The Incomparable

210: You Ain`t No Nice Guy


  the incomparable number 210 September [TS]

  welcome back everybody being comfortable [TS]

  i am your host Jason L and I'm convening [TS]

  it's not like the retro book club here [TS]

  we are going to be talking about Stephen [TS]

  King's novel The Stand we have talked [TS]

  about Stephen King before we did an [TS]

  episode about his book about the time [TS]

  traveler goes back to stop the Kennedy [TS]

  assassination just what is it called 11 [TS]

  2011 22 6363 I can never remember when [TS]

  doctor who premiered and when Kennedy [TS]

  got assassinated because they're like [TS]

  two days apartment i'm a very bad [TS]

  student of history and a very good [TS]

  student doctor who anyway but we're back [TS]

  to talk about the stand one play it is [TS]

  my favorite Stephen King novel it is [TS]

  also i think my introduction Stephen [TS]

  King I've got a great panel with me to [TS]

  talk about this book which was first [TS]

  published in like 79 and then republish [TS]

  tin in vegas 78 and republished in 1990 [TS]

  joining me to talk about it [TS]

  are these schmeiser hello I'm happy to [TS]

  be here when I think about talking about [TS]

  Stephen King novels I think of two [TS]

  people one of whom is laser miser so [TS]

  it's good to have you here thank you [TS]

  I also don't think about Monty Ashley [TS]

  but he's here and i'm happy to hear you [TS]

  had another way there didn't I my money [TS]

  hi it's good to have you is it because [TS]

  you're delightful surprise [TS]

  okay haha i will accept that is not [TS]

  quite an insult okay good that's what I [TS]

  was sorta not quite going for I I the [TS]

  print the other person i like to think [TS]

  of when I think of Stephen King novels [TS]

  is of course John siracusa who is here [TS]

  hello you know after hearing you say to [TS]

  all of us that we don't have to talk too [TS]

  long about the stand that one thing to [TS]

  say to you Jason [TS]

  you ain't no nice guy oh my god i love [TS]

  it the first reference we're saving it [TS]

  for the complete and uncut episode yet [TS]

  you have to wait like 15 years between [TS]

  the spot for you guys and just talked [TS]

  for five hours tonight and all our first [TS]

  release a one-hour long version and then [TS]

  like for it to about my time also here [TS]

  to talk about the stand is Erica and [TS]

  sign hello hello [TS]

  I have actually had stand by our am [TS]

  stuck in my head all day because that's [TS]

  nice [TS]

  which is why [TS]

  hopefully not a great choice since it's [TS]

  not at all related but very most boring [TS]

  isn't it Erica isn't it the trip [TS]

  what should be don't fear the reaper [TS]

  hell off the world its butt and [TS]

  everybody else out there who hasn't read [TS]

  the stand you shouldn't listen to this [TS]

  podcast m 00 and spells spoilers [TS]

  all right all my god you know just a [TS]

  feud [TS]

  I think mid last week somebody tweeted [TS]

  at Stephen saying MO and spells [TS]

  something or other and I was just [TS]

  shaking my head because in the middle of [TS]

  reading the book and I guess the key is [TS]

  not gonna get this but I get that tweet [TS]

  I thought we would start by talking a [TS]

  little bit about our personal history [TS]

  with this book since it's been around [TS]

  for awhile I i'll start by saying that I [TS]

  heard that this was a great book but I [TS]

  didn't read the original I didn't I I [TS]

  knew was out there and I had friends who [TS]

  are big fans of stephen king and end of [TS]

  this book in particular and then there [TS]

  was that big publicity campaign in 1990 [TS]

  when the complete an uncut addition that [TS]

  that is over like a thousand pages i'm [TS]

  trying to see 1153 is what my copy says [TS]

  came out and I i said ok that's the one [TS]

  I'll buy and read and indeed i have the [TS]

  first edition and in and inside I have a [TS]

  bookmark of the first complete and cut [TS]

  addition that actually explains what it [TS]

  is from the publisher which is hilarious [TS]

  it has a bulleted list of why it's [TS]

  bigger from Doubleday that I still uses [TS]

  the morning very very helpful anyway III [TS]

  in the summer of nineteen ninety i was a [TS]

  working a summer job between years of [TS]

  college at this as a temp at this like [TS]

  power plant out in the middle of nowhere [TS]

  with like a hundred and five degrees and [TS]

  I remember the lunch hour [TS]

  I would sit outside in the shade eating [TS]

  my little meager sandwich and drinking [TS]

  my little can of soda and reading the [TS]

  stand for an hour before going back to [TS]

  the mind-numbing work of really honestly [TS]

  the super flu could have come at that [TS]

  moment and I wouldn't have even noticed [TS]

  because i was out in the middle of [TS]

  nowhere and if you leave behind payday [TS]

  candy bar wrappers [TS]

  that's good idea what Harold do so John [TS]

  what's your with your history with the [TS]

  stand [TS]

  well I guess before the internet the [TS]

  only way we had to get things was like [TS]

  the store or me [TS]

  Lauder and remember the Columbia House [TS]

  like mail-order things for four cds [TS]

  that's kind of how i got into music was [TS]

  like that that record thing and there [TS]

  was also one for books was it also [TS]

  Columbia's I don't even remember anymore [TS]

  but was one of those things where you [TS]

  pay a dollar and get five free books or [TS]

  something like that the quality [TS]

  paperback club right yeah i did the [TS]

  science-fiction book club [TS]

  yep me too i don't i don't remember [TS]

  which it was but whatever it was I was [TS]

  doing at the same time that I was doing [TS]

  is getting the free CDs and and for [TS]

  whatever reason I I don't like you know [TS]

  fantasy novel paperback before that but [TS]

  I got a hardcover the same one you [TS]

  probably have Jason the big first [TS]

  edition Doubleday hardcover uncut stand [TS]

  i don't know how i picked it I probably [TS]

  picked it because it was like the big [TS]

  thing on the cover of the little sheet [TS]

  that you fill out with a little pin and [TS]

  the check boxes which free pick your [TS]

  five free books and so I don't remember [TS]

  what that the books were that I got free [TS]

  and i don't remember how I escaped that [TS]

  plan probably because i was just a [TS]

  teenager and should have been signing up [TS]

  for it anyway but anyway I got work [TS]

  longer a lot of us and I think it was [TS]

  also i wasn't released in the summer [TS]

  time I seem to recall reading in the [TS]

  summertime as well and so I read through [TS]

  that book and when i finished the book i [TS]

  put it down and just went back to the [TS]

  first page to start over again and [TS]

  that's the first look I know I had ever [TS]

  done that with and the stand like it was [TS]

  was my top favorite book for the longest [TS]

  time certainly during all of my teen [TS]

  years in young adulthood so I i have [TS]

  read the stand more times than I read [TS]

  any books except for probably lord of [TS]

  the rings Wow all right Erica what's [TS]

  your story with the stand [TS]

  well we were we were library family we [TS]

  went to the library of a couple of weeks [TS]

  and my mom would get like 30 books and [TS]

  you know I aspired to get that many but [TS]

  it wasn't that many and I want to say [TS]

  was probably within a year or two of the [TS]

  rerelease she I think she my mom had [TS]

  originally read the early version and [TS]

  then decided she wanted to read the [TS]

  expanded version so i didn't know [TS]

  anything about the earlier version i [TS]

  just saw that she had this book that was [TS]

  huge [TS]

  I was like yeah I was like okay I need [TS]

  to read that book it was just sort of a [TS]

  challenge to myself it's that long that [TS]

  is something that I i need to to read II [TS]

  don't even care what it's about and I [TS]

  was probably like a freshman in high [TS]

  school at the time so I picked it up and [TS]

  I zipped through it probably way faster [TS]

  than I [TS]

  then I should have because it meant i'm [TS]

  skipping a lot of homework and I just [TS]

  loved it so I i haven't read it as many [TS]

  times as John has but i have read it [TS]

  three or this was probably my fourth [TS]

  time through but I've never read the [TS]

  original version just the like the huge [TS]

  one every time we leavin uncut so i have [TS]

  read The Lord of the Rings more times [TS]

  than this because i used to do that [TS]

  annually [TS]

  I've read them the same amount which is [TS]

  to each so just twice each Monty what's [TS]

  your story withstand mom's read it last [TS]

  week for the first time never heard of [TS]

  it i think i had read the cut version [TS]

  once when the uncut version came out I [TS]

  got the paperback so I'm a little behind [TS]

  you guys looking inside this is the [TS]

  first paperback printing from a 1991 how [TS]

  much was the paperback [TS]

  oh i think i did actually read the paper [TS]

  back so would have been about 90 91 when [TS]

  the library 690 now she's it's 2495 for [TS]

  the hardcover I got I got screwed good [TS]

  job way to be a good shopper Monty it [TS]

  was free from the library you guys yeah [TS]

  the other one of the shiny red ya [TS]

  tomorrow colored yeah and as a bonus the [TS]

  back announces that the first two dark [TS]

  tower books are out but I read this book [TS]

  i think four or five times in total but [TS]

  whenever i have anything stronger than a [TS]

  strong cold i tend to read the [TS]

  free-throw I'm miserable and I want to [TS]

  imagine that everybody else was soon and [TS]

  also be miserable [TS]

  this cold is going to kill us all which [TS]

  my girlfriend has reminded me that means [TS]

  this book that I'm holding is probably [TS]

  riddled with disease because I'm always [TS]

  reading it when I have the flu [TS]

  it is Project Blue maybe it's keeping [TS]

  you alive [TS]

  whoo yeah I'm just it that's an [TS]

  unscientific area a little bit made you [TS]

  feel better [TS]

  Lisa what's what is your stance story [TS]

  summer of nineteen eighty-four i was [TS]

  able to start babysitting and that was [TS]

  also some my mom graciously agreed to [TS]

  drive me to the nearest used bookstore [TS]

  and every week i would take the five [TS]

  dollars i had earned and I would go [TS]

  browse the shelves [TS]

  and i bought the stand 11 week with [TS]

  along with like four or five other [TS]

  stephen king books for my five dollars [TS]

  some and I read my way through all the [TS]

  short story collections first so i read [TS]

  the short story that loosely Precision's [TS]

  this book and then i read the stand and [TS]

  when you're in seventh grade there's [TS]

  always that when I survived the [TS]

  apocalypse i'm going to go live in a [TS]

  museum fantasy r or whatever but [TS]

  delivered [TS]

  oh my god i had a plan how it's going to [TS]

  DC and live in the Smithsonian that [TS]

  everything you and John should compare [TS]

  notes John also has something about [TS]

  surviving the apocalypse [TS]

  yeah but I read the stand and it hit my [TS]

  after the apocalypse buttons and then I [TS]

  just got sucked in and kept going kept [TS]

  going on so it actually turned into kind [TS]

  of a comfort read through middle school [TS]

  and high school and then the year I [TS]

  graduated college in 1994 my first post [TS]

  graduate splurge was a paperback of the [TS]

  you know completely uncut version and I [TS]

  read it [TS]

  concurrent with the airing of the [TS]

  miniseries and I was on a beach break [TS]

  with a friend of mine and this poor [TS]

  woman had to listen to me rant and rave [TS]

  every night about how bad the gas haha [TS]

  its and that's not in the block and and [TS]

  well i'm not sure like to do that but i [TS]

  think i really like the way that miguel [TS]

  ferrer slate that's that's okay so [TS]

  you're blown up by a bomb anyway yeah so [TS]

  I've had I I've probably read the book [TS]

  and I still read the stand once every [TS]

  few years when I want an engrossing read [TS]

  that I know will reliably entertain me [TS]

  and I find something new every time and [TS]

  I think it's in reading it in my [TS]

  thirties and forties has been a lot [TS]

  different than reading it as a [TS]

  thirteen-year-old so [TS]

  oh yeah I've probably read it about ten [TS]

  eleven times maybe [TS]

  oh wow so no you know it's again i've [TS]

  been reading the same i've been reading [TS]

  for 30 years so you know where people [TS]

  fair enough yeah wow so I guess the [TS]

  logical next thing to ask would be what [TS]

  is it about the stand that makes it so [TS]

  notable in stephen king's work [TS]

  what is it about the stand that has all [TS]

  of us have admitted to being [TS]

  multiple-time readers of this book and [TS]

  you know I I don't do [TS]

  not a lot of books that i read there are [TS]

  some my wife has a strict no reread [TS]

  policy which I don't understand but [TS]

  that's our policy admired this i do [TS]

  there looked in the world there's always [TS]

  other books to read but i don't i don't [TS]

  read read a lot but I've reread this and [TS]

  will read it again and treasure my copy [TS]

  so i think i want to start there which [TS]

  is what is it about this book what is it [TS]

  that makes it something that stays with [TS]

  you and that you want to revisit whether [TS]

  you're just feeling sick but it's been [TS]

  you or or was thinking about the [TS]

  apocalypse that is to come or what I'm [TS]

  gonna do is what you guys think [TS]

  well I am a reader to start with I have [TS]

  a terrible memory so i can't remember [TS]

  books or movies until i have read or [TS]

  seen them several times and I really [TS]

  like this book the first time through [TS]

  and afterwards i remembered that i liked [TS]

  it i like maybe I remember that feeling [TS]

  of a great enjoyment as I went through [TS]

  it but I couldn't remember exactly what [TS]

  happened [TS]

  therefore I decided to read it again and [TS]

  again and here we go again so I think [TS]

  for me i'm a sucker for apocalypse [TS]

  stories and I think I like stories about [TS]

  the apocalypse and stories about way [TS]

  after the apocalypse [TS]

  so the first half of this book is right [TS]

  up my alley I do like the second half [TS]

  but it definitely tapers off as far as [TS]

  enjoyment goes so i think quite often [TS]

  when i start reading it I'm rereading [TS]

  just to see the apocalypse happen again [TS]

  and then because I've already gotten [TS]

  that far i might as well stick around [TS]

  for the next six hundred pages [TS]

  yeah yeah I feel the same way actually [TS]

  that that I I I definitely maybe we can [TS]

  talk about this later I definitely enjoy [TS]

  the first part more than the the rest of [TS]

  it and maybe that is because i'm [TS]

  enjoying the the the layout of the [TS]

  actual apocalypse as it as it spreads & [TS]

  M in the immediate aftermath as opposed [TS]

  to sort of then the battle between good [TS]

  and evil that comes afternoon what what [TS]

  else one of my favorite parts of the [TS]

  apocalypse scenario you guys are talking [TS]

  about is one that I didn't get to read [TS]

  until the complete version came out and [TS]

  it's chapter 38 way to describe all the [TS]

  ways that people died that are super flu [TS]

  yeah that's a great one yeah like the [TS]

  poor kids who died from neglect or the [TS]

  girl who gets locked in the freezer with [TS]

  her husband and her son or the woman who [TS]

  blow yourself up with a gun the hair [TS]

  an addict i love that chapter um I don't [TS]

  know why I just drink it but but i think [TS]

  i think because it points out that you [TS]

  can have this you know again romantic [TS]

  adolescent fantasy about Oh surely once [TS]

  i survived its it's all you know she [TS]

  cakes and victory and putting myself to [TS]

  sleep by the Hope Diamond every night [TS]

  and then someone points out that now as [TS]

  a matter of fact the world becomes a lot [TS]

  more dangerous and you are a lot more [TS]

  loan it but I think why I keep rereading [TS]

  is I always find someone new to latch [TS]

  onto if that makes sense [TS]

  um like the first reread I did where I [TS]

  realized that when Stephen King was [TS]

  writing Harold water he was essentially [TS]

  putting a Navitar for a youthful write [TS]

  his own youthful regularly ego in the [TS]

  book was was kind of an eye-opener [TS]

  without holy crap this is a guy who's [TS]

  just look back on his working this is [TS]

  the guy who's supplementing his own [TS]

  self-loathing and his fears about his [TS]

  writing in in to harold and it gave me a [TS]

  lot more sympathy for that character for [TS]

  example and again as i find as i get [TS]

  older of different characters do or [TS]

  don't resonate with me the way they [TS]

  would have when i was a teenager [TS]

  um that said Mike Russian jelyn my crush [TS]

  on blood Bateman however has been going [TS]

  strong for about 30 years [TS]

  oh my god I can't explain it but there [TS]

  it is oh I like that it's essentially [TS]

  three or four different novels in a Rome [TS]

  that you get people worrying about the [TS]

  spread of the disease and then the [TS]

  disease itself and I to love chapter 38 [TS]

  because it shows that the author has put [TS]

  actually putting thought into what are [TS]

  the effects of all these things that I'm [TS]

  doing to earth or at least America I [TS]

  guess we don't really know what happens [TS]

  to the rest of the planet probably not [TS]

  great but there aren't that many books [TS]

  that take huge tonal shifts where you [TS]

  start off with an entire world and then [TS]

  500 pages later you're reading notes [TS]

  from us of a note from a subcommittee on [TS]

  whether or not to take a census exactly [TS]

  why this could this could have been you [TS]

  know two books or three books I suppose [TS]

  that would have been another way to tell [TS]

  it in a different point in the [TS]

  publishing industry and in Stephen [TS]

  King's career trajectory maybe it [TS]

  would've been [TS]

  and I don't know he he could have [TS]

  started it 500 pages in and just said [TS]

  there was an apocalypse and everybody [TS]

  but the people i want to talk about died [TS]

  but he really takes his time making that [TS]

  happen [TS]

  I find it fascinating that friend is [TS]

  such a naturally gifted writer and he [TS]

  just you know it's not he's got some [TS]

  weird veins of subtlety through the book [TS]

  but I i have found it interesting that [TS]

  the fran passages he points out what a [TS]

  natural voice she has a natural impulse [TS]

  compared to harold who desperately wants [TS]

  to be a writer and lets his own stupid [TS]

  nature getting away so i think it was [TS]

  actually working out some some some [TS]

  artistic crisis issues along the way [TS]

  with his book to just talk about some [TS]

  past podcast I like Apocalypse stories [TS]

  as well and this and we also talked [TS]

  about in the past there's lots of [TS]

  different kinds of apocalypse and the [TS]

  most appealing kind to me and one I had [TS]

  never read up until this point was i [TS]

  guess i think you had called the clean [TS]

  apocalypse where things aren't destroyed [TS]

  or blown up a radioactive this dead [TS]

  bodies everywhere but they eventually [TS]

  you know liquefied and dry up the [TS]

  animals either you know like take care [TS]

  of itself eventually but everything else [TS]

  is still there and so it fulfill its [TS]

  like it's you know living substance [TS]

  missoni wherever you want to live the [TS]

  thing that you want to do and all those [TS]

  people you know this is booked for [TS]

  introverts people get rid of all of the [TS]

  people believe all their stomach that [TS]

  stuff is pretty cool and so that was [TS]

  exciting and they left their stuff and [TS]

  and there weren't enough of them left to [TS]

  eat all the candy food or anything so [TS]

  things yeah pretty good shape given that [TS]

  almost everybody is dead right and if [TS]

  you read this book read the book as a [TS]

  teenager he sounds like a lot of us did [TS]

  there are many many characters for you [TS]

  to identify with as an introverted [TS]

  teenager in in this story and it [TS]

  definitely changes of course as you age [TS]

  and read the book and start relating [TS]

  more for the adults in the story and [TS]

  everything like that but so many [TS]

  characters that you know I don't have [TS]

  necessarily Harold is is stephen king or [TS]

  some part of himself in there but like [TS]

  it's interesting takes on these type of [TS]

  things and we'll talk about the [TS]

  characters later but like it's not you [TS]

  think you know where everything is going [TS]

  to go especially if you read a stephen [TS]

  king book before because usually sinking [TS]

  wants to have like one or two [TS]

  Stephen King ish protagonists and you [TS]

  kind of know that underneath it all [TS]

  they're really good people and they're [TS]

  going to face challenges in the floor [TS]

  over this so many people in this book he [TS]

  can do like the joss whedon thing like [TS]

  actually that guy you like is gonna die [TS]

  how do you like that one hour [TS]

  or this is good this is not going to [TS]

  turn out well you know I mean if Harold [TS]

  was the only character and like if there [TS]

  was a protagonist and Harold and like a [TS]

  big baddie bad guy in a regular stephen [TS]

  king book how would not have ended up [TS]

  the way you did but there are so many [TS]

  freakin characters in this book that he [TS]

  can he can do everything he can surprise [TS]

  you and I was riveted through the whole [TS]

  story like it just affected me i don't [TS]

  think i've ever read a book with that [TS]

  many characters again except maybe lord [TS]

  of the rings but Lord of the Rings does [TS]

  not spend a lot of time [TS]

  flushing out like you're like a mirror [TS]

  or something you know it's not did not a [TS]

  lot of times whereas stephen king is [TS]

  like I know how to do characters I he [TS]

  had clearly has an affection for all [TS]

  these characters good and bad it's gonna [TS]

  give each 150 pages in the end up in the [TS]

  same page book [TS]

  well he's got a tremendously generous [TS]

  heart in the book too because I I feel [TS]

  so bad for reward every time I read this [TS]

  book I feel bad for Lloyd airport on [TS]

  Lloyd well I feel for like the word that [TS]

  one of I've never stop feeling sorry for [TS]

  those Naomi because she just had no [TS]

  chance at all you know i mean there's [TS]

  that one moment on a hillside where she [TS]

  could have chose differently and I i [TS]

  I've often thought about how monstrously [TS]

  unfair the the god of this book is with [TS]

  the way you know he he lays punishments [TS]

  on people for free choice for life and [TS]

  naomi is just as horrible horrible [TS]

  warning that that but yeah easy [TS]

  I John you're right there's a hundred [TS]

  fifty pages [TS]

  although money wasn't you when you and I [TS]

  were talking on twitter and you said [TS]

  that you really could have done without [TS]

  the part about the kid [TS]

  um yeah I've got some problems with the [TS]

  kid [TS]

  yeah and I can also do without the kid [TS]

  once that once we start talking about [TS]

  the time that this book is set i will [TS]

  have much more to say about what i think [TS]

  is going on with the kid I realized that [TS]

  we have had several episodes of the show [TS]

  involving books about the apocalypse and [TS]

  that is I think doing [TS]

  yeah to a lot of influence of of John [TS]

  and Lisa it was suggesting and and you [TS]

  know a bottle of the apocalypse and [TS]

  bringing means only gonna make it worth [TS]

  it i turned on its nice it turns out I [TS]

  like him too but but it is fascinating [TS]

  about i always ask what what draws us to [TS]

  it and and there's this idea [TS]

  first off there there's just this [TS]

  feeling about the fragility of society [TS]

  and [TS]

  how does the world and here it is a [TS]

  fairly we watch it play out but really [TS]

  it's it's a premise in action which is [TS]

  what if almost everybody died and then [TS]

  he's got a reason why everybody dies and [TS]

  it's not [TS]

  yeah and it's it's basically accidental [TS]

  release of a biological warfare agent [TS]

  that that kills everybody and and and [TS]

  then they're swept aside and then what's [TS]

  fascinating to me is that then it's all [TS]

  about the what happens when you find [TS]

  yourself alone and society has vanished [TS]

  and what do you do and what how do you [TS]

  survive and and that leads into that [TS]

  second phase of the book which is kind [TS]

  of fascinating which is this weird like [TS]

  you know we hear that there's some lady [TS]

  out out west that we're gonna go find [TS]

  and it's strange [TS]

  and-and-and has almost like a mythical [TS]

  quality to it but it's also you know [TS]

  it's also it says something to me about [TS]

  like people are trying to find somewhere [TS]

  to go and something do because they it's [TS]

  you know it's over the the story that [TS]

  they thought they were living in is over [TS]

  and it turns out there in a very [TS]

  different kind of story and that that is [TS]

  fascinating to i think yeah I think that [TS]

  that those are the most interesting [TS]

  parts of the book to me and RR when the [TS]

  world is ending and then immediately [TS]

  after where everybody is uprooted and [TS]

  has no idea what they're going to do to [TS]

  survive and they're kind of like [TS]

  glomming onto people they find and those [TS]

  people are sometimes good and sometimes [TS]

  not well I think when it gets to the you [TS]

  know the end part where it's really sort [TS]

  of the good versus evil and they're also [TS]

  having town meetings and stuff i sort of [TS]

  bifurcation myself a bit and I enjoy it [TS]

  on two completely different tracks i [TS]

  really like the the the town meeting [TS]

  style stuff like how does society try to [TS]

  rebuild its tough both on that you know [TS]

  that the good side and a bad side but I [TS]

  don't like mixing that with the good [TS]

  versus evil thing I prefer my good [TS]

  versus evil stories to be a little bit [TS]

  more in your face with you know dragons [TS]

  and stuff like that so I'm also enjoying [TS]

  you like it to be more in your face and [TS]

  Randall Flagg is a little too subtle for [TS]

  you haha i guess i mean a fantastical [TS]

  are probably better better term for that [TS]

  so I'm still enjoying the good versus [TS]

  evil thing but so so dragons are [TS]

  slightly more fantastical in a giant [TS]

  hand made of lightning coming out of the [TS]

  out of the middle of nowhere he saves [TS]

  after the big [TS]

  finish though he didn't get the animals [TS]

  a lot but you know it's more about the [TS]

  setting i prefer it not to be in a [TS]

  real-world typesetting yeah [TS]

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  ly slash and comfortable and [TS]

  thanks so much to for [TS]

  sponsoring being comfortable that I [TS]

  haven't Vegas chapters problematic but [TS]

  the reason I do is because there's I [TS]

  don't think he ever fully flushes out [TS]

  the parallel between the Las Vegas [TS]

  society and the boulder society of the [TS]

  no las vegas already has the lights on [TS]

  and bolder they're all just kind of you [TS]

  know that the implications that Boulder [TS]

  the kind of disorganized because they're [TS]

  all very nice whereas in Las Vegas [TS]

  everybody kind of has this natural bent [TS]

  towards toadying and so they're ok with [TS]

  being bossed around and um he only goes [TS]

  into this once or twice [TS]

  oh gosh there's I have to find the [TS]

  passage it's about um Danny who has the [TS]

  rotating cast of mothers and there's [TS]

  only a few passages here and talk about [TS]

  how the people who end up in Vegas are [TS]

  not necessarily all evil [TS]

  they're just people who drifted one way [TS]

  or another because of fear or because of [TS]

  an inability to reflect on the contents [TS]

  of their own characters and I really [TS]

  wish that King would have done more of a [TS]

  meditation on on how how how very little [TS]

  difference there is between so-called [TS]

  good and so-called evil but it just [TS]

  comes down to a series of choices that [TS]

  you do or don't consciously make all the [TS]

  time but that stuff is that stuff isn't [TS]

  as fun as following trashcan man around [TS]

  the desert [TS]

  oh he's another tragic figure yeah [TS]

  already simple pension check [TS]

  he was so much fair to the bad guys like [TS]

  it it's not it is a little bit one-sided [TS]

  because this way more good guys that are [TS]

  fleshed out but we talk about Lloyd I [TS]

  think and it's before the show and you [TS]

  know this is not a lot of bad guy [TS]

  characters but for the most part [TS]

  everybody who's in Vegas who gets [TS]

  flushed out a little bit has a reason [TS]

  for being there has their own [TS]

  motivations the only one who is [TS]

  ridiculously velez flag and even he is [TS]

  you know sort of evil but doesn't quite [TS]

  understand why and is you know that [TS]

  starts to fall apart towards the end he [TS]

  starts off as elemental force but then [TS]

  towards the end he is all let his more [TS]

  shaky and it's clear that he's like well [TS]

  he's kind of a man but he's also kind of [TS]

  this force of nature but he's not behind [TS]

  the force of nature and you know it all [TS]

  comes to a head at the end I the good [TS]

  versus evil thing I don't I think that [TS]

  blends well with the apocalypse because [TS]

  once you just have like a bunch of ppl [TS]

  rattling around the united states like [TS]

  it seems like you know that the world [TS]

  shrinks so much like obviously if you do [TS]

  the math is way more people than there [TS]

  are in boulder or Las Vegas left in the [TS]

  country but we just focus on the small [TS]

  group and once you're just rattling [TS]

  around in the country like that it's [TS]

  very easy to slip back and sort of [TS]

  primal is Aman tribalism and one of my [TS]

  in my future and my later reads this [TS]

  book one of the interpretations i [TS]

  started to latch onto is that it is the [TS]

  really real world and there's not really [TS]

  any you know Stephen King style magical [TS]

  supernatural stuff but as soon as you [TS]

  strip everything away people immediately [TS]

  fall back to their primitive you know [TS]

  demon haunted world kind of you know [TS]

  superstitions and this story of what [TS]

  happened between this group in Las Vegas [TS]

  and the Super Bowl tickets retold a few [TS]

  times and eventually all the [TS]

  superstitions become actual magic and [TS]

  the stories about you know Randall Flagg [TS]

  become real stories and like you can you [TS]

  can look at this anymore talk about this [TS]

  with toro we can connect this totals [TS]

  about you can look at this and say this [TS]

  this is an entirely you know this is how [TS]

  the this story is viewed but [TS]

  realistically what really happens like [TS]

  crash came and just rolled up with it [TS]

  together probably everybody out and it [TS]

  wasn't hand of God said offers crazy guy [TS]

  who thought he was going to be you know [TS]

  like if they're all plausible logical [TS]

  explanation for something that could [TS]

  they could play out like this and you [TS]

  can just become embellished in in the [TS]

  retelling three or four times that's all [TS]

  it takes right and why would that happen [TS]

  why would this otherwise rational people [TS]

  start believing in this magical story [TS]

  two or three generations because that's [TS]

  exactly how it happens all the time and [TS]

  so not that I'm saying that's my [TS]

  favorite interpretation of the book but [TS]

  the more I read the more I say the more [TS]

  i like looking at it as like everything [TS]

  has an actual real explanation and the [TS]

  good versus evil thing is it's kind of [TS]

  like red conned into it like oh of [TS]

  course there was a super evil guy we [TS]

  were the super good people and you know [TS]

  I mean [TS]

  I think you have to dismiss arrange that [TS]

  he said he explained that the last two [TS]

  pages of the book which is that Randall [TS]

  flagons have revived on the shore of [TS]

  some African nation right well that's [TS]

  the story of like what you can never [TS]

  actually kill evil kids because you know [TS]

  it always comes back right and I mean [TS]

  I'm not saying like I i say that's what [TS]

  obviously it's not the intent of the [TS]

  author that's not the primary [TS]

  interpretation of the book but sometimes [TS]

  when I squint that especially the thing [TS]

  with the bomb going off because that is [TS]

  like the most overt I hey guys there's [TS]

  magic and oh here's the hand of god and [TS]

  it's like yeah maybe or maybe the thing [TS]

  just went off accidentally because no [TS]

  one is going to be alive to tell the [TS]

  tale so who's you know to me and let me [TS]

  get the you know the omniscient narrator [TS]

  tells that this is what happened but if [TS]

  you just see a big mushroom cloud in the [TS]

  distance and you know Stu end up going [TS]

  home and retails but you like the it [TS]

  explains how legends come to be in that [TS]

  almost everything had to happen this [TS]

  book is real certainly the apocalypse is [TS]

  because science-based or whatever and [TS]

  then all the dreams they have a sort of [TS]

  old testament god that's one of my [TS]

  favorite things about this book like [TS]

  mother Abigail's God is the Old [TS]

  Testament God not that not the new [TS]

  Desmond and so don't give me that old [TS]

  time religion so this is a lot of that [TS]

  sort of baked into the book like it's [TS]

  not be kinder gentler got it anymore you [TS]

  know it's the strange arbitrary weird [TS]

  one and you can you can record it all [TS]

  and they explained it away [TS]

  well I mean talk to rephrase what you're [TS]

  saying I think what you're saying is you [TS]

  know that that's why this book has this [TS]

  mythical kind of feel to it whether [TS]

  whether even when it's not intended [TS]

  that's how it that's how it feels that [TS]

  yeah I guess that's literally what [TS]

  happened this literally is like one of [TS]

  those stories and if it wasn't what [TS]

  happened this is how those you know this [TS]

  is a struggle between good and evil as a [TS]

  relatively skeptical person i would say [TS]

  I one of the things that I like about [TS]

  this book is the fact that it is not I [TS]

  like that it's telling this this you [TS]

  know almost mythological story about [TS]

  good and evil and the forces lining up [TS]

  against each other because quite [TS]

  honestly one of the things that exhaust [TS]

  me about so many apocalypse stories is [TS]

  that it's just well what happens [TS]

  afterward everybody kills each other and [TS]

  each other until there's nobody left and [TS]

  then we're all dead and that's the end [TS]

  and here it's like no no there's another [TS]

  story that happens which is this you [TS]

  know ultimate battle between the forces [TS]

  of good and evil and all the IT people [TS]

  are going to go to Las Vegas where [TS]

  they're going to get electricity running [TS]

  and that's evil [TS]

  I think what was what [TS]

  that woman's got the speech where he [TS]

  says because he lays it out nice as well [TS]

  is going to get scientists engineers [TS]

  military types of law enforcement [TS]

  because they like structure there like [TS]

  order and they're going to jump at the [TS]

  opportunity to to follow somebody who [TS]

  offers from a promise of that and [TS]

  remember reading that again as a kid [TS]

  going to that's harsh and a hard drive [TS]

  for Tristan like yeah I can see that in [TS]

  general like Stephen King for most of [TS]

  his stories doesn't do the Marvel movie [TS]

  thing where the world always has to be [TS]

  in peril a lot of the stories especially [TS]

  his early ones were small something [TS]

  happening in a small town there's one [TS]

  vampire in a small town there's a good [TS]

  telekinetic and it's like the world's [TS]

  always the same small town [TS]

  well you know that they think they're [TS]

  all very castle rock sometimes its dairy [TS]

  but like it doesn't have the disease [TS]

  where world you know fantasy novels have [TS]

  this the worst the world is always in [TS]

  peril bites the resurgence of some [TS]

  ancient evil looks like it's always the [TS]

  world it's never like just within some [TS]

  villages one where often we do a whole [TS]

  story about that and like who cares you [TS]

  can wipe out the whole village no one [TS]

  notices little town in Maine but I he [TS]

  has to you know to sort of great works [TS]

  of intertwined that our world in peril [TS]

  things were you know that the dark tower [TS]

  and the stand and those were his like [TS]

  you can argue which one is like it you [TS]

  know obviously the dark tower sort of [TS]

  the cornerstone of his entire work and [TS]

  wraps everything up but the stand is the [TS]

  one big sort of pillar in you know i'm [TS]

  going to i'm gonna kill everybody in the [TS]

  world this is this is a world in peril [TS]

  fight for the soul of humanity good [TS]

  versus evil which he didn't indulge in [TS]

  in his career up to that point i'm [TS]

  trying to think of what did he did he go [TS]

  back to that I think this is more or [TS]

  less the only sort of realistic world in [TS]

  peril thing and then there's the dark [TS]

  tower which is world's plural in [TS]

  parallel reality but it's either gonna [TS]

  get expansion this idea right i mean [TS]

  that the dark dad was kind of the [TS]

  standard large and away [TS]

  well but it's all it's all [TS]

  interconnected I mean you've got like [TS]

  one of my favorite things is like it if [TS]

  you just if I was you recommend someone [TS]

  read three things by Stephen King would [TS]

  be like the entire dark salary series to [TS]

  stand in the eyes of the dragon just to [TS]

  see how you can take how you can take [TS]

  three entirely different genres and and [TS]

  styles of books and audiences and [TS]

  connect them all into one big thing and [TS]

  it's just it's just [TS]

  fascinating fascinating trainwreck are [TS]

  fascinating beautiful tapestry depending [TS]

  on how you look at it actually the very [TS]

  first time that i reread the stand was [TS]

  after I'd started reading the dark tower [TS]

  books and I was like oh yeah like you [TS]

  meet somebody told me that he weaves [TS]

  them in a little bit so it's like okay [TS]

  I'm going to read all of his other stuff [TS]

  that has little connections to shower [TS]

  which all just about everything I said [TS]

  so and so I did and and then actually [TS]

  just before i read the stand this time i [TS]

  had just finished reading wizard and [TS]

  glass again which has the scene where [TS]

  those characters are walking through [TS]

  what seems to be Kansas during the time [TS]

  of the post-apocalypse because you know [TS]

  they see a newspaper that says captain [TS]

  trips on it just like oh I just get that [TS]

  little shiver every time I see that hard [TS]

  again because of its it's that book but [TS]

  then they also point out that the the [TS]

  baseball team is what is it the Kansas [TS]

  City Monarchs instead of the Kansas City [TS]

  Royals so it's not actually our world we [TS]

  could still be in for this always want [TS]

  to be monarch swears that negro league [TS]

  team [TS]

  mhm true but in this in this in wizard [TS]

  glasses the MLB major league baseball [TS]

  and Lisa was mentioning Glenn Bateman [TS]

  speeches before and I remember my first [TS]

  couple of read-throughs of the books [TS]

  that was my favorite part because it was [TS]

  like a character in the blade like you [TS]

  always wanted characters characters in [TS]

  the book to discuss like the discuss [TS]

  what's happening in the book this is not [TS]

  sit down and talk about it a few times [TS]

  they did that it's like yes glad it's [TS]

  finally saying all the things that I'm [TS]

  thinking what are the people going to [TS]

  let's discuss it like instead of just [TS]

  the characters being in dread and always [TS]

  running from chases or whatever he would [TS]

  sit down every once in a while inside [TS]

  will help [TS]

  let's think this is gonna turn out like [TS]

  see that's exactly the only conversation [TS]

  I would ever be having with people would [TS]

  be like constant rehashing of Glenn's [TS]

  conversations there there are some [TS]

  characters i have more of a problem with [TS]

  as i get older just because I think oh [TS]

  you know you tried buddy but you didn't [TS]

  quite nail it and I have rarely [TS]

  connected to the women in this book the [TS]

  same way i've connected to the male [TS]

  characters and I have spent a lot of [TS]

  useless time thinking about whether [TS]

  that's because King bro this is a [TS]

  comparatively young man and was still [TS]

  developing the kind of imagination [TS]

  empathy needed for whether it's because [TS]

  the book was written during the nineteen [TS]

  seventies and perhaps gender attitudes [TS]

  for that dramatically different [TS]

  or what the story is but there's an [TS]

  awful lot of slapping of women's faces [TS]

  that takes place in like the first [TS]

  quarter of the book and I've always been [TS]

  vaguely bought I've always been kind of [TS]

  bothered by by two things by Miss [TS]

  Abigail's you know elderlies mystical [TS]

  black woman check because it feel it [TS]

  does feel kind of sticky you know it's [TS]

  it's the kind of thing that young white [TS]

  men right when they're oh she's machine [TS]

  applies she's with you she's so [TS]

  profoundly other like oh she's a woman [TS]

  and she's black and she's old she's [TS]

  basically you know and she's a bad West [TS]

  she's actually no yeah no she's [TS]

  absolutely like she's every possible of [TS]

  you can take off on the box and and [TS]

  that's always bugged me that the way [TS]

  that he's written her especially that [TS]

  passage about how much you enjoy sex and [TS]

  then I've always had a difficult time [TS]

  connecting to [TS]

  but like the the part of the book that I [TS]

  feel the best toward friend is always [TS]

  the part where she's burning her dad and [TS]

  then after my life I've always kind of [TS]

  had our friend with the hell are you [TS]

  thinking is is going through my mind [TS]

  through most of the rest of the book [TS]

  most of the time and again I tried to [TS]

  figure out if this is a cat's the result [TS]

  of King writing this when he was very [TS]

  young because he's got a roster of great [TS]

  female characters for a lot of the rest [TS]

  of his books or if this is an unwitting [TS]

  reflection of the time period in which [TS]

  King was writing this book or what but [TS]

  there's there's something about you know [TS]

  Lucy and Nadine and and and you know [TS]

  yeah but the data Jergens the data [TS]

  Jergens lesbian turn on and off thing is [TS]

  a little problematic and and you know [TS]

  this if you're writing this book now eat [TS]

  I think he'd get dinged for it [TS]

  yeah I I never actually noticed that [TS]

  sort of stuff when I was younger [TS]

  yeah I I kind of the first few times [TS]

  throughout think I related to friend and [TS]

  then now reading it I really don't in [TS]

  part because I'm older than she is and [TS]

  she acts a lot younger than she is i [TS]

  think in many cases but I think also [TS]

  just the fact that there aren't a lot of [TS]

  women when when you are compared with [TS]

  the number of well-developed male [TS]

  characters and then the choices that [TS]

  they're all kind of archetypal and you [TS]

  do get a lot of that on male side but i [TS]

  think there are enough guys that they're [TS]

  not all that way so you've got mother [TS]

  Abigail as the you know archetypal other [TS]

  yo woman basically and then you know [TS]

  you've got you've got Nadine sort of the [TS]

  femme fatale and religion sacrifice [TS]

  yeah that too and then you get the [TS]

  girlfriend and the mother figure you [TS]

  know friend turns into the mother figure [TS]

  after being just like the wayward [TS]

  wayward daughter figure and none of them [TS]

  seem quite as real to me as any of the [TS]

  the male characters throughout but I [TS]

  thought that perhaps one of the reasons [TS]

  for this is the archetypal thing this is [TS]

  a story of good vs evil the characters [TS]

  all sort of do have a little bit of that [TS]

  in their DNA [TS]

  I think that it fits so I I don't get [TS]

  too worked up about it but I do tilt my [TS]

  head a little bit i feel that kings [TS]

  point of view can be shown by right at [TS]

  the end of the book when even though [TS]

  he's giving us dozens and dozens of [TS]

  characters pretty much the four living [TS]

  white middle-aged dudes go off to solve [TS]

  the problem [TS]

  yeah let's be fair most of them died [TS]

  yeah 3 out of the 4 end up dead and the [TS]

  photos I've seen by a mentally [TS]

  challenged man they get to go be Christ [TS]

  figures but there it's basically [TS]

  everybody else stay at home [TS]

  yeah i think it's clear that King [TS]

  understands the male characters in the [TS]

  book more than he understands the female [TS]

  ones and it's easier this point his [TS]

  writing career where that makes a [TS]

  difference in his characterization will [TS]

  give more time to the male characters [TS]

  and their their internal monologues and [TS]

  motivations and actions make more sense [TS]

  from the various perspectives obviously [TS]

  he clearly understands Herald and the [TS]

  older man who sort of like what he wants [TS]

  to be but the women they do fall into [TS]

  all these roles and it got the roles [TS]

  they fall into the role so I don't know [TS]

  the rules of the Stephen King sees for [TS]

  women or the women had the seventies but [TS]

  so many of the women's opinions not just [TS]

  in this book with a lot of his books had [TS]

  to do with how they relate to the men in [TS]

  the books which man are they going to [TS]

  choose as their man which man will be [TS]

  their protector which man fulfills that [TS]

  like they're the women are looking [TS]

  towards the men and the men are looking [TS]

  towards the horizon and so they end up [TS]

  either at the end up either thinly drawn [TS]

  or just not given as much time to [TS]

  develop you made like the the other [TS]

  stereotypes that you know that the [TS]

  toughbook lesbian one like he tries to [TS]

  show them as at being complex and making [TS]

  decisions that affect the rest of the [TS]

  story and so on and so forth but it's [TS]

  all kind of writ small like there's not [TS]

  a lot of the women worrying about [TS]

  how they're going to fix the problem of [TS]

  the world like and the men you know some [TS]

  of the major thing about some of them [TS]

  are so that is just a weakness and i [TS]

  think a young author and to be fair when [TS]

  you have a book with this many [TS]

  characters and it's hard to make all the [TS]

  great and he just eventually you just at [TS]

  it you know you just end up leaning on [TS]

  the ones you can do better so he just [TS]

  does the male characters better uh huh [TS]

  you know he does as an author I think he [TS]

  gets better with the women i think if [TS]

  you reduce the character count he can [TS]

  imbue the women with more interesting [TS]

  things like always and like a book like [TS]

  Gerald's game was like look I'm really [TS]

  got to get this right it's just going to [TS]

  be a woman she's going to be my thing [TS]

  under the whole book my respected and [TS]

  she becomes an entire person um he's an [TS]

  older guy he does have his weird [TS]

  prejudices but yeah that's in repeated [TS]

  readings of this and i said this used to [TS]

  be my favorite book i think lord of the [TS]

  rings has passed it simply because now [TS]

  as i read it and i get older i see sort [TS]

  of all the things that you didn't see [TS]

  when you're younger than the writing is [TS]

  not as strong as kings later work in the [TS]

  characterizations are not as Richard [TS]

  sophisticated as they could be [TS]

  I still love the story i I'm willing to [TS]

  forgive a lot because of the puffiness [TS]

  like it's kind of you know trashy pulpy [TS]

  soap opera ish sci-fi apocalypse like [TS]

  I'm willing to forgive a lot for that [TS]

  fun but it you know it is it has [TS]

  decreased in esteem and and in my mind [TS]

  over the years [TS]

  well the two the two people who kill [TS]

  themselves over the course of the book [TS]

  because they can't handle living without [TS]

  a man or having a man take care of them [TS]

  both are both women because you've got [TS]

  Rita the socialite that killed herself [TS]

  around Larry never wouldn't love to have [TS]

  Larry honorary but you've also but [TS]

  you've also got Perry who briefly [TS]

  mentioned a few chapters who kills [TS]

  herself after poor stew watches marks a [TS]

  pen that you know appendectomy and by [TS]

  the way that appendectomy seeing is [TS]

  actually one of my favorites that got [TS]

  added back into the expanded book [TS]

  because it really points out how quickly [TS]

  you can be laid low on eternal enemy the [TS]

  podcast david brin actually has a nice [TS]

  that's understood official then yes sir [TS]

  have a nice [TS]

  he has a base throwaway line actually [TS]

  the postman of all things where a [TS]

  character kind of loses his head when [TS]

  somebody steals his tooth powder and his [TS]

  loss because one of the things that's [TS]

  been killing people and that [TS]

  post-apocalyptic landscape is [TS]

  that was a parent parent pairing [TS]

  peritonitis yeah yeah and that's been [TS]

  killing people and so this guy's [TS]

  fanatical about his teeth regimen and I [TS]

  had never really stopped to consider [TS]

  that yeah you know if the bacteria get [TS]

  into ulcerated gums it's done with and [TS]

  so I love when stuff like okay once upon [TS]

  a time I had this melody I could go into [TS]

  the ER got it taken care of overnight [TS]

  turns into oak rap i'm going to die in a [TS]

  lot of abdomen abdominal pain to be fair [TS]

  to Stephen King actually the his first [TS]

  published novel was Carrie yeah but [TS]

  don't make it sound like he never wrote [TS]

  about with dentist so I'm just like he [TS]

  has it he has a deeper intuitive [TS]

  understanding of men [TS]

  that's one of the books that passes the [TS]

  Bechdel test and that it's not all women [TS]

  talking to each other about about guys [TS]

  because I yeah just pop up a lot sloped [TS]

  we're talking to get to each other about [TS]

  God [TS]

  yeah so we're on were on characters now [TS]

  I think this is this is our opportunity [TS]

  before we get to that important talk [TS]

  about the timeframe in the expanded [TS]

  edition and all that [TS]

  let's talk about the characters because [TS]

  i think one of the things that we didn't [TS]

  mention really except in passing when we [TS]

  talk about the appeal of this book I [TS]

  think it's got to be the characters this [TS]

  is a huge cast and that there are some [TS]

  really memorable people in this cast of [TS]

  characters this is of this is a you know [TS]

  that there isn't just about three or [TS]

  four people who walk off to Las Vegas to [TS]

  get killed it's it's this huge [TS]

  widescreen set of characters so if you [TS]

  guys have more characters you want to [TS]

  talk about now is your chance we haven't [TS]

  mentioned Nick's a mechanical great [TS]

  yes I love him yeah yeah [TS]

  ap I think he's that it's hard not to [TS]

  Harold is kind of like the the [TS]

  novelization version of the character [TS]

  from one of my favorite jonathan coulton [TS]

  songs the future soon where it's he's he [TS]

  kinda more or less gets his wish and [TS]

  that he survived the apocalypse everyone [TS]

  else has gone all his tormenters he [TS]

  finally has time to write you know in [TS]

  his underpants whatever he's doing [TS]

  swimming away their that the one girl he [TS]

  liked in town is the is this left I he [TS]

  is he may literally be the last man on [TS]

  earth [TS]

  and he has the chance to remake himself [TS]

  and it doesn't start off well for him [TS]

  but like it [TS]

  he almost gets it's like okay well I can [TS]

  be a new person the society i can be [TS]

  different than I was [TS]

  I'm useful i'm smart people look up to [TS]

  me like the great you know turn turn [TS]

  where Larry says that house becomes [TS]

  legend larry's mind because they're [TS]

  following all his signs and the [TS]

  disconnect between like this kid that he [TS]

  meets you so insecure and obnoxious and [TS]

  everything and the guy who had the [TS]

  smarts write those signs but he doesn't [TS]

  turn it around in the end in the end he [TS]

  is his own worst enemy in the end you [TS]

  know the the Robot Wars cause his love [TS]

  to you know have a bionic eyes and [TS]

  realize that he is the person who caused [TS]

  all this and it's it's kind of a tragedy [TS]

  out but like I said it in a book with [TS]

  fewer number of characters or in a more [TS]

  conventional Stephen King novel he would [TS]

  have turned it around but he doesn't [TS]

  have to turn around this book he's [TS]

  allowed to follow a course that seems [TS]

  very realistic and likely in that he if [TS]

  he ends up he ends up being his own [TS]

  worse enemy and can't pull out of you [TS]

  know I mean he makes it more than makes [TS]

  a conscious choice we can't let go of [TS]

  his hate and I like the type of story [TS]

  because it's not the easy one where when [TS]

  everybody's gone [TS]

  you know you will be able to sleep in [TS]

  the Smithsonian and you'll be great [TS]

  person and you'll get the girl and [TS]

  everything will be great it's like [TS]

  wherever you go there you are you're not [TS]

  going to be able to escape yourself [TS]

  ah and despite your efforts to the [TS]

  contrary and I that's why I really liked [TS]

  his story lines its I mean it strikes me [TS]

  is not being clichéd and I I feel for [TS]

  him every time through like you hate him [TS]

  and you want him to be punished so badly [TS]

  but so many times like oh hell you were [TS]

  so close you are so close [TS]

  oh hi always feel so sorry for him I [TS]

  think that's why he's one of the [TS]

  characters that I definitely had to grow [TS]

  into when i read it as a youngster I was [TS]

  really sort of just seeing the [TS]

  black-and-white two-dimensional part of [TS]

  it and I was just angry at him all the [TS]

  time and didn't care and now that i have [TS]

  had grown up and actually had some life [TS]

  experiences and and battled a little bit [TS]

  with the good versus evil in myself I [TS]

  can feel a lot more for his character [TS]

  and I would like to think that I've [TS]

  turned it around and done things okay [TS]

  but i can understand his sort of inner [TS]

  turmoil turn it to fight back and forth [TS]

  so it's a much much deeper more [TS]

  meaningful [TS]

  character transformation linear [TS]

  transformation for me now than it was [TS]

  when i first read the book the first [TS]

  couple times [TS]

  well as a teenager was next to Harold [TS]

  water in school and and so that was the [TS]

  reason I didn't like it was because I [TS]

  was already dealing with people like him [TS]

  every day then but you know once you get [TS]

  older and like Erica says you've had to [TS]

  have a reckoning with the limits of your [TS]

  own strengths and weaknesses and you [TS]

  have to start and you start living with [TS]

  the consequences of decisions you've [TS]

  made [TS]

  it's easier to go back and look at [TS]

  harold and see the times when the deck [TS]

  has been stacked against him and how [TS]

  easy it was and for him to make some [TS]

  decisions and how hard it was for him to [TS]

  sit to stand by and not make others [TS]

  there's that there's a the conversation [TS]

  thats too has with the herald where they [TS]

  did they try to settle things that were [TS]

  friends for over Franny and instead of [TS]

  course lies like a rug about his [TS]

  interesting fran but there's that moment [TS]

  where we're and King writes beautifully [TS]

  words it's pretty obvious that Harold [TS]

  just lets go of his his petulance [TS]

  towards the old old world and recognizes [TS]

  that he can be somebody you like and [TS]

  stupid really you know carry each other [TS]

  through this and and be good people [TS]

  together and he doesn't do it and I read [TS]

  that now i'm like 'oh Harold [TS]

  Oh buddy the tragedy it really is and [TS]

  and you think about the dumb things you [TS]

  did as a teenager you're like oh I had I [TS]

  i could have been I this person was [TS]

  reaching out i was just too dominant [TS]

  angry and youngest yet so and then two [TS]

  kings credit he does not really well and [TS]

  he's unsparing and that's actually the [TS]

  reasons i think it is Harold its kind of [TS]

  him [TS]

  grappling with his own demons own [TS]

  writerly alter ego [TS]

  I think there's a lot of King and Harold [TS]

  everybody i like i like that Harold is [TS]

  is weak not really evil he's weak and [TS]

  his weakness is exploited he fails to [TS]

  make good decisions because he's weak [TS]

  and and for reasons right but and then [TS]

  he is exploited by flag essentially his [TS]

  weakness and he he you know he doesn't [TS]

  get a reward he ends up dead because he [TS]

  flag doesn't really trust him either [TS]

  right and and uh huh ok his because he's [TS]

  too smart too much yeah he thinks too [TS]

  much and he and and he's gonna be [TS]

  trouble you've already good omens right [TS]

  or [TS]

  talking about how Crowley didn't really [TS]

  fall from heaven so much as you just [TS]

  kind of software down slowly [TS]

  you know where it's not that were wasn't [TS]

  a whole lot of intentionality was just a [TS]

  series of small decisions that added up [TS]

  and that's sort of like Jason weaknesses [TS]

  Harold's Harold's condition as a result [TS]

  of all these things cascading and i like [TS]

  that his weaknesses sort of all [TS]

  revolving around his ego he sees himself [TS]

  is so much better than everybody around [TS]

  him and that is something that I be as a [TS]

  teenager now looking back I realize I [TS]

  can relate to that I didn't recognize it [TS]

  at the time but although it's such a [TS]

  defense mechanism because his dad picked [TS]

  on him and he felt awkward and out and [TS]

  so we you know you see how because [TS]

  there's that lovely chapter where he [TS]

  kills himself and well that's a turn of [TS]

  phrase [TS]

  uh-huh there's that chapter 18 kills [TS]

  himself and you basically get taken for [TS]

  the autobiography of hair autobiography [TS]

  of of the formation of harold and you [TS]

  know from when he was a small boy who's [TS]

  his dad is saying all these terrible [TS]

  things about him and he's better-looking [TS]

  in this pretty little sister shadow and [TS]

  you can see where all of the hertz keep [TS]

  piling on and he kind of has to create [TS]

  these defenses to push people away [TS]

  before they could hurt him again and [TS]

  that's where he gets the superiority [TS]

  complexes because it's safer and easier [TS]

  to go on the offensive [TS]

  that is why i love both his written [TS]

  final declaration where he signs his [TS]

  name hawk and the fact that it gets [TS]

  dismissed later by RR for traveling [TS]

  quite saviors who are like this [TS]

  beautiful dying declaration and I just [TS]

  completely like whatever Harold this is [TS]

  ben and they keep ya like he doesn't [TS]

  even have any written mine was like oh [TS]

  he's conscripted the truth to print it's [TS]

  all whatever is a little it's a little [TS]

  bit late by that point just a little bit [TS]

  if you want everybody up and fled town [TS]

  and yeah that Lloyd has a similar [TS]

  situation where he is a person Vic not a [TS]

  victim of circumstance but like it is [TS]

  weak and his weaknesses exploited like [TS]

  because again there are things he's not [TS]

  a good person right but yeah there are [TS]

  things in him that are redeemable but [TS]

  the flag basically waits for him to be [TS]

  near death and like you know II and [TS]

  ready to eat his cellmate [TS]

  yeah he would have gone to Vegas anyway [TS]

  but if you wait until he's almost dead [TS]

  you can get him as a lot you know [TS]

  completely loyal for life like that that [TS]

  type of a mean witch Lloyd even [TS]

  recognizes in the end I [TS]

  actually recognizes he waited until I [TS]

  was at my weakest and extracted undying [TS]

  loyalty from me and I'm going to give [TS]

  him that because I'm just you know like [TS]

  miss it it's it's another sad situation [TS]

  of a you know a similar person who was [TS]

  and i'm using flags like well if there's [TS]

  no Randall Flagg around you don't have [TS]

  to worry because weak people won't be [TS]

  exploited in this way I mean grandma [TS]

  flags a stand-in for all the other [TS]

  things that are going to exploit a [TS]

  weakness or insecurity or internal [TS]

  conflict in the world is just a [TS]

  convenient narrative shorthand I'd like [TS]

  to briefly mention one of my favorite [TS]

  really short-lived characters which is [TS]

  Starkey the general who kind of goes [TS]

  crazy watching the videos everybody dead [TS]

  he's really bucking space ooh that's so [TS]

  much of what happens to the country is [TS]

  his fault he's the one that says kill [TS]

  anyone who says there's a super flu put [TS]

  every city on lockdown but yeah I have [TS]

  that poor journalist in west virginia [TS]

  his last act is to try to put out a [TS]

  broadsheet before he dies [TS]

  yeah but I think Starkey is an [TS]

  interesting Lee tragic character because [TS]

  he's clearly gone crazy and in a book [TS]

  the size King can take his time showing [TS]

  him going crazy and then going down and [TS]

  killing himself but fixing the face in [TS]

  the soup first [TS]

  yeah and then the next guy sits in his [TS]

  chair why can't he have cleaned off the [TS]

  face at least why don't know what he'll [TS]

  be busy but it doesn't it sits down and [TS]

  takes over right there [TS]

  noted that i got dark humor of the book [TS]

  is like you can you can't tell what it's [TS]

  just always gonna be said that guy's [TS]

  going to slowly go mad while watching [TS]

  the same thing but it there's there's [TS]

  humor and a lot of this the absurdity of [TS]

  the apocalypse is I mean even chapter 38 [TS]

  you can even think about some of those [TS]

  passages are just like slapstick death [TS]

  comedy of like what could possibly go [TS]

  wrong with these people but you know it [TS]

  thats that's throughout the entire book [TS]

  like that he's not not afraid to the [TS]

  characters aren't afraid and King isn't [TS]

  afraid to dare you to laugh it the [TS]

  terrible things that are happening but [TS]

  I'm gonna mention the trashcan man i [TS]

  love the fresh cat man [TS]

  he is a pure character he knows what he [TS]

  was happy because it doesn't to fire and [TS]

  flat flag totally distracted him from [TS]

  his mission such a poor baby he's [TS]

  basically be this i mean no way to know [TS]

  what love is somebody that I was a bully [TS]

  the trashcan there and he's also flags [TS]

  big weaknesses that he finds trashcan [TS]

  man as endearing as I do but even even a [TS]

  better [TS]

  it's literally a bad idea to have this [TS]

  guy running around inside your group he [TS]

  doesn't seem to care that much about [TS]

  shutting him down [TS]

  well he is useful he does have skills [TS]

  like he's the only flexpay problems he [TS]

  mistakes crazy for stupid [TS]

  well I mean like he wants to see what [TS]

  the trashcan man's abilities trashcan [TS]

  and supernatural ability to understand [TS]

  machinery he needs that he needs them to [TS]

  get like the fighter planes back up with [TS]

  that base or whatever and he will enter [TS]

  cells up the first tank [TS]

  yeah i mean like what really like a site [TS]

  he interrupted the trash can Trash man [TS]

  could have finally had a comfortable [TS]

  always going to do is going to burn [TS]

  every city in the United States and he [TS]

  would have done that for the rest of his [TS]

  life like now I actually have to come to [TS]

  Vegas and go to work and be like all [TS]

  seriously do you realize how much stuff [TS]

  I can burn in this country it's just you [TS]

  know I got West is pretty dance I could [TS]

  I could spend years here [TS]

  yeah I mean eventually would blow [TS]

  himself up that's the way he wanted to [TS]

  cover like it [TS]

  King even think as such it King even has [TS]

  sympathy for like the craziest of his [TS]

  character is so easy to make a crazy [TS]

  pyromaniac but no he's got to give trash [TS]

  game and a backstory why is he crazy [TS]

  what happened to him and obviously as [TS]

  mental illness but also people were [TS]

  terrible to him too like everyone's [TS]

  everyone's got their reasons everyone's [TS]

  got their story even the people who are [TS]

  just you know already and I even flag [TS]

  has kind of you know that they tried not [TS]

  to make him sympathetic but to explain [TS]

  that he has feelings too he's not just [TS]

  pure evil who knows exactly what he's [TS]

  doing he has doubts he's not sure what's [TS]

  going on [TS]

  yes he is he's period knows what he's [TS]

  doing and has doubts though I mean you [TS]

  talk about his big memories and and [TS]

  and how he incites the worst in what I [TS]

  do like is housekeeping things like well [TS]

  clearly from flag is responsible for the [TS]

  fact the sixties turned into the [TS]

  complete cluster flock of seventies [TS]

  because it has to be even more human [TS]

  nature but you know flight that the [TS]

  point is flagged out there supposed to [TS]

  be well he's wavering because the forces [TS]

  of good and finally getting their act [TS]

  together and hitting the road that [TS]

  that's always been my take on it is that [TS]

  that the ideas that evil strengthens [TS]

  when nobody works in opposition but once [TS]

  opposition is organized and starts [TS]

  working then the nature of evil is [TS]

  inherently challenged and that's kind of [TS]

  a theme through a lot of Kings workwear [TS]

  like once you get the band together and [TS]

  everyone has sex before vanquishing a [TS]

  clown or whatever whatever they have to [TS]

  do in specific book like Amanda's [TS]

  together at all [TS]

  it all works going to read that but also [TS]

  evil works even works through people [TS]

  like it needs a vessel and so the vessel [TS]

  the vessel of evil and lots of Stephen [TS]

  King stories like you get the impression [TS]

  that the force working through them [TS]

  starts to lose faith in their vessel [TS]

  like all this vessel sucks and then it's [TS]

  nice to all fall apart when it's like I [TS]

  thought you were a good vessel for my [TS]

  evil intentions but now things are [TS]

  falling apart and so that the evil [TS]

  person will get abandoned by the [TS]

  supernatural power or the powers we [TS]

  started to waver and it's like you [TS]

  always feel like it's the it's the black [TS]

  cloud going alright well this isn't [TS]

  working i'm out of here like he's going [TS]

  to start over again on that island like [TS]

  let's try this again but you know flag [TS]

  is more than just a vessel that he's you [TS]

  know sort of weave throughout the entire [TS]

  thing is something more significant than [TS]

  that and as opposed to just some random [TS]

  guy who gets possessed by some evil [TS]

  spirit or aliens or whatever but it's [TS]

  the same type of thing where it nobody [TS]

  gets to be beyond the their humanity [TS]

  beyond like that that the things that [TS]

  bother humans anger jealousy like it [TS]

  like the Old Testament God who you know [TS]

  it shows all the same attributes of [TS]

  humans you know that what why would he [TS]

  be jealous [TS]

  why would be wrathful why wouldn't you [TS]

  know it demand all these things wide why [TS]

  does flag ever have doubts why does he [TS]

  get frustrated wide why those things [TS]

  happen well because he's also a person [TS]

  kinda one of the things I like about [TS]

  flag it's it's fun to have this [TS]

  character who is just you know the [TS]

  Walking duties [TS]

  he's bad guy he's supernaturally [TS]

  something rather and he and bad things [TS]

  are gonna happen and and you get that [TS]

  feeling of that epic quest kind of thing [TS]

  is playing out a little [TS]

  for the Rings like it away right this is [TS]

  oh you know what's like going to do but [TS]

  the thing i like is flag doesn't cause [TS]

  the apocalypse right [TS]

  really I want me how to dougie does [TS]

  that's a whole shoddy workmanship on one [TS]

  door [TS]

  yeah that'sthat's it's really our fault [TS]

  its humanities failing that causes its [TS]

  own end flag is just there to take [TS]

  advantage of what happens next right [TS]

  which I'll i really like that that it's [TS]

  like now is my now it's my it's my cue [TS]

  right now it now i can get to work [TS]

  he's just wandering around aimlessly on [TS]

  the road they suddenly goes oh [TS]

  something's going on now yeah he's [TS]

  opportunistic as a virus that's a nice [TS]

  metaphor yeah haha [TS]

  one thing i like about the way flag is [TS]

  introduced is i have read none of the [TS]

  dark tower books at all but just the few [TS]

  sentences are saying some people call [TS]

  them the walking dude or all hard case [TS]

  like yeah immediately feels like this is [TS]

  a legendary character you should have [TS]

  heard of already yeah oh yeah we talked [TS]

  about the timeframe a little bit i've [TS]

  got a in my little book [TS]

  bookmark that i got from Doubleday when [TS]

  i bought the book it says the setting of [TS]

  the book has been changed from 1982 [TS]

  1990s it's stephen king is the same age [TS]

  40 Madonna line there with Lloyd [TS]

  strangling somebody and that's how they [TS]

  update it and they also and they also on [TS]

  head off the AIDS comparison because if [TS]

  you remember the whole point 22 well [TS]

  it's the super footwear shot that [TS]

  shifting antigen your body just can't [TS]

  keep up and then what do you know [TS]

  grid turns into HIV which basically does [TS]

  the same thing to your immune system and [TS]

  so they had to find a way to explain why [TS]

  this wasn't aids and those and those are [TS]

  the two big changes they've made out [TS]

  that they put another couple pulp [TS]

  another couple pop culture references [TS]

  and I know there's 12 teenage mutant [TS]

  ninja turtles enjoy kids haha like an ID [TS]

  y SE I had no idea i had no idea that [TS]

  the original was set in a different time [TS]

  because i didn't get a fancy book [TS]

  markets joining our differences so I [TS]

  didn't know that until you guys were [TS]

  mentioning it in like the emails for the [TS]

  prep for this podcast i was it kind of [TS]

  blew my mind a little bit so this is [TS]

  fascinating i'm not sure quite why I I [TS]

  mean I guess their marketing it and I [TS]

  said well how much updated so it's more [TS]

  of current with today is that that's my [TS]

  publishing industry executive voice by [TS]

  the way or justify so what [TS]

  by pointing out but but it has problems [TS]

  because they're there are some having [TS]

  not read the original I can't really do [TS]

  a direct comparison but it feels to me [TS]

  like there are lots of places where you [TS]

  know we've taken things that are tropes [TS]

  of characters from the seventies and now [TS]

  we just say it's the nineties or 90 and [TS]

  it doesn't actually track with how how [TS]

  the I I you know net now looking back [TS]

  from all this time later i feei feel [TS]

  like it would feel better if it was set [TS]

  in 1980 because it would just be further [TS]

  back in that era [TS]

  yeah specifically Larry Underwood [TS]

  backstory yes Larry under what is your [TS]

  full of people saying save the [TS]

  full of people saying save the [TS]

  n-word bebop for the cleaning crew and [TS]

  railway what he's talking about [TS]

  we don't like that rock and roll music [TS]

  it was a very old record I yeah really i [TS]

  think the problem is for me the [TS]

  characters don't talk like they're in [TS]

  1990 they talk like they're Stephen King [TS]

  a lot of the time sure that happens a [TS]

  lot [TS]

  one specific example i wrote down for [TS]

  early in France description of herself [TS]

  good figure long legs that got [TS]

  appreciative glasses prime stuff was the [TS]

  correct frat house term looking looking [TS]

  here comes knocking yeah yeah [TS]

  looking looking looking here comes miss [TS]

  college girl 1990s you ready yeah I was [TS]

  empowered and Maxine I do i do college [TS]

  dunno y apartment [TS]

  no no no so that's a problem with [TS]

  stephen king's writing is that Steve [TS]

  stephen king came of age in the sixties [TS]

  and seventies and so eternally like as [TS]

  we were all eternally in whatever age we [TS]

  were adolescence he cannot get out of [TS]

  that and when he tries to move forward [TS]

  like like when he like you know it in [TS]

  hit he's got the kid on the skateboard [TS]

  and everything it's clear that he [TS]

  doesn't understand what skateboards are [TS]

  like it's a party of the big notion of [TS]

  it someone told him about skateboarding [TS]

  once it's like those qualities to write [TS]

  in the fifties you can't be safe on a [TS]

  skateboard mr. another in standing on a [TS]

  little wooden planks fixed wheels and [TS]

  it's endearing because he writes you [TS]

  know like it and I don't want him to be [TS]

  like all I need to immerse myself in [TS]

  modern culture and so maybe it's better [TS]

  that he sets his book in places we [TS]

  either place where it doesn't matter [TS]

  like the dark tower where you make up [TS]

  everything and everything's a mishmash [TS]

  of everything anyway or do it in an area [TS]

  that you're familiar with or with people [TS]

  are that are the age you're familiar [TS]

  with so like he probably should not [TS]

  write young adults at this point in his [TS]

  career but he could write a 50-year old [TS]

  man pretty darn well I imagine why it's [TS]

  like you get back two characters i like [TS]

  the idea of Larry Underwood a lot [TS]

  because i like it because the notion of [TS]

  some be /c lister surviving the [TS]

  apocalypse and having to to deal with [TS]

  with their brought fall from grace like [TS]

  that's a really interesting story i [TS]

  would read an update we're like one of [TS]

  the minor Kardashians was left over [TS]

  and-and-and trying to make their way out [TS]

  of Los Angeles or whatever and imagine [TS]

  the postman it does not to mention tom [TS]

  petty as the mayor of the village with [TS]

  work castle don't know you from [TS]

  somewhere and topped it off that was [TS]

  another life in the sink goes from there [TS]

  was hilarious i have to see if we can [TS]

  find anything but lay right at Larry [TS]

  underwear i mean i do the end this ghost [TS]

  of this goes to the time this goes to [TS]

  the timeframe to his I picture him as [TS]

  being one of those kind of you know [TS]

  Harry curly haired singer songwriter [TS]

  guys from the lates late seventies and [TS]

  usually york city of the seventies like [TS]

  when he is when he's in his like that i [TS]

  picture in my head I didn't realize this [TS]

  until we started talking about the time [TS]

  period i also didn't know the time [TS]

  period had been recycled i guess in a [TS]

  way that bookmark but like at Larry [TS]

  scenes i read them as if he's using a [TS]

  movie in the seventies in New York like [TS]

  this graffiti everywhere in it [TS]

  everything to this tall redhead cliché [TS]

  who make some eggs he's picking up women [TS]

  who think he's you ain't no nice guy and [TS]

  and like you just now he's got here he [TS]

  spends a lot of time on this is not a [TS]

  guy who was on the just shirt is open [TS]

  pretty darn low or and he was with the [TS]

  eagles in California no question like [TS]

  that love the idea that you have [TS]

  somebody who was like yeah i was on a [TS]

  trajectory to become you know the the [TS]

  featured performer on American Bandstand [TS]

  before Dick Clark and the rest of the [TS]

  planet died from you know cannot do dick [TS]

  clark's out there somewhere i'm telling [TS]

  you i late huh yeah maybe he has dark [TS]

  colors maybe yes the dark man I'm by the [TS]

  talking dude if that time everyone do [TS]

  everything you want what do you want to [TS]

  bet the tell ryan seacrest gets all his [TS]

  jobs that my grandma flag will dick [TS]

  clark passed on the secret crazy to [TS]

  happen but like Larry is it as a dude in [TS]

  practice i just i have a hard time with [TS]

  him because I'm I'm like oh my god Larry [TS]

  just yeah yeah he's a character that I [TS]

  also i also kind of grew into a little [TS]

  bit i really really just got bored with [TS]

  historian with skim all of his parts now [TS]

  IM to the point where i can i can kind [TS]

  of understand the the the growth that [TS]

  he's going through and what he's [TS]

  struggling with but it's still just he [TS]

  still just seems internally whiny to me [TS]

  yeah he's like an Apatow bein man baby i [TS]

  could have had [TS]

  I was just like a virgin oh yeah he's [TS]

  externally wanted to but I don't you [TS]

  feel for him like when he takes on the [TS]

  sort of the broken woman reading which [TS]

  is a cliche or whatever like that he he [TS]

  does feels like so before i was going to [TS]

  be singer but now i'm responsible for [TS]

  this crazy persons life and I'm gonna [TS]

  feel bad when she dies like it's a [TS]

  failure of myself and like that's why he [TS]

  keeps replaying that the girl telling [TS]

  him he's not a nice guy it's like I [TS]

  don't have fame [TS]

  I don't my town is meaningless not i [TS]

  have to be like a person and I'm not and [TS]

  he's internally whiny and is externally [TS]

  one-e-and like they try to turn him [TS]

  around but they never let him get he [TS]

  never become stupid read me over like [TS]

  well let's hear Larry to face it like [TS]

  he's like oh come on like the socks in [TS]

  that don't understand i'm doing people [TS]

  don't like me and I don't know how to [TS]

  deal with myself and my mom is dead even [TS]

  though she complained a lot like he's he [TS]

  is sympathetic from a certain [TS]

  perspective but i like the fact that [TS]

  they never bring him all the way around [TS]

  like Larry always kind of stays Larry [TS]

  and he's maybe the most realistic [TS]

  yeah i just want to take Lucy out for [TS]

  coffee on Lucy girl you could do better [TS]

  come on I realized that most the planet [TS]

  has died but there are still dateable [TS]

  dudes were not named Larry and he's hung [TS]

  up on his ex-girlfriend and she's hung [TS]

  up on a Ouija board and you are well [TS]

  away from that mess now don't want to [TS]

  knock you up because being a single [TS]

  mother in the after in the after scape [TS]

  is no fun all the users guide like you [TS]

  just need to have that talk with Lucy [TS]

  and and poor woman you know that poor [TS]

  woman [TS]

  we haven't talked about Tom Cullen yet [TS]

  and i can't get the most interesting [TS]

  thing about Tom Cohen that I like about [TS]

  this is that they sent him to be a spy [TS]

  because that is exactly the kind of like [TS]

  yeah we're the good guys but I like it's [TS]

  a terrible thing to do in the end like [TS]

  by the time they do it in the book you [TS]

  can either be like I'm in the mindset of [TS]

  I guess we have to do this because Randy [TS]

  flags really bag and listen like wait a [TS]

  second what do you what do you think [TS]

  you're gonna do now you could this poor [TS]

  guys like well we like when everything [TS]

  but he's really just upon our chess [TS]

  board and we here at the Town Council [TS]

  meeting or whatever it is will have to [TS]

  forget and I mean judge going it's like [TS]

  well he wants to sacrifice himself or [TS]

  whatever but sending Tom colleges solo's [TS]

  life so like it's so have like yeah it's [TS]

  so like it he's much older than we think [TS]

  is you know thanks [TS]

  it's so brutal and terrible and like the [TS]

  fact that all these good people kind of [TS]

  agreed to it and and do it like it shows [TS]

  you that like the rules have to be [TS]

  different shows you the power of cults [TS]

  actually because it's the Colton mother [TS]

  Abigail like old people had desperately [TS]

  coalesced around her and she had been [TS]

  the friendly figured that save them for [TS]

  the dreams of of Randall Flagg and I [TS]

  think I do think he stops a little bit [TS]

  Stephen King stops a little bit short of [TS]

  a really poking that home because he [TS]

  softens it a little bit with the fact [TS]

  that tom sort of when he's under [TS]

  hypnosis has this sort of extra sensory [TS]

  power and is able to see things for [TS]

  channel smarter there yeah exactly so [TS]

  it's not quite it's not quite sending a [TS]

  mentally challenged man into the fray [TS]

  it's a mentally challenged man with some [TS]

  extra stuff going on so maybe with a [TS]

  view it like as a strategic advantage [TS]

  it's like a hobby remember just like [TS]

  since there's a sleeper agent right here [TS]

  they don't know that it carries moms [TS]

  like oh no will no more respect they [TS]

  sent the no one will ever suspect this [TS]

  old man judge Farris goes that doesn't [TS]

  work out well for him but like you know [TS]

  like that they're playing with other [TS]

  people's lives like it all it takes is a [TS]

  group of like you've got this how many [TS]

  people are in boulder like not a couple [TS]

  hundred thousand or whatever and then [TS]

  like this tiny little council is [TS]

  deciding the lives of these people like [TS]

  all right you and your alignment and if [TS]

  they're willing to do it then I guess [TS]

  but like Tom Cullen is not and that's in [TS]

  the sort of magical retelling if you [TS]

  think what was it really like they just [TS]

  basically made this guy go and they [TS]

  convince themselves that they hypnotized [TS]

  him to the point where he can't be able [TS]

  to pull them right well that's pretty [TS]

  sure he could talk normally when we [TS]

  hypnotize him right he was smarter than [TS]

  you think [TS]

  yeah yeah yeah that happens he may be [TS]

  talked about the phases of the Moon and [TS]

  how beautiful they were it was beautiful [TS]

  it was like poetry [TS]

  yeah but like you know anything that's a [TS]

  trip to like he did Stephen King loves [TS]

  the the mentally deficient media [TS]

  management cool the magical kind of like [TS]

  they're always you know normally [TS]

  beautiful but but most of the time he is [TS]

  like I think he respects Tom Collins a [TS]

  character but i think when they send him [TS]

  it shows that the the values that they [TS]

  all held there have to be adjusted if [TS]

  they're going to survive in this pocket [TS]

  post-apocalyptic world and by that point [TS]

  there already [TS]

  well it's a totally Old Testament move [TS]

  you know I mean this is the same old [TS]

  testament where God ask people to [TS]

  sacrifice their children and so how is [TS]

  sacrificing an adult without a whole lot [TS]

  of free will or agency that much [TS]

  different you know I mean that's kind of [TS]

  the message of this whole book is that [TS]

  stuff is just gotten all Old Testament [TS]

  on us [TS]

  yeah yeah yeah although King doesn't [TS]

  have the heart to kill him in the end [TS]

  and I'll having him come back and be [TS]

  that the savior for everything I mean it [TS]

  is heartwarming made like he spends the [TS]

  whole book with the mo own thing in MO [TS]

  and you get the big payoff at the end [TS]

  yeah I don't have any leaves and I mean [TS]

  it works everything I said this is kind [TS]

  of like puppy and trashy but it's like [TS]

  the Nick Andres becomes his Ghost spirit [TS]

  guide I I think that's gonna sweet [TS]

  that's a testament to the power [TS]

  friendship and all that [TS]

  yeah and you could talk and when in his [TS]

  visions that like it's what you get [TS]

  I guess it's necessary but I think it's [TS]

  kind of BS because one of because Nick's [TS]

  deafness was was absolutely integral 22 [TS]

  who he was as a person to you know he [TS]

  had that profound sense of isolation and [TS]

  that profound observer effect now that's [TS]

  what made him so compelling is this is [TS]

  the guy who very consciously chose [TS]

  almost everything that he was or who [TS]

  chose to be and he's one of the most [TS]

  deliberate deliberate and self-made [TS]

  people in the book [TS]

  yeah but Tom wishes he could speak and I [TS]

  think the vision is sometimes [TS]

  perspective on how you know like it its [TS]

  it's nice like it [TS]

  stephen king is good at rewarding you [TS]

  like that's why he's a million selling [TS]

  author he's going to give people what [TS]

  they wanted he can do you can do the [TS]

  highs and the lows and happy and sad and [TS]

  like a lot of it in this book is not so [TS]

  much fan services like ah right you do [TS]

  that thing so well we'll take it and [TS]

  it's it it's nice it's a lot like it [TS]

  it's a reason he's compared to Dickon so [TS]

  much right because he is very you know [TS]

  Dickens is directed by the word to that [TS]

  pretty Dickens had that had some of the [TS]

  best names in the business you know I [TS]

  mean he was just a very apt neighbor and [TS]

  i think that's that Stephen King does a [TS]

  good job of the names too but that's [TS]

  neither here nor there and share my [TS]

  theory on the kid at this point [TS]

  yeah we i'm at the point where I'm off [TS]

  I'm off the grid and and I'm i'm asking [TS]

  for anything you guys want to talk about [TS]

  that that we haven't talked about before [TS]

  we go so go for it Monty alright [TS]

  the kid is what Stephen King thinks is [TS]

  cool he drives a car from 1932 has a [TS]

  leather jacket and then pointed shoes [TS]

  pointy toed shoes he's got the swept [TS]

  hair and he actually refers to him at [TS]

  one point as a miniature street punk [TS]

  from Hell which is not the best phrase [TS]

  Stephen King ever wrote [TS]

  yeah and my argument is that the kid [TS]

  would work if this was set during [TS]

  stephen king's childhood but you don't [TS]

  want your business [TS]

  yes but in 1990 it's just weird [TS]

  he is played to be ridiculous though [TS]

  like he he's mocked by C hit this [TS]

  character is marked by the author in his [TS]

  characterization so what he does I don't [TS]

  think I mean pretty cool death because [TS]

  they find him with his hands around the [TS]

  neck of a wolf [TS]

  yeah he's marked by the author but the [TS]

  author clearly thinks he's the coolest [TS]

  this guy in the club was saying but he [TS]

  can't stand up [TS]

  I think he's a caricature of the people [TS]

  Stephen King Saul and his youth who [TS]

  thought they were cool and Stephen King [TS]

  thought they were not as cool as they [TS]

  actually thought they were and actually [TS]

  might get eaten by wolves [TS]

  I think the holiday with the gun kind of [TS]

  tilted towards John's direction i think [TS]

  it I think it still would have worked [TS]

  had been a little bit earlier because it [TS]

  in the nineties that kind of character [TS]

  is so far removed that it's not even [TS]

  like this was recently cool it's like oh [TS]

  is this a thing you know it's just so [TS]

  finally left though he could just be [TS]

  crazy because like when we see him look [TS]

  like he's into ease into whatever brand [TS]

  of beer he's into and he's just like [TS]

  dressed up like a crazy person it's like [TS]

  you don't know it isn't it almost people [TS]

  are dead [TS]

  he might have you might have gone crazy [TS]

  are you guys familiar with the key and [TS]

  Peele sketch that takes place after the [TS]

  apocalypse where you've got one guy in [TS]

  total survival mode and then he runs [TS]

  into another guy who is basically [TS]

  dressed for like Pride Day and is yeah [TS]

  trippin his balls off the ATM and the [TS]

  survive it and that basically makes me [TS]

  think of the discussion we're having [TS]

  that where I think the kid was like you [TS]

  know what there's no one around and I am [TS]

  free to let my tiny little freak flag [TS]

  fly and unfortunately trashcan man ran [TS]

  into him and i think i'm supposed to [TS]

  illustrate is that this guy is just he [TS]

  gets victimized by everybody was [TS]

  literally nobody who's ever kind to [TS]

  trashcan man because that's what because [TS]

  that's except for Randall Flagg my life [TS]

  for you [TS]

  yeah you know and and but but there's no [TS]

  human being that that ever offers this [TS]

  guy any [TS]

  fellowship or anything other than B then [TS]

  fear and contempt and scorn and she and [TS]

  that that is to me what makes the trash [TS]

  came in just such an ultimately pitiable [TS]

  tragic figure like he just it's just [TS]

  it's just in just after justice heaped [TS]

  on this dude and I feel terrible for my [TS]

  always never before never read the book [TS]

  you know it's it's it just sucks to be [TS]

  him [TS]

  I don't like the kid but I love [TS]

  everything about the trashcan man with [TS]

  which is what gets me through those [TS]

  seams [TS]

  oh my god especially pleased with the [TS]

  wolves and he's putting the walls as it [TS]

  goes [TS]

  oh yeah tell me where he's like just had [TS]

  some what their dogs [TS]

  speaking of which should we should we [TS]

  mentioned the dog dimension Kojak [TS]

  oh right because little doggie dreams [TS]

  and exposure can and then he shows up [TS]

  again later [TS]

  yes because he's been following all this [TS]

  time since he's a dog [TS]

  these dogs just like the incredible [TS]

  journey only the adult version i think [TS]

  it's interesting how there's the animal [TS]

  breakdown like the wolves and the crows [TS]

  will always be Randall flags and the [TS]

  cats are just creepy and and the horses [TS]

  are all dead and I I'll of humanity's [TS]

  best friends or day after I i love how [TS]

  to spell that doesn't like what about [TS]

  pigs are pics morally neutral doing [TS]

  besides you know I i love that because [TS]

  it doesn't he doesn't explain it [TS]

  medically at all but in such a great [TS]

  touch to say when this flu also kills [TS]

  horses [TS]

  yeah okay dead yeah what else what else [TS]

  anything I'm baby can you dig your man [TS]

  sounds like a terrible song it does but [TS]

  i'm not i had to feel like maybe that's [TS]

  why me terrible songs are popular I [TS]

  think it's kind of something supposed to [TS]

  be like he's not it would never have [TS]

  been hit in nineteen he's not Bob Dylan [TS]

  right 19 in nineteen eighties like a [TS]

  marshall crenshaw kind of guy are not as [TS]

  good and he's got up to just happen to [TS]

  have a hit song but it does it's not a [TS]

  very good song now looking at my notes I [TS]

  want to share probably my favorite [TS]

  sentence in the book which is by Dawn [TS]

  they were running east across Nevada and [TS]

  Charlie was coughing steadily oh yeah [TS]

  that whole first chapter i really like [TS]

  it i like that seeing kind of like he's [TS]

  not a big character he dies pretty darn [TS]

  quickly right but he's just at his desk [TS]

  the alarm goes off and the door just [TS]

  happen to not close why the door [TS]

  close i don't know sometimes the doors [TS]

  and close maybe close the millisecond [TS]

  after you got through I don't know what [TS]

  he's like [TS]

  alarm door didn't close and he makes a [TS]

  split-second decision which is to get [TS]

  out of there anyway cuz family and like [TS]

  that when you repeatedly read it you [TS]

  know what is happening during those [TS]

  sequences you're like don't go back home [TS]

  you just killed your entire you know and [TS]

  it kills everybody where we go daddy I [TS]

  was a sleepin how I wrote that now too [TS]

  I wasn't to sleep in a second [TS]

  no no one that's and that's the thing [TS]

  that gets you into this but what a great [TS]

  way to get into this book is with this [TS]

  you know increasing you know what this [TS]

  book is about you know it's going to be [TS]

  disastrous but to watch it happen [TS]

  step-by-step is fascinating and that's [TS]

  what gets you in and then you're done [TS]

  you're trapped in the vortex and you're [TS]

  2,000 pages later you've read the book [TS]

  again so uh we're about done anything [TS]

  that we have not talked about that [TS]

  somebody wants to throw out before I [TS]

  wrap it up [TS]

  how about this sentence the world he [TS]

  thought not according to GARP but [TS]

  according to the super flu [TS]

  yeah oh that was really wow this here's [TS]

  a nightmare for wild about 1,200 pages [TS]

  you're gonna get a few clunkers wow wow [TS]

  well you know Larry Underwood is not a [TS]

  singer in a world where AHA has hit the [TS]

  charts with take on me that's all I'm [TS]

  self it's just not possible [TS]

  the world changed after that day I don't [TS]

  know [TS]

  alright we have come to the end the [TS]

  battle between good and evil has been [TS]

  flawed and John has been defeated [TS]

  wait a second I wasn't involved that was [TS]

  off someplace else I didn't go to either [TS]

  city or in a pleasant caves yeah [TS]

  boulder looks awful go to San Diego yeah [TS]

  that's that's why it gets colder in the [TS]

  winter don't go there on that no we are [TS]

  really gonna break break away and plan [TS]

  our post-apocalypse plants again until [TS]

  then i would like to thank my guests for [TS]

  surviving past the super flu and joining [TS]

  me to talk about this really fun classic [TS]

  book that we've all read multiple times [TS]

  Lisa Schmeisser thank you pleasure as [TS]

  always thank you but Monty actually [TS]

  thanks for being here [TS]

  I'm a righteous man wonder when you say [TS]

  Erica and sign thank you for being here [TS]

  thank you and thank you for inspiring me [TS]

  to read this yet again it was it was a [TS]

  great trip [TS]

  all right get it great great trips to [TS]

  the Capitol thinking on some great trips [TS]

  John Syracuse to thank you so much for [TS]

  being here [TS]

  life was such a wheel that no podcast [TS]

  could stand upon it for long Jason deep [TS]

  em oon that spells goodnight everybody [TS]

  what do you guys want to live in the [TS]

  post captain tripps world or widget or [TS]

  are you to point your life and you're [TS]

  like oh dude I hope I go first [TS]

  I hope I like one of the first ones out [TS]

  the door because my answer has changed a [TS]

  different place in my life you know and [TS]

  i find it interesting to to to walk [TS]

  myself through a different apocalyptic [TS]

  scenarios and be like is this one I'd [TS]

  want to be alive in her or no I feel [TS]

  like I've spent enough of my life [TS]

  picturing what i would do in a [TS]

  post-apocalyptic scenario that it would [TS]

  be a shame not to give it a try haha [TS]

  what would you do what would you do here [TS]

  well if it's a case like this where [TS]

  everybody's dead but there's no [TS]

  immediate threat like zombies or aliens [TS]

  or something then I think I would just [TS]

  try to set up a the life of a hermit [TS]

  like find a place that has food enough [TS]

  until i'm going to die naturally and [TS]

  then collect all the books i can and go [TS]

  time enough at last I'm going to laugh [TS]

  this is a bad strategy [TS]

  well what would you need you need to [TS]

  have it that's fine except you need to [TS]

  bring enough technology and non hermit [TS]

  type stuff so you can offer yourself [TS]

  when it turns out you have some terminal [TS]

  disease is going to make you die in [TS]

  agony and is what I think about in the [TS]

  post apocalypse is like alright so first [TS]

  I have my full family has to be dead [TS]

  because i don't want them to be in the [TS]

  pot clips and that's just bad and trying [TS]

  to defend them from the other people [TS]

  with guns and everything so assume [TS]

  everyone's that except for me my family [TS]

  happened to die i don't want that to [TS]

  happen but if it did you see in that [TS]

  world you cannot wait is that what lexus [TS]

  kids probably right exactly you know but [TS]

  what I think about mostly is like the [TS]

  comfort that we're all used to like [TS]

  being the right temperature not getting [TS]

  rain on you or whatever and it's not too [TS]

  hard to get that comfort for yourself if [TS]

  nothing is destroyed and there's not [TS]

  marauding thread or anything because you [TS]

  can pick kind of the nicest place you [TS]

  have whatever you have to sort of have [TS]

  all these contingency plans for like I [TS]

  need one of each of one of these things [TS]

  i need all these things lined up i need [TS]

  i need to have the ability to kill [TS]

  myself if when i get older injured sort [TS]

  of on me at all times because the worst [TS]

  thing you want to happen is for you to [TS]

  fall and break your leg and not be able [TS]

  to walk home and getting too cold and [TS]

  your you get you know back in Arabic [TS]

  impossible when there's nobody around [TS]

  you have to be prepared for those kind [TS]

  of the astronauts with a little like [TS]

  they're prepared it you know well it [TS]

  looks like you're gonna die a little [TS]

  cyanide pills whatever they have [TS]

  do you have a source of everything that [TS]

  I don't know what they tell you in that [TS]

  story say that anyway I in a [TS]

  post-apocalyptic world you would have to [TS]

  account for all those things so so so [TS]

  Monty the key is in your cave where you [TS]

  live as a hermit you're with all your [TS]

  books your library cave having I mean [TS]

  castle have yes i have a space heater [TS]

  yeah and and some means of offing [TS]

  yourself like I'm going to eat that's [TS]

  just like in your kitchen because you [TS]

  have to deal with like fresh water and [TS]

  food like you'd have to develop a system [TS]

  where you can live in some reasonable [TS]

  amount of comfort otherwise you spend [TS]

  all your time like looking for food and [TS]

  making sure you survive the winter and [TS]

  that's not really fun [TS]

  oh yeah I don't want a post-apocalypse [TS]

  where I have to go camping all the time [TS]

  that's awful [TS]

  no that's yeah yeah i just recently [TS]

  moved to a new city so all of my old [TS]

  apocalypse plans are completely out the [TS]

  window and I'm really have a rebuild [TS]

  so I had had actually gotten to that [TS]

  point where i have figured out what i [TS]

  would do you know well post-apocalypse [TS]

  however i have sort of thought of the [TS]

  the short-term things and like you know [TS]

  how I could use Lego to build some [TS]

  contractions to collect rainwater off [TS]

  the belt that sort of thing [TS]

  I'm just think that you should broaden [TS]

  your horizons because the world is your [TS]

  oyster like I you should go to a place [TS]

  where you could never afford to live a [TS]

  beautiful place with natural beauty and [TS]

  natural resources where someone has [TS]

  already built a multimillion-dollar [TS]

  complex with lovely views like that's [TS]

  your opportunity now the whole world is [TS]

  yours i guess i was thinking of you know [TS]

  having to hide in the apartment because [TS]

  there's always put a damper on they put [TS]

  a damper on things and then not more [TS]

  than be told some B's some B's never [TS]

  factored into it i don't like zombies it [TS]

  suitors and rapists with a school bus [TS]

  yeah dude let's be the left-field the [TS]

  post-apocalyptic scenario for a woman is [TS]

  a whole lot different than one for a guy [TS]

  I feel what I'm thinking like that [TS]

  enough people would be dead that you [TS]

  could realistically not expect to see [TS]

  another person like this understand they [TS]

  don't see a lot of other people i know [TS]

  you said Jason just did the math and it [TS]

  seems like they should be way more [TS]

  people but i'm thinking of a stand like [TS]

  Apocalypse where it's like two is in [TS]

  threes bump into each other and arrive [TS]

  and in boulder [TS]

  like a group of 20 and that's a big deal [TS]

  yeah you could you could you know you [TS]

  could realistically just the place for [TS]

  you want to let your children 19 other [TS]

  people just sounds like a nightmare [TS]

  yeah that's what I don't go to boulder [TS]

  like yeah they in the Hamptons it'll be [TS]

  nice to have probably i would probably [TS]

  try to move south you know it's kind of [TS]

  cold up here from you after the year i [TS]

  recommend that nobody's gonna be [TS]

  watching the border [TS]

  yeah i would recommend i would recommend [TS]

  against having a summer home in a winter [TS]

  home even though it seems like it's a [TS]

  thing you want to do because traveling [TS]

  like they might run into someone else [TS]

  and if you do run into someone else it's [TS]

  probably not going to be good also until [TS]

  you learn to read the weather you may [TS]

  get caught out in early winter or yeah [TS]

  have adequate food stores especially if [TS]

  you have to do an agriculture I was kind [TS]

  of permanently psychologically [TS]

  traumatized by the road and so and so at [TS]

  this point I'm not sure I'd want to [TS]

  survive any apocalypse just because it [TS]

  seems like it would be so FA miserable I [TS]

  mean you have no note no indoor plumbing [TS]

  which is kind of a deal killer for me [TS]

  and if I had no god forbid I have to [TS]

  take care of somebody else and but on [TS]

  the other hand is the crippling grief [TS]

  from losing everyone I love and I think [TS]

  the stands though the stand this is this [TS]

  clean apocalypse where it's not quite so [TS]

  bad because uh you know the babies the [TS]

  babies live apparently right and we just [TS]

  gone down to a very small population but [TS]

  a small populations much more tenable [TS]

  manageable than the one you two million [TS]

  people in the US you can you can do [TS]

  something with that so I feel like [TS]

  society will rebuild and that and that [TS]

  there will be structure and there is a [TS]

  future whereas in something like the [TS]

  road literally you're just waiting [TS]

  around for everybody to die [TS]

  yeah like I said don't think anybody [TS]

  would clearly traumatized me about that [TS]

  which is how vulnerable you are when you [TS]

  have somebody else you're responsible [TS]

  for and so I think if you're 13 and you [TS]

  survived the apocalypse then by all [TS]

  means [TS]

  grab your boat sale of the Atlantic [TS]

  coast dock in the Potomac River and go [TS]

  live in the Smithsonian you know the [TS]

  plan works but I mean now again like I [TS]

  said either i'd be holy crap I've lost [TS]

  my entire family or I'd be paralyzed [TS]

  with terror over trying to be [TS]

  responsible for you know keeping a [TS]

  preschooler alive in the after escaping [TS]

  and both of those process [TS]

  thanks to seem awful i also washington [TS]

  DC in August is awful [TS]

  well you don't have air-conditioning I [TS]

  didn't have a lot of things a lot of [TS]

  dead bodies [TS]

  that's what you and you have to get the [TS]

  electricity back up my mom did not [TS]

  believe in her condition growing up and [TS]

  my knees and my reasoning was that if I [TS]

  went to the Smithsonian they probably [TS]

  had backup generators for all of the [TS]

  archival quality effects they had and [TS]

  failing that they also had cool [TS]

  basements made of marble where you could [TS]

  you could comfortably sleep and then I [TS]

  could spend my days reading everything I [TS]

  wanted to or dressing up in the first [TS]

  lady's outfits or replace the dinosaur [TS]

  bones or whatever it is I want to do it [TS]

  was 13 because I'm yeah well you know [TS]

  having DC is your own playground imagine [TS]

  you could go play basketball on the top [TS]

  floor of the Supreme Court the highest [TS]

  court in the land way did didn't I [TS]

  didn't Randall Flagg effectively new [TS]

  court torch the entire west coast [TS]

  because there's like there's one in [TS]

  there about what he did to San Francisco [TS]

  and Los Angeles before coming [TS]

  well you know it's there's probably lots [TS]

  of available which button to San [TS]

  Francisco would actually be great place [TS]

  to write out the apocalypse like the [TS]

  weather is really good there's a lot of [TS]

  arable land people probably have victory [TS]

  garden village [TS]

  yeah that's good free-range vegetarians [TS]

  to prey on when you want to resort to [TS]

  cannibalism [TS]

  maybe there might be 34 needed yeah [TS]

  maybe their diets made the weekend only [TS]