« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 957 - Charles Demers

2018-10-07 | 🔗
Writer and comedian Charles Demers has a lot of thoughts on the differences between the United States and his home country, Canada. Differences that are political, social and professional. But he also tells Marc his thoughts about how Canada presaged Donald Trump in one specific way, how socialized medicine in Canada helps the national psyche as well as individual lives, and how the alt-comedy scene in Vancouver took off with the help of a couple prominent American comedians. This episode is sponsored by YouTube Music, The Alec Baldwin Show on ABC, Policygenius, Stamps.com and SimpliSafe.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
All right. Let's do this. How are you what the fuckers, what the plot buddies, what the fuck it Alex, what the fuck your grants, what the fuck look and whatever few of you are after listening. I dunno how's it going mark mare- and this is my podcast w e f- how you holding up. I know I know not great many of you. I myself included, is rough go and rough this weekend. Rough go in this year, rough go in the last couple, but I'd want to say. I want to say a couple of things. First, I'd like to talk a thing I'm doing. That is why this should be uplifting. It should be spent virtual comforting on some level. I
I'm doing, I'm hosting a great event. I think it's not a political event, but it's a music event, and I just draw little attention to it. It's called across great divide and it's benefit concert for the american music association and the blues foundation. It's going to be here in los angeles, at the ace theater on October 19th, I'm hosting it and prefer that night will be prying bob weir, lucinda Williams, Doyle, bramhall, the second jamaica, copeland, larkin, poe joe walker, cash neil, maybe some special ass in Jimmy vena. My old buddy the conan show the amazing guitar player and bandleader will be, will be them. director and bandleader of the event, and you can still get it gets through that You can just go to ace hotel, dot com and click on the calendar there and get tickets can be a fun event and who knows, maybe jimmy all, let me play in number
said today on my show on this show that you are listening to now. I have sort of. I would like to consider a special gas, because I many guys down here from canada and Charlie de mares is The comedian, social activist and writer who I've worked with many times, and a lot of you may not know him, but he's a sweet guy, he's a smart guy, going gauge guy in a very funny guy he's open for me many times, Canada and we've shared meals and he's just one of e, the lovely people that died Met in my life doing the job, you no I'm actually it because he is he's. Actually it if you have kids probably heard him as a voice on stuff like my little pony and beat bugs, but today, actually promoting his book. It's a committee, crime, novel called property values, and it comes out on october, sixteenth, and you can prove
it now as a great book. It's it's a smart book. So look forward that conversation I'm going to have with Charlie de in in just. Few minutes. I just wanted yet that up front could some eu it's interesting. I get emails and feedback from a lot of people over the years. The mai. My interviews would guess that people all know than that draw people in that may not have was in a show are one thing, but a lot of you I have told me over the years that my interviews with people they ve, never heard of generally better interviews are, and you look I I have my own opinions and I'm not, I don't think they're they're, better necessarily, but I think what makes them interesting is that people like yourself, I out there listen to the show and, like I don't know this guy am I going to listen and those of you who are into the show and not just in the celebrity yo. appearing these cats, you ve never heard of these women that you ve never heard, and I do think women can be cats tomb very sensitive to my
which right now at this moment in history, but but they they can do some people will to enjoy the unknown people to them. Better than the larger, largely known people. So I don't know I'm giving all they set up. I'm just a big fan of charlie and I was happy he was down here for the four doing some book promotion and meeting with people, because he is a he he's one of the good ones he's one of the good guys in this room, the comedy so onward. I'd like to see everybody who came down to the the intimate shows at dynasty typewriter here in los angeles, great venue and on thursday night we had. We had pretty pretty the show a if been working on trying to put together. But it was about an hour and forty minutes And a lot of it was new stuff. I had a lot of freedom of mind which I like to do and I like to have in a in a small environment, but saturday was a little rough he was a little rough folks
I will not. I will not deny that. Saturday night. That was the day that all women in this country were, psychologically emotionally and spiritually assaulted by the information of judge, Brett kavanaugh that he have the trauma that is real. That comes from something like that action on behalf of the senate and the president is trauma and its trauma to a large group of people but mostly women, but not all of us. Now. There are these three two sides to this, and I still am fascinated that the at how close it is that there there is sort of an almost fifty fifty divide on how people feel about, going on this country- and I am baffled by that
and I don't need any feedback from right wing people about the reason you're baffled is because you're whatever there is a hyper nationalistic shit, show going on in this country and it seems almost unresolvable, but the bottom line is: is that on saturday, all women in this country, where psychologically emotionally, spiritually and within the laws of this wondering how they work, assaulted and that's insanely traumatic and can create a lot of hopelessness, a lot of anger, a lot of frustration but the you become sort of like what, how do we move through that? How do you stay engaged in, and and take action and I'll We were all hoping the voting works and when I say I hope the voting works. I hope people get out. I hope that all of you are are getting registered. You do need to register to vote, and I also hope that that
that it works just on a on on a a bureaucratic and technological level that it's not going to be fucked with, because this government that we have done nothing to protect. That on purpose is obviously having performed on Saturday night for years. They were my crowd. They can you see me mostly grown ups. It was ten o at night by one. my buddy ryan singer went on stage. I could hear the type of laughter that was happening. I know that kind of laughter. I know the laughter that I expect A working in new york city the weeks and months after nine eleven, there was a after, on behalf of people, people to know what to do with themselves, so they come out and relief, it's not even that they want distraction, they want connection and they want some sort of reprieve. They don't want lost they don't want to run away, but they we know they hope they. They just want a break. They want. engaged human.
She'll break from you what seems like a dire and hopeless situation, which it does seem like that, and I could hear the ality of laughter that type of laughter, the laughter of of trauma. You comes in it's it's like it's almost desperate reflex to to find some sort of relief and I could feel it saturday night and you know, and I had to address the yeah. I had an address conversationally in between bits, my own sort of sadness and frustration at what's happened but somehow or another we have to go on with keep living in and we have to you do what we, Can do you do what's in front of you and you also make plans to do whatever action, you can to add to correct the course, or at least give it your best shot to two you'll make our way through this fucking dark period. we know one knows what's going to happen, but there in there's no real way
console yourself a I mean your countries have fallen. We see We seen in my lifetime all around the world things shift places. Become shit. Holes places become. radical disasters, dick to dictate disasters fucking a bit a republics- and we- we thought we were above that and we all I thought that that america, you know, given that we were given a certain amount of freedom to sort of live the life we want to do and em and make away for ourselves that there is a it's, not entitlement, but I can't fault people that got too comfortable, in the sense that sort of one of the reasons we live here. One of the reasons we we love country, but You think a lot of us got over the eight years of Obama, there was a kind of what were we doing. You know just on me being mindful getting. Core tight. But yeah now
yet. You know now we are where we are, and I am not blaming anybody yet that Jesse either. Why not experience relief and excitement of progress? Well, it's all been shattered and we have to figure out how to re, engage in not crumble into ourselves. in a while and turn that anger inward as they say, which is what depression is and now there is plenty of evidence for what we assume the future will be that's real anger that you should feel and if you do turn that on yourself you will get depressed and apathetic and crumble. So don't start drinking again. Don't stay in bed all day. Live your life. Take it The people that are in your life do the right thing by them, and then you take the actions that we can. However, you are able to do it with the time you have to to try to do your civic duty and and do what's right so. take care of yourselves and in stay strong stay, focused process, the grief process, the
but don't dare internalize. It don't give yourself cancer and don't take yourself out of the game and don't drink if you're sober, okay and vote cuz so Charlie de MER, as this is a special conversation because he's a canadian comic but is also canadian activist and in canada there still the it to have an active, polluted. dialogue and social dialogue around things at the Many people don't even know the definition of, or certainly the application of in this country, like socialism, class differences, indigenous peoples so it was a. It was a. It was a. It was a very well rounded and and great conversation he's a great guy in his new book as a crime novel that is a politically informed. It's called. Pretty values. It comes out on october, sixteenth. You can pre order it now, and this is, talking to canadian comedian, Charlie damaris
in and in these- are my big problems there I mean I aspire to them that in my die, which I don't want to bring up again, because you've told me that if you're, tired of people If you're shy, I will, I said a third but you're, that's very kind of you. I know they're there and they're watching their weight. These guys, you're staying with I just I mean there's a you know. Fat is one of those problems where, when people talk about it, yeah and those late you, someone who is just objectively much standing there. They know that you're fat guy in their early on regular soya and then they'll talk about how fat they are and how it like, just with that feeling of disgust at themselves right
and- and you know like graham, as a joke about like when it when a beautiful person says, like I look like such a man syria, will. You must think, I'm a monster leg If you are worried about so I'm like trader joe's yesterday with a thin young friend who accountant He goes off five grams of sugar in this some fat free yogurt, five grams sugar that's up there and, like I gotta, stay a week with them So what are you going to do? What I mean? I It implies that you're the monster but death does imply that your friends are self involved, I mean, that's a possibility. I mean, I think it's I think taking a certain amount of I do like I do try to to eat healthy, I can I'm more of a it's more of a binge problem than eating bad food.
problem. I've always wondered at, but it's hard to breach the topic with you. Boys wanted that about me worry about people who are, we will have one gets like, as I might mean, we went out to eat you weren't home back and what, if it's kind of you to remind me for an hour from what I recall. No, I read that we very gastric involved either wiser blueberry gastric. They are famous, I mean pose name airplanes, argo yea, argo. Cafe I mean I could be the like the death. Now, if I lake cause you everybody worried about psi. The secrets going to get out about the or any it'll just be overrun. It was almost on Diane mean the argo cafe in vancouver ontario second yeah, it's I I but yeah there was a blueberry gas streak. Odac duck, I think, was a duck. It was duck coffee, yeah We get the dark I mean and when you re in dark at lunch I mean I was the argo. A few weeks ago,
friend who is a high up at an animation studio that close by autumn at cartoons there like couple block way from the argo. And we went over and they there's lunch. Specials Blair and we got brisket, which was on the ok. Brisket and yankee is a that's the end of your day like it not a lunch. It's like, noon. Canceled, yeah and then those are the moments that you have a problem. But no, I would say, like on the whole, a guy tend to eat fairly happy things in unhealthy amounts would be. I would think that tendency the brisket on nokia. I'm still hung up on that that, like a that's I used to the daily needs to make a sandwich. If you could call it a sound tat was visibly brisket in between two potato pants
I just nearly did. As I said earlier, I gravy involve that you know just sort of a crazy I mean so good I've been I've been on a sugar detox. Once I get into a diet thing, I could get I've gotten emaciated in my life and felt like this is amazing and people are saying: are you sick yeah we get older, you get gaunt yeah, but like what's up says so. You consider yourself heavy. I mean you're, you're, being you're being very sweet about it. I mean I'm, I'm a I'm a I'm, a very fat man. I mean it's it's so I'm the second generation in my family that I know of who so my my mom and my mom and I were very young when we lost apparently I'm lost her down when she was seven and my mom died when I was ten cheerily that cancer yeah and We both. I guess you I've heard. This desert deserves great
canadian writer named paul quarantine, who talked about you know when his mom I'd in his mid teeny, I then he just spun off into booze and drugs, real. If that's what you do with the, but if your ten or seven you don't necessarily try, you don't think Amina and so, as one wonders, if you'd do exactly yeah, maybe if I'd been twenty, when that had happened, I'd be a heroin addict, then I and then instead I got on the gas streak. I got right on the gas streak like yosemite and you know that sort of like the kind of comforting yeah strain attempts at self parenting. One when the eu is apparent or their detached or whatever like as he is sort of to your own devices emotionally to feel good. I have been told there is a like, or
and among obese men. I like some sort of orphaning or quasi orphaning it it is kind of over represented that does tend to be like com. You know I mean it went when my when my daughter was born and I would watch her that you don't know yeah, my at my wife's press of it. It occurred to me the like you have you struck by this feeling of like every feeling of safety and security, ya and comfort. ever going have in her? Life is going to be essentially like a metaphor for but she's literally reeling right now year, and so you indefinitely understand at how ragged of pudding stuff in here, well for yourself. Is the kind of very satisfying yeah and it's a surrogate kind of a parenting one yeah right and then, when you're not eating, it's just you panicking yeah yeah, it's like I get it, I guess I get that with like. I noticed that about myself in terms of doing those
I to to feel better. You know, there's nothing better than just shovel. food into your face yearly I'd, I mean I've done a lot of drugs. I mean nothing more satisfying than just eating and when I'm not eating or I'm not fidgeting with something or I'm not like, gave, I go smoking a cigar when you walk up here, like they're just If I'm not on my phone from just sitting there, I got about ten good minutes with that then I thought you were going to say seconds and minutes is like. I feel like. Isn't that normal kid I used to sit for longer than that sure I think so wow I bet like. I can sit for longer, but the thoughts aren't going to be great know. They know it's going to go downhill yeah, but but it's interesting that you can added to that, sir, she died when your ten. She ten yeah she starts she started. She got very sick when I was five so she would be in and out of the hospital.
I you know sometimes it'd be six weeks at a time sometime there be clear warning: you'd, go to school and then come home, and you know during the day mom had had to go to the hospital, and maybe she is going to be there for for weeks and- and I you know it's one of those things where I mean it was an early political lesson because it was, it was laid out to me in pretty your language for a little kid that, like if we lived in a different country this this could have wiped saw I mean that it has essentially is the kind of thing where like right, if we ve been in the states right it would have been. I would have had all the emotional trauma, but also my family would have been just economically I didn't have the wider after yeah and so it's almost it's it's education, but there there's something. Also, certainly in
creating about it. I totally Canada is the best that we mean it. These causes moments do keep coming up. In my you know that the press- MR who legislated official multiculturalism, I in the seventies, pierre trudeau, that's what add to my mother in law, moving from chicago to toronto, she's from hong kong maha, and on my wedding night? She my mother. In law was quite into her cups and she demanded that I acknowledge that Pierre trudeau was responsible for my Look for my marriage that, if it weren't for pierre trudeau here too, though senior year, justin's dahlia that that I would not have met the love of my life We know that easily went into reality, yeah exactly that SAM Canada's averse, I mean bully madeira. I mean, I think I talk to you right near right. When trump was elected in I was work.
I talk to you I too, and then you gave me the bad news and I gather gonna sweat fifteen percent on anything you buy in vancouver nap, it's a it's a I mean a thing with bank with canada in general is there's a tendency towards smugness, because we're so so it's like canada's like the me that the three hundred pound dude who like but the the the older brother is like his. Strung out on math, and so, like you, just a fat guy, so you don't have to deal with your only guiding conjoined twin yeah is strung out. I met because canada is like canas got the horrible problems inequality and racism and environmental devastation. We all these kinds of you. There are huge parts of the country, the on on. You know indigenous reserves, where you can't drink the water that comes out of sync here, but every night and we watch american american. We watch american movies turn on cnn and there's some guy
senator from wherever away in presenting the bail we value, whose mexican maybe the snow shoes and later here you know, you're like a wolf compared to that. Do we want it doesn't seem as nuts. But it's it's a real problem, because people put off dealing with it is very real problems. I think, I mean I've always assumed that I might be wrong that there's something about being able to to live with some with some self respect, because you him get sick and and not be afraid that it it does change the the disposition and almost a genetic level too, yet yeah. You know that there's is sort of a comfort that what I find when I go to canada and I may be wrong decisive is I've. I've gone with ways I've gone up there and thought you know, this is the most boring place in the world and then, after trump I've seen I've gone up. Thinking like this, the way life should be appear to
You know, if you ve got boring, is good and someone like times you haven't. I think that's true. I think that it feels like there's that whatever component that's socialism on whatever level may bring, is a a lack of of the same kind of greedy competition that that is at the core of almost every transaction, both emotional and financial. In this country I mean yeah, but we have. The light I learned is that we have those guys to right, but they have to be passiveaggressive about less soda, so there is to a certain extent, there is a kind of honesty to at least a money. Grubber in the united states relic doesn't feel like they have to hide. It doesn't feel right, like I you would always in beverly hills earlier today and you know there's guys driving around in a ferrari, and I mean any you as a canadian. I just think like even canadian would be embarrassed.
That on the gnoles we'd like to drive a ferrari, I verily hills they be, but doesn't ST that at least where you know what you're dealing with here and I think, canadian racism is much more passive, aggressive. Canadian greed is more passiveaggressive area, an end I don't want to say that it's I really wouldn't want to come across a saying, like things are Is there anything that you see and were they just give a condescending work? Some of the museum whereby but yeah definitely condescending, looks you know there's I, although now I mean in the age of will media you get to see now every little explosion of her. So there was a there was a small town. You know coffee, donut, donut shop, a confrontation that went viral re. Lee from small town, canada. This definitely some ugliness, Some do some really good parts. So that's the other brown with with the time
Shame was ugliness. It's going on now. Here is that it the kind of somehow or another will give some kind of em zeit guiseppe free pass to. at monsters everywhere, I mean it's I remember you know slavishly jack, join they like george double wish torture stuff talking about philosophically the important distinction between in a society where we know towards happening, but we pretend it isn't versus the guy yeah, we torture, the mighty appear, exactly and that there is a there's, an important that desire for the hypocrisy actually, as play a slightly civilising sure. Yes, like wanting to pretend that you're not doing what he had didn't denials an important cause, part of civilization.
important component we actually, whether in the upper into at least pretending your civilized for the most part, the union that neo What we're living in now is some sort of strange mixture of seen constant bird. Image of lying and yet the most transparent I meant that we've had in years yeah because of Assistance of the press, and just because of the shameless behavior of of these craven monsters, but that was the terror fine thing and in a way that was where you know a situation in canada kind of preceded the american version, which was what we had with me I before and yeah yeah. You know that was the first time. Somebody said well what if I just resign in disgrace like what, if I just I know, you're saying I have to, but I don't legally have to write and if it's just that, I'm being governed by social norms. What if I just
and it's the same thing of like what, if I just don't mind, if you call me races what there that's fucked up thing is right, I've been doing that bid on stage or talking bout. It makes it so there are no rules, apparently urinary. There was just an understanding laid down by certain newly above, of presidential behavior, but nothing was written down. is like. I think it's time we make notes, we should make notes and zip people to write some shit down if we survive this yeah norm yeah. That hedge is like. We just assume that people would be aid properly. Why would anyone assume that, while the other thing a feeling of like when your guy gets in so You know there was an immense concentration of executive power during obama years to show there was a continuation of what was happening under george w bush, but because people Well, I glad this is one of our guys. This is a good guy, it's okay and what could go wrong? Well, yeah. I guess it was always just start the assumption constitutionally yeah that that these these people, these leaders,
put the nation, into some sort of priority around. You know how people are treated, respect for the law in any respect for the actual system of government, but wants to go. meant overtime, got turned out to be just like as pdf instead of parliament of whores, you know that they don't give a fuck yap about the country really that's the one thing I will give canada as I feel like the lies that we tell, or at least the good lot like. So Is this idea of like Canada is not we don't to conquer countries? Were a peacekeeping country All of that is bullshit, but at least it's nice that that's what people I want to believe in the country, And- and I saw it is kind of the lies- that up civilization tells itself re are important in the other, yet you risk in your europe of probably o o
more lefty than I am. I don't know I consider myself. You know a lefty yeah to a degree, but I but there are, but there is an ideal, is into progressive knows that it is unattainable and what we're dealing with in this country. I think a bid is that we don't have a real leftist movement that has any traction governmentally. So and you get real leftist thoughts and ideas. You give people or to the right of the leftist, but still within the same party. Ish yeah, we're like you, know, you're going to fuck this up. You know we got nothing but monsters and forty eight percent of the country that just want to they they they didn't, want to steamroll all of it. So, if His problem amongst ourselves, you how we going to move forward. and then there's always a negotiation which implies that denial that you're talkin about yeah. I mean, I think, the thing that the left the is it the left in the center, often if the work together, but the left understands the anger, the round right there and then the centred doesn't justice
I understand anger. The idea I think that anger always has to be ugly and I think people on the left and people on the right, the way right right away, ride date, they ve yeah. They at least they d get right right. things wrong and there being angry about the situation is not or human now, the question is: do you take that in a really ugly, racist, massage like how does that ankara come out here, because there are we for anger to come out? They can be really beautiful and and can actually make things france and in the least yeah yeah trenck transgress of culture, we but yeah, elevating yeah yeah. it's, also like okay, so you're you're, you're being told as your mother is dying, that day, you're better than americans aka. At least we still have a house. Yes, oh man, I would say you may have lunch you mother, but always keep yours ugh sense of self righteousness. No one can take that from you by they go
The point I was gonna, make it an odd we gonna get back to it in terms of seeing your own daughter. It is re added nursing. Is that this aid, have primal union. The idea that yeah there is a period and in in a child's life where they are in. Symbiotic relationship? Will it mother to the point where, like this is something iron psychologically that that at some point you have to actually disrupt that on purpose yeah. In order for that person to have a of self. So if that is an actively like, if you continue the semi artic dynamic through co dependents as the child ages you're getting it's somebody that's going to be in need of self parenting and it's gonna end up a bad thing. As you know what I'm saying that later and it just makes you feel like to love or not enough, love right, they're, going to end up fucked like it's so hard to. I always tend towards the slightly sap ear too much land yeah. Why matter of of like
back in my life. You know just that woody to be firm and have you no identifiable Values, yep and in not buckle to pouting. Yes, yes you know you you you, you might be serving that purpose. No, but that's! The thing too is like. When you were as apparent, I mean the the discipline that you give a form of love and an end. Saying no to your kid is a form of love. Lies guide, sell, em on. Why can you not really there much smaller than you and they can these things on their own, like at an end, figure that out here I already she's for her. So I mean right now. It's just peak just everything, adorable everything's, hilarious, legates she's, just as little purse and she just like a whit with
just every day. There's some two weeks ago. She says that cause written my father in law was in town. She seen all she figured out. You know who's got penises. As volvo's, then you know she says to me: if she says a jedi during that hour, cuz everyone's naked yeah. Well, this is the other thing about canada that you guys don't really associate so she got a nude partying mood. She says to me she says, and Daddy gave a penis us. Yes, she is given ugly penis, like that's the follow up like sub question and what she using as her gate, or am I an asset quite well yeah. I mean that it was, but it's a it's a constant like I remember her walking in on me in the bathroom when she much younger and she just points. She points that that your
the latter, has cut, I can judge area, but that whole thing is very different for me because you know, es. I lost my mom when I was ten. I was in a house with. It was me my brother, my dad he has whole like feminine side of though the world has like it's and now you I should qualify. By sand, like both my dad and my brother are gay It was not a macho house by any stretch your both gang they're, both gay, I mean Edith, If you could see me, you'd know how hard it is to stay straight le eighteen years in the house and there's no, it's some, the other both how that happen. Well, I think there are any recourse armies. Was your dad gay when he was married here why he was so him out so well, he he wasn't equally. So there's so kate, ass from montreal
explained yeah, it's not gay. It's european he's a francophone french speaker. in the seventies he he hitchhiked out to vancouver me eyes about twenty years old Annie it's a letter back to my grandmother in montreal coming out of the closet. To her me, I was general coming out, but he let her as vancouver a groovy or place at the time or like yeah. I think it was just it was a combination of like and he he hitchhiking with his body, who had a sister who was working at a nor as a nurse in vancouver. Ah, it's I think it's a really true the place for a lot of french canadians cause. It's vancouver is almost totally outside of the historic, english, french, german, italian, swedish yeah. I mean it
It's it's an it's an asian city and allow it's a pacific city. I guess it's always on many look. It just looks new architecturally yeah reading a sort of uniform in some way, vancouver in chicago, have a similar thing of like they both had fires early in the history of the city and had to decide like how they would rebuild right and Chicago was like, like just going to make this the most magical architectural place on and vancouver was like we're going to make the most forgettable buildings any networking and we're just again taken all from the same set of playing here. Just in case all burn down again and so on yeah he ended up in in vancouver. Vancouver did as it does today have a pretty thriving gay scene, but in I, he met my mother. They were working together and he met my mother and doing what they were working dispatch a which they were retain like emergency calls, so I
and I they they met, they fall love he wrote Dad wrote another letter back to my grandmother. The same gradual men of the eyes, and so so they were together for you know until until my mother died in nineteen, ninety one and then all through my teens. I thought that my dad was like you know, one of those sicilian widows who, just like enters entrances of morning that just last the rest of his life can never moved on really romantically. We'll know he did nine of a large ever there is nothing, no action, no boy for now mean he would have friends should like come over and and end to they seem like they. better timed announcement, there's no, no, no, no flag
the rainbow fly. I said I think like when you it's in, though even in those days was not thou long ago, but like twenty years ago to five years ago. The thing in the world you think of was like you, dad was gay right, raw release, your friends, I guess there now you oughta, media and age drive. And so I had the I I had a. I had an idea that he was gay when I was about thirteen and I just pushed it down to a place where like where it couldn't come right, see it right, so he then came out to us when he was when I was like twenty and the by then I was already totally fine with it obviously we and more like like not at all. The only thing that was messed up was that I realized in retrospect that I had built up a whole false idea of how to properly grieve and morn, which was to just like stop your whole life that in its
acts like you, never move on cause. I thought. Oh, she thought you were emotionally aping, your dad do oh yeah, is he was to me. He was this here right, you are never. He had never replace, write his love so how did you manifest that? As a kid I mean I it? You know what was your version of that's it edge It's a good question. I think it's still sort of playing out. I I'm in my I'm I'm going to be I'm thirty. Eight yeah. I was ten years old when her mother died and I've only recently started to like get beyond like the trauma of that at like even at like just a basic physical level like it's, a it's been stuck with me a really long time
and the feeling of loss, the feeling of lost the feeling of like just visceral anger of having had that taken away or the injustice of the feeling of like. I have just been able to kind of start crying kind of at the drop of a hat right feeling of. If you think about it or something hits you the wrong way, you start and it just it it never, it became a scar. It was always scab. Dover, like It was never right right, never fully he'll do I and the scabbard come off occasion yeah, and I think part of that was that I thought that you kept that connection with that person alive by big, key and interesting is moving on where's your attacking about. I was anyways about that that that primal union, needing to be sort of what'd, but disrupted at a managed way, as opposed to that right now, we re rushing why I think they they seems in the grief should in his well yeah yeah those aggrieved
interrupted. That's really! That's what I mean that that you're, what you're holding onto is is this strange kind of some biotic hold of her death, totally right, so that just, never goes away cause there's like anger, bitterness all those all stages, but they're all things. you're feeling that our passions, that you, for this present. So as long as you have them, I think the terms wounded attachments. The ideas like. as long as you're still destroyed by it yeah it's like that that connection is is still alive. you have other self awareness around it. Have you done any got any help for it I have gotten help for. Like other, you know, I've I've been in your therapy for a long time, but I was mostly dealing with an upset I had obsess. compulsive disorder and various anxiety disorders, yeah and from the same source. I bet, I think so, but you eat with cognitive behavioral therapy.
You basically kind of deal, stop doing that, stop doing those things essentially yeah, but uh, you know, haven't necessarily driven exactly at the right, the sore like the the kind of the sort of nuclear center and becoming a father. So like becoming a father becoming apparent. I should say I think, helped is that understanding of like once you once you are apparent. You know that if poor kid ever lost you yeah they they would. They would devastate to think that they would never move on and have a happy rife bright at that You would not want for them to throw themselves on right. Funeral pyre, which is like what may be a ten year old boy francs relating to do, but that's interesting there yeah, because nocd
Idi is, is basically a compulsive desire for control river yeah, some sort of system, so the vr, the subset of old cd that I have is a version called primary obsessions. I'm obsessive of disorder, which is essentially intrusive. Thoughts are like the morbid ones yeah, which are almost always there like. Some way of it it it's basically about thinking violations of your moral code. So, like some people have black like if your religion, this right. You might have blasphemous, intrusive thoughts, All my first thoughts were blaspheme inside you grow up catholic. anglican, which is like in the states, a call it a piss capelli which basically, I like diet, catholicity area, like it's like, not quite protestantism, non righteous, falsehood
and I was about you know- maybe five six years old and I have the phrase I hate you, god would run through my head I think that no, no, I don't hate you. I love you! I love gone and I and you'd have these intrusive thoughts as before your mom passed away. Yeah yeah! so yeah. This kind of stuff is all kind of part of it's hard, wired or camp What now but like it seems like it in my mind, given what I know about you and what we do for a living, I'm like so you found a good outlet for them He very well have thoughts is sort of like now might as well just say that one exactly yeah yeah get paid. If I say that one well like one of the things that I did love about stand up when the intrusive thoughts were really bad, and I I've actually had really good success. In treating these are going, be amazing, psychologist and and what is the fundamental
the cognitive behavioral therapy, like you, get it and you're like no yeah, you just like, like you sit with the anxiety for awhile, you are having the thought. Yeah, there's a there's, a great book out. There called overcoming obsessive thoughts and it kind of lays out the and the basic sort of a cbt approach to treating obesity and what one of the things that I early on and stand up. I just I loved the exigency of doing a show like that whole like show must go on thing now, is that it leaves no I am for rumination right. You can't go back over a moment and pour over it while you're on or you do, that too. Oh cause, that's an intrusive thought. That's another thing. Yeah yeah and ass. I have that really bad. It's. What but they're both kind of it just seems they're. Both what did your thing in enough? Not psychoanalyze him is interesting. Is that both seem like just sort of ingrained opportunities to beat the shit out yourself yeah who, as you know,
I think it ought to have done some kind of Oh self administered, freudians ism of like look. You know you lose your mom, who's. Your mom, in most cases the e and o, and I know I know this- isn't everybody's experience of having them, but in most cases your mother, the person who, if, if he is you blew up a plane, she's the one to go ha, I I know we can sort this I love you and when I don't like your mother is, is the place that you know. You know that you loved you now that your goods are posted ass, opposed to the ideal situation right. So if you have you don't have that you know it'll comedy, of course, is also place where you get to go up on stage and have people who sit in the dark but I'll you that you're good right that thing I was talking about before is that you know the this sort of self parenting you put in place. Yet is you know it's got no no cap to it. So you know
its most likely just to maintain you're going to be incredibly judgmental of yourself. You ok don't know what you're doing it in a lot of times? What I read about chills? we're uncomfortable for whatever reason when they're, when they're too young to to know better, they just assume that their parents are great, so whatever it is, must be their fault right. So then you're on top of yourself, like that, absolutely you know feel weird they're great cause, they're my parents? It must be me, I've always had such a deep envy of people who go into situations where something's wrong yeah, their immediate instinct is like what have the other people situation done to make this wrong it because mine is just like will obviously- and I thought that the cities on fire- what did I got dammit today, lights added this connect to me. So I get double edged sword. It's it's problem in the thinking, but its awesome, credibly self, santa totally narcissistic so
if your dad comes out when you're twenty, but what about your brother? He came out just before that. My dad was waiting for my brother to come out. He, I think my dad thought it would undue by your dad new, everybody knew that my brother was gay. Before the kids at school, because it yeah no like soma. It was not a hidden area a with with He was a. What did your brother Your dad. I did your brother know about your dad. That's a good question. I mean I think my brother's sort of he had a better Since then I did as the older or younger he's a a younger, so my brothers, my bros three years, younger yeah, but only feels that way recently. So we I I feel, like I a high and I ran in different directions from the trauma of our mothers death. So I was ten. He was seven here and the next day I was eighteen years old and he was like three so my aunt and my grandmother- we lived in the house with them and and like my really
but my mother had asked my aunt basically to be are mom yeah forward, and I would so much able to take her up on that with. What's been amazing, as I've been able to take her up on that as being a grandparent, I ought to georgia and their relationship is incredible. My brother really like he was a very young seven and I became a very, very old, tent right, thought I saw we were like and and then you know my dad and my dad become a teacher. he he would he worked dispatch and he was a suit salesmen. When I was a kid and then asthma. I was dying, the two of them sort of figured. You know what could he do where he'd have? I money to raise the two of us and he would dumb he'd have holidays is so he became a teacher. Everything
so as saw at the time it was fairly easy, especially if you are a francophone in parts of the country that didn't have a lot of french speakers yeah, because I we had just started as a country that french immersion program, where you could send your kids to school learn french and diet, so they especially in places like vancouver where the there were no francophone here, is like. If you had a, if you had a university degree and you could come in and learn how to teach get certificate, you get a job pretty easily went back to school, so he went back to school and and then he discovered this like it was like a vocation for him. I mean it was like this It was a passion, the arm and he went back into the a education and, and so while In doing that, I was about the law. twelve and I was seal making dinner for my brother, nine we're in this weird kind of I'm. Half year pair than a half year, grammar and- and I so I think that put a lot of stress on this issue.
Sure, plus we were a house where there were two gay men in the closet and one guy with obsessive compulsive. or who didn't know what it was and is well tell anybody up, stairs, he'd know by that our living here and- and my aunt would kill me if I didn't say that she wasn't an old lady, my grannie was old boy. No, my aunt was no ma. Am we re eighty four? Yes, so yeah? I was already as it was already a house where lake this was in our own little closet and all dealing with kindness of trauma, and it was sorry it's were very close family I and my brother, and I are still you know when I get off the phone with my brother. You know we say I love you better the year, but that's interesting you're, so tight in there, probably like you, know out of complete necessity. but it is kind of interesting that that you're all maintaining something, I would say a lie.
But you are your your dissembling- are there? There is something that you don't feel. that everybody else in the house is ready to ready the how and by. I wonder if there is a shame component to absolutely I'm. If there was for me- I speak for for my brother on ya. On that one I mean, I know that that was, He was right on the cusp of attitudes. Really shifting in urban centers in america right he got so he kind of walked out. He I I think he did in some ways yeah he would have been even luckier. If he'd gone to school, maybe five years, I then write yeah yeah. I think it was hell for him and I think you know that was a part of why he didn't want to go to college. firstly and answer he like my dad- went back later in life and learned his oh yeah right culturalist the. I think he told me that yeah he works at the botanical gardens at the unit,
yeah you're, only gonna go see a plant. There wasn't one of those death plants. There I mean it's, it's incredible like it's just like it's it's gorgeous, and so he he does and he posts these photos they all day dispenseth expenses whole day with beware of its yes gorgeous. So what do you think spoke to you like. You know what what was your additional carrying this these what are, the intrusive thoughts and anxiety and obsessive compulsion in their bitterness over your mother and you know in having the responsibility of that you had because of her absence. I mean So how? How do you? What's your high school life, where you had had define yourself in that world. Yeah I mean it was. It was an initially interesting track, trench code, no, not quite I went again like I broke in the other direction from that of lake by fifteen. getting pretty politically active. You yeah, how did that are on the on the left, so I had an english teacher who was just one of these teachers.
tell you about who you're a republicans. Trying to fire all them exactly yeah and- and she was her name- was Marlena Morgan. She died. This past fall and I will I spoke at her funeral and shoes, and she was my debate coach, and she was my english teacher and she you know she had this program where I I she introduced us to Chomsky and orwell and all the and you know she? Let me right these funny story. You must really nurtured the inside last. I don't remember reading them out in front of the class right. It was one point where I performed at one of the soliloquized from hamlet. That was too kind of turning point in English. Sure would you in english teacher yeah, but it ended up being kind of like almost civil, see. I wish like her off its again yeah, and so I started getting started, getting involved politically and then one as well. sixteen years old actually like joined up. With a little like trotskyist,
Phyllis dorgan at like, like, like fairly kind of going all the way, somewhat cultish situation, where I was like the youngest among them. I had a few friend high school, who joined with me- and we were like basically, what it was like there was like there was an adult party and then we were like in the youth auxiliary and the youth ox It was like a pretty cool place now. What what are the tenets of a trotsky cold? so trotskyism is it's just basically like it's like. Communism, but without without apologizing or the the tyranny of like the soviet union. Basically right so we were, for you know the rest, cautionary overthrow of capitalism, but we also didn't think that the ussr was good.
Right right, but you so basically it sort of like you know that happened. It was bad and you got away from us, but we're pure water. I do it right this time. Yeah. When we do it, it's going to be good, and- and I and you know it was, there was a disk. You know communist newspaper published in new york and sold it on weekends, and I occasionally got to write for it and as workers it was caught. It was so in the states. The port is called the socialist workers party. I remember that the newspapers called the militant yeah yeah yeah yeah, and so I would die aggravated old hippies use them. Our new york while saw the and the reason they were aggravated, was because they started his hippies, but in the early nineties seventys the party did something called the turned to industry with was basically we ve got all these lake college kids who join the party because of to fight the vietnam war, but
socialism can only be built by the working class yeah. So they made all these kids coke factory jobs. Right, and so you had all of these, like teachers and whatever like go jobs in like aerospace, and so, when I finished high school. I wasn't going to go to university. I went and got a job in a factory where I could sell the newspaper. I could work with I, like fellow work You alone rads foe, entering resolution. I will. I will not allow like I worked in a young. I worked in a plant that made the lighting fixtures. Yes, should we may die if you ever in the sea. Tat airport yeah you prior walkin under some and then I loaded onto a truck ah a you to thank for that I'll. Give you that for the for the people exactly and they didn't have any political arm that had any traction. So it was sort of an idealistic thing that if you just hand
these newspapers and get everybody working. Those the jobs it may be, a leader would pop up that would do so in the form of unionizing. That would essentially revoke the next way that there is. I, I really don't think it was very well thought. Through I mean it was it was it was which makes her more of a cult than a move exactly, and it was shabby enough that, even as an eighteen year old went like okay well, I think this he took the gig. I would that is like a sixteen year old, a seventeen year old, those those weekends. Those lay Can you know like they were? They were probably pretty good for my intellectual development. I you know what you do on the weekends you literally we'd, get we'd go like Friday night, so would be like the was called the militant labour forums like someone would give a presentation on like always going on in yugoslavia, palestine or whatever
You know, there'd be study. Sessions on the sunday was interesting, so you're dealing you're engaging with world politics from a very specific point of view, various outs of it. But yet you know I imagine that the the presentation, was relatively true that year, the solutions may have been a little stream or or or not quite practical, but the The conflict that were being discussed were probably real. I mean I feel, like I feel like. I got a pretty good understanding of francis. What was going on in the middle east, pretty good understanding of like You know. I remember we were we were doing and I antiwar organizing around the the bombing of serbia in nineteen. Ninety eight right and I I feel the line that we had? as you and I not, against the bombing, but also the the the albanians should have some sort of self determination? There I mean
a relatively in a non lunatic right position, but it I mean it, was not in a healthy that there was. There was no kind of connection to real people like what people were. Actually going through. I made one of the things really the guys at the light factory. Rosa. So this is this. Is the thing like when you're, at the light factory for the first three months of your employment you're on probation, so during those times, Nobody knows that you're there with the other communist they. So you here from the actual workers in the factory what they really think of these guys who sell the newspaper outside of the factory, which is that they think they're fucking nuts ii, so and then, as an eighteen year old, it's hard to like going wow yeah Can I get that I get that you like what that, where the were the best case scenario is kind of a condescending lake here that first,
and they ve got a good. They ve got good intention ice. That's the best case scenario right and the worst case knows: Jesus those fucking nuts, it s money so that the actual the people that you are there to commiserate with and inspire our gesture glued on georgia beyond of young now, with that guy wants, should not pay with a paper. While the other thing is there all. Looking at you and eighteen year old kid, they ve got a ten year old, his home, that they won't. Let do this kind work they had her like a yes to the league. Why are you not like you a tenuous what a school like or like, go to like what? What is the social component in the government of canada? in terms of these workplaces I mean, isn't everybody what what what the benefits. Of that I mean what do you want? You're, almost you're, working against a culture that more socialized and most that's in a way. That's true yeah I mean it was. It was. I again, I think, was a good start. It introduced me, for instance, to a much more so
sympathetic understand, We, the fight for like indian, sovereignty in canada, and so I think for a while, people I was about, I would say I was about fifteen there's a head of most sort of me, in stream non indigenous canadians, terms of rights in my head around. You know sovereignty issues, sure like there there were. There were elements of it that were I I you know, I don't want to just write the whole thing off, but it was, it was definitely goofy and it is definitely cultish. it also was a good experience. I think it was a good all in all like having gotten out of it. It was a good expert. So what did you end up going to school? I went to school yeah. He quit the white factory. I quit the light factory. job at a at a video arcade. at the mall there you go, which I'd area, which I you nice you did
so I couldn't quite, I couldn't quite leave the conquerors yeah, so we never got first first contract, but we did unionize and thereby was doing that and I was getting a degree organizer experience in history, yeah yeah. The other thing that I- and I guess kind of led me back into comedy- was I was writing on the school paper. Yeah. So when did you first try stand up? the summer after I finish school, so I was twenty for the first time are used in writing. I've been right here, a goal and funny peace, yeah yeah. some of those early essays in that one book of essays. No, no, the! I know the early writings of charlie demers. Now those have not been unearthed, yet I hopefully they don't get it. I mean I, I dunno how many of those I'd be proud of. See today I mean I'd, be proud of the kid who wrote them. I guess like
your name right, demers right, I d, mares demand I'd, say it's a! I just realized the animal, no problem, irises more french. So it's a so in french routes. The mass demand a witch only in chemical, french, yet the french from France or america, we say, deemer, steamers ya, had end and you say demerit demerits, like that's the outcome that you have that's another incredible thing watching from canada, either way americans pronounce french words brett favre small approach, a french canadian child. Would it mean farm? What is it five but like like our doesn't even come before the vienna, like you, you ve, actually you're pronunciation is re ordering the land is. but then, like a lake punch, a train blake it's there is something charming about say that your american, a porsche hits
but I do a bunch of train, it does feel it feels right. Yeah. No, I mean you know I, you know we do it. That's that's our magic down here, we'll just level everything. It was an amazing thing for me like when I was two in school and taking an african american history class and learning about w e b dubois and like the hardest thing to wrap my head around was that it wasn't Dubois It was. The name was due boys, he pronounced, do boys to boy and that took like month, sayer really, Not now the woodsia yet went so you're writing for paper in college or writing for the newspaper you're, finding a voice, yeah, definitely yeah and and finding a way to be political in a way that I had more than that where you had to that was outward facing so I already see me didn't seem like you know, you were it. Early on you, gotta scope of the world and it wasn't kind of just some exercise at college Does you know
You knew how and in what to get involved in right, but it was you know when you, when you're writing and then ultimately with comedy you're having to put your thoughts in ways that, like the digits, they can't be a cystic they have, to resonate with other people write some way or another. Otherwise, you know you you'll fail and have a very small audience of you and then he'll figure out a way to split but yeah. I was writing for the school paper and then yeah and then after school, you know started a website with some friends who had been on the paper. We'd all graduated, and that was right before us are doing stand up- and I was writing a lot more of these kind of funny pieces, funny essays and,
being reminded of like how important it was for me growing up to be funny to be a funny guy to beat up to like and so I tried on they got. You know you you know I mention was a relief from the intrusive thoughts I mean I it was it was. Did you resist when peace like like, where people always telling you you gotta, try, stand up and, and it will be like nah, I'm funny with my friend, because I when I was like I'm fifty four, so he was not. You know it was not as inaccessible like you. There wasn't like a mic at the coffee place yeah. You know where I was when I It's coming up. You know like if you like, if you understand that people like how do you even start? What do you do like? He was out of the country. Do you have to live in? Ri was not even a conversation. You know it was an obsession I had and you know, and I had no idea how to start it. I met your generation was sort of like you. Could there were
mike's around and shit yeah? Definitely, and so I went down on one and and cliff nesters, of whose been on the pod gas was up ahead of me and a very intense maniacal cliff nestor yeah, and he was doing a bit about this time. The words used were the squeaky anarchist. Who had just introduced Noam Chomsky at a big anti war rally in vancouver he's making fun of this guy and what an idiot he was. And that was me who had introduced Chomsky. So this is my first night ever doing. Stand up and there's this guy on stage telling a joke about me.
If he's such a snack, I can imagine that the tone had anything remotely embracing nuts, so he goes a buddy you're you're introducing Noam Chomsky, not white snake, that was the punchline and then when I saw then I went on stage and I opened writes. I said loud that was me. I introduce Noam Chomsky. I didn't realize that I'd done anything inappropriate, but now, I'm starting to get an idea of why my family was so mad at me. After my grandfather's eulogy, I gotta laugh yeah, we've got to laugh and it was you're on your way. It was just such a fun time and the vancouver scene, and that was the point when Zach gulf This was living in vancouver may was filming. The saddest now forgotten, show true calling, and so he would do stand up every week at that spot. I went, I was called the EL coco
it. Doesn't it's now part of an organic grocery store yahoo? the salvadoran, restaurant and I've like I've, said this before it's it's like it was. Restaurant it was. It was like somebody had set up a simulation in which to train future food inspectors, because he's just like it had like inception, like levels alike, so they be like, but it's on the floor capturing rainwater and be like I think it's sanitary for the restaurant cat be drinking from that bucket. But that was the night was the cat. It was the heart of the like what was then kind of self identify as the alt comedy scenes in vancouver, So the second time I ever did stand up Zack elephant I guess, is in the audience and like comes out to me, is chatting afterwards about the set set like I mean
the guy s like. It was a time when you felt like you do somethin something like so exciting. That's interesting that just virtue of zack being stranded in promoting very he help define the alternative comedy seen a bit wait outside. the other person residency spending a fair amount of time in vancouver at the time was robin williams, and so he would come through and he did the other sort of independent night that were happening. The time which was run by brent but at the urban well actually buy that He was no longer running it, but Williams would come and do a set and then for the next three months every room in town was just on fire with crowd, see act as there was a chance robin right right, yeah and he was another one who was just like he generous, very generous, very sweet guy. yeah, the generous to a fault. I think
We did a show, and you know I I was doing. I was part of a comedy duo. I was working with a guy named Paul bay, who's, a terrific he does some. He actually does the the sir scripted podcast, the big loop and the black tapes. Podcast is brilliant guy and we were comedy, and he somebody asked I ramos back of the room. We were up on stage that you should watch these guys and when you hear that, like the robin will laugh when no one else like whew, we came off stage and he goes up says. Oh you know, that's the that's the future of comedy you know a white guy in an asian guy, working together and after we said to him like listen, don't be angry. If you see you know that quote out of context, future of comedy robin williams, promotional materials and he goes sphere a comedy future comedy just like. Let us know, I mean I literally sometimes sometimes people still
throw that in an entirely formulae. I like doing the koran away amongst they. Also you're gonna, get when he's with the other guy yeah yeah yeah. We does on his arm. It's a great story there So so then, so you got your history degree and You started doing comedy after college, but you you kept involve politics yeah. So still a big part of my life. I mean I am my wife and I met at a at a political conference or you don't identify as a communist anymore, I identify as a socialist and I don't identify as a communist. I would identify them as a marxist in my general approach to street or economics it doesn't make sense. I just don't abide it by which I would describe myself as a socialist and what you can do and company now again in north america and end so, but if you work in government, no never did know I've done some work.
I've written like the closest I've, come to it as I've written jokes or socialist politician in canada, we're like so there was a guy named the Adrian Dix, who is now the minister of health in british columbia, ha ha ha, but he was running to be. The premier would essentially just like a governor here, and I was his joke how'd. You do, I mean so the It's jokes. I wrote for him either for, like the first speech that I wrote jokes were I three of the jokes made it into the the column of the biggest political pundit we see so that they were pretty with the work. I mean he lost the election way Marcel. Now I too, so is he going to add a joke cherry? He was running against this right wing politician who had done she said she was going to introduce something called free enterprise friday there.
So we had a dream and say that he was gonna pre empt, that with theoretical marxism, thursday, his and he delivered- that Joe get a bank overboard trade and made into the papers dripping gaga laugh yeah yeah, so yeah cause. I noticed that like when we were together the first time that you know you're, definitely politically informed, and you know you're connected to to the canadian people yeah. I know I care remember when we first met, though I like I know you did a lot of the debaters, but I feel like we do remember where we first met. I'm trying to remember where it was. I think it was you you came up and did the Vancouver festival earlier and my sketch partner Paul was a huge, huge fan of yours, yet partly because of the air america stuff and then partly because he was, and he actually said, asked me last time cause he's in l a right, so we were talking last night. You know remember that, like depressed
korean canadian comedian who asked him how to make divorce funny because he was I went through a divorce himself and in canada, Canada covered right, and so I feel like that's where we, first met but the the bird, the real sort of memory that I have and I hope, isn't too schlocky. Is I in two thousand and nine ida just for laughs for the first time, I, the homegrown competition, is the canadian version of the new faces here and I had lost the competition it was in any, was in toronto that year and then we went to montreal here and my wife was with me. But she was flying back and so she's in montreal and we're like walking through the streets of downtown montreal and talking to women after I dunno. What I'm doing this is like I I you know you feel so tiny at that value. It's the worst and I I feel tiny. When I go now, I don't even go anymore I just like- and it was just such a depressing thing. I'm walking down the street with her like an hour or two.
She's leaving for the airport and you were getting interviewed, on the side of the road and and I'm literally I'm in the middle of telling her out you know. Well not exist at this festival and you go hey. It's charlie ryan how's. It going man- and I like It- was this epiphany because american comics, with a few notable exceptions. Zack, definitely one rory, skulls and other, where anti killer american comics tend to very quickly I forget ryanair, canadian dave worked with her with whom they were once Pierre's there Careers move a lot faster than ours. it's a lot more industry a lot more and I think some people make the mistake of thinking. That means that all the talent is yours, well yeah, and so there is no margaret. I would once described the u s american border as like a one way mirror, and so there is that feeling of like that nobody's ever going to remember me and so a
So much to me to have you like, say hello, like a human kind of and so I I always kind of think of that as art. Like I mean, although by definition it can't be the first place, we meant, because you will recognize him. No, because I think we did a show at yuks and a boss right like a further yea yea right, cause said. Ah, you know- and this was right after you know the podcast and everything had really landed, and I said yo this guy and I we I thought he was great, but you know he was and the way it came out was like he wasn't really got that we all knew he was funny and here. He is succeeded, but Could you have been hosting? I was. I was emceeing yeah. I was host and I am but I was like that. You know the line about you and me, I'm the David rack off essay from aspen raised. You know in the old days a colleague martin, and could have made it
and it was like. I was like the happy. We all thought who I know I know I know it is your jokes. Are good struck me, you know, I mean that's where I remembered your name, so let's cutlets talk about, like you know all the books I have and vancouver special don't run on which you sent and that's like sort of a unique sort of overview of the city yeah. So what it was as in the kind of lead up to the two thousand and ten olympics yi ay arsenal pulp, which is kind of a you- know: punk rock kind of at publisher they are an independent. I and publisher put a lot of cool stuff and it's definitely not the kind of an airport coffee to your chairs, but they are wanted to put out kind of a beautiful design, jack that had these and actually the first one was it just. last, I was also coming up against the deadline for the
work, which is another reason why I was so like down vancouver special and my first novel. The prescription errors, those both came out two thousand and nine within about six weeks of each other by what was the angle vancouver special The city divided up by sections of like neighborhoods people and call gray, and I yeah I mean I come from one of those places Those cities that everybody's from someplace else should arrive from someplace else in the country, whether from someplace else in the world. I and I I'm I'm a fourth generation vancouver right both of my eye but like I would walk through when I would pick up my daughter from her first daycare. We would walk home through the school grounds of her great grandfather's, elementary school, which
It's a very rare experience and they cover throwing our family would goes all the way back year. Father came from my my yes, oh so, like my dad came from montreal on them in the mid seventies, but on my mom side, while you have been in vancouver fur almost a hundred years, while an so it's it's this city that just completely is kind of percolated through if you're fascinated with the history of definitely yeah and then the sea, the prescription errors that you know that's your first novel. The prescription errors was a novel about comedy and mental illness, and it's essentially it tells kind the stories of its. It's primarily the story of a guy with obsessive compulsive disorder who is working through, ah that the trauma of having losses I mean it's
it sounds like a very unique story: where does that come from Charlie? I guess after tommy bowers he's very thin and is suitable a guy with six pack abs and you know mom, so he he he's essentially he's trying to himself of the trauma of having, his mother by immersing himself, long study of medical technology, yeah and that's told, alongside the story of a guy. Who is sound alike. Who replaces a beloved cartoon actor who is in a car wreck and die. So it's basically that there are two stories kind of mangled yeah and so the new one? Do you do? look at that stage as well, of us is called the horrors, is a book of a humor essays, basically about
read something funny about a horrible subject right every letter of the alphabet curse the outermost argue your take on show Silverstein's abc like that yeah, like the edward crumb I yeah, yeah crump He saw the sort of childlike construction, but with a- and I was sort of writing that honours of an adult. Exactly yes, gloated into the child's point of view yeah, and I was writing that one more or less the same time as I was writing the the dad dialogues, which is a book that I co wrote with my friend, george bowering, who was the first laureate of canada is, in his eighties he's kind of a major, a literary figure in canada over the course of the first my daughter's life. He and I would write letters to each other. Every two weeks or so about fatherhood, and he was working for his journals of daughter, thea was born in nineteen, seventy one what ends up happening over the course of book as well. Is that during that year,
it looked like my father was going to die of lymphoma, he's okay now, but it was very touching go and so it it kind of becomes about. oranges life as a father, my beginning life as a father and you daniel the possibility of of losing my lab. What was it called? The dad dialogues in that available to that is yet so the new book, property values is, is, it seems like the kind of is a combination of all your your points of view and angles. Like a fictional like how you going to fight the good fight in any aging the sellable way definitely right. I mean it's one hundred percent the the thinking behind it. A big part of it was. I look and my I Paul I mentioned earlier- I looked at his podcast and it was just one these things, where you watching a friend have enormous success, doing
something that words are fucking horrible. What's the gore vidal thing like it's not enough for me to succeed, I need my friends to fail but I looked at like what Paul was doing and he was just having this tremendous success with a project that just used every muscle, he'd ever been working the entire day I know I just like this is using every single bit of like and inspire me to ask like that. If I were to do something equivalently, if somebody were say like that, used every bit that he has been developing yeah, what would it look? like and I I knew it would be like, and it will be a crime story because of the sort, lifelong fascination I've had with oregon crime I knew it. Hopefully it will be funny I know, will be- the core and saw
property values is a it's a it's a crime story that set in the world of sort of vancouver's. the housing market, which is not unlike California, very much a california story waited in absolutely ass, a van coover in san francisco almost identical out every basically priced out, who is actually lives in the city, totally rat, and then you can't run a functional city anymore, because no one who does working class lay where can afford can afford to live yeah, and so our property values is about a group of friends who one of them can afford to stay in the house where he grew I and does so. They stage dr drive by shooting I in order, to lower the asking price? and I, the sea decision, No one gets killed in that first, one
the first. I know the guys inside his friends shoot up the house and they they staged this whole kind of pantomime yeah. But then I it draws the attention of three the real gangster dad they get sorted drawn into this escalating sort, a comedy of errors, and I feel really happy like it. Like you say it's it's you spend your whole. Cannot life trying to put these somewhat? esoteric ideas into a into a shape that can have gone away. I also like that. It's actually something that's. hopefully can resonate and in it's it's out in canada. Now it's all in canada and the You know the reason I'm I'm down in california. Is it's been it's been optioned and I've been hired to write the screenplay with my buddy or ryan knighton yeah, it's a and, and so it's it's it's it's a dream, a great yeah, it's a great story. Well, I hope that that process
is yield something other than frustration, I'm sure, do you know the kind of dramatic weight loss? Little get me a tm see there's also of that want to show you be very wrap up years. At my my business partner sir, sent me a picture of of his oh and we will take with that's it that little toy animal that year the voice of some nails. So this is walter. His walrus heed my breton and says I was working at his credits and saw that he's the voice of that swag thing, which is one of my son's favorites. Oh, that's, very sweet yeah I am the voice of walter. The slug on the netflix series beat bugs Why owens big fan oh well and anime that so I that that toy is amazing, because you can't get them in the in canada, because the deal for the toys is with target and we don't have target in canada. So I was in duluth last summer are visiting like with my wife's family here, and I go
The duluth atari by, like a whole shopping. Cart full the giant blue slugs yeah I felt, like I owed an explanation to do to the woman at the cash register, so this is this guy's voice on the cartoon and I should have started anywhere but like that instantly made me biggest celebrity. They ever come through. That allows you to say that our views we need me to her alluded to crazy person is claiming that that's also talks or a toy. Maybe she was just in that spirit sway incredible moment were going through the store, my daughter and she's in the shopping, cart and we're looking for the toys. We know that their there boy. We don't know exactly where we find this wall of them here and there was like it was like in a movie where, like we looked at the we look to the shall we looked at each other, we look back
the shelves and then we both just cracked up, because she understood even at like what three and a half years at the time that this was like completely surreal. Eighth grade year, at the moment. Yeah. She remembers a reminder. I what I do every day great talking to you. us almost my day so much ram that, What a nice decent intelligent? conversation, obviously between two like minded people, but nonetheless the freedom of thought that is available politically in canada. Is we have it here, but it is a cultural norm, that's for sure Charlie's book. As I said earlier, property values comes out on october sixth you can pre order it now. Why I getting a lot of attention for my new for my new go paddle, a gift from yeah, brilliant tall wilkins felt it's an echo.
extra way, I believe echo plaques, was an old timey box that annex our has recreated in there or format but death, but I been getting a lot of people asking like guitar is asking them and that's what this sound is and I'll do. A little bit in my limited scope of guitar, when I do seem to be quite into this pedal and I'm it through directly into the old de fifty eight. so you know all that dirt, you're here and round the edges, adding the echo plaque. That's all dirty tubes, yeah yeah.
The
boomer lives.
Transcript generated on 2022-07-18.