway for a run of Twelfth Night there.

 I can read back that last sentence and see that, bipolar or not, if I’m under treatment and not actually depressed, what the fuck right do I have to be lonely, unhappy or forlorn? I don’t have the right... 
 Nothing captures existential angst as beautifully as Rhe Dogg’s ’Why must I cry’

 VIDEO: "Why Must I Cry" Tosh.0 Remix

Monday, July 1, 2013

F*Yesta: 6 Months in South America

'Loz in Transit' goes to South America
My next Adventure will be a jaunt around South America with a projected return after 6 months. Dubbed the "F*Yesta" it will be a continuation of the YesMan spirit that carried me through the last few years in Australia and Europe. Whilst over there I'll be musing on my travels, finding Basketball experiences and recording podcasts.

- About 'Loz in Transit'
- My Basketball mission in Venezuela

Monday, June 24, 2013

"What does it all mean?": My little Sister has the answer for the meaning of life

VIDEO: Austin Powers "Whoopty Do, What does it all mean?"

I have this running joke where I'll ask existential questions to people close to me who have no clue or couldn't care less. Its usually targeted to the dog or my little sister, its often during reality TV. "What are we doing?", "What does it all mean?" said in the most pained manner. Its futile and pretty irritating which is why I think its funny.

I bust a gut when I found this in my Christmas Card from my little sister:
To my darling older brother,
I know what the answer is,
Life is being an idiot and doing whatever you want,
keep it up you have been doing it for 32 years...
She gave me $100 and the hits kept coming with this knowing proviso
P.S
Love you bro and please
don't gamble this money.
Please use this to buy an iPhone or laptop

Monday, June 10, 2013

Searchlab Lecture: Richard Linklater talking about being at peace with your art

VIDEO: Richard Linklater - Searchlab Lecture (Part 2)
RICHARD LINKLATER: (17m 30s) Sometimes it connects and sometimes it doesn't but you have to make your peace. If you're not doing it for that reason anyway you can look at it philosophically if it doesn't... I made it for a $100, 000. I had a good experience and I want it to be a hit too. You're reward is the work, you've got to make peace with your movie. The last time you watch it on your own... inevitably you'll be with your whole film alone. That's your best screening. Right then, right there. Make your peace with it before anyone else sees it. Know what you think about it. This is what I got out of it. This is what I learnt, here's I'm a better person for this. I met so many great people. I articulated this story I've been thinking about for 10 years, 20 years or 3 months or whatever. This is a gift... Just be thankful that you gotta to do it and if it hooks up with the public, you can move forward and incorporate it in your life. If it made a lot of money it doesn't make it a better movie, and if it doesn't make money its doesn't make it a worse movie. But Hollywood will always judge it that way, at least for a three year period I've found.

I've made movies that tank and I've noticed people treating it like it was a success years later. That's good, that just means they liked it or that its real life has emerged. That it was quality or there was something that people ultimately responded to...
Find other posts that reference Richard Linklater
- 'Loz in Transit' on the radio: Talking 'Waking Life' and existentialism
- Searchlab Lecture: Richard Linklater talking about being at peace with your art
- Home Movies: 'Before Sunrise' - "I've never been anywhere" quote
Anticipation for 'Before Midnight' and why 'Before Sunrise' is my favorite movie (No Spoilers)
Anticipation for 'Boyhood' and why Richard Linklater is my favorite director
How the Movie of our life ends: Linklater's film 'BoyHood' and Duncan Watts' book 'Everything is Obvious'

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sylvester Stallone on Rocky's celebration: Freezing the moment of ecstacy

VIDEO: The Rocky Story by Sly Stallone (3 of 4)
SYLVESTER STALLONE: (4m 22s) Wouldn't it be interesting to catch a man's moment, a man's life at the quintessential, seminal moment... I thought wouldn't it be interesting, the first thing Rocky says when she [love interest, Adrian] comes into the ring is "Where's your hat?". I mean he's so into her and the way she looks that he doesn't care that he's eyes are swollen shut, he's hands are smashed and he's done the greatest thing in his life. He doesn't say "look at me"...

The visuals are working, the sound is working the body movement is coming together at this absolute peak and right there when I embrace her... we froze right at the single frame where he is looking elated and has her in his arms. There's this look of ecstasy and the next frame it just deflated. There it is from that moment on its all downhill, how we all hit this absolute maximum of elation and celebration and it can only be sustained for an infinitesimal moment in time. And if you can just imagine how great it would be to freeze that moment...
Sylvester Stallone is unfairly maligned as an oaf. Betrayed by his beefcake appearance and slurred speech, he's overlooked as the artist he truly is. Which only makes 'Rocky', the film he wrote and starred in, 'Rocky' (1976) all the more poetic as it mirrors his own underdog life.
'Rocky' (1979): Leading Actor and Writer, Sylvester Stallone. Directed by John G. Avildsen
In this talking heads special feature found in the Rocky Box set, Sly talks about the pinnacle of life, the moments of glory that forever define us and our future potential.

- When fireworks underwhelm: Returned Soldier Kyle Wilson and Comedian Pete Holmes "feel nothing"

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Comedians Jack Druce and Michael Hing talk about "Life as a movie"

As a movie buff and someone who revels in imagination, I'm an advocate for viewing life through the prism of Movies or Video Games. I've related travel feelings through Movie Tropes and have often used Cinema as a measuring stick for my life. Joseph Campbell articulated this best but its worth noting that we've been bombarded by more engrossing media since his time.

VIDEO: Joseph Campbell - Myth As the Mirror for the Ego
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Well the ego can't reflect upon itself unless it has a mirror against which to read itself and that mirror would be the Mythological schedule that lets it know where it is...
Australian Comedians Jack Druce and Michael Hing touch on the idea of 'Life as a Movie' and the issue of Reality Inversion.
The Druce and Hing Podcast: 54 - Wolf The Movie 3D!
MICHAEL HING: (1h 3m) Presumably a lot of screenwriters and stuff are themselves dorky writer nerds who are writing stories about themselves as we all would. And in the film of the life that they're writing of course they get the girl. And so you grow up thinking that people will find this thing charming... the thing is that's not how life works. Because if that was how life worked then that movie would be very boring and their would be no element of interest or intrigue to it.

It'd just be like "Here's 90 minutes that have been directly captured from how things happen" as opposed to "This is an actual Million Dollar fantasy, not only could we not find this anywhere in the world. We had to hire actors and pay people to write this story where this series of events happened because it would never happen in real life. And now you will pay money to experience this because you know it would never happen as well"
Jack makes a great point that no matter how visceral an experience is delivered, we can never truly embody the feeling and thoughts of another person.
JACK DRUCE: (55m 50s) People in movies they're just doing stuff, you don't know what they're thinking. So when you're doing stuff you're thinking "this sucks I'm really bad at this". You don't know if people in movies are thinking like that or not. They could be. You don't know if that's in stories, you don't know whats in their heads at that time so you think you're doing it wrong. Because well I'm doing this thing and I'm in my head thinking it sucks and that's not how culture and stories have told me how people do stuff.
- Find the 'Druce and Hing Podcast' on iTunes or on Michael Hing's Libsyn page

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Duncan Trussell and Natasha Leggero talk about "Knowing" and "feeling what others feel"

Episode 68: Natasha Leggero with Duncan Trussell
Former Romantic and Podcast partners Natasha Leggero and Duncan Trussell discuss empathy. Duncan has been through some trying times with a Cancer diagnosis and the passing of his mother in recent months.
Duncan Trussell Family Hour - Episode 68: Natasha Leggero
DUNCAN TRUSSELL: It makes you feel human that's for sure. Yeah it makes you feel like you're a part of something. Like it makes you feel real. That feels good. Feeling real feels good and then it makes you feel like everything you've said before it was stupid. Like ugghh what was I even talking about? You don't even know and then you feel all judgmental because now you're saying that anyone who's parents haven't died "They don't know". But in a way you don't. Its kinda the same thing people say about having a baby. They're like "You just don't know".
NATASHA LEGGERO: I would just like to know that feeling for two seconds. Is it really that great?
TRUSSELL: Having a baby?
LEGGERO: Yeah you know like when everyone's saying "You don't know". We'll I'd like to feel what you feel cuz I probably already feel that from doing my thing
Other posts on empathy and knowing
- Traveling, living the dream and remembering it - The nostalgia for Wonderland and Muscle memory
Actor, Writer and Traveler Mike White speaks to Marc Maron about Adventure

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Skateboarders GoPro Train Derailment aftermath - 'Strange Days' visceral experience

VIDEO: 'Strange Days' (1995) Theatrical Trailer
'Strange Days' (1995)
LENNY NERO: Have you ever jacked in. Have you ever wire-tripped?... This is not "like TV only better". This is life, this is a piece of somebody's life. It's about the stuff you can't have right? The forbidden fruit. Straight from the cerebral cortex, you're there, you're doing it. You're feeling it.... Are you beginning to see the possibilities here? 
I mentioned Kathryn Bigelow's 'Strange Days' featuring a Badass GoPro short film. This is dramatically realer as some Skateboard kids stumble on a massive train derailment in Bridgeport, Connecticut. They walk through the aftermath and film their reactions as it unfolds. Thankfully there were no fatalities. The scene recalls another movie, J.J Abrams' 'Super 8'. In fact if that movie were set in modern times it would no doubt be called 'Go Pro'.
Super 8 (2011)
In the summer of 1979, a group of friends in a small Ohio town witness a catastrophic train crash
while making a super 8 movie and soon suspect that it was not an accident.
Passengers bloodied after trains derail, collide in southwest Connecticut
(CNN) -- Two Metro-North passenger trains heading in opposite directions collided during rush hour Friday evening in southwestern Connecticut, damaging both trains and leaving dozens injured -- some of them critically -- authorities said.

A train heading from New Haven to New York City derailed around 6:10 p.m., hitting the other train in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Metro-North spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said. That caused some cars on the second train, which was destined for New Haven, to likewise leave the tracks.
VIDEO: MTA (Metro North) Crash, RAW Footage 
Other posts on "Life as a Video Game"
- Dan Harmon and Duncan Trussell: We are in a simulation echo. God was originally a mortal programmer who "sacrificed himself as a player"
- Exploring Worlds in life and in Video Games - The Indoor Kids #59: Why we Play, with Pete Holmes
- Onnit Blog: Self Improvement in Video Games VS the "Real World"
- Kumail Nanjiani and Pete Holmes talk about "affecting the world TODAY"
- Skateboarders GoPro Train Derailment aftermath - 'Strange Days' visceral experience
- On being a Badass: Comedians Harland Williams and Pete Holmes featuring band 'Biting Elbows'

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Transcript: Daft Punk Collaborator Pharrell Williams on connections and multiverses

VIDEO: Daft Punk | Random Access Memories | The Collaborators: Pharrell Williams

On Connections
PHARRELL WILLIAMS: When I heard 'Get Lucky' it just reminded me of some kind of exotic island. I don't know if it was on this planet or not. It just felt like this place where it was forever 4 in the morning...
It's like being in that world, the only thing that matters is that you've met this girl at this party. Getting lucky is not just sleeping with her but meeting someone for the first time and it just clicking. There's no better fortune than this existence to me...
Pharrell Williams: Exotic island forever 4 am
On multiverses
Somewhere outside the ether we exist in is a multitude of realms of possibility and alternate directions and I think they went into those libraries and dusted off those things. Its kinda like mid 70s, early 80s of a different universe and dimension. Not of this one. It couldn't have come in a better year. Its 2013 where everything is completely different.

Things are not in a box in the way that they used to be and if they are its kinda like the corniest thing ever "Please don't talk to me. I don't want to catch your mentality". That's what this music is to me. This music represents the freedom of all human beings

Sunday, May 5, 2013

When fireworks underwhelm: Returned Soldier Kyle Wilson and Comedian Pete Holmes "feel nothing"

A friend of mine was explaining the closing scenes of movie 'Blue Valentine' (2010) on the theme "Love ends". She described how the final shot was of the lead couple enjoying a fireworks display with a montage of the early stages of their relationship overlayed.
The friend she watched it with posed the question "Why do you think the filmmaker did that?". Stumped, he replied "Its a metaphor for love".
Cue awkward collar pulls.

aaaawkward 
Its part of the human experience for feelings to wane, guess the trick is not be defeated by it. Below are two pieces I've enjoyed in past weeks which touch on fireworks and passion.

'Hack' is a Current Affairs show on National Youth Broadcaster, Triple J. During ANZAC week they covered several stories on the human toll of War. Featured heavily was 22 year old Kyle Wilson, a returned soldier returning from the Afghan theatre. He explains to Alex Mann his feelings of ennui at home after so much adrenalin abroad.
Hack: Wednesday 24th April
KYLE WILSON: (6m 40s) When I got back people used to be like, let's go watch the fireworks but fireworks bore me to tell you the truth
ALEX MANN (voiceover): The common theme for all three guys is the intensity of the experience and the emotion they shared with their mates when serving. Kyle says that now he's home, nothing else seems to measure up
WILSON: I miss Afghanistan so much. I miss the mates I was with and I miss the fighting aspect of it. But it also comes with a lot of downers as well but I'll always miss that feeling. I'm sure every soldier who's been through that experience listening right now will be saying the exact same thing. They miss that Adrenalin rush.
I had the pleasure of trekking south to Melbourne to see Pete Holmes perform in Australia for the first time. I got to hear this joke live. In conversation with running mate Comedian Eddie Pepitone he explains the origin of the fireworks joke during a joint day at the zoo.
'You Made it Weird' with Pete Holmes: Episode 143 - Eddie Pepitone
HOLMES: (11m 30s) ... Sometimes you'll have the greatest day in the world and you'll just be like "But I just don't feel great"
PEPITONE: Its like what you said in Australia which I love. Pete did this thing in Australia where he went to see Koalas and he told the audience that night - "I saw Koalas, I felt nothing".
room laughs
and I found that the funniest thing because my wife was all over me - "You gotta see the Koalas, You gotta see the Koalas".
HOLMES: The actual line which you loved so much was, I do say "I felt nothing". But the opener was "You ever look at something and wish that it meant more". And that's how I feel when I look at fireworks
PEPITONE: Haha fireworks too
HOLMES: Fireworks are one of those things that when you look at the colors in the sky and you're like eerrrrrrr...
PEPITONE: Its just a great metaphor, its just a a great way to talk about what I'm talking about. I thought that success (not that I'm a major success), I thought success would be - End of all Problems! but that never ends...
Watch Pete deliver the observation at the 'Festival Club' for the Melbourne Comedy Festival

VIDEO: Pete Holmes - ABC2 Comedy Up Late

Find more posts on "losing a feeling":
- Read more about the "Hero's Journey" (aka The Monomyth)
- Coming Home from a year abroad. Reverse Culture shock and beating the travel Blues: The Hurt Locker (2008)
- Comedian Pete Holmes on adjacent experiences: Conversations relating to Travel, dreams and life
- Argentina observations: Do you really want to live forever young?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Other people's stories - Tales of: Living in the moment

<< crossposted on the '30HomeGames' blog

On my return to Germany, I had a thought-provoking stay CouchSurfing in Düsseldorf. My host, 'German P*' was an avid poker player and Philosophy student with an impressive collection of books. Some I owned and some I'd been reading. Most interesting was the literature he had on Zen, it informed his Poker play and extended to his approach to life. As I've been on a mission to have a basketball experience around Europe, I was naturally drawn to his copy of 'Sacred Hoops'. A book by basketball Living Legend and famed Zen Master Phil Jackson, best known for coaching two of the greatest competitors and champions in Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

When in motion I prefer not to use a map. I enjoy feeling my way through, come what may. On the occasion I've had a running mate, I've found myself annoyed when they've depended heavily on GPS navigation and maps even though I know its entirely well meaning. You could say its a pet peeve. I've often wondered why it aggravated me so, this passage from Jackson's book shed some light:
I find it amusing when people ask me where I get my ideas for motivating players. The answer is: in the moment. My approach to problem-solving is the same as my approach to the game. When a problem arises, I try to read the situation as accurately as possible and respond simultaneously to whatever's happening
I realised I enjoy being in the moment, to be tested by it. I learnt several things during my stay with P*. With his perspective as a poker player and student, we had many discussions on the subject of gambling, life and the way we think (human behaviour and personal beliefs). What I came to appreciate was the importance of "living in the moment", particularly poignant as the year closes and my journey wraps up. Not only to look back and reflect but to also feel "present" inspite of the complacency and distraction that can overwhelm during eventful times.

With that I present to you this edition of Other People's Stories - Tales of: living in the moment:

VIDEO: Marc Maron talks to Norm Macdonald about his gambling problem

This podcast conversation on gambling resonated with me when I heard it months ago. I shared it with P* as I felt it was relevant to our discussion
WTF with Marc Maron Podcast: Episode 219 - Norm Macdonald
NORM MACDONALD: The only time I went to a psychiatrist was for gambling, cuz how do I get the f*ck out of this. He said "the reason you gamble is to avoid life". My thing was "Isn't that why you do anything in life? To f*cking avoid it"
MARC MARON: (agreeing) It's just too painful
MACDONALD: ...you just lose by uh, its just like any escape... When I watch a game and I've got a bunch of money on it then I can understand what's going on. There's nothing ambivalent about what's going...
MARON: (adding) and there's stakes
MACDONALD: and there's stakes. You know exactly the rules. You're completely involved. You're completely escaped from your life. The real, real fear...
----------------------------------------------

sacred hoops, phil jacksonI devoured this book as soon as I found it on P*'s bookshelf. He suggested 'A New Earth' (Eckhart Tolle, 2007) was more relevant to me, I felt that with my 30HomeGames mission choosing the basketball book was a no-brainer
Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior
This is a book about a vision and a dream. When I was named head coach of the Chicago Bulls in 1989, my dream was not just to win championships, but to do it in a way that wove together my two greatest passions: basketball and spiritual exploration.

On the surface this may sound like a crazy idea, but intuitively I sensed that there was a link between spirit and sport. Besides, winning at any cost didn't interest me. From my years as a member of the championship New York Knicks, I'd already learned that winning is ephemeral. Yes, victory is sweet, but it doesn't necessarily make life easier the next season or even that day. After the cheering crowds disperse and the last bottle of champagne is drained, you have to return to the battlefield and start all over again.

In basketball as in life true joy comes from being fully present in each and every moment, not just when things are going your way. Of course, it's no accident that things are more likely to go your way when you stop worrying about whether you're going to win or lose and focus your full attention on what's happening right this moment
...
Life like, basketball is messy and unpredictable. It has its way with you, no matter how hard you try to control it. The trick is to experience each moment with a clear mind and open heart. When you do that, the game – and life – will take care of itself.
----------------------------------------------

This was a winning essay P* entered into a competition commissioned by a German Poker forum, It deconstructed the pscyhology of "tilt". When players let their emotions cloud their poker judgment, it is called going "on tilt".
In order to recognize tilt we need to be present. This is a matter of exercise and great results can be achieved long-term. The most intensive kind of exercise is meditation, which is pure presence...

A less intensive way of exercising is implementing small routines in daily life... "If you sweep the yard, sweep the yard. If you cut a carrot, cut a carrot" is a Zen saying which refers to this. Usually when we cut a carrot we are somewhere in the past or future, only when we cut our finger are we present. If we are fully present from the beginning we won`t cut our finger - you could say the same for tilt. If we are fully present we dont tilt
- Other people's stories - Tales of: Adventure
- Other people's stories - Tales of: Love
- Other people's stories - Tales of: Living the Dream
- Other people's stories - Tales of: Living in the moment

Find previous Maron podcast references here
- Marc Maron with Adam Carolla - On being sedentary
- Marc Maron with Doug Stanhope - On happiness
- Marc Maron with Norm MacDonald - On being in the moment
- Pete Holmes with Marc Maron - A question answered with a quote: Comedy Podcasts

Friday, April 26, 2013

Let's Get Real - Episode 6 preview: Be like water


Its been a while. In my 6th conversation I speak to a Yoga Instructor about finding peace in spite the noise of life. It was my first real conversation with her after reconnecting through a random encounter.

It was great chatting to someone with such a wealth of experience and a great vigour for life. A person who celebrates the full spectrum of experience. Someone who appreciates the light and the shade and finds the gems in each state. Its the overarching theme of the Superhero genre, how our moments of weakness become our greatest strengths. Its what forms our Origin story.

VIDEO: The Joker Needs Batman


In the excerpt I mention an "Underground beach Party". As someone who is inclined to accepting both sides of the coin, my dilemma is trying to involve myself in stories so I can relate to people from a place of experience. Its a theme we touched on several times in our chat, empathy and true understanding through a shared journey. But even that leads to another set of issues:
Man returning from waters with Tales of Adventure
'Beaches Ain't shit II'. Underground party near the Mosman Bunkers
Actor, Writer and Traveler Mike White speaks to Marc Maron about Adventure
WHITE: (36m 20s mark) I've gone through this period where when I'm invited to do something random I just do it because I feel "I should do that". And after a while -- I recently read a book about fetishising, this thing we feel where we need to have experiences. It a Buddhist-- at some point you can let go of "missing out on things". A healthy place. You don't need to have sex with every new person, you don't need to visit every corner of the universe
MARON: To be happy or feel like you've done something
WHITE: Which for many people, that doesn't even [register] but for some reason that's my [dilemma]...
- Find the 'Manifesting Bliss' free seminar at the Sydney 'Mind Body Spirit' Festival (Noon, Thurs May 16, 2013)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Harmony Korine talks to Marc Maron about "Plotting" and The Joker talk to Harvey Dent about "schemers"

L'enfant terrible Harmony Korine
Marc talks to 'Spring Breakers' director Harmony Korine about the value he places in plot for his films and life
WTF with Marc Maron: Episode 374 - James Franco, Harmony Korine, Nate Bargatze, Peter Sagal
MARC MARON: (59m 30s) So story initially is not that important?
HARMONY KORINE: No I mean story is always important. Characters are always important. Sometimes I have a problem with like the idea of plot
panel and audience laughter
Cuz life never seems plotted or people who plot things seem horrible. Right? If you're a person who's gonna plot your life I don't want to be around you. So why would I want to plot my movies?
MARON: You might want to be around them when the plot starts failing cuz that's always interesting. Well that plot didn't work out now its...
KORINE: Story and characters are what I like
The Joker reasoning with Harvey Dent (Two-Face) on the merits of chaos over order

VIDEO: The Dark Knight - Hospital Scene (Two-Face and Joker)
The Dark Knight (2008)
THE JOKER: [speaking to Two-Face] Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just, do things. The mob has plans, the cops have plans, Gordon’s got plans. You know, they’re schemers. Schemers trying to control their worlds. I’m not a schemer. I try to show the schemers how, pathetic, their attempts to control things really are. So, when I say, ah, come here, when I say that you and your girlfriend was nothing personal, you know that I’m telling the truth. It’s the schemers that put you where you are. You were a schemer, you had plans, and uh, look where that got you. I just did what I do best. I took your plan and I turned it on itself. Look what I did, to this city with a few drums of gas and a couple of bullets. Hm? You know what, you know what I noticed? Nobody panics when things go according to plan. Even if the plan is horrifying. If tomorrow I tell the press that like a gang banger, will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all, part of the plan. But when I say that one, little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds!
[Joker hands Two-Face a gun and points it at himself]
Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos. Oh and you know the thing about chaos, it’s fair.

Find other Marc Maron posts below:
- AV Club's Nathan Rabin talks about Podcast Culture on Marc Maron's 300th episode of WTF
- Actor, Writer and Traveler Mike White speaks to Marc Maron about Adventure
- Dan Harmon talks Television with Marc Maron on GT4: "Hamburger" Art and living in a "concrete, Orwellian Honeycomb"
- Is Andrew W.K a persona that has been played by multiple actors? Marc Maron in conversation with Andrew W.K.

Harmony Korine and James Franco in conversation with Marc Maron: Taste, performance art and playing a character

'Spring Breakers' Harmony Korine and James Franco
in conversation with Marc Maron on a live WTF in Austin
Marc Maron talks to renaissance man James Franco about how much of his projects are genuine. As someone who navigates the world of Blockbuster movies, Arthouse, Soap Operas, Tabloids and Art, Marc tries to understand where Franco's "performance" starts and ends:
WTF with Marc Maron: Episode 374 - James Franco, Harmony Korine, Nate Bargatze, Peter Sagal
MARC MARON: (1h 06m 30s) Why did you do the 'General Hospital' thing was that an experiment?
HARMONY KORINE: You just wanna ask why he does so much shit
MARC MARON: No no because after he hosted the Academy Awards, afterwards people were like "Is he f*cking around?" What was going on with that. You do the General Hospital thing and you make a documentary on that. Where does the goof end?
...
JAMES FRANCO: There's just different levels of engagement. There's no reason not to be able to do all different sides. When I go and act in a film like 'Oz'. I Play the Wizard of Oz and the goof ends. I wanna fit in that world. I'm not trying to wink at the audience and say hey its me the actor behind the character. I want that character to fit into that world. But as soon as I'm done with that project there's no reason why I have to stand behind the facades of these characters and be noone...
MARON: So when you were doing the General Hospital thing, was that funny to you?
FRANCO: I mean it started off like as you said an experiment. I was talking to an artist friend of mine and we were gonna do a movie where my character had formerly been in a Soap Opera. And that got us talking about "Hey what if you were really in a Soap Opera?". And I'd also been reading this book by this guy called Carl Wilson called something like 'Journey to the End of Taste'... the conclusion he gets is that different people get different things from art or culture...
It strikes me that Franco is embodying the privilege that Camus envisions of the Actor in 'Myth of Sisyphus', someone who truly embraces the absurdity of life. Marc in typical comedic fashion takes a shot at Franco for being too precious but to the Actor's credit Franco reiterates the importance of "staying in character".
JAMES FRANCO: (1h 11m) Before I went on, I thought "Oh am I going to have to act Soap Opera style?". And when I got there, a big lesson for me was how important context is and how context transforms a performance...
MARC MARON: And sometimes you just can't transcend the context
FRANCO: No it transforms you. You can never transcend the context to a certain extent and nor do you really want to. If you're trying to transcend the context then you're just making the movie about you and your performance. I see movies as a Director's medium, I always want to serve the Director and the film so I don't want to transcend the context, its just that sometimes the context is weird 
VIDEO: Marc Maron Talks Accidentally Offending James Franco During Live 'WTF' Podcast At SXSW





Find other Marc Maron posts below:
- AV Club's Nathan Rabin talks about Podcast Culture on Marc Maron's 300th episode of WTF
- Actor, Writer and Traveler Mike White speaks to Marc Maron about Adventure
- Dan Harmon talks Television with Marc Maron on GT4: "Hamburger" Art and living in a "concrete, Orwellian Honeycomb"
- Is Andrew W.K a persona that has been played by multiple actors? Marc Maron in conversation with Andrew W.K.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Comedians Pete Holmes and Eddie Pepitone on the phone as a "Life Companion"

Real truth in advertising: Samsung Galaxy S4 - Life Companion
'You Made it Weird' with Pete Holmes: Episode 143 - Eddie Pepitone
(1h 46m) EDDIE PEPITONE: Yesterday I found an hour to just go to the park at sunset. F*cking walk around the park leisurely for 45 minutes and sit under a tree and I meditated. Not the greatest meditation cuz I haven't meditated in a while. But after 15 minutes I open my eyes and just the gorgeous f*cking sunset in that park surrounded by green. That's spirituality for me. But it has to be sought after. I have to pull myself away. This might sound trite but the pull of Twitter and Facebook and emails
PETE HOLMES: I've stopped medititating because I'm like "I should check my @replies"
PEPITONE: One of the things I did after meditating, of course I had my phone in my pocket. What a great meditation, what a great sunset and I'm walking back to my house and I'm going for the phone (this is the constant struggle) "Eddie don't go for the phone right now". You really just got into a nice space You're probably feeling the best you've felt in a month. You know the sunset, the green...
HOLMES: Cuz Its taking you out of the moment
...
Its the sugar bowl. Its nutritionless, addictive, sweetness and the truth that you just touched on... The thing that breaks my heart is that wonder is everywhere. The park is wonderful. This room is wonderful. If you could have a waking dream appreciation of this existence, we would walk around and not be interested in our phones
...
I had this dream last night and I have it often, is that I fall into a body of water and I try to frantically turn it off which is what you're suppose to do [to preserve electronics]
...
But what's so sad is that its actually in my dream. I don't have children. The idea of losing my phone. This is a recurring dream
PEPITONE: That just gave me an idea for a guy who never has kids and his photo album are just different phones throughout his life and he's showing them to people. "This is my Samsung S2, it had some problems but we loved him anyway... We had to put him to sleep in a Sprint store"
HOLMES: We put him in a drawer here. You want to visit his grave
Watch Samsung's S4 phone trailer which includes these themes:
Convenience: Daily life is more convenient
Fun: Life becomes more fun
Relationship: Relationships grow closer
Care: Wellbeing is cared for 
VIDEO: Samsung Galaxy S4 - Life Companion Trailer HD

Find more Pete Holmes here:
Comedian Pete Holmes on adjacent experiences: Conversations relating to Travel, dreams and life
- Comedian Louis C.K. on what Smartphones are taking away

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Is Andrew W.K a persona that has been played by multiple actors? Marc Maron in conversation with Andrew W.K.


WTF with Marc Maron: Episode 313 - Andrew W.K.
I was once enthralled by an interesting conversation with Party Rocker Andrew W.K on Triple J radio, it struck me enough that I spent several days referencing it in conversations. During this time I was informed by someone who'd partied with the man that he was actually a persona that had been through several incarnations. He was merely a "mask", a legacy that could be donned by alternate actors. A motivational superhero, the proverbial masked wrestler except in plain sight.

As a wrestling fan and someone fascinated with identity this was an intriguing revelation. I wasn't even aware of such speculation, some cursory googling confirms there is credible baggage associated with Andrew W.K's identity. Personally it didn't change anything as I believe its "all real", if anything the hearsay only makes him more more compelling.

Interestingly an American artist I ran with in Barcelona offered the same theory for elusive artist 'Banksy' though I suspect his speculation came from a place of ignorance as he was mispronouncing his name as 'Banky'.

When Andrew W.K later appeared on Marc Maron's WTF podcast I listened to it through the prism that he was a Performance artist. In this light, I've pulled portions of the chat that allude to this likelihood. The episode is a largely typical WTF episode (existential, storytelling) but there was definitely some coded messaging going on. Either it was genuine or some playful improv to perpetuate a myth. Is the "Philosopher of Partying" a persona, judge for yourself.

Referencing "Soul" in relation to love and life
WTF with Marc Maron: Episode 313 - Andrew W.K.
MARC MARON: (22m 30s) I'm a true believer that the "One Soulmate" idea is bullshit
ANDREW W.K: For you?
MARON: For anybody
W.K: Geez Marc
MARON: What?
W.K: I wanna think that it exists
MARON: You're soul is so small it needs to limit itself?
W.K: Its extremely small, of course that's why I try to compensate for the other...
MARON: You're compensating for your tiny soul
laughter
W.K: I gave up my soul a looooong -- well not that long ago. About 12 years ago
MARON: To who?
W.K: When I moved to New York
MARON: You did not! You're full of soul. You're all about the soul
W.K: And that's the trick!
MARON: I get that. That IS the trick
W.K: You make them think it. Noooo there's no trickery going on. I'm having fun...
Maron crossing the line and breaking kayfabe
MARC MARON: (1h 04m 50s) Don't subvert your destiny
ANDREW W.K: You can
MARON: I think that what you're talking about is an example of being a creative person and realising your limitations and pursuing the best you can with your talent
W.K: I think you said it very well. I feel very limited so I was pleased to find one thing
MARON:  But you're not that limited. You've developed a theme, a tone and what appears to be a character for yourself
awkward air arises
W.K: Hey now!
MARON: What?
W.K: You see that sign? It says apple sauce. I'm just kidding it says "Applause". Will you flash that sign for me. You know what that is right?
Marc starts clapping and giggling
Remember the better you do, the better Larry does. Ok he's giving me a sign. He's giving me 5 seconds, its exciting isn't it? No no no...
the air normalises
Andrew W.K on his persona and being beholden to it
MARC MARON: (58m 40s) How do you get from this appreciation of the anarchists, the geniuses and the poets. How did you build yourself into what you became?
ANDREW W.K: I can't compete with them. They've already done it, they done a good job with all that they've done. That's just what I do for my own interests. My work that I do as Andrew W.K has nothing to do with my own tastes or hobbies or interests and things like that
MARON: Why is that?
W.K: Umm I guess its just with the agreements I made and the choices I made early on. It's not like its not a dream come true
MARON: What are those agreements though? You've probably talked about it before and I apologise
W.K: No no its the most trivial, unimportant stuff. Its just contracts and business things like that. What I'm saying is that when you know what you need to do and you signed up to do it and you know what it takes and what you've agreed to in order to achieve that. It not like I have a separate life. I don't look at it as a job, a 9 to 5 job
MARON: That is the business
W.K: I feel there's a time and place for it all. The Gods will continue to guide me and my managers, the people I work with in this version of reality will also guide me. I'm patient that's the thing
MARON: Do you have Gods? Do you have them for real or are you saying that?
W.K: Guardian angels, however you wanna put it.
MARON: Do you have them?
W.K: Everybody does. Well I do.
MARON: Well are you a spiritual cat?
W.K: No just pragmatic
MARON: Pragmatic and willing to mythologise
W.K: I can't discount these things with the life I've led. I feel it would be disrespectful to the forces beyond myself, to my mum and dad and my mentors. There are other things at work...
To be honest I was never much fussed on finding the absolute truth on whether Andrew W.K was a construct. I'm just delighted that the phenomenon exists. For those wondering if there's any larger meaning behind it all, Maron and W.K offer some clues in the beginning of their chat.

On art and life being esoteric and "making sense of it all"
ANDREW W.K: (16m) One of the most amazing things he [Professor] said, I don't just think it applies to esoteric thought It applies to maybe life, at least culture. "The fact you don't understand it is the point"
MARC MARON: Right! Cuz its constantly provocative
W.K: Its inspiring thought.
MARON: Exactly
W.K: Thank goodness cuz I felt like an idiot all these years that I didn't get it
MARON: That is very provocative... You spend your life trying to crack some sort of code thinking that, there's part of you that thinks like "I gotta make sense of it". How many times do you say to yourself "I just gotta figure it out
W.K: I wanna know!
MARON: I gotta figure it out. Someone knows!
W.K: Someday its all gonna make sense
Find other Marc Maron posts below:
- AV Club's Nathan Rabin talks about Podcast Culture on Marc Maron's 300th episode of WTF
- Actor, Writer and Traveler Mike White speaks to Marc Maron about Adventure
- Dan Harmon talks Television with Marc Maron on GT4: "Hamburger" Art and living in a "concrete, Orwellian Honeycomb"
- Is Andrew W.K a persona that has been played by multiple actors? Marc Maron in conversation with Andrew W.K.