So this guy named Dan Schneider — aw fuck, why tell the story over again, when he’s already done it?
From: “cosmoeticalist .” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sunday, April 12, 2020 2:33:57 PM
Subject: Interview Request: Malcolm Brenner
My name is Dan Schneider and I am the founder and owner of the popular and influential arts website Cosmoetica. Here is a link: http://www.cosmoetica.com/. I have a Youtube series that interviews individuals and panels of people on the arts and sciences, called the Dan Schneider Video Interview: https://www.youtube.com/user/cosmoetica. My interviews provide depth that harkens back to the days of David Susskind, Dick Cavett, WF Buckley, and Phil Donahue.
I recently discovered your videos and find your range of topics interesting- from zoophilia to psi to orgone. I have interviewed many academics, artists, theologians, and sometimes people with views outside the mainstream. If nothing else, your life seems to have been a varied and interesting one, and that wd be the focus- who you are, your beliefs, and so forth. This wd be a serious interview, and not some goof.
I am a great interviewer, and if you look thru some earlier shows you’ll see I get the the core of an issue like no one else.
Cosmoetica will go down as one of the most influential websites from the early Internet years, and easily the most influential in the arts. I hope you agree to be interviewed. If you agree, I can get things ready. The interviews require a good Internet connection, Skype on both ends- a free download, having a good webcam so we can see you, and my little recording device.
Please let me know if you would be interested in an interview. I think it might be mutually beneficial.
And my well-reasoned, calm, collected, rational reply:
Now, I wouldn’t make you read all that nonsense without leading you further along the primrose path to more nonsense, would I?
Or, if you’re the scholarly type and prefer to get it from an archive:
I must admit, I thought Dan was polishing his apple a bit, comparing himself to the great news interviewers of the 20th Century… and let me say this about that, he’s not an altogether modest guy.
But, he is the best interviewer I’ve spoke to so far, because he genuinely seemed interested in me as a person, rather than the punchline to a bad joke, like Howard Stern did (damned if I’ll link to him), or someone to be rude to, like Bubba the Love Sponge (him neither), or simply brainless questions like “Did it feel good?”
And that, strangely enough, is important to me; not approval of what I am, but simply acknowledgement that I exist as I do for certain reasons, which Dan gave me a chance to explain. And for that, I thank him.
What also endeared him to me is that he records his shows in 22-minute segments, for some reason (that’s the space allotted them on his HD?), and after recording the second segment, he somehow managed to lose it entirely while trying to save it.
He made an attempt at an apology — what can, after all, one say, given the volatility of digital media? — which I graciously accepted, and we re-recorded (you can say “retaped” if you want, but you date yourself to the 20th Century and its technology) the segment, but the reason this accident was so endearing is I thought things like this only happened to me!
Seriously, I did. Hm. That makes me also remember the press photographer I knew who shot a whole assignment without having a memory card in his camera… but that was long ago, when I worked in the press. Perhaps I am not alone in screwing-up occasionally (see Wet Goddess: Recollections of a Dolphin Lover, Ch. 4, “Fatally Fogged Film,” which describes in detail the procedures required to load and safely unload film from the Jacques Cousteau-designed, Nikon-manufactured Nikonos underwater 35mm camera, and how I managed to defeat them while perfectly straight).
I might warn you that my sound is a bit dodgy, because I think I had the gain on the mic turned up too high, and the earbuds I was wearing down too low. So the beautiful, expensive Blue Yeti mic my daughter sent me isn’t responsible. As the HAL 9000 computer said in 2001: A Space Odyssey, “I’m sorry, Dave, but this appears to be a case of operator error.” I intend to recalibrate the settings and try again, the next time someone wants to talk to me.
I’m glad you’re reading this, because while you are, I know you’re not here, filling the air around me with deadly viruses! And President Bonespurs is wrong, as usual: the way the coronavirus is being spread isn’t a conspiracy by the diabolical Chinese, it’s a plot by the Stupid People. They’re trying hard to commit suicide, and they’re willing to take Grandma with them, if that’s what it takes! Hey, it was her time!