Transcript: Evan Solomon | Mar 28, 1999

(Rhythmic string and wind music plays)

In animation, a word in pink slides by against a gray background as hands paint strokes using paintbrushes, play a piano, and touch as in a ballet performance.

The title of the show reads “Dialogue.”

The title of the episode pops up against an image of an assistant fixing Richard Ouzounian’s guest’s microphone: Evan Solomon. Writer and Broadcaster.

Richard appears facing the screen. He's in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short side-parted blond hair. He's wearing rounded glasses, a gray suit, black shirt, and matching striped tie.

He says WELCOME TO DIALOGUE.
I'M RICHARD OUZOUNIAN.
ABOUT 50 YEARS AGO BUDD
SCHULBERG WROTE A NOVEL CALLED
WHAT MAKES SAMMY RUN ABOUT A
MAN'S METEORIC RISE TO THE TOP
OF HOLLYWOOD.
IF YOU WERE WRITING IT TODAY,
IT WOULD PROBABLY BE CALLED
WHAT MAKES EVAN SOAR, BECAUSE
IN THE LAST DECADE OUR GUEST
HAS GONE FROM MAGAZINES, TO
TELEVISION, TO THE BOOK WORLD
TO -- WELL, YOU NAME IT.
IT IS TIME TO FIND OUT
EXACTLY HOW HE DOES IT.
THIS DIALOGUE IS
WITH EVAN SOLOMON.

Evan and Richard sit in a room with blue walls and a bookshelf in the background. Evan is in his twenties, clean-shaven, with short curly black hair. He’s wearing a navy blue polo shirt and gray trousers.

Richard continues EVAN, WE WERE TALKING JUST
BEFORE THE CAMERAS ROLLED,
AND I KNOW YOU GET SICK OF
THIS QUESTION BUT I'LL ASK
IT FOR, YOU KNOW, THE
PEOPLE AT HOME WATCHING.
YOU KNOW, UNTIL RECENTLY YOU
WERE EDITING SHIFT MAGAZINE,
YOU KNOW.
YOU HAVE SOMETIMES TWO
CBC SHOWS ON NEWSWORLD.
YOU'VE GOT A NOVEL COMING OUT.
YOU SEEM TO BE EVERYWHERE.
YOU'RE LIKE THE SCARLET
PIMPERNEL OF MEDIA.
HOW DO YOU DO IT ALL?

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Evan Solomon. Writer and Broadcaster."

Evan says THE SCARLET
PIMPERNEL OF MEDIA.
YOU KNOW, YOU AND I HAVE
TALKED ABOUT THIS BEFORE.
WHEN WE STARTED UP SHIFT ABOUT
SIX YEARS AGO, THERE WAS NO
OPTION BUT TO DO A LOT OF
THINGS, BECAUSE A STARTUP
MAGAZINE IS A
RECIPE FOR POVERTY.
SO I HAD -- AND MY PARTNER,
WE JUST HAD NO OPTION
BUT TO BEGIN DOING OTHER
JOBS AND TRY TO START
THIS MAGAZINE FULL TIME.
AND I HAD THE GOOD FORTUNE
OF GETTING A JOB AT THE CBC.
SOMEONE ASKED ME TO DO A SHOW,
A FUTUREWORLD AT CBC, SO I
THOUGHT, GOOD GOD, A
PART-TIME -- HOSTING A SHOW
PART-TIME, DOING A MAGAZINE
PART-TIME, PERFECT.
SO THEN I STARTED DOING THAT
BUT, OF COURSE, THE WHOLE
TIME, MY WHOLE LIFE
I'D BEEN WRITING.
WE STARTED UP SHIFT AS A
FICTION MAGAZINE BECAUSE I HAD
ALWAYS WANTED TO WRITE NOVELS.
SO I HAD BEEN GOING HOME AT
NIGHT AND WRITING AND WRITING
AND WRITING AND EVERYTHING
STARTED GATHERING MOMENTUM AT
THE SAME TIME.
THE MAGAZINE GREW AND GREW AND
IT'S BECOME QUITE SUCCESSFUL,
AND THE SHOW FUTUREWORLD
GREW AND BECAME A SUCCESS.
AND THEN, ALONG THE WAY,
JUST, I FINISHED THE BOOK.
I FINISHED A NOVEL, AND SO, ON
THE SURFACE, IT APPEARS THAT
THINGS HAVE ALL
HAPPENED AT ONCE.

Richard says RIGHT.

Evan says YOU KNOW HOW PEOPLE ALWAYS
TALK ABOUT THAT, YOU KNOW,
THAT OVERNIGHT SUCCESS THING,
BUT YOU KNOW, IT WAS SIX YEARS
OF WORK, AND I THINK FOR THE
FIRST TIME PEOPLE ARE SAYING
THINGS, OH, THAT SHIFT
MAGAZINE, I JUST HEARD OF THAT.

Richard says RIGHT.

Evan says OH, THAT SHOW ON NEWSWORLD.
OH, AND HE'S GOT A BOOK, AND
IT SEEMS LIKE I HAVE DONE IT
ALL AT ONCE, BUT IT'S REALLY
KIND OF BEEN SIX YEARS
IN THE MAKING.

Richard says RIGHT.
PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS CURIOUS
WHERE SOMEBODY WHO, YOU KNOW,
IS HARD-WORKING AND AMBITIOUS
AND STUFF COMES FROM.
LIKE WHAT WAS YOUR FAMILY
BACKGROUND LIKE, YOUR
FRATERNAL SITUATION,
ALL OF THAT STUFF?

Evan says THIS IS SO FUNNY, BECAUSE
AT SHIFT WE'VE HEARD,
YOU'RE RICH KIDS.
THAT SHIFT WAS STARTED
UP ON DADDY'S WAD,
AS FRANK MAGAZINE HAS SAID.

Richard says YEAH, IT WAS YOUR
GRADUATION PRESENT.

Evan says YEAH.

Richard says SOMEBODY SAID SOME KIDS
GOT A TRIP TO EUROPE,
SOME PEOPLE GOT A MAGAZINE.

Evan says YEAH.
AND MY DAD WAS -- REALLY
ASKED ME WHEN HE HEARD ABOUT
DADDY'S WAD,
WHERE IS THIS WAD?

[laughing]

Evan says AND I WOULD'VE ACTUALLY --
YOU KNOW, PART OF ME -- YOU
KNOW, WE DIDN'T -- THE TRUTH
ABOUT SHIFT IS, IT STARTED UP
800 dollars, 400 dollars FROM ANDY,
AND 400 dollars FROM MYSELF.
THEN WE THREW A BIG PARTY AT
LEE'S PALACE WHERE WE BOTH
PLAYED IN THE BAND.
WE CHARGED EIGHT BUCKS TO GET
IN, AND WE RAISED 2,500 BUCKS.
THEN WE RAISED 7,000 dollars BY
INCORPORATING WITH A
BUNCH OF FRIENDS.
I PUT UP 2,500 AND ANDY PUT UP
25 AND THEN WE RAISED ANOTHER
2,000 FROM THE PEOPLE
THAT WERE WORKING THERE.
AND THAT'S REALLY SHIFT.
AND THEN WE GOT GRANTS, AND
THEN WE SOLD TO MACLEAN
HUNTER, AND THEN WE BOUGHT
THEM BACK, AND WE EVENTUALLY
SOLD IT TO BEHAVIOUR.
IT WAS A LONG ROAD TO HOE.
NOW THE REAL QUESTION IS,
PEOPLE HAVE ASKED ME AS IF I'D
BE ASHAMED, THAT I WOULD HAVE
GOTTEN MONEY FROM MY FAMILY TO
HELP START UP A BUSINESS.

Richard says RIGHT.

Evan says AS IF THAT WOULD BE SOME,
SOME DIRTY SHAMEFUL THING THAT
I WOULD SAY, NO, NO, NO,
WE STARTED FROM NOTHING.
YOU KNOW, AND THE FUNNY THING
IS, WE DIDN'T, BUT I WOULD'VE
BEEN DAMN HAPPY IF WE DID.

Richard says RIGHT.

Evan says AND YOU KNOW, ANDY AND I BOTH
GREW UP -- YOU KNOW, I WENT TO
A PRIVATE BOYS SCHOOL FOR A
FEW YEARS, AND MY FATHER WAS A
LAWYER, BUT HE'S THE GUY,
THE FIRST GUY IN HIS
FAMILY TO GO TO UNIVERSITY.
HE'S THE GUY THAT BUSTS HIS
BUTT TO MAKE IT, AND THEN,
IT'S FUNNY THAT WHEN HE
MAKES IT AND THEN THE NEXT
GENERATION IS, SOMEHOW IT'S
SHAMEFUL THAT I HAVE TO SAY,
WELL, MY DAD, YEAH,
HE WAS A LAWYER.
WHEN IT'S HIS WHOLE LIFE.
HE'S WORKED SO
HARD TO BE THAT.

Richard says RIGHT, AND YOU'RE
EMBARRASSED AT THEIR SUCCESS.

Evan says YEAH, SO I'M NOT, AND SO
I GUESS THE THING IS, THE
RESPONSE TO THIS NOTION THAT
WE'VE COME FROM PRIVILEGE AND
THEREFORE WHAT WE HAVE
AT SHIFT OR ANYWHERE IS
UNDESERVING IS, LIVE ONE
DAY IN MY SHOES, RIGHT?

Richard says RIGHT.

Evan says AND SEE IF IT COMES AS, YOU
KNOW, WE DON'T LIVE WITH A
SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT.
IT'S JUST, IT'S WORK AND
PEOPLE AT SHIFT OR THE PEOPLE
THAT I WORK WITH AT HOT TYPE,
THESE PEOPLE, THEY ARE WORKING
HARD AND, YOU KNOW, WE ARE
PRETTY LUCKY THAT IF YOU -- WE
ARE IN A SITUATION WHERE IF
YOU DO WORK HARD -- IT SOUNDS
SO CORNY, BUT I DO BELIEVE, IF
YOU DO WORK HARD, THERE IS A
SENSE HERE FOR MOST PEOPLE THAT
OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE.
CERTAINLY SOMEONE
AS FORTUNATE AS I AM.
IT'S NOT LIKE SOMEONE SAYS,
OKAY, YOU'RE A JEW, YOU'RE OUT.
OR YOU'RE BLACK, YOU'RE OUT,
OR YOU'RE POOR, YOU'RE OUT.
I MEAN, YOU KNOW, I DIDN'T
KNOW ANYBODY AT THE CBC.
SOMEONE SAID TO ME ONE DAY,
HEY, WHY DON'T YOU TRY OUT
FOR THE SHOW?
I DIDN'T KNOW ANYBODY.

Richard says RIGHT.

Evan says IT WAS A STRAIGHT AUDITION.

Richard says WHAT ABOUT -- I MEAN, PEOPLE,
YOU KNOW, SAY, OH, YEAH,
YOU SPEAK FOR A GENERATION,
BUT YOU DON'T REALLY.

Evan says NO, NO.

Richard says YOU SPEAK FOR YOURSELF
BECAUSE A LOT OF YOUR
GENERATION IS EITHER NOT BEING
ABLE TO GET ANY WORK, OR THEY
CLAIM TO NOT BE ABLE TO GET ANY
WORK, OR NOT WANTING TO WORK.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT
LIKE THAT IMAGE THAT'S
PEGGED ON THEM?

Evan says WELL, THE FIRST THING IS, I
DON'T SPEAK FOR A GENERATION.
BUT, YOU KNOW, WOULD YOU LIKE
TO SPEAK FOR A GENERATION?
WOULD ANYBODY LIKE TO
SPEAK FOR A GENERATION?
I MEAN, BUT THIS -- WE DO SING
A GENERATION TO THE VOICE OF
ONE PERSON AS ALWAYS -- YOU
KNOW, THIS IS THE CLASSIC
TECHNIQUE AND THE MEDIA
WHERE PEOPLE SAY ALL RIGHT,
LET'S FIND OUT.
LET'S GET GENERATION X OR
LET'S GET THE BOOMERS OR LET'S
GET THE GENERATION Y, OR
WHATEVER THE CURRENT TITLE IS
FOR THE NEXT GENERATION, BUT I
REMEMBER IN THE FIRST ISSUE OF
SHIFT WE DID AN INTERVIEW WITH
DOUGLAS COPELAND WHO WROTE THE
BOOK GENERATION X
AND BEFORE THE HYPE.
IT WAS THE SECOND
ISSUE OF SHIFT.
AND DOUGLAS WAS A NOBODY.
AND I READ THE BOOK,
AND I DIDN'T LIKE IT.
I THOUGHT, THIS IS
NOTHING TO DO WITH ME.
SO I WROTE A BOOK -- I WROTE
AN ARTICLE IN THE SAME ISSUE
THAT WE PUBLISHED THE
INTERVIEW CALLED -- I THINK
IT WAS CALLED SOMETHING LIKE
GENERATION SUKUNA BIKO.
SUKUNA BIKO IS A JAPANESE GOD
WHO REPRESENTS EVERYTHING
THAT GENERATION X DOESN'T.
AND IT TRASHED THE NOTION OF
GENERATION X, AND I THINK THE
THING IS, I REALIZED THAT IN
THE SAME WAY THAT I STRUGGLED
TO NOT BE CATEGORIZED
PERSONALLY, YOU KNOW, I DON'T
LIKE WHEN PEOPLE SAY YOU'RE
A TV GUY, OR YOU'RE THIS.
THE WHOLE GENERATIONAL LABEL
THING IS REALLY UNPLEASANT.
IT'S REALLY NOT THAT HELPFUL.
I MEAN THERE'S SO MANY PEOPLE
MY AGE THAT ARE DOING GREAT
THINGS, AND THERE ARE SO MANY
PEOPLE THAT MAYBE AREN'T, BUT
HOW MANY -- YOU CAN SAY THAT
ABOUT EVERY SINGLE GENERATION.
SO, YOU KNOW, I REALLY
DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS.
I GUESS YOU HAVE TO GO TO
DAVID FOOT'S BOOK, YOU KNOW,
BOOM, BUST and ECHO AND REALIZE
THAT THERE'S A BIGGER
GENERATION IN FRONT OF US.
SO THEY DON'T MAYBE JUST GET
THE JOBS, THEY GET THE JOB OF
NAMING THE NEXT GENERATION.

Richard says AND THEY GET TO HOLD
ONTO THE JOBS BECAUSE
THEY'RE LIVING BETTER.

Evan says YES, SO...

Richard says WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AS A KID?
I MEAN, WHAT DID YOU DO?
DID YOU GO PLAY
STICKBALL ON THE STREET?
DID YOU, YOU KNOW,
SIT AT HOME AND READ?

Evan says YEAH, I MEAN PRETTY NORMAL.
I WAS -- YEAH, I
PLAYED A LOT OF SPORTS.
I STILL PLAY HOCKEY AND
TENNIS, AND I'M PRETTY ACTIVE.
BUT, I WAS VERY -- YOU KNOW,
I REMEMBER -- MY MOTHER WAS A
HUGE READER AND
WE READ NONSTOP.
OUR HOUSEHOLD WAS JUST A BOOK
FEST AND SO THERE WAS JUST
BOOKS EVERYWHERE, AND WRITING
EVERYWHERE, AND THAT WAS A
REAL BIG PART OF MY LIFE AS
A KID, AND I GUESS THE OTHER
THING IS, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO
JUST QUESTION AND QUESTION.
I MEAN, I REMEMBER AT MY BAR
MITZVAH -- THERE'S A FEW
STORIES -- THAT THE RABBI
GIVES A SERMON AND THE BAR
MITZVAH BOY IS SUPPOSED TO
STAND UP BESIDE THE RABBI
DURING THE BAR MITZVAH
CEREMONY AND JUST LISTEN.
AND YOU'RE ALL DECKED OUT, AND
YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO JUST BE A
DOPE, AND THE RABBI
MAKES A SERMON.
SO MY RABBI'S SERMON WAS, IF
YOU WERE STUCK IN THE DESERT
WITH ENOUGH -- YOU'RE LOST IN
THE DESERT WITH SOMEONE ELSE,
AND YOU HAVE ENOUGH
WATER FOR YOU TO GET OUT.
IF YOU TAKE THE WATER
ALONE, YOU WILL SURVIVE;
THE OTHER PERSON DIES.
IF YOU SHARE IT, YOU BOTH DIE,
AND IF YOU GIVE IT TO THE
OTHER PERSON, THEY
SURVIVE AND YOU DIE.
WHAT TO DO?
SO THEN HE SAYS, WELL, THE
MORAL OF THE STORY IS,
THE TORAH SAYS:
[speaking Hebrew]
IF I AM NOT FOR
MYSELF, WHO AM I FOR?
THEREFORE YOU SHOULD
TAKE THE WATER.
[laughs]
SO I, IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS
BIG CEREMONY, I JUST SAY,
EXCUSE ME, RABBI, I DISAGREE
WITH YOU, AND HE TURNED
AROUND AND, OF COURSE, ALREADY
WE ARE OUT OF ORDER, AND WE
HAD -- AND I SAID, YOU
KNOW, THIS IS CRAZY.
I MEAN, THAT RULE CAN'T APPLY.
THERE MUST BE A MORAL
RELATIVE SITUATION.
IF YOU ARE YOUNG, OR
IF YOU ARE RELATED.
IF YOU'RE OLDER.
YOU KNOW, ALL SORTS OF
THINGS APPLY TO MAKE THAT
KIND OF DECISION.
AND WHAT ABOUT THE ROLE
OF THE MARTYRS, YOU KNOW?
YOU KNOW, JEWISH KIDS LEARN
ABOUT THE ROLE OF THE MARTYRS
AND THE HOLOCAUST.
SO AND THEN -- SO THEN HE AND
I HAD THIS LITTLE DEBATE AND I
SAY, WELL, WHY DON'T
WE PUT IT TO THE FLOOR?
AND SO MY MOTHER STANDS UP AND
SHE'S SUDDENLY -- SHE BECOMES
A CHRISTIAN EXISTENTIALIST
AND SHE QUOTES KIERKEGAARD --
AND IT REALLY TAKES OFF.

Richard says SO YOUR BAR MITZVAH
TURNS INTO FACE-OFF.

Evan says YEAH, EXACTLY.
IT TURNS UP BUT WHAT WAS --
AND A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY THAT
AT THAT MOMENT THEY KNEW
WHAT KIND OF PERSON I WAS.
I THINK AND THAT TO ME --
I DO REMEMBER THAT.
I WENT ON TO DO TWO DEGREES IN
RELIGION AND SO IT HAS BEEN
AN ONGOING STRUGGLE FOR ME.
BUT I THINK THAT NOTION OF,
THAT'S JUST NOT RIGHT, AND IT
DOESN'T MATTER WHAT THE
CONTEXT IS, I THINK PEOPLE
OUGHT TO HAVE THE RIGHT TO
ASK THE QUESTIONS THAT ARE
IN THEIR HEADS.

Richard says SOMETHING YOU RAISED I WOULD
HAVE NEVER THOUGHT OF ASKING
YOU, BUT WHAT ROLE DOES
JUDAISM AND RELIGION PLAY IN
YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW?

Evan says YOU KNOW, THE QUESTION WAS,
JUDAISM PLAYS -- YOU KNOW, I
DON'T KNOW IF I HAVE A
STRAIGHT ANSWER FOR JUDAISM
BECAUSE I'M ONE OF THOSE,
I'M A REFORMED JEW.
SOME PEOPLE CALL
THEM CAFETERIA JEWS.
YOU KNOW YOU CHOOSE WHAT
YOU LIKE FROM THE BUFFET.

Richard says OR SOMEONE SAID,
ARE YOU A JEW?
NO, I'M JEWISH.

Evan says YEAH, YEAH, EXACTLY.
AND MY FAVOURITE STORY, OF
COURSE, ABOUT THAT -- YOU KNOW
I STRUGGLED A LOT WITH GOD AND
BELIEF IN GOD, AND I ENDED UP
DOING A B.A. IN RELIGIOUS
STUDIES AND ENGLISH,
AND THEN A MASTERS IN
RELIGIOUS STUDIES.
I REALLY -- THIS WAS -- AND A
LOT OF IT HAD TO DO, NOT JUST
BELIEF IN GOD, BUT THE ROLE OF
MYTH AND RITUAL, AND THE LINE
BETWEEN WHAT IS SACRED AND
WHAT IS PROFANE IN SOCIETY,
WHICH TO ME IS AN ONGOING
CONCERN FOR ME; IT'S WHAT RUNS
THROUGH EVERYTHING I DO.
BUT THERE'S THAT GREAT LINE
ABOUT THE JEWISH NONBELIEVER
WHO COMES UP TO HIS RABBI AND
says, YOU KNOW, RABBI, I DON'T
BELIEVE IN GOD ANYMORE,
AND THE RABBI SAYS TO HIM,
DO YOU THINK GOD CARES?
[laughs]
WITH THE NOTION THAT
IT ALWAYS EXISTS.

Richard says RIGHT.

Evan says IT DOESN'T MATTER.
YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT.
FOR ME, IT DOES PLAY A BIG
ROLE BUT MOSTLY BECAUSE BEING
JEWISH IS BEING OWNED BY
A STORY AND BEING OWNED
BY A HISTORY.
IN OTHER WORDS, YOU
DON'T BEGIN TABULA RASA.
YOU BEGIN WITH A LOT OF
BAGGAGE THAT -- AND, FOR ME,
BAGGAGE THAT HAD A LOT TO DO
WITH NARRATIVE, THAT THROUGH
TELLING OF STORIES YOU
FIND YOUR IDENTITY.
THIS IS, YOU GO OUT OF TIME
AND YOU TELL THE STORIES AGAIN
AND AGAIN AND YOU MEET PEOPLE,
HISTORICAL PEOPLE, RELIGIOUS
FIGURES, INTELLECTUAL PEOPLE.
AND I REALIZED, FOR ME, THAT
JEWISH IDENTITY HAS SURVIVED
THROUGH SO MANY TRAGEDIES AND
SO MUCH DIASPORA SIMPLY BY
TELLING STORIES, AND FOR ME I
REALIZED -- AND IT REALLY IS
TRUE -- THAT THE STORIES WE
TELL ARE WHO WE ARE GOING TO BE.
THIS IS OUR IDENTITY.
SO WHEN I STARTED THE
MAGAZINE, OR I DO TELEVISION,
OR WRITE A BOOK, I REALIZE
THAT MY JOB, YOU KNOW, WHAT I
CONSIDER, MYSELF AS A JEW OR
EVEN AS AN ARTIST OR AS AN
EDITOR, WOULD BE SOMEBODY WHO
TELLS STORIES, BECAUSE -- AND
I'VE WRITTEN THAT IN SHIFT
MANY TIMES THAT WE ARE THE SUM
OF THE STORIES WE TELL.
AND THAT'S WHY, YOU KNOW,
WHEN FOX TV PUTS ON T and A AND
BAYWATCH AND COPS, YEAH,
THAT'S WHY WHEN YOU GO TO THE
INNER-CITY IN DETROIT, PEOPLE
ARE SHOOTING EACH OTHER, OR
THEY ARE -- YOU KNOW, YES,
EXACTLY YOU TELL THOSE STORIES.

Richard says IT'S A SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY.

Evan says RIGHT, YOU KNOW, THAT OLD
MARXIST THING, YOU KNOW, YOUR
IDEOLOGY DETERMINES THE TOOLS
BUILD, BUT ONCE YOU BUILD YOUR
TOOLS, YOUR TOOLS
DETERMINE YOUR IDEOLOGY.
YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT SO, YOU
KNOW, IF ALL YOU SHOW IS TITS
AND ASS, THAT'S ALL PEOPLE
ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT.

Richard says BUT IT'S INTERESTING, YOU
WOULDN'T BE SAYING THESE SAME
KIND OF THINGS BACK AND FORTH
NORMALLY WITH YOUR AVERAGE
WASP AUTHOR OR WASP MEDIA
PERSON LIKE -- TELL ME HOW
MUCH THE ANGLICAN CHURCH HAS
GOVERNED YOUR WRITING STYLE.
WHY IS THAT?

Evan says WELL, I MEAN, YOU CAN'T
ESCAPE BEING A JEW.
I WENT TO CRESCENT.
I WAS TWO -- THE ONLY JEW IN
MY CLASS, AND THEN THERE WAS
TWO JEWS EVENTUALLY OUT
OF 56 KIDS OR SOMETHING.

Richard says WHAT DID YOU DO, HAVE A
SECRET HANDSHAKE OR SOMETHING?

Evan says YEAH WE HAVE, OF COURSE.
ALL JEWS DO.
[laughter]
YEAH.
I MEAN YOU ARE ALWAYS IN
SOME SENSE AN OUTSIDER.
I MEAN, I DON'T WANT TO
OVERSTATE IT AS, YOU KNOW,
LIKE IT WAS SOUTH AFRICA, BUT
I MEAN THERE'S ALWAYS A KOSHER
THING, OR THERE'S THE SLURS.
I MEAN, TEACHERS
WOULD SLUR.
WE WERE ALL -- IT WAS AN
ISSUE, AN ONGOING ISSUE, AND
MUCH MORE SO FOR ME BECAUSE
MY DAD GREW UP AS AN ORTHODOX
FAMILY, BUT THEN
HE BECAME REFORM.
BUT MUCH MORE SO BECAUSE I WAS
IN AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE THERE
WAS NO OTHER JEWS, REALLY.

Richard says RIGHT.

Evan says AND SO TO BE A JEW
MEANT SOMETHING, TO ME.
WHEREAS FRIENDS OF MINE THAT
WENT TO ALL JEWISH SCHOOLS,
FOR EXAMPLE, THEY
DIDN'T CARE ABOUT IT.
I MEAN THERE --
BECAUSE WAS NOTHING.
AN OUTSIDE THREAT
CREATES IDENTITY OFTEN.

Richard says YEAH.

Evan says AND SO, FOR ME, IT'S BEEN...
BUT MORE THAN THAT, IT'S
REALLY BEEN A LESSON IN
QUESTIONING AND A LESSON...
JUDAISM IS ABOUT QUESTIONING.
IT'S ABOUT, YOU KNOW, YOU
CAN'T BE A JEW UNTIL YOU'VE
READ THE PRIMARY TEXT.
YOU HAVE TO BE LITERATE.
YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO
QUESTION THE PRIMARY TEXT.
NOT ACCEPT IT, QUESTION IT.
YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO TELL
STORIES, BECAUSE THE STORIES
YOU TELL ARE THE ROUTE FROM
A PROFANE WORLD TO A SACRED
WORLD, AND, YOU KNOW, THIS
AFTER ALL IS THE ROLE OF THE
STORYTELLER TO, IN SOME
SENSE, TAKE US TO A PLACE
THAT MAKES US, YOU KNOW,
SEE WHO WE OUGHT TO BE.
AND TO ME THAT -- THERE'S A
REAL -- YOU KNOW, WHEN I THINK
OF MY MASTER'S THESIS, IT WAS
ABOUT CAMOUFLAGE RELIGION,
SECULAR MYTHS IN
POPULAR CULTURE.
YOU KNOW, WHY PEOPLE STILL
DO THE SAME -- THEY ACT OUT
THE SAME RELIGIOUS
MECHANISMS, BUT THEY
DO IT IN POPULAR CULTURE.
YOU KNOW, THEY WATCH THE SIX
O'CLOCK NEWS EVERY NIGHT LIKE
THE ELECTRONIC ALTAR.
YOU KNOW, THEY DO CERTAIN --
THEY HAVE THESE RITUALS AND
THESE -- THAT ARE CAMOUFLAGED
IN THE SENSE THAT THEY ARE NOT
SURE WHY THEY DO THEM ALL
THE TIME, BUT THEY'RE VERY
IMPORTANT, BUT THERE'S NO
OVERT RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE
TO THEM.
THEY ARE JUST POPULAR CULTURE
THAT HAS KIND OF CO-OPTED
RELIGIOUS MECHANISMS
AND MINI COMMUNITIES.
I'M REALLY INTERESTED
IN THAT KIND OF THING.

Richard says WHAT KIND OF MINI COMMUNITY
OR RELIGION -- LIKE RELIGIOUS
ROLE WOULD SHIFT
HAVE FOUND THEN?

Evan says WELL, YOU REALIZE NOW THAT
SHIFT IS A CULT, RICHARD.

[Chuckles]

Richard says YES, OF COURSE.

Evan says IT'S ALL CLEAR NOW.
I GUESS SHIFT FOR -- AND
IT DOES GET BACK TO THIS NOTION
OF WHAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT
EARLIER, OF A GENERATION,
BUT WHEN WE STARTED SHIFT IT
HAD TO DO WITH THE SEARCH
FOR A COMMUNITY, AND I
WORK BEST IN COMMUNITY
IN THE SENSE THAT MY CREATIVITY
COMES FROM ACCESS IN THAT
SENSE OF, I LIKE
DIALOGUE AND ENGAGEMENT,
AND I REALLY WANTED A COMMUNITY
OF LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE.
AND I COULDN'T FIND ONE.
AND EVERYONE WAS JUST KIND OF
HANGING OUT OR DOING THEIR OWN
THING AND SHIFT BECAME A
COMMUNITY OF LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE.
PEOPLE THAT WERE INTERESTED IN
TELLING STORIES AND CULTURE.
ARTISTS CAME, AND
PHOTOGRAPHERS CAME, AND
WRITERS CAME, AND WE
WANTED TO MAKE IT A NEXUS
OF A BUNCH OF WRITERS.
WE DIDN'T KNOW ANY WRITERS SO
WE THOUGHT THE ONLY THING TO
DO WAS TO START A COMMUNITY,
AND WE REALLY DID.
YOU KNOW, I JUST RECENTLY LEFT
SHIFT AS THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF,
AND A LOT OF WHAT WE TALKED
ABOUT ON THAT WAS WHAT THIS
COMMUNITY MEANS.
WHAT PEOPLE WANT
TO GET FROM IT.
WHO SHOULD BE INVITED INTO IT.

Richard says RIGHT.

Evan says IN THE SENSE OF, NOT AS A
CLIQUE, BUT WHAT WE'RE TRYING
TO KEEP OUT OF IT,
CYNICISM, MEDIA CYNICISM.
SHIFT IS NOT A CYNICAL
MAGAZINE AT ALL, NEVER HAS BEEN.
YOU KNOW, WE'RE NOT TRYING
TO BE TRITE AND --
WE'VE BEEN TRITE.
WE TRY NOT TO BE.

Richard says YOU TRY NOT TO BE.

Evan says YEAH.
WE TRY NOT TO BE.
YOU KNOW, WE'VE MADE A LOT OF
MISTAKES AND WE'VE TRIED NOT
TO MAKE THEM.
A PLACE THAT ARTISTS
FEEL COMFORTABLE.
YOU KNOW, A LOT OF CANADIAN
ACTORS OR MUSICIANS, THEY JUST
DON'T HAVE A PLACE WHERE THEY
CAN GATHER AND THEN EVEN A
MEDIA PLACE THAT THEY TRUST.
SHIFT HAS BECOME THAT PLACE
THAT THEY COME IN, AND WRITERS
THAT COME IN, AND YOUNG
JOURNALISTS THAT COME IN THAT
WANT TO TELL STORIES, THAT
WANT TO BE DIFFERENT.
THAT DON'T WANT TO SAY, OH,
YOU HAVE 15 YEARS OF TORONTO
LIFE AND THE GLOBE AND MAIL TO
BE AN INTERN AND A COPY EDITOR
AND A FACT CHECKER, AND YOU'LL
NEVER DO ANYTHING UNTIL YOU'RE
35 AND, YOU KNOW, MAYBE
ONE OR TWO OF YOU WILL.
YOU KNOW THIS NOTION
THAT, WAIT, WAIT, WAIT.

Richard says RIGHT.
RIGHT, WAIT YOUR TIME.

Evan says YEAH, AND AMBITION IS BAD
AND UGLY AND THAT'S ARROGANT.
YOU KNOW, HOW CAN YOU
TELL A 22-YEAR-OLD KID
NOT TO BE ARROGANT?
THERE'S NO OTHER STATE
THAT THEY CAN BE IN.

Richard says RIGHT.

Evan says THEY THINK THEY'RE
THE SMARTEST.
THEY THINK THEY'RE SMARTER
THAN YOU, AND THEY THINK
THEY'RE COOLER THAN YOU, AND
THEY THINK THEY'RE MORE HIP
THAN YOU, AND THEY'RE SAVVIER
THAN YOU, AND THAT YOU'RE OUT
OF IT.
THAT'S THEIR JOB, AND AT SHIFT
WE ENCOURAGE THOSE PEOPLE
TO COME IN AND
SAY THAT TO US.
YOU KNOW, AT OTHER MAGAZINES
THAT WOULD BE ANATHEMA.
THEY'D BE FIRED.
SO THAT'S THE COMMUNITY
THAT WE TRIED TO BUILD.

Richard says YOU SAID YOU TRIED NOT TO BE
A CYNICAL MEDIA PUBLICATION OR
MEDIA ARTIFACT, WHAT DO YOU
THINK ARE CYNICAL MEDIA
PUBLICATIONS RIGHT NOW?

Evan says I THINK IN JOURNALISM THE
PEOPLE EQUATE BEING NEGATIVE
TO BEING A GOOD
JOURNALIST, YOU KNOW?
THAT YOU HAVE TO
DO SATURDAY NIGHT.
FOR EXAMPLE, I REMEMBER
YEARS AGO I DID A STORY
ON ASHLEY MACISAAC.
ASHLEY MACISAAC'S A GREAT
STORY, BUT HERE'S WHAT
THEY HAD TO DO.
YOU HAVE TO INVENT
THESE ANGLES.
ASHLEY MACISAAC, THE WONDER
FIDDLER FROM CAPE BRETON,
BUT IS HE SELLING OUT
CAPE BRETON MUSIC?
NOBODY IN CAPE BRETON --
NOBODY IN THE EAST COAST WOULD
EVEN THINK ABOUT THAT.
IT IS NOT EVEN AN ISSUE
WHERE HE COMES FROM.
BUT SOMEBODY SAT AROUND AN
EDITORIAL TABLE AND SAID, YOU
KNOW WHAT REALLY WOULD GIVE
THIS STORY SOME REAL BUMPH,
IF WE HAD AN ANGLE ON IT.
AND SO THEY GO DIGGING FOR
SOMETHING THAT'S JUST NOT THERE.
THEY GO DIG FOR DIRT, AND I
THINK THIS JOURNALISM THAT IS
ALWAYS LOOKING FOR THE
NEGATIVE SIDE, BECAUSE TO
TELL THE POSITIVE SIDE IS, I
THINK, TOO DIFFICULT TO TELL
IT INTERESTINGLY.

Richard says RIGHT.

Evan says IT'S BEYOND THE TALENTS
OF PEOPLE TO TELL
A GOOD STORY WELL.
THEY THINK IT JUST --
OH, IF IT'S A GOOD STORY,
IT MUST'VE HAPPENED EASILY.
ACTUALLY NO.
MOSES ZNAIMER -- THERE'S A
GOOD STORY TO MOSES ZNAIMER.
NOT JUST A BAD, DARK SIDE TO
THE GUY, AND I LEARNED THIS IN
AN INTERVIEW I DID WITH HIM.
AND THERE'S A STORY ABOUT HIM
THAT'S REALLY INTERESTING, AND
HE WORKED HARD, AND PEOPLE
JUST DON'T WANT TO TELL THAT
STORY BECAUSE YOU WOULD LOOK
LIKE YOU'RE KISSING MOSES'
BUTT, THAT YOU'VE LOST YOUR
JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY, AND I
THINK THAT'S CYNICAL TO ALWAYS
GO FOR THAT, THE DIRTY EDGE,
THE NO-SIDE OF THINGS.
AND I DON'T -- I FIND THAT
PEOPLE SAY IT'S BETTER
JOURNALISM AND I FIND IT'S
MEDIOCRE JOURNALISTS LOOKING
FOR AN ANGLE SO THEY BECOME
THE STORY, AND THE SUBJECT
DOESN'T BECOME THE STORY.

Richard says IT'S FUNNY YOU RAISE MOSES
ZNAIMER, BECAUSE I WAS GOING
TO ASK YOU, SOME PEOPLE HAVE
SAID YOU ARE GOING TO BE THE
NEXT MOSES ZNAIMER
OF THE MILLENNIUM.
DO YOU EVER THINK THAT OR
WOULD YOU WANT TO BE THAT?

Evan says NO.
NO, I MEAN, I DON'T
THINK LIKE THAT.
YOU KNOW MOSES -- I HAD A
FUNNY INTERVIEW WITH HIM
YEARS AGO.
I WANTED TO INTERVIEW
HIM FOR SHIFT.
THIS IS ABOUT FIVE YEARS AGO,
AND SHIFT WAS A NOTHING.
AND WE HAD, IN FACT, ASKED TO
MOSES TO INVEST IN SHIFT
AND, OF COURSE, HE SAID NO.
RIGHTLY SO.

Richard says RIGHT.

Evan says BELIEVE ME, BACK THEN WE WERE
BAD, AND MOSES WAS SHOWING
ALL SORTS OF SAVVY.
ANYWAY, IT BECAME QUITE AN
INTERVIEW BECAUSE HE REFUSED
TO LET ME INTERVIEW HIM, AND
THEN FINALLY HE LETS ME UP TO
HIS ROOM AND FOR THREE
HOURS HE BERATED ME.
HE SCREAMED AT ME.
HE WOULDN'T LET
ME RECORD THIS.
I MEAN HE WAS CRAZY,
AND I SCREAMED BACK.
I THOUGHT WE WERE GOING
TO GET IN A FISTFIGHT.
THEN IT CALMED DOWN.
IT WAS ABOUT THREE HOURS AND I
SAID, I WOULD LIKE TO DO THIS
INTERVIEW, AND HE SAID NO.
YOU'LL NEVER -- I'M NEVER
GOING TO LET YOU RECORD THIS
INTERVIEW, AND HE KICKED
ME OUT AFTER THREE.
SO THEN I SAID, GEEZ, I REALLY
WANT TO GET THIS INTERVIEW
WITH MOSES ZNAIMER.

Richard says YEAH.

Evan says SHIFT WAS DESPERATE.
SO WHAT I DID WAS,
I BOUGHT A FISH.
I KNOW HE IS INTO JAPANESE
CULTURE, SO I BOUGHT SIAMESE
FIGHTING FISH IN A BOWL AND A
LITTLE -- AND I PUT A PICTURE
OF, YOU KNOW, BACKGROUND OF
WATER ON IT, AND I HAD A
PICTURE OF ME INSIDE IT
LOOKING LIKE THIS WITH A
THOUGHT BUBBLE SAYING, I HOPE
HE INVITES ME BACK INSIDE TO
DO THAT INTERVIEW, AND
I HAD IT SENT TO CITY TV.
SO THEN I GOT A PHONE
CALL THAT NIGHT SAYING
SEE YOU TOMORROW NIGHT.
IT'S MOSES, EVAN, COME OVER
TOMORROW NIGHT AT EIGHT.
SO, WHICH WAS REALLY
INTERESTING BECAUSE HE LIKES --
YOU KNOW, HE'S SO TOUGH BUT
IF YOU DON'T BACK DOWN,
YOU'RE IN.

Richard says THE WAY TO A MAN'S HEART
IS THROUGH HIS AQUARIUM.

Evan says THAT'S RIGHT, EXACTLY.
AND, ANYWAY, SO WE DID A REALLY
INTERESTING INTERVIEW THAT HE
ENDED UP COMMENTING ON, AND WE
GOT ALONG EXTREMELY WELL AND
THEN, OF COURSE, WE DIDN'T
AND THEN WE DID AND THEN WE
DIDN'T, WHICH IS
TYPICAL OF MOSES.
BUT IT TURNS OUT THAT
AS I'VE KNOWN HIM OVER A
FEW YEARS, I JUST HAVE A LOT
OF RESPECT FOR HIM BECAUSE
PEOPLE DON'T, AND THE BUSINESS
HAVE REALLY SHUNNED HIM.
HE'S HELD UP AS A BIT
OF A MEDIA PINATA.
PEOPLE LIKE TO KICK AROUND
ZNAIMER, YOU KNOW?

Richard says YEAH.

Evan says WHEN IT'S CONVENIENT THEY
TALK ABOUT HIS TELEVISION AS
LOWBROW AND DUMB.
AND WHATEVER YOU THINK ABOUT
THE KIND OF TV HE MAKES, THE
KIND -- WHAT HE'S DONE, THE
KIND OF PEOPLE HE'S EMPLOYED,
HE'S DONE SO MANY GOOD THINGS.
ONLY IN CANADA WOULD MOSES
ZNAIMER BE CONSIDERED A PARIAH.

Richard says RIGHT.

Evan says AND THAT SAYS SOMETHING TO ME
FRIGHTENING BECAUSE I THINK HE
IS AN EXTRAORDINARY EXAMPLE
OF INNOVATION AND...

Richard says BUT DO YOU SEE YOURSELF WORKING
ON THAT LEVEL YOURSELF?
DO YOU SEE YOURSELF -- PEOPLE
TALKING ABOUT THE SOLOMON
STYLE OR YOU HAVING... I MEAN,
YOU STARTED TO HAVE AN EMPIRE
WITH SHIFT, YOU KNOW?
YOU HAD ALL THESE PEOPLE FROM
THIS LITTLE PUBLICATION.

Evan says YEAH.

Richard says YOU WOUND UP WITH THESE NICE
OFFICES AND ALL THE STUFF
GOING DOWN, AND THAT'S
WHEN YOU BAILED OUT.

Evan says YEAH.
THAT'S TRUE AND THAT WAS A
FUNNY -- BAILING ON SHIFT WAS
FUNNY BECAUSE IT WAS AFTER --
WE'D MADE IT AND WE WERE
ACTUALLY GETTING GOOD SALARIES
AND WE HAD 30 PEOPLE WORKING
THERE AND IT IS
A GREAT MAGAZINE.
IT IS GOING TO GROW.
IT'S VERY HEALTHY RIGHT
NOW, AND THEN I BAILED OUT.

Richard says MOST PEOPLE LEAVE WHEN
THINGS ARE FAILING.
WHY DID YOU LEAVE WHEN IS
GETTING TOO SUCCESSFUL?

Evan says YOU KNOW THAT'S THE QUESTION
THAT EVERYBODY'S ASKED ME IN
THIS, BECAUSE AS IF I WANT TO
GO BACK TO SUFFERING AGAIN.
PARTLY BECAUSE THE JOB
THAT SHIFT HAD TO DO
FOR ME WAS DONE.
YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED, SHIFT
WAS ALWAYS ASKING ARTISTS AND
PEOPLE QUESTIONS ABOUT THINGS.
YOU KNOW, WHAT DRIVES YOU
AND WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT
INSPIRE YOU TO BE CREATIVE,
AND A LOT OF THE QUESTIONS IN
SHIFT WERE TRYING TO MAKE SURE
THAT THE SUBJECTS THAT WE WERE
INTERESTED IN, AND THE
INNOVATORS, THE CHANGE MAKERS,
THEY WERE PEOPLE THAT WERE
FEARLESS AND THEY WERE
BECOMING WHAT THEY OUGHT TO
BE, AND THEY WERE REALLY QUITE
INSPIRATIONAL PEOPLE.
AND THE QUESTIONS THAT YOU ASK
OF THOSE PEOPLE, YOU ALL OF A
SUDDEN START ASKING OF
YOURSELF, AND I DO START
ASKING THOSE QUESTIONS, AND I
REALIZE THAT THE JOB OF SHIFT
FOR ME WAS DONE.
THAT I WASN'T DOING IT SO I
COULD GET A PLUM JOB AND MAKE
A LOT OF MONEY AND SIT THERE
BEING ARBITER OF TASTE AROUND
CANADA AS RUNNING A
NATIONAL MAGAZINE.
WHICH IS A GREAT JOB, AND I
LOVED THE JOB, BUT I JUST...
I HAD TO DO ANOTHER
THING, YOU KNOW?
I HAVE TO -- I REALIZED THAT
I HAD BEEN WRITING FOR FIVE
YEARS, THIS NOVEL, AND TRYING
TO DO MY SHOW, AND EVERYTHING
STARTED TO TAKE OFF.
AND THERE WAS A POINT
WHERE I JUST HAD TO CHOOSE.
YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE TO DECIDE,
ARE YOU GOING TO BE AN EDITOR?
OR ARE YOU GOING
TO BE A WRITER?

Richard says NOW YOU MENTIONED IN
THE BOOK, YOU KNOW, WHAT'S
INTERESTING IS LIKE OUTSIDE --
FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD WE SEE
EVAN SOLOMON'S GOING
TO WRITE A NOVEL.
THE FIRST THING EVERYONE
ASSUMES, OH, IT'S GOING TO
PROBABLY BE ABOUT THE
TORONTO MEDIA SCENE.

Evan says MM-HMM.

Richard says IT IS GOING TO,
YOU KNOW, BE GLIB.
IT'S GOING TO BE THIS, IT'S
GOING TO BE THAT, BUT THAT'S
NOT WHAT YOU SET
OUT TO WRITE, IS IT?

Evan says NO.
WELL, BECAUSE I STARTED THE
BOOK BEFORE I KNEW ANYTHING
ABOUT THE TORONTO MEDIA
SCENE, AND I DON'T THINK --
I MEAN, THE FUNNY THING IS,
I STILL -- I DON'T CONSIDER
MYSELF TO HAVE BEEN
AN INSIDER ON THAT.
I ALWAYS SEE MYSELF SORT OF AS
AN OUTSIDER, BECAUSE I DIDN'T
GO TO RYERSON, AND I DIDN'T --
I DIDN'T INTERN AT THE GLOBE
AND MAIL, AND I DIDN'T -- I
MEAN, I DON'T HAVE ANY OF THE
BACKGROUND THAT WOULD SUGGEST
THAT I'VE SORT OF WORKED MY
WAY UP TO AND AS AN INSIDER.
YOU KNOW, I DIDN'T GO TO
SCHOOL WITH -- MY COLLEAGUES
AT SCHOOL WEREN'T
IN THE MEDIA.
AND WE STARTED AN
INDEPENDENT MAGAZINE
WITH OUR OWN GROUP OF FRIENDS
THAT HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL.
AND YOU KNOW I HAVE DONE
A SHOW ON NEWSWORLD WITH THE
SAME PEOPLE FOR FIVE YEARS,
THE SAME PRODUCERS, AND SO
I DON'T CONSIDER
MYSELF AN INSIDER.
BUT I GUESS THE STRUGGLE WAS,
WHEN I WAS WRITING THIS NOVEL,
YOU DON'T WANT TO MAKE IT
AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY, YOU KNOW?
FIRST-TIME WRITERS ARE
ALWAYS ACCUSED OF WRITING
THEIR DIARIES.

Richard says RIGHT.

Evan says BUT I THINK, BECAUSE I'VE
WRITTEN -- SHIFT WAS A FICTION
MAGAZINE.
I PUBLISHED A LOT BEFORE
FICTION -- THAT I HAVE SORT OF
WRITTEN THROUGH THAT PHASE OF
MY LIFE, THAT I'M NOT...
THIS ISN'T DEAR DIARY.

Richard says THE 'I' KEY ISN'T
STUCK ON YOUR COMPUTER.

Evan says YEAH, EXACTLY.
DEAR DIARY, YOU KNOW, THE CBC
AND I JUST CHANGED THE NAMES
AND WHAT HAPPENS.

Richard says YEAH, I'M GOING TO
GET THAT GIRL NOW.

Evan says YEAH, YEAH, EXACTLY.
IT'S REALLY NOTHING LIKE THAT.
I MEAN IT'S THE STORY
OF TWO BROTHERS.
IT'S A REDEMPTION STORY OF TWO
BROTHERS, AND I GUESS IT'S
REALLY ABOUT TWO THINGS.
THE LOYALTY THAT ONE BROTHER,
WHO IS IN TELEVISION AND IS
NOT LIKE ME, BUT HE'S A MEDIA...
HE'S A MEDIA STAR OF A TALK
SHOW ON A MUCH DIFFERENT LEVEL
THAN THE KIND OF THING I DO,
WHICH IS -- THIS
IS ALL BACKGROUND.

Richard says RIGHT.

Evan says AND THERE IS A MURDER.
HIS GIRLFRIEND IS MURDERED
AND HE FEELS NOTHING.
HE'S GONE TOTALLY BLANK
AND HIS BROTHER, WHO IS AN
ACTIVIST, THEO, A SOCIAL
ACTIVIST, THERE'S BEEN A
MURDER OF A LOGGER AT A
LOGGING CAMP WHERE HE IS.
AND SO BOTH OF THESE PEOPLE
ARE BEING CHASED BY THE MEDIA
AND THE COPS.
SO THE BACKGROUND IS THIS KIND
OF THRILLER, ALTHOUGH IT HAS
NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BOOK,
BECAUSE IT IS WITHIN THAT
BACKDROP, THESE TWO BROTHERS
HAVE TO SORT OF DISCOVER WHAT
THEIR RELATIONSHIP IS AND
WHAT THEIR LOYALTY IS AND, OF
COURSE, THAT HAS A LOT TO DO
WITH HOW, OH, THEY REMEMBER
EACH OTHER AS KIDS, AND
THERE'S A LOT OF MEMORY IN IT.
HOW THEY RETELL THE STORY
THAT'S HAPPENING TO THEM, HOW
THEY HAVE DIFFERENT POINTS OF
VIEW ON THE SAME STORY, AND
THEN OF COURSE, THE FORCES
OUTSIDE OF THEM THAT -- YOU
KNOW, I GUESS THE BOOK IS
ABOUT THAT ONE -- THAT NOTION,
IF THE MEDIA IS IN AT ALL, AND
IT IS, ABOUT HOW THE MEDIA
FOISTS ON FALSE IDENTITIES FOR
EVERYONE THAT YOU HAVE TO
STRUGGLE WITH.
THERE'S A RICHARD OUZOUNIAN ON
TELEVISION AND THERE'S A FATHER,
AND THE KID SEES RICHARD
OUZOUNIAN TELEVISION
PERSONALITY ON TV AND SAYS,
HOW DO YOU RECONCILE THAT, AND
YOU HAVE TO WATCH YOURSELF ON
RERUNS, AND YOU GET USED TO
BEING AT MANY DIFFERENT
PLACES AT MANY TIMES.
SOMEONE SAYS TO YOU, HEY, I
SAW YOU DO THAT INTERVIEW WITH
EVAN SOLOMON LAST NIGHT, AND
YOU SAY, ACTUALLY IT WAS FOUR
MONTHS AGO OR SOMETHING, BUT
YOU'RE USED TO INHABITING
FRAGMENTED PIECES OF TIME, AND
THE MEDIA HAS CHANGED THAT.
AND THESE TWO BROTHERS ARE
TRYING TO INHABIT ALL OF THESE
SPACES NOW AND IN THE MIDST
OF TRYING TO FIND OUT A TRUTH
ABOUT EACH OTHER AND WHAT THEY
CAN BELIEVE IN EACH OTHER AND,
OF COURSE, I GUESS THAT'S
WHAT THE BOOK'S ABOUT.

Richard says I THINK WHAT SOUNDS NEAT IS
THAT IT IS ALSO ABOUT WHAT
YOU'RE ABOUT AT THE MOMENT,
AND I THINK THE ANSWER TO THE
QUESTION, WHAT IS EVAN SOLOMON
GOING TO DO NEXT, IS THIS
BOOK, AND THE BOOK WILL HELP
BE THE KEY TO WHAT YOU DO
AFTER THAT, SO...
I'M GOING TO KEEP WATCHING.
WE'LL SEE WOULD HAPPENS WITH
GREAT INTEREST.
EVAN, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Evan says THANKS, RICHARD,
I APPRECIATE IT.

Richard faces the screen and says
FOR DIALOGUE, I'M
RICHARD OUZOUNIAN.
GOODBYE FOR NOW.

Music plays as the end slate reads “Special thanks to TheatreBooks Toronto.”

Dialogue. A production of TVOntario. Copyright 1998, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Evan Solomon