Norman Solomon (BSS #6)

Approximate Date: An evening in the Mission in mid-August, 2005

Author: Norman Solomon

Condition of Mr. Segundo: Lonely, wistful, about as romantic as Mr. Segundo is capable of.

Subjects Discussed: The relationship between government policy and media, the U.S. government as advertising model, war as product, Charlotte Beers, the element of casualties, use of the flag, “We’re Number 1,” criticizing government without having access to national security documents, the relationship between raw war coverage and antiwar sentiment, transformation of media and propaganda over the past forty years, new media vs. old media, bloggers, Matt Drudge, journalists who face retaliation for war coverage, Laurie Garrett’s resignation letter, wild reactions to Solomon’s work, examples of good journalism, the American public’s interest in foreign affairs, Jim Hightower and Disney, Donald Rumsfeld and Esquire, 9/11 and “Fortunate Son.”

[INTERVIEW NOTES: The interview with Ms. Skurnick was conducted by telephone.]

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Categories: Ideas

iTunes Music Store

For those who have asked, the Bat Segundo Show is now available through the iTunes Music Store. Do a search for “Segundo” and it should crop up. Still trying to figure out how to get the info fields to register. But hopefully we’ll get the kinks worked out in the coming week.

Categories: Uncategorized

Paula Kamen (BSS #5)

Approximate Date: A sunny afternoon in early August, 2005

Author: Paula Kamen

Condition of Mr. Segundo: More of a complainer than usual, but feeling either paternal or pathological.

Subjects Discussed: Balancing memoir and microhistory, Chronic Daily Headache (CDH) and its recent medical classification, newspaper articles that perpetuate an unlived life, writing a book while suffering from CDH, the specific denomination value of Ms. Kamen’s marble system, throwing drugs at the problem, doctors who prejudge women patients based on appearance, Freud’s unfortunate legacy of “hysteria,” covert examinations, clarifying the “Not tonight honey, I’ve got a headache” myth, Oliver Sacks’ failure to expand his migraine definition, comorbidities, mortality as a motivating factor for medical focus, working-class CDH sufferers, the difficulties of getting disability, chronicbabe.com, being denied a major television appearance because the incurability of CDH was “too depressing” for viewers, the stigma of memoirs, the difference between physical and psychosomatic pain.

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Categories: Ideas

Amanda Filipacchi & Kevin Smokler (BSS #4)

the bat segundo show #4

Approximate Date: July 31, 2005

Authors: Amanda Filipacchi and Kevin Smokler

Condition of Bat Segundo: In an unspecified condition of “pain.” More sober than usual, pining for scotch and merlot.

Subjects Discussed: Stalking, dark comedy, intense behavior, Harriet Klausner, chick lit, keeping lists, sex, the politically incorrect, the menage a trois, class-based characters, free time, book tours, the relationship between publishers and online literary venues, FSG and Christopher Sorrentino’s Trance, the next generation of writers (McSweeney’s as homogeneous voice?), the telegenic requirements of writers, the cult of personality, clarifying the “Reading at Risk” controversy, the intentions of Bookmark Now, literary standards vs. enthusiasm, the Iliad as logline, responding to the “writing in unreaderly times” flap, individual vs. group reading, explaining the Nicholson Baker acknowledgment.

[INTERVIEW NOTES: The interview with Amanda Filipacchi was conducted by telephone.]

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Categories: Fiction, Ideas