1. T.C. Boyle – LA Review of Books
  2. John Darnielle, Wolf in White Van
  3. Tavi Gevinson, “Rookie Yearbook Two”
  4. Michelle Huneven, “Off Course”
  5. Photographer Spotlight: David Bailey
  6. Mallory Ortberg of “The Toast”
  7. Living History: The John Feathers Map Collection

T.C. Boyle – LA Review of Books

well i had the great privilege during,the um tortilla curtain tour,in san francisco to call in to be called,human garbage,on the air and i thank the woman for the,compliment of course,so is that is that the worst youve been,called,wow my enemies are legion uh,give me your bayonet and a rifle you can,invade any country on this earth,why i think because,like my role model jesus christ uh you,do,tend to develop a lot of enemies just by,being an example in the world of purity,and,and beauty and wisdom i dont know why,i dont know i think theres you know in,our trade theres a lot of,petty jealousies and so on i have tried,to stay away from it,i dont go to meetings i dont go to,writing conferences,i like to speak directly to the audience,so that for instance,here at the book fair as ive done,almost every year since its inception i,dont do,sit on panels i mean theyre interesting,for me to see as an audience member,but i dont really want to discuss,literature i want to perform it i just,do a show,i want to turn people on to why we love,stories to begin with,because theyre electric theyre,beautiful they take you out of yourself,its very simple all novelists,in this country whether they admit it or,not really want to be rock and roll,stars,and yes ive had my own band and ive,been the front man and i love to turn an,audience on,so that ive never you know had my phd,ive been teaching at usc,for 36 years,but i dont want to be a man of letters,i just want to make,fiction and then present it those are,the two things that i like to do i dont,work for the movies i dont write essays,i dont do anything except make fiction,its a joy to me,i never know what its going to be each,story just comes and its utterly,different,an example an example i finished a new,novel ill be out in the,in the spring of next year and now im,writing short stories,and the one that ill present today on,stage,the second time ever is called the five,pound burrito,howd this come about well i read an,obituary in the l.a times,six months ago of manuel rojas,from boyle heights he was 79 and,his legacy his distinction in life we,all were looking for a legacy was he,created the five pound burrito,i never met him although since ive met,many people who actually,tried to eat the five-pound burrito i,just wondered,what is this like so i made up a,character,sort of based on an idea of a guy who,has a shop and makes the burrito,what does it mean for society to have a,five pound burrito,thats where the stories come from i,dont know its just its just fun,and how often is that the case that,something something gets,its a newspaper story its a story you,heard how much how often is it,some other form of inspiration a lot of,the time i dont cant say exactly,uh ive just written four new stories,and im hoping for,one or two more before i start the next,novel so the first was just in the new,yorker in,in march its called the reliv box and,its about an invention,you know im also an inventor i have a,basement lab the reliv box,which is not ready for marketing yet but,well have it soon,its its lasers,lasers go into your eyeballs no one else,can see this except you,uh theres this uh sound wave which,these technologies exist by the way,which only you can hear unless somebody,breaks the beam so youre sitting in a,room its about gaming,youre sitting in a room and you can go,back to any period of your life now you,cant act in it,but you can go back to it and relive it,so that was the first of the stories the,second is called theft and other issues,not even published yet,and um my friend up in santa barbara,where i live,uh told me the story the sad story,of his car being stolen i never heard,the end of it but i wrote,a wonderful hilarious story about a guy,sort of like him who has his car stolen,and then of course the five pound,burrito and then i wrote a story about,the drought thats the most recent one,because up where i live in montecito,we have a 30 restriction,now im a fanatic anyway so its like a,double,penalty on me so i wanted to examine,what is it like i mean what does it mean,that we have a drought,and of course ive written about global,warming and environment throughout most,of my career so its just another,stage of doing that,did you ever get this desire that he had,to rewrite,its a great question yeah im flattered,to be compared with,with howell and james and to be a guy,who has a nerve i mean thats a,wonderful thing thats what i want to do,and,youre right maybe i was able to do this,because im single-minded,this is my life im an artist thats,what i want to do i the rest of it,the explanations the interviews its all,fun but its not,making the art thats what i really want,to do um,i feel bad keeping you from it right now,well im here to do this im having fun,my hero in this is uptake uh i loved,update,he published the first volume of his,collected he passed away,in between i presume well get the,second volume at some point and he wrote,a preface as well,looking over his career he said however,that,in reviewing his old stories he couldnt,help rewriting them,i would never do that i dont want to,rewrite them i feel,i dont want to seem blase im not they,exist in their time and their period,theyre as good as i could make them at,the time,maybe i could tweak them and make them,better i dont know,im not interested in that thats the,past im interested in what is coming,tomorrow,thats what an artist does i want to be,alive to,all the changes in the society and the,craziness of our lives,and you know the fact that um as you and,i get older,we come closer and closer to the grave,and look back on all the dirty,secrets of life like we thought there,was love but in fact theres just animal,sex,we thought that there was a purpose to,life we should get educated and get our,teeth fixed,for who for the grave keeper i mean you,know so every day,im bombarded with ideas i dont want to,rewrite old stories theyre perfect i,think theyre perfect as i could make,them at the time,now i want to perfect what comes next,i have many many role models of course,as all we writers do and many influences,robert cooper being i think among the,first casia marquez,i love garcia marquezs short stories,too,the magical element that washington,irving you know the classic american,stories the legend of sleepy hollow,this stuff just turns me on as far as,updeck is concerned,i induce him as one of many um i love,him because he was various,he had great range as i hope i do too,so that he could write the beck books,which are my i think among my favorite,update things,as well as pigeon feathers you know as,well as the rabbit books,uh and of course he was also an essayist,and a poet and god knows he was,everything you know,um i love the fact that he had this,range,was a devoted artist and that he was so,lyrical,you know this is the element that,sometimes the audience doesnt quite get,what were doing as poets and fiction,writers,at the highest level is making an art,object,from words and the words have to be,exquisite the,metaphors this is a beauty to the,language that is the,beginning of anything that we do,and he was a master i did i had the,great honor,on the the german tour was for uh,san miguel my last novel but prior to it,i went to vienna because they honored me,by,choosing the tortilla curtain as their,city-wide read einstein,they gave a hundred thousand copies away,for free and that,was a gas going to a bar a coffee shop,anywhere and theres a pile of the,tortilla curtain,you watch people come up to take them,and they take,they take one and they look and then,they look around they take three four or,five,and then they get them signed so they,can give them away as gifts great,hallelujah its fantastic,the book tour you you enjoy because you,like to perform right or not,i love to be before the press i love to,be on tv,i love all of that i love radio shows i,love to talk about the work,as most authors dont,the travel is what kills me the travel,is the hardest p

John Darnielle, Wolf in White Van

I mean its they dont people have asked,me that with it I mean its like its,like comparing making a cup of tea to,baking bread so well they both take,place in the kitchen after that there,really arent any similarities I mean I,heat up water and I poured on some tea,and I steep it and so forth and you know,the other one is just theyre very very,different theyre not the same a song,happens very quickly and you know it,follows and also exists you know for me,in a in a much more knowable formal,environment right was the novel is very,you do whatever you want it you do,everyone a song also but I dont want to,do whatever I want I want to write,formal songs that you go verse chorus,verse chorus bridge chorus thats what I,do whereas a novel you know the novel is,almost infinitely open its old backwards,and it traces back to a catastrophic,event in a mans life and that that,happened when he was a teenager he is an,interactive game designer who is,disfigured and two of the people who,play the game that he administers,through the mail come to harm and its,called tres Italian and which is its,have a medieval fortification and,and its a it takes place in,post-apocalyptic America after has been,a meltdown on a nuclear reactor out by,Fontana and Riverside out there and,everybodys seeking shelter everybody,wants to get to this underground,fortress that has been built in Kansas,so thats the plot of this and you start,your game in California and you and you,attempt to move toward Kansas and every,move you get as little narrative piece,that you choose from four options and an,each one moves you a little further,forward but no one will ever get to the,end Conan the Barbarian has no parents,as far as I know listen,but in my mind he was my model trying to,stand strong and brave sword in hand,black hair flowing in truth I have very,little hair on my head now and the hair,I do have tends to clump and stringy,clusters but if my eyes are closed and,my concentration is strong I can form a,different picture of myself in my mind,so this was what I did,standing by the waist-high deck where,the phone was I closed my eyes and I,concentrated dad was getting ready to,tell me about his men of his mothers,funeral plans I knew I could make it,easier for him if I tried hard enough it,isnt really much of a mystery this,occasional need I have to comfort my,father I did something terrible to his,son once grandma lived a long time I,said Shawn I dont like to say this I,know you loved your grandmother and she,loved you but we was in here some things,you practice a few times but it doesnt,make them any easier I could hear it now,we dont think you should come to the,funeral I know that thats,he just left it there for a second I,mean part of what the book is about is,is a questioning idea of causation for,what people do people just follow little,threads you know I dont know that when,people do something rash and horrible,that theres a distinct why you can,point is oh heres what they went heres,where they went off the rails I dont,know that theres really ever such a,moment if you look hard enough to look,close enough its tough but he does,follow a thread into some spaces that he,doesnt feel like he can turn around,from right but its not and I dont,think you know I want to be careful not,to be saying what he should have done is,imagine less thats not true right,obviously thats not true the,imagination nurtures and heals us you,cant say anything qualitatively about,the imagination being a greater,nurturing place or a dangerous and,terrible place its all that stuff its,sort of like the freeway Hey,you drive down the freeway to get,someplace you also walk out in the,middle of it and get hit and die okay so,and you know it you know it always is it,has no absolute characteristic if you,start wanting to visit dark pockets of,imagination that may or may not change,you as a person you know you cant,really say what happens to you if you,explore you know lets say you wanted to,ask,its hard to say,like if you read a novel thats from the,first-person perspective of a murderer,it might have an effect on you you know,I know its not going to turn you into a,murderer nothing can do that youre,responsible for your actions but it,might have some effect on the way you,think of things you know theres a sense,of what you want to be a steward of what,you let in you know I think other people,they know,open up floodgates but I dont think,thats one should be a little a little,cautious just just like if you watch,with your terrible television for three,days youre gonna feel kind of less,intelligent than you did a few days,before right and but hes talking about,the about curiosity about you know that,you passed this house and it looks like,theres something in there if you go in,somethings gonna happen to you and a,smart player might say I dont I dont,need whats in there but Shawn cant,understand that right to him those,arent my people the ones who wouldnt,look even if they know it might be,dangerous when anger rears up in me I,have a trick I do where I picture it as,a freshly uncoiled snake dropping down,from the jungle canopy and hitting from,my neck if I look at it directly it will,disappear but I have to do it with a,snake still dropping or it will strike,this sounds like something they teach,you in therapy or at the hospital but,its not its just a trick I found,somewhere by myself once youve looked,at a deadly thing and seen it disappear,what more is there to do walk on through,the empty jungle toward the city past,the clearing its okay dad I said evenly,I took stock of how I really felt found,all the various threads saw which way,they all ran thats its okay I get it,its all right,and I do get it I am NOT a welcome,presence at a funeral no matter whose it,is if I let myself say stay mad about,that I will go insane on the other end,my father now an orphan was crying Thank,You Shan he said I dont mean to be,awful to you its just its hard for me,to ask its really hard,your grandmother was so happy back in,those early days back when the little,silence that followed wasnt my dads,repetitive stutter I could hear him,entering a space he usually tried to,avoid finding himself on the other side,of a door he wouldnt normally open I,followed him in when you were baby he,said at last,he sounded like he was joking its okay,dad I said itll be okay,clans scarecrow I saw pinned it needs,script on a little card inside my head

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Tavi Gevinson, “Rookie Yearbook Two”

one a brief history of forever at its,birth forever was invented for promise,rings names carved into trees and,photographs throughout time forever has,acted as the defining principle of many,fate phrases and ideas popular among,adolescents best friends forever,together forever forever and always,forever young in more recent years,forever with its cousins always and,infinity has dominated young adult,literature Perks of Being a Wallflower,Fault in Our Stars differentiated the,internet from the more fleeting IRL and,one could argue explain the popularity,of the galaxy print nothing lasts,forever of course but nothing doesnt,resonate with a teenager the way forever,does because for better or worse its,hard to imagine ever not feeling this,way being this person having this life,at the same time you know you dont want,to read like the junior version of The,New Yorker like I want you know we have,DIYs make up stuff and goofy things,about relationships and thats important,to me because I dont think you know,everyone wants to be serious all the,time so at the same time that we have,articles about relationships or,self-harm or body image we also have,articles that are just like fun DIYs,where we have photos stories that are,just meant to celebrate fashion and,expressing yourself in that way so um to,me having the mix is really important,forever is not supposed to be the best,time of someones life but it is,certainly the most forever II so Im not,sad because post forever seems terrible,Im sad because forever is remarkably,peculiar and Ive really enjoyed it and,I will miss it people have often asked,me if this ambition to understand my own,teenage existence has lessened its,sincerity,made my experiences too self-aware but,its been quite the opposite,Chris Kraus writes an I love dick The,Ramones give needles and pins the,possibility of irony but the irony,doesnt undercut the songs emotion it,makes it stronger and more true the,self-awareness or irony or whatever you,want to call it made it easier for me to,appreciate the awful parts of forever,because its like I had the Rose tint of,nostalgia in real time you know I think,because of my age and the time I was,growing up in like so many people were,like why dont you do a private journal,instead but because I was 11 and it was,like 2008 that wasnt it was all the,same it was like I might as well open it,online for people to see that was like,the world Id grown up in so II was,still growing up in so um I and you know,I had found this community of,like-minded people who appreciated the,same things about fashion that I did so,I just it was just really nice to find,that community that I because I didnt,have it at school or in my family or,with my friends and you know forever is,when you have the height and width of a,miniature person with the density of an,alpha person forever is when youre a,human cartoon with every vein and skin,cell and eyeball shine as puffy and,exaggerated as a giant sneaker hairbow,forever is when you experience all kinds,of things for the first time as do your,hormones which will never again be this,crazed never again experience things as,either so bleak or so Technicolor,forever is when your brain is still,developing so everything sticks like a,lot forever is when you have tunnel,vision because you I have not yet,understood that you I are not the center,of the world,so you I grant yourself permission to,see things as though you I are lastly,its important to give yourself a,grieving period for forever I know that,this is the only way for things to,happen I know I dont want to stay in,this place but to effectively,move on I have to effectively wrap,things up because I dont want to miss,forever in small unhealthy ways when Im,older I have to honor in big creative,ways now reflecting and archiving is not,the same as dwelling in the past it is,not anti living but a part of life even,a crucial one we do this to highlight,one thing above others so that a special,moment can take up more space in our,brains than a passing one so that by,plain math our life is more good things,and less bad ones or more interesting,things unless blot ones since you have,to record the bad – like I said forever,is not about being the best years of,your life just the most forever II yeah,I want to take a gap year and then go to,college,and I want to study writing and you know,although like stupid nerdy pop culture,classes about like,The Simpsons or whatever so and then,after that I have Unos

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Michelle Huneven, “Off Course”

ive gotten less interested in,redemption the older i get i mean my,first two books were very pro-redemption,my third book blame was a real,discussion about re can you redeem,yourself can you actually name the terms,of your own redemption and this one is,just sort of like stuck in the disease,and the damage that it can actually,cause its not like you can get in,trouble and then you know lead this,glorious life that the trouble actually,seeded,you know it can be yeah you can maybe go,and lead a good life but there will,there will be scars there will be wounds,when i graduated from the iowa writers,workshop i figured ive been workshopped,im just going to go,off by myself and write my novel,and i tried for many many years to write,my novel and i didnt actually get going,on it until i joined a writing group and,had to you know turn in,a chapter every,two weeks and but the impulse to go off,someplace and just get it done seems so,ideal but its really,its really hard to create an isolation,especially when youre under motivated,as chris is she doesnt really like what,her dissertation has ended up being,about shes disillusioned after,you know years three years in grad,school and economics which is an,extremely sexist environment she goes up,to this mountain cabin at 7 300 feet,its a very small isolated community,maybe 30 permanent residents a bunch of,carpenters building homes,the air is thin,she has altitude sickness its sort of,like having pre-migraines you know she,sees,auras and gets headaches,and its just another world and one,reader described it as an all-day sex,party which its a little over the top,but i like that term and another reader,described it as,um,eudenic or an erotic eden,maybe its not quite,that all the time but it,it is a place where inhibitions get,lowered rather quickly i dont know if,youve ever drunk alcohol at 7 300 feet,but it doesnt take very much to get you,pretty woozy,and i just sort of took that idea and,ran with it that,not only alcohol but any kind of,disinhibiting thing you know works,pretty well up there,when i say that crest goes off course,which i feel that she does,in a sense shes,shes trying on different futures you,know shes shes trying to reject,her course which would be go ahead get,that phd get an academic job or get a,job at the fed get some sort of policy,job or,and then you know get married have kids,but shes not that enthusiastic about,that throughout the novel theres also,her friends who are slowly doing kind of,the right thing theyre adding little,lines to the resume i mean her best,friend starts out at a throwaway,newspaper in arcadia or temple city,somewhere,doing,paste up add paste up and then she,slowly moves over to like the equivalent,of the la weekly,and does some graphic work there and,before you know by the end of the novel,shes a,second in command of the la times,magazine shes just made her incremental,steps theres a huge batch of,increments that crest misses because she,just she chooses love over,career over taking these baby steps,towards making a real life for herself

Photographer Spotlight: David Bailey

an Indian friend of mine said to be,great,it used to be its kind of collect,remind if you know if and stuff,he said would you like once you do a,book on India mmm-hmm impossible you,know itd take me five hundred years I,said I tell you what I could do you know,we do New Delhi and then maybe do Keller,er so you do one bit of India at a time,because trying its like going to him,the British Museum and looking at,everything I mean you can only go to the,British Museum if you choose what to,look at you should spend your half-hour,with that and then leave an Indian spit,like thats like going to the biggest,visual museum in the world my pen to,tell you so many times it was first,there in the 60s and I met Mother Teresa,photographed at hospice forum and I had,a girlfriend there to Indian girlfriend,Delhi now I know place places in London,that more Indian you know you go down to,where I come from East End he only on to,Upton Park or somewhere or Saturday,Ennis its much more exotic than going,to the market in Delhi which is its,great the way theyve transformed it,here near probably last longer here the, section not the Hindus much but,the Muslim centric intend Ken to keep to,themselves much more which is kind of,sad in that way could be much better if,we all right London has always been the,melting part of the world America is not,the melting part of the world Londons,the melting pot of the world I think,science is just catching up with the,Hindus its the other way around,it was theyve known about all this for,years and years five thousand years,maybe and science is just catching up,with what they already knew I mean its,Im not talking about God because I mean,youve been American you probably,believe in God you may odd Americans you,believe in gardening one of the few,countries in the world is that Ive,captain punishment,I mean the Hindu religion is kind of so,big and its not unlike the Greek gods,its a bit the same really thats the,same sort of thing and I love the oh no,Im not religious I love the ideas and,rituals and the mysticism and I love the,you God keep all that alive otherwise,life would be depressing,I immediately the moment I got off the,plane I start shooting because when,youve been there for a week things,start to look normal so you have to do,it straight away I mean I used to drive,assistants mad theyre always dying,because weve been on plane maybe going,to Australia for 22 hours and ready they,got off the plane,there comes the five for camera or,whatever we use I dont look at them as,travel features its just pictures I,mean something you did in India you know,its a theres not many people within my,books like that or if they are people I,kind of look for the ridiculous in the,way is Im not looking for the soul of,India its just the moment you know the,superficial moment in a way its not,deep but then if youd like to read,things into it because of your,personality you interpret the way you,see things that its not we did the way,the thing is if you wanted to photograph,something as it really is just get a,machine to take picture in a way and cut,out all human contact with it and that,would be much more hot but its,documentation sometimes the tool helps,you go somewhere I mean I dont think,did you talk how would you go to many,places just a little bit like sex there,isnt its all instant,theres no seduction and theres no,waiting for the film to come back which,is exciting because you can reassess,what youve done and then always always,the disappointment or getting the,contact so its always its always sweet,disappointing I should have asked him I,should have done she had thats wrong,its a shame I didnt do this theres,always that because you could save a,picture with Photoshop but you cant,save an emotion with Photoshop I mean,the reason I did fashion was it wasnt,like Im not interested in fashion as,you can see the reason I did a fashion,photography it was the only possibility,at that period of doing something,creative that you maybe got paid for and,I say very vaguely got paid for and I,always tried to use the same girls cuz I,thought the girl was more interesting,usually than the frock I mean you know,there are exceptional artists like,Balenciaga but they are very few and far,between theyre just frogs copying from,old Hollywood movies are sometimes I,always thought I photograph a girl its,like a portrait in a frock some Bobby,Bobby model sort of doing a number six,pose I preferred personalities like,Angelica Houston or developing trees,somebody who had a personality that I,could use in the pictures thats one of,the great things about the camera still,camera it captures the only moment we,ever have in life because we only have,that second norm nanosecond and then its,history and before that its the future,so photography at that great knack of,you know Ive seen cartier presents,contacts it wasnt the decisive moment,it was a calculated moment because he,knew I was up to take captures that,moment doesnt it which is exciting and,you know even the most boring things in,life need to be I learned this when I,was really young that you start seeing,things more when you photograph them and,you dont really see things often you,see them and they think oh you know now,even an old-fashioned telephone with,dolls I mean if we hadnt recorded its,kind of interesting object its as,interesting as the Caravaggio still life,you know with a jerk of the period its,everythings got a reason to be recorded,in the way I think its even as its,social document I think is kind,yeah you can be really famous now you,know that in the media and he said are,in youre famous youll be famous to do,it nothing which is kind of adults I,dont like in a way its bit data

Mallory Ortberg of “The Toast”

man okay so keywords for the Mallory,where for sensibilities one has to be,weird Twitter thats kind of where I,came up,and again were Twitter is theres not a,super defined boundary theres sometimes,goofy articles trying to explain exactly,what it is I just know that when I first,got on Twitter in 2009 and saw people,saying the weirdest stuff it just made,sense to me like oh yes you can talk,like this of course you can talk like,this irreverent certainly I think,theres a lot of irreverence and and a,sort of jovial spirit of like we all are,familiar with this lets leap on top of,the certain like like Tom Bombadil if,thats if thats something youre,familiar with in the Lord of the Rings,hes kind of this one character that no,one can really understand everything,about the Lord of the Rings is super,serious theyre super worried about this,one piece of jewelry and hes just this,big redheaded Viking guy who lives in,the woods doesnt really care and,theres no reason for him to be in the,book at all he just shows up hes like,wow that mission sounds tough sucks to,be you,Im gonna stay here in my delightful,woodland mansion and skip around the,woods with my hot wife Gold berry and,Nicole is my hot weight goal berry just,so were clear and just sort of that,attitude of like that sounds like a,problem for you Im not super worried,about it Im gonna have a great time Im,not paying attention but in a way that,you cant really get mad at him for,lets do one Fault in Tom Bombadil for,not helping them theres like well,thats Tom so thats me I guess,the Tom Bombadil of feminism oh man okay,so the books that I identified most with,as a child were sometimes a little bit,weird it wasnt always the kind of books,you would think that I would identify,with but I felt really really strongly,about PG woodhouse like as a child I,started reading those when I was about,11 and specifically to Jeeves and,Wooster books like the inimitable Jeeves,stiff-upper-lip right ho Jeeves they all,have great great old titles and,identified so deeply with this split of,someone who was incredibly dim but,nothing bad ever happened to them and,someone who was incredibly smart but,incredibly underappreciated and those,two things spoke to me because Im a,little bit of a monster I think is the,word that Im looking for definitely,those certainly and of Green Gables you,know like I had the red hair already and,and I felt like nobody really understood,me beyond that again vision gosh like,now that I think about it Im just kind,of a I was a megalomaniacal childlike,encyclopedia brown because nobody was,really his friend because he was too,smart for everyone around him and the,only time he ever interacted with other,children was and they paid him god this,is sad,let me think of at least one fun one,no I got it thats it thats all I have,so with kind of a genealogy of the toast,I think theres a really direct line,from Gawker,to the all to the hairpin to the toast,which is not to say that theyre all,direct spin-offs of one another but they,definitely each one kind of gave rise to,the next so for those people who arent,familiar with it the all was started by,Cory,Sika and Alex Bock who left Gawker and,wanted to start their own kind of small,niche editorial site and from there they,spot the hairpin which was the all but,more geared towards women and Nicole,cliff my business partner was one of the,editors there for a long time and we,read one of Alex and Corys interviews,where they said you know its actually,not that hard to start a small site cost,less than starting like a clothing store,or a restaurant and you know if you can,find a suitable audience you can really,get advertising money and make it,profitable and we dont know why more,people dont do this and we really just,took them seriously we thought okay well,lets try it certainly I think we owe a,lot of our attitude content kind of,whatever it is that we are we owe a lot,of it so that all and the hairpin which,is kind of a little bit weird very,interested in the history of things not,kind of trying to strike a balance,between sincerity and and not being too,serious so somehow being sincere without,being serious I think like thats,something that we really love were,somethings meaningful to you but you,can still laugh at yourself and at other,people if necessary so I think theres a,pretty direct line there,the relationship for you between being a,fan and beaten ooh,thats a thats a cool question I dont,think anyones ever asked me that before,how does being a fan and being a critic,how do they relate how do I do both of,those things I like both of those things,theres some things that I love you know,I think particularly theres that that,website your faith is problematic then I,think about and thats kind of,interesting to me because of course,everyones favorite is problematic and,theres so many different ways to love,and appreciate something and also,acknowledge heres the flaws heres the,failings heres the blind spots or just,heres the part where its not that,great and its always interesting to me,when somebody acts or assumes like you,cant love something and also see whats,wrong with it,and I think that its wonderful to say,love and criticism go together and,thats not to say youre just always,looking to find fault but just,acknowledging the ways in which we all,fall short of an ideal or the ways in,which something doesnt necessarily work,a hundred percent of the time doesnt,mean its not good or not even great,its its just part of the fun to me it,should be fun it shouldnt be like well,its time to ruin something else its,just sort of like well lets see how we,can all do better on something else in,your perfect world whose booths would be,so in a perfect world next to the iron,rant booth would be that is such a good,question she had so many enemies I have,already been to the Iran booth dont,worry I got there free copy of the Iran,sampler which why theyre giving away,copies of her work for free when they,should be charging a fair market value,escapes me I would love more than,anything to see Kurt Vonnegut next to,her because he was so deeply concerned,with being actively good not just,passively friendly but active goodness,and active kindness and paying attention,to the other people around you and what,are your social obligations as a human,being,and so even though she would have maybe,fought more with more overtly religious,people or more overtly socialist people,I think he would be a wonderful shining,example and I think it would be great,because its like heres this,wonderfully ethical kind man versus this,dirtbag woman who just loved grinding,her heel into other peoples faces it,would be really lovely and I would I,would like to see that very very

Living History: The John Feathers Map Collection

I do have dreams about maps that I I,wish I didnt have my me there sitting,in a computer or Im in a place like,this and Im trying to organize and its,always whatever Im looking for I cant,find it,day before Columbus Day I got a phone,call and run the realtor named Matthew,Greenberg and he said I have a house,full of maps Ive heard this kind of,stuff before Ive taken some long drives,and ended up with like a cardboard box,full of national Geographics I went over,there on on Columbus Day met Matthew,there at the house and when I got there,everywhere I looked in the house theres,maps file cabinets dressers and one of,the very first things I saw we opened a,cabinet that was like a china cabinet,and it was full of pristine Los Angeles,Street guides Rene Thomas brothers,beautiful condition and my heart really,started pounding at this point because I,knew this this guy was a real serious,collector and thats when Matthew says,well you havent seen anything yet,were just upstairs theres a whole,other floor to the house so we went,downstairs and when I walked into the,den it was absolutely wall to wall,street guides I was kind of blown away,even in the bathroom when you were,sitting on the can you were looking at a,map that night I went home and that,night I couldnt even sleep I was just,so freaked out by what I saw I mean this,is literally a entire map collection,like an institution would have so I came,into work,and I told my boss I said you cant,believe this luckily he his first job in,libraries was he was a map cataloger,he loves maps so he said we want to take,we want a wall we want all of those maps,everything here is from the John,feathers nap collection Los Angeles,libraries been collecting maps since,1873 this doubled our collection in one,single day this is where the states,start,so heres Alabama Delaware Florida,Georgia a ton of Missouri for some,reason theres the buried womans second,greatest disappointment Niagara Falls is,almost like he wanted to collect every,map ever made if you think about it all,at once your head will pop off its like,a treasure story a story of hidden,treasure the beautiful thing about John,feathers collection is anybody can walk,in here and look at this stuff you know,hold it in your hand so this is our old,Thomas guide collection thats the first,one ever 1946 so theres Thomas guides,basically every year theres mr. Thomas,right there its like Willy Wonka says,were the dreamers of dreams word like,the storehouse of living history the,story is is that John feathers was the,map collector this is a guy who loved,maps,I mean loved maps he was born with a,cleft palate he was not accepted by his,peers his father was a Air Force man,they moved constantly he wasnt able to,make friends easily,but John feathers would look at maps and,he I think he would sort of feel himself,going on these journeys because he did,travel quite a bit,he didnt just stay at home and imagine,wit places when I talked to his his,stepmother and she told me that when he,was a kid he would actually like spread,these maps out like you would look at a,book like you would read a book and get,lost maps were his comfort,Im proud the fact that were providing,the guy with a legacy that it deserves,we had a map exhibit and I met him he,was introduced to me as this this is,John hes a map lover wife I had no idea,exactly what that meant for this guy,this guy was a different breed I dont,think I love maps like John feathers but,I I developed a love especially for maps,of Los Angeles,I love pictorial maps sort of that blend,of art and and geography this is from,the Worlds Fair its got a really nice,pictorial map in it,Sioux City if you want to take a bus,station,theres Vegas before Vegas Vic this is,pretty far out Fort Worth Id much,rather have this map here these are some,of the more valuable and rare things,theres the beatnik map its a map that,showed the beatnik hangouts,that was I blogged about that in LA,magazine theres for all the hipsters in,Brooklyn thats where my daughter likes,to go and she visits in New York it says,a polar like the comedian pre Thomas,guide Street guides of La the Gillespie,guide and then we have the Renee guides,and then we got this masterpiece a Renee,commercial Atlas that has overlays that,shows the street all the streetcar lines,this Ive never seen another ones,somebody must have one somewhere but,Ive never seen it,these maps especially a are gonna allow,you to completely recreate a period of,history heres a nice motoring guide of,Chile in in 1939 but you know you never,know when maybe Werner Herzog will want,to fake a film of a Jala in 1939 and,this would be really a great thing to,have,theyre not just a bunch of lines on,pages these the theyll give you the an,idea of how people lived if youd look,hard enough,lets very nicely dressed elderly,Chinese man came and he wanted to see a,map of Shanghai in 1932 and its one of,those questions like oh boy I doubt that,were gonna have something like that but,we did have that so Ive spread the map,out for this man he seems to stood in,front of it and like five minutes later,I walked by him and his face was tears,running down his face you know I didnt,know what was happening so I started,talking to him and as it turns out he,had grown up in Shanghai and his sister,was killed when the Japanese bombed the,city so he in looking at this map he was,reliving these moments with his sister,when he was a child,so it was just like a very special,moving experience of the power of a map,you know and Ive seen that Ive seen,that a lot people just sort of,discovering our memories or discovering,things about you know the United States,or California or Los Angeles that they,didnt know so its one of those times,where I thought you know what Im doing,something worthwhile here this isnt,just a bunch of now Im just not pushing,papers around,you

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