Stuff White People Like: Softball questions and no followup

Tired, dull-edged, superannuated Laurie Brown, her Znaimerist days long behind her, guest-interviewing Christian Lander on Q (“cue the podcast”), 2008.07.08 (MP3; at iTunes):

— Now, one last thing about white people. Why do people like listening to writer David Sedaris talk on public radio?

— Not only on public radio, but also in person.

— Yes.

— Like, people pay $100 to hear him read from his own book. Well, I mean, there’s the basic and honest level of he’s hilarious – he’s so funny and he’s so good at what he does. But I – I can’t fully explain why he’s so beloved that people will pay so much money to hear him read from a book that they’ve already read.

— Well, you know what, he’s going to be on the show later this week.

— Oh, really?

— So we will try and talk – “here he is, you know, David Sedaris on public radio.” All the things that white people like.

A chummy and really very understanding Laurie Brown interviewed David Sedaris two days later (MP3; at iTunes). (“Readers flock to his public appearances”!) Here is the complete list of her post-intro questions and interlocutions:

  • Hello, David Sedaris.
  • Yes?
  • Yeah.
  • What? Yeah, “partner” has dif— way different connotations. Like, what are the connotations you don’t like about “partner”?
  • How about – this is one I like – I use “pelvic affiliate.”
  • [Laughs] You don’t know whether this is business or pleasure that I’m talking about.
  • Now, this new book is called When You Are Engulfed in Flames. Where does that title come from?
  • Mm. There are many thoughts about death; it permeates some of the writing in this collaboration. Are you, just like all the rest of us, afraid to die, or are you curious about it?
  • Well, that’s getting closer.
  • Mm. Well, when I first started reading you, a lot of the writing was focussed on pop culture and what was going on, and skewering that. But now, when I read this book, it’s about – you feel more tender to me, more, um, more vulnerable? more open, and maybe just more writing about big things in life.
  • Mm. So there is a limit. How would you define that limit, that line that you don’t cross?
  • Yeah. It’s completely unpredictable, eh – people’s reactions to what you write? You just can’t – you just can’t figure that out.
  • [Laughs heartily]
  • You find yourself – I mean, even outside of the family situation, you find yourself in very peculiar situations, and I wonder if those situations are attracted to you or whether you put yourself in those places where those situations happen.
  • Mm-hmm.
  • Does this kind of observational humour and the writing that you’re doing – does it start to feel like a box or a straitjacket, because now that’s what you’re known for? And when you go through a day and you don’t open that notebook or you say “I didn’t feel – or see anything funny today,” does it get you a little uptight?
  • [Both laugh]
  • You have a house in Normandy, and as we heard, you decided to go to Japan to quit smoking. Do you find that – is travel something that you do to help the writing, to put you in a very different spot, to see things and see different things?
  • Can you get a laugh in Portuguese?
  • Yeah, the hand motions were pretty lame there, David. [Both laugh]
  • “I am so cool because I’m not staring at the white person.”
  • You’re on a book tour now, and, uh, is the person that you are standing up at the front of a room reading the book – is that a different person than who you are when you’re watching centipedes kill bu— worms and things like that? Is that a differ— do you put on something when you’re out in these public performances?
  • Ha ha ha!
  • Well –
  • And I know that you are. And I know that people across the country are lining up to go and see you. So, thank you so much for coming in today.
  • That was – that was a load of fun. And it was – we were talking beforehand – you wanted to know if there was such a thing as Dickipedia? There is. It’s
  • You can write that into your notebook. Thank you so much, David Sedaris. He’s the author of When You Are Engulfed in Flames, published in Canada by H.B. Fenn. He’s making a tour of our great nation. He’s at the Bay St. Indigo in Toronto tonight, in Ottawa Saturday, and finishing out Sunday in Montreal at Place Montreal Trust.


  1. Fake Ouimet
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 9:07 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    If I’m not mistaken, Allan, you’re Scandinavian-Canadian.

    Who do I think I am? I think I’m the writerâ€editor of this site is who I think I am.

    Your other guest post (surprise, everyone!) will be going up shortly, as soon as I write my companion piece. Please go feel picked on somewhere else.

  2. Allan
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 6:27 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I saw Laurie Brown and took her picture earlier this year. She’s still “hotstuff”. And always will be.
    Nothing has changed about Laurie’s “performance’.

  3. Allan
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 6:04 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Only a week into it and you’re already full of shit, joe.
    You rejected my submission because I’m black, right?
    Those are quite the standards you’ve got there joe.
    Show me just one phrase in my submission that you can honestly say is “personally insulting”.
    Put it on the table joe.
    Whereas you can attach the words tired and dull to Laurie Brown, I would not be allowed to attach those words to Tod.
    Apparently, you’re evaluating performance, and I’m doing something else.
    But we all know the truth joe.
    It’s because I’m black, isn’t it.

    Nowhere in my submission did I attach any labels to Tod Maffin.
    I spoke directly to his actions and those of the CBC.

    Who the fuck do you think you are joe clark.
    You reject my submission saying that “standards have risen” at Teamakers.
    joe clark is a higher standard than the real Ouimet?

    Is that because you’re white?

  4. Fake Ouimet
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 5:38 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I evaluated Laurie Brown’s performance.

  5. Allan
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 4:53 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Laurie Brown – Tired, dull-edged, superannuated.
    These are the first words of a post by joe clark.

    Also by joe clark …

    Be as mean as you want about issues, but leave people the fuck alone. This is for real.

    You can thrash Stursberg’s policies into nothing more than bloody sinew and gristle if you insist, but you can’t say anything personally defamatory, cruel, or hurtful about Stursberg

    what is not going to happen is tearing you to shreds as a person

  6. Anonymous
    Posted July 21, 2008 at 7:31 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Laurie Brown used to host the Power Hour show on MuchMusic. On her very last show, she grabbed her breasts and said “I dedicate my breasts to you,” while staring at the camera. That’s when she was pure fire and hotstuff itself. Now, the dream is over as they say.

  7. Fake Ouimet
    Posted July 21, 2008 at 8:12 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    F. Clarke (no relation): For “snark,” read “accountability.” I’ll refrain from naming names when on-air personalities do.

    Wonk alert: Tons of “policy” posts coming up. It’s early days yet.

    But if you’re taken aback by “snark,” well, you must be new here.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted July 21, 2008 at 6:34 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Great work Fake Ouimet. I must say, I’m being rather seduced by the idea of daily Tea Maker posts. Yes, there will be change, yes the site will be different, and this is a good thing. Blogs and websites that don’t evolve whither away. Vive le Revolution! Long live Joe Clark. The CBC needs a gadfly and once again we have one…

  9. F. Clarke
    Posted July 20, 2008 at 10:43 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Stuff Fake Ouimet Likes: snark for no good reason about people he doesn’t like.

    Real Ouimet (of the single name, i.e. not Robert or Alphonse), whose pointed criticism was almost always constructive and aimed at the policies of the Corps rather than individuals, should be ashamed at the change in tenor of this blog since Joe Clark took over under his pseudo-pseudonym.

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