Off-Ramp | Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

Rabe interviewed on The Marketplace of Ideas

It wasn't quite as scary as climbing a 20-foot ladder to work on the roof of my house last weekend, but it was still hair-raising.

I agreed to be interviewed by Colin Marshall, the host of The Marketplace of Ideas, a broadast (KCSB-FM 91.9) and podcast he produces in Santa Barbara.

When he asked, I listened to a bunch of shows at 2x speed and discovered he was kind to everyone, including Boing Boing founder Mark Frauenfelder, novelist Joshua Cohen, music writer Greil Marcus, LA Times Book Review editor David Ulin, and KCRW's Michael Silverblatt, among the scores (hundreds?) of interviews he's done for the weekly show. So, the scary part is nothing to do with Colin, who is a professional, friendly, free-wheeling, non-gotcha interviewer who gets Off-Ramp:

The show’s interviews and field pieces provide, as Rabe puts it, a “pointillist” aural portrait of the city and its surrounding half-state, highlighting some of the most interesting people, places, and things there without attempting the futile task of precisely representing the massive amount and constantly changing composition of Southern California culture.

No, it's that as an old school journalist who has learned to keep his true feelings private, I'm always worried I'm going to say something scandalous in front of an open mike, and Colin's show runs for a whole unstructured hour. Yikes. What if I said what I actually think about X? Or even Y? However, since I make my living asking other people to submit to interviews, I believe I need to agree to most interview requests myself. (If Conan is reading this, you can take that as a "Yes.")

Colin did use a photo of me that looks like a screen test from No Country for Old Men. I can't complain about that, either, though, since I took the photo myself.

My appearance on the show is posted now. You can download it here, or just go to iTunes and search on The Marketplace of Ideas. I sampled the podcast last night, and did not discover myself saying something especially bad.

By the way, please add a prose comment when you check out his site. All that's up there now is some sort of free-verse free-for-all. Here's a sample:

bumpits for hair
bumpits reviews
bumpits volumising hair inserts
happy hair bumpits
bumpits volumizing hair inserts
bumpits hair volumizing inserts
how to use bumpits 

It's repetitive, and doesn't even scan.

(This week on Off-Ramp, a piece about the fast-approaching Home Movie Day.)