Between my recent essays on the libraries of Los Angeles and celebrity culture, I feel like it’s California Week around here! That impression continues unabated as the adventures of the Historical Gadfly continue, where this week we interview Reed Doucette on life in California, Los Angeles as a mirage, basketball, and podcasts themselves.
Reed, a graduate of USC and a fellow Rhodes Scholar here at Oxford, and I enjoy a friendship anchored in, suitably enough, podcasts. We had seen each other around at plenty of events in Oxford, but it was not until this winter that we ended up hanging out, after vetting each other’s knowledge of one of our favorite podcasts, Bill Simmons’ “The BS Report.” The friendship has endured until then, and last evening, after a brainstorming session about the future of Oxford podcasting, we sat down for a nearly two-hour conversation on Reed’s life, his relationship with Los Angeles (continuing one of our themes this week), and podcasting as a 21st-century media for building new, more personalized, “imagined communities.”
It’s a slight step away from the usual focus at the Historical Gadfly on historical or international affairs topics, but also a more than suitable entrée as we’ll seek in future posts to probe the cultural history of the 1990s – something that comes up in this podcast a few times – in more depth, alongside my occassional musings, book reviews, and commentary on higher education.
Interested? You can download our conversation here.