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Plugapalooza: Conservatize Me
I was a party for John Moe the other night, celebrating his new job, when someone asked how he and I had become friends.
"Hah hah -- that's a funny story," I said. "See, a few years back he was the head writer for a local comedy program called Rewind, and I would sometimes submit sketches. Since John was also the guy in charge of submissions, he was the one who always wrote back to tell me that my stuff had been rejected. So, then ..."
Here I sort of trailed off and stared into the middle distance for 20 seconds or so.
"Um, yeah. Anyway, we're friends now. Somehow. In retrospect, I have no idea how that happened."
I wrote this book called Conservatize Me, right? I tried to switch from liberal to conservative through a variety of experiences, some quasi-serious and some -- most -- not so much. The research took place over the course of a month in the summer of 2005 when the nation had recently re-elected Bush (or, depending how Kos you are, Bush stole Ohio) but the horror the horror the horror of Iraq was becoming evident. As the book came to fruition, I was struck by the idea of routines. The research phase was not routine at all: it was full of diverse adventure like having tea with man-whore/reporter Jeff Gannon, shooting guns, getting high on jellybeans at the Reagan museum, crashing the college Republican convention, and shopping for Escalades. The writing phase was completely filled with sameness (6am at West Seattle Uptown Espresso, get handed my 12oz coffee before even ordering it, fire up Postal Service on iTunes, and I was writing before Ben Gibbard could even point out that something seems so out of context in this gaudy apartment complex).
The promotional phase of it, though, was a dizzying blend of tedium and new experiences. HarperCollins shipped me around the country, putting me up in swell hotels and hiring folks whose only job was to tend to me. Though every radio interview I did was somewhat different, they all asked pretty much the same questions, making me realize I ask the same questions of guests I interview (or did at my old job). Stops on the tour were exciting and getting to see your book on the shelves at Harvard's bookstore is bonkers exciting, as is finding yourself in Austin. But the bookstore events are always -- ALWAYS -- just a smattering of folks (8 to 60 on my tour) and you read the same stuff and answer the same questions. So diversity and routine all at once. Except the Glenn Beck show on CNN Headline News.
See, we had struck out on most national media. Nothing ever came of NPR's national shows, the Today Show nibbled but didn't bite, same with Olbermann and Hannity. Then, weeks later, we get a call from the Glenn Beck show. Radio guy gone to TV, conservative, Mormon, from Everett.
Here's how it worked on the day of the show:
I might never be more famous than this day. How would it have been different had I picked the left ear?
-- John MoePosted on January 29, 2007 to Plugapalooza