Scary Thoughts is a new podcast I’m working on with the philosophically inclined electronic musician Marc Kate. Episode one is edited and in the can. It’s about the nostalgia horror Netflix show, Stranger Things. I’ve been sending a private link out to anyone who’s interested and the response has been positive so far.
I’ve talked about the show a few times on this blog and I’ll link to it here when it’s live on iTunes.
On the episode we talk about deep cut inspirations for the show, sequel possibilities, the possible economic influences for the rise of synthesizer scores, and what good horror should be doing.
One of the really fun parts about the show is getting to know Marc. I met him because he’s my wife’s friend’s husband. We’ve talked a few times over the years, but I think we might’ve only had one or two real conversations in person before we recorded. We connect on so many things, but we have really diverging political leanings and backgrounds. I would never be so dull as to describe it as a left/right sort of thing, though. Marc is a great musician, an experienced DJ with a taste for the dark, and a strong background in critical theory. I saw a post from his wife today that noted he marked Judith Butler‘s birthday in his calendar.
Butler is the head of the Rhetoric department at UC Berkeley (I have an undergraduate degree from it). All that gender theory stuff the alt-right is freaking out about? Butler is thick with it. I don’t know that I much understand it, but I’ve read a lot of her stuff. I actually read about half of one of her essays today (they are not easy). But I also watched four episodes of Duck Dynasty tonight and had a half hour conversation with my ex-cop neighbor about the best caliber pistols for stopping people from charging you (he likes the .40 just fine). So there’s some yin and yang there.
Of course I’d like to become a millionaire podcaster and get a job rewriting horror scripts from this thing, but I have pretty modest goals. I’d like to meet some people from around the world who like to think about movies and still keep it silly. And I’d like to one day get invited to a panel on horror at any sic-fi/comic convention. I’ve been going to those panels for years and I always thought I’d be good on one.
I remember one of my favorite panels at Dragon Con sometime in about 1994 (I was 15). It was called “Do Goths Read?” Caitlin R. Kieran and Poppy Z. Brite, two fairly popular writers from what people at the time called the splatterpunk scene, were on the panel. One of the speakers started with, “I think the answer is ‘yes’, right?” Everyone laughed and agreed. The rest of the conversation was about what writers they liked. On that day I discovered William S. Burroughs, David Lynch, and a few other classic transgressives.
I’m curious to see where we land in the horror podcast ecosystem. Thanks to Marc’s recording background our show already sounds great. A lot of new podcasts suffer from shitty sound editing early on, so this is a huge advantage. We’re sort of academic, but not rigorous at all. I’m about as likely to drop an F bomb as much as mobilize a half baked Lacanian reading for something. It’s sort of not-so-close-close-readings.
A lot of the horror podcasts are by real horror completists and fanboys/girls. They’re all horror all the time, catching everything new, and geeking out about industry news. I seriously love that stuff and listen to it all the time (I’ll out together a list on a future post, probably for scary thoughts.org). I want to explore things that other people aren’t talking about without being too contrarian. I’m hoping what I read and think about will be original enough for people to come back to it.