Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ten Questions Tuesday with Daniel Radosh

Today Miscellaneous Yammering is pleased to present the lovely, talented, quick witted, charming and very liberally funny Mr. Daniel Radosh. Daniel is the author of Rapture Ready! an interesting and very hilarious book that takes a look at Christian pop culture written with earnest sincerity by a bright man with a slightly Jewish view of life, probably because he's Jewish, not Christian. His parents decided that being Jewish would be a good idea and as Daniel grew up, he agreed.

Daniel has been widely published in the likes of GQ, Playboy, Spy Magazine and The [freaking] New Yorker. [bows down and does the I'm not worthy] Minions, please put your thinking caps on and join me in welcoming Daniel to Ten Questions Tuesday.

K: Good Morning Daniel. Thanks for coming in to see me this morning. Can I get you anything else or are you fine with just that warm tap water, the green M&M's and the one cracker that you asked for?

D:Van Halen's legendary and seemingly crazy demand that there be no brown M&M's backstage was actually very shrewd. They had a long rider full of important technical and safety instructions, but there was no way to know, when they arrived at a venue, whether anyone had actually read it. So they stuck in the M&M clause way down at the bottom. If they found brown M&M's in the bowl they knew someone hadn't been thorough, and could demand that everything be checked. All of which is to say, Where's my other cracker?

K: Oh man, I was SURE it was only ONE cracker. Sorry, here you go. Is everything to your liking now?

[Daniel nods since his mouth is stuffed with crackers]

K: Oh, good, alright Daniel, now that you're settled and have BOTH of your crackers, let's jump right in to


K: Daniel, you were obsessed for a while with Harry Potter. I read a piece that you wrote in Harry's voice about how intensely interested he was in having sex with Hermione. I had no trouble with that storyline, but I did have trouble when you had Harry say to himself the words "Ron and I in all our youth and glorious beauty" or some such. Have you SEEN the movies? Have you SEEN the actors who play Harry and Ron? And as a follow up……do you go to the eye doctor on a regular basis?

D: Is Daniel Radcliffe not a hottie? I'm not the best judge of such things, but I was under that impression. He certainly buffed up for Equus. But more to the point, that piece was written long before there were any Harry Potter movies, and it wasn't in Harry's voice so much as Dave Eggers as Harry. I like to think that to this day, Harry Potter and the Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is the definitive Eggers parody.

K: I found you in a round about way. Judy mentioned that her urban dictionary had a definition of porn based on Shakespeare as Bardcore….I thought that idea was funny and wanted to spoof some Shakespeare titles as porn movies for her….yeah guys, email me more, I'm fun at 2:00am….and when I typed Bardcore into google there you were writing an article for Playboy. So, my question is…did you go into the 7-11, buy 50 copies for your relatives, and tell the cashier that you were just buying them for the articles?

D: I have a comp sub and my deadbeat relatives can buy their own copies.

K: Daniel, you live with a wife and kids. But nowhere in all of the multi leveled research I did (hee hee hee) does it say what kind of pet you own. My minions are a pet lovin kind of crowd. You need to talk about your pet(s) here. It could go either way at this point and make or break book sales for you. And we're rooting for you, we really are. We WANT to buy your book, but we're not quite there yet.

D: I have two adorable new kittens and one increasingly grouchy older cat. Unless your readers are dog people, in which case I totally have puppies. That book is on sale now at Amazon.

K: Ok, speaking of your book, I loved the excerpt where you talked about attending Christian Rock Concerts. Will you talk a little about that for us please?

D: I hit several Christian music festivals during the year I spent researching Rapture Ready! It was one of those festivals that actually got me interested in the Christian pop subculture to begin with. I tagged along with my born again sister-in-law and after one band played, her friend came running over and gushed, "Awesome performance! They prayed like three times in a twenty-minute set." For someone who has attended plenty of rock shows but never heard them judged by that criteria, I found the whole thing simultaneously familiar and disorienting in a way that was incredibly intriguing. Most Christian rock is pretty bad, as I suspect you know, but I did find plenty that isn't. On my blog I have a list of some of my favorite Christian bands. Come in and listen for yourself if you don't believe me. Of course, you don't hear much of these artists at Christian rock festivals or on Christian radio.

K: So what other kinds of music floats your boat? And you can even admit to disco here if it's disco, or old eighties style funk. But if it's country western? I'm gonna have trouble wrapping my brain around that, sir.

D: You'd better sit down. Well, if you say country western, as some people do, to indicate the slick, mainstream music out of Nashville, no, I'm not really a fan. But country music in the broader sense is indeed one of my favorite genres, from Williams (Hank) to Williams (Lucinda), with plenty of stops along the way for Bob Wills, Willie Nelson, Doc Watson, and almost anyone with Cash or Carter in their names. Should I go on? If it helps, I'm also a big fan of teen pop, as readers of my blog are aware.

K: Well, as it turns out I CAN wrap my brain around that definition of country, but you forgot Patsy Cline, Patsy would be at home within any music collection.

K: I'm assuming that you fly a lot. Especially right now for your book tour. What's the oddest thing that you can tell me about [ie without involving me in the lawsuit or getting me visited by homeland security] that has happened to you while traveling?

D: I'm assuming you don't fly a lot if you think interesting stuff happens while traveling. Airports and airplanes are about the dullest places in the world. However, the other day a friend of mine was on a flight where the attendants made a guy turn his bowling shirt inside out because it was decorated with (cropped) stills from what appeared to be vintage porn movies.

K: I told you that I'd bump your interview for Steve Martin if Steve showed up first in my inbox, and you turned around and said that you'd bump me for Katie Couric. Now, I have an inordinate fascination with Steve, are you obsessed with Katie? And does your wife know about your secret?

D: I wish I could play along, but that was just the first interviewer-type person I could come up with. I actually don't watch TV news at all.

K: You go out to a nightclub. When you go in the door you notice that the bouncer is wearing the EXACT same outfit you have on. Describe the outfit, and who rocks it harder? You or the bouncer?

D: It's a bowling shirt decorated with stills from vintage porn movies. And I'm rocking it harder because I'm wearing it inside out.

K: Have you ever cheated on your taxes? (you can sidestep this one if you want, I'm being audited and they said that it would go easier on me if I could throw other writers to the wolves….kinda like McCarthyism, but with the IRS)

D: I pay an accountant to cheat on my taxes for me.

K: My favorite Jesus based tee shirt was worn by my friend Justus Brake the night that I met him. It said "What would Jesus do for a Klondike bar?" On your blog you talk about Christian tees and also about bible verse golf balls. I love the idea of bible verse golf balls, tell us more about them and did you buy dozens and dozens of boxes to give away to your friends?

D: The idea is that if you lose one, at least you're spreading the Word. For me, it's always the little details that put something over the top. The truly awesome thing about Gospel Golf Balls is the pastor's endorsement on the box: "This golf ball is the most effective outreach tool I have ever seen in golf." I mean, how many golf-based outreach tools are there? Does someone make a Cleansed by His Blood ball washer?

K: Daniel, thank you so much for coming in to play Ten Questions Tuesday with me. I don't have a tiara for you, because, well, frankly you'd probably look silly in a tiara, but I do have these interesting Miscellaneous Yammering argyle socks that I had knitted just for you. See, they have your monogram and everything.

I hope you wear them in good health and think of our little chat fondly and often….kinda like you think about Katie Couric.

D: Who?


As a follow up....Daniel was just hired to work on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart!!!!
I couldn't be happier for him!! Here's a link to his announcement. And HERE is the delectable Jon Stewart using Daniel's material
Go Daniel Go!


Karen from Mentor said...

Thanks so much for coming in today. I really enjoyed having you. And I know that you'll get at least ONE book sale out of the deal, so it's a win/win for you right? You met me, and you get to make a few bucks. :0)

And in response to the airport being dull? I do have to tell you that wherever I go I see funny things. So the airport holds no dullness for me.
Hey, just watching those people go in and out of the recombobulation center kills me all by itself, especially the people who put their hairpiece back on crooked. That NEVER gets old.

Cat Connor said...

I'm with Karen, I love airports.
Nice to meet you Daniel.

judy said...

I never knew where the words and phrases on my urban dictionary calendar came from (well, until I read that "hiking the Appalachian Trail" was about to become one). I am beyond wowed to be virtually conversing with the coiner of "bardcore!"

I didn't know that about Van Halen. (Which Van Halen, by the way - pre- or post- David Lee Roth?) The gospel golf balls just made my day, and I am trying to manage my sudden hankering for a bowling shirt of vintage porn stills (which I'd wear inside out because that is all the rage).

I'm off to find your book on Amazon, and also your Eggers as Potter piece!

Karen from Mentor said...

I embedded a link to the Harry Potter piece.
Blogger is letting me do that today!

You're on your own for the bowling shirt...

radosh said...

@Judy. I believe the credit for coining the word bardcore goes to Amherst Prof. Richard Burt, who did the, um, seminal work in the field.

The story behind the Van Halen rider comes from Diamond Dave's memoir.

Karen from Mentor said...

seminal work...heh heh...

David can write?????