Transcript: Imprint season 12 episode 2 | Oct 04, 2000

Tina Srebotnjak stands in a studio with pieces of art in red and orange hanging in the background.
She’s in her late thirties, with short chestnut hair and bangs. She’s wearing a gray pinstripe blazer over a white shirt.

She says GOOD EVENING.
WELCOME TO ANOTHER EDITION OF
“Imprint.”

Piano music plays.
In animation, the title “Imprint” appears against a waving background in orange hues.
Then, three books appear on screen by Terry Goodkind, James Laxer, and Tim LaHaye.

Tina continues TONIGHT, STALKING THE ELEPHANT.
THE AMERICAN DRUM SEEN THROUGH
THE EYES OF CANADA'S JIM LAXER.

In a snippet from his interview, Jim says
I FELT AS A CANADIAN THAT
THIS WAS WAS A UNIQUE
OPPORTUNITY TO GO OUT AND
EXPLORE THIS EXTRAORDINARY
INTERESTING FASCINATING COUNTRY
RIGHT ACROSS OUR BORDER THAT IS
NOW IN MY OPINION RUNNING VERY
LARGE PARTS OF THE WORLD.

Now fast clips show black and white pictures of a man.

Tina continues SALINGER'S WORLD.
MARGARET SALINGER BEARS ALL
ABOUT HER WRITER-DAD.

Next, clips show several books on philosophy.

Tina continues MEET ONE READER WHO LOVES HIS
COLLECTION OF PHILOSOPHY BOOKS.
SO WHAT IF HIS FAMILY ISN'T
IMPRESSED.

In an interview, a man says MY NIECES.
WE LIVE MANY BOSTON AND GET
TOGETHER AND WHEN I SAY Nietzsche
OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT AT THE
DINNER TABLE THEY ALL GO...
(SNORING)
ALL TOGETHER THEY ALL PRETEND
THEY'RE SLEEPING BECAUSE THEY
DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT.

Theme music plays as the opening sequence rolls.
Fast clips show books and maps in hues of orange and red.

Then Tina reappears and says
ONE OF THINGS WE'LL ALL
REMEMBER ABOUT PIERRE TRUDEAU
WAS HIS REMARKABLE Eloquence.
FORMER PRIME MINISTER WAS A
MASTER OF THE PITY QUOTE.
NEVER AFRAID TO SAY WHAT WAS ON
HIS MIND.
JAMES LAXER TOOK ONE OF THOSE
QUOTES AS THE NAME OF HIS NEW
BOOK “STALKING THE ELEPHANT.”

The book appears briefly. The cover features a picture of Laxer and a collage of American symbols such as the Statue of Liberty, the Route 66 sign, and the American flag.

Tina continues HE TOLD AN AMERICAN AUDIENCE
“LIVING WITH YOU IS IN SOME
WAYS LIKE SLEEPING WITH AN
ELEPHANT.
NO MATTER HOW WELL TEFRPD ERRED
OR MEAN THE BEAST, WE'RE HURT
BY THE TWITCHES AND GRUNTS.”
AND AMONG HIS ADVENTURES, THE
WRITER, JAYS LAXER WAS “GUN
SCHOOL IN Michigan.”

Now a clip plays in which Tina interviews James Laxer in a restaurant.
James is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with sparse salt and pepper hair. He’s wearing a black suit and a blue shirt.

Tina says I WANT TO HEAR ABOUT “GUN
SCHOOL UNTIL MICHIGAN” IN A
MOMENT.
BUT FIRST WHAT ABOUT “STALKING
THE ELEPHANT.”

A caption appears on screen. It reads "James Laxer. Stalking the Elephant."

James says I WANTED TO DO “STALKING THE
ELEPHANT” PAUSE THIS IS A
MOMENT RIGHT AFTER THE COLD WAR
WHEN YOU HAVE A SINGLE POWER
THAT DOMINATES THE WORLD IN A
WAY THAT WE HAVE NEVER SEEN.
WHEN THE SOVIET UNION FELL AND
COLLAPSED ON ITS FACE AND DIED
TEN YEARS AGO, THE UNITED
STATES BECAME THE UNIQUE POWER
OF OUR TIME.
AND, UM, AND I FELT AS-- AS A
CANADIAN THAT THIS WAS A UNIQUE
OPPORTUNITY TO GO OUT AND
EXPLORE THIS EXTRAORDINARY,
INTERESTING, FASCINATING
COUNTRY RIGHT ACROSS OUR BORDER
THAT IS NOW IN MY OPINION
RUNNING VERY LARGE PARTS OF THE
WORLD, UM, AND SO TO ME, I SEE
MYSELF, UM, AS A TRAVELLER WHO
LOOKING AT ROME, I THINK THE
UNITED STATES IS ROME TODAY.
AND I THINK WE'RE THE TRANS
ALPINE GALLS.
WE'RE THE LITTLE GUYS THAT LIVE
ACROSS THE OTHER SIDE OF THE
MOUNTAINS THAT GET TO GO AND
LOOK AT ROME.

Tina says YOU GO ON A SERIES OF
ADVENTURES IN THE BOOK, AND ONE
OF THEM I ALLUDED TO RIGHT AT
THE BEGINNING WAS “THE GUN
SCHOOL IN MICHIGAN.”
TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED AT THE
“GUN SCHOOL IN MICHIGAN.”

James says I WAS INTERESTED IN THE GUN
CULTURE IN THE UNITED STATES
BECAUSE IT'S SUCH A KEY
CONTRACEPTION IN THE UNITED
STATES.
A HUGE DEBATE IS GOING ON ABOUT
THE GUN CULTURE AND WHETHER
THERE SHOULD BE AS MANY GUNS IN
AMERICA AS THERE ARE NOW.
I FOUND THE DYNAMICS OF
PERSONAL PROTECTION.
I WAS GOING TO LEARN HOW TO
WIELD OFF, FEND OFF ATTACKERS,
MULTIPLE ATTACKERS WHILE
RELOADING MY GUN IN A STRESSFUL
SITUATION.
AND I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO
THESE THINGS.
SO THESE WERE ADMITTEDLY, UM,
THE THINGS THAT I WAS GOING TO
LEARN HOW TO DO.

Tina says RIGHT.
BUT IT'S INTERESTING, BECAUSE
YOU SAY, I MEAN, OBVIOUSLY, YOU
KNOW, YOU CAN TELL WHAT YOUR
BIAS IS GOING IN, BUT YOU TO
SAY THAT THE MINUTE YOU STRAP
THE GUN ON, I THINK THE QUOTE
IS “I FELT BETTER ENDOWED AND
MORE POWERFUL.”

James says THAT'S RIGHT.
IT DOES GIVE YOU THAT-- A VERY
MALE THING.
YOU STRAP ON THE GUN AND YOU
THINK “WOW, THIS IS IT.
THIS IS POTENCY.
THIS IS THE REAL THING.”
UM, SO I GO TO THE COURSE, UM,
IN SPRINGFIELD.
OUR COURSE DIRECTOR IS A GUY
WHO HAD BEEN ON A SWAT TEAM IN
THE MICHIGAN STATE POLICE FOR
20 YEARS.
AN AMAZING, QUITE ATTRACTIVE
GUY , WHO THEN GIVES US THE INS
AND OUTS AND ADVICE ABOUT WHEN
TO SHOOT PEOPLE, WHEN TO NOT
SHOOT PEOPLE.
HIS ADVICE WAS IF YOU SHOOT
SOMEONE AT THEIR FRONT DOOR,
MAKE SURE THEY FALL IN AND NOT
OUT, YOU KNOW, FOR OBVIOUS
REASONS.
WHEN-- YOU GOT TO MAKE IT LOOK
LIKE IT WAS A BREAK IN.
WHATEVER-- WHENEVER YOU--
WHATEVER YOU POINT YOUR GUN AT,
YOU HAVE TO BE PREPARED.
WHATEVER YOU SHOOT, YOU OWN.
WERE PIECES OF ADVICE.
ONE PIECE OF ADVICE HE GAVE US
IS DON'T LEAVE YOUR GUN RIGHT
BESIDE YOUR BED.
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.
SO THAT YOU CAN REACH IT
WITHOUT GETTING OUT OF THE BED
AND HE GAVE US A COUPLE OF
CAUTIONARY TALES.
ONE WAS A MAN WHO THOUGHT THERE
WAS AN INTRUDER STANDING AT THE
FOOT OF HIS BED, HE REACHED FOR
HIS GUN AND FIRED IT AND BLEW
OFF PART OF HIS PENIS AND HIT
HIS LEG.
THERE WAS NO INTRUDER STANDING
THERE.

Tina says SO DID THIS-- WAS THIS THE
PART THAT MADE YOU FAINT?
OR WHAT WAS IT--

James says YEAH, I'M KIND OF
EMBARRASSED ABOUT THE
PAINTING-- FAINTING SO I TRY
AND AVOID GETTING PRESS.

Tina says I KNOW.
BUT WE'LL NAIL YOU ON THIS.

James says WHAT HAPPENS IS WE GO OUT TOE
RANGE AND WE'RE ALL TANNING
THERE, LIKE THE CORAL RANGE.
ONE-- WE'RE ALL ENDOWED PEOPLE.
ONE WOMAN AND 2 GUYS AND WE'RE
WE'RE-- AND 12 GUYS AND WE'RE
ALL STANDING THERE AND BRENT
THE DIRECTOR AND GIVING US
DIRECTIONS AND BEHIND HIM IS
TARGETS.
HUMAN TORSOS WITH A BIG CIRCLE
AROUND THE MIDDLE OF THE CHEST
AND HE SAYS I DON'T WANT YOU TO
KEEP FIRING YOUR BULLETS OVER
AND OVER AGAIN AND HIT THE SAME
SPOT.
BECAUSE THAT'S NOT GOING TO DO
YOU ANY GOOD.
THAT'S HOW YOU-- NOT HOW YOU
TAKE SOMEBODY DOWN OR BRING
DOWN THE GUTS.
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A DEER BEING
SHOT?
HE SAYS THEY DON'T KNOW THEY'RE
SUPPOSED TO JUST FALL OVER AND
DROP OVER.
YOU GOT TO SHOOT THEM OVER AND
OVER AGAIN IN THE CENTRAL AREA,
BRING OUT THE BLOOD AND GUTS,
BRING OUT THE INSIDE SO THAT
THEY'LL FALL DOWN.
AT THIS POINT, I START TO
FEEL-- I START TO SEE KIND OF
STUFF AT THE EDGE OF MY
PERIPHERAL VISION IS STARTING
TO GO A LITTLE --
NOW, IDENTIFY NEVER FEIGNED IN
MY LIFE, BUT I'M STARTING TO
RECOGNIZE THE SYMPTOMS.
I START THINKING “THIS IS NOT
GOOD.
I KIND OF KNOW WHERE THIS COULD
BE GOING.”
SO I BEND OVER TO TRY AND GET
SOME BLOOD IN MY HEAD.
I BENT OVER AND THEN I
STRAIGHTEN UP.
AND I TELL MYSELF, LUNCH TIME
IS IN JUST A COUPLE OF MINUTES.
THIS IS GOING TO BE FINE.
THE NEXT THING I KNOW I'M LYING
ON MY BACK AND THERE ARE PEOPLE
LOOK DOWN AT ME.
THEY TOLD ME I WENT DOWN LICK A
TREE.
I THINK WHAT SAVED ME IS THE
SMITH AND WESTON CAP.
I HAD THAT ENDOWED WITH THE
LARGE L.
XER NOSE.

Tina says THAT SAVED YOU.

James says IT SAVED ME.
BECAUSE WHAT HAPPENED IS THAT
IT HIT-- I GOT HIT RIGHT THERE
AND IT PUT A TOOTH THROUGH MY
LIP.
UM, SO THEN-- AND THEN I
DEPOSIT TO CHECK OUT THE
AMERICAN MEDICAL SYSTEM.

Tina says AND I WANT TO GET TO THIS
IDEA ABOUT EMPIRE YOU TALKED
ABOUT RIGHT AT THE BEGINNING.
YOU SAID THEY WERE LIKE ROME.
NOW, IN THE BOOK YOU CONTRAST
AMERICA THE REPUBLIC FOUNDED ON
EXTREMELY DEMOCRATIC IDEALS TO
AMERICA THE EMPIRE AS YOU SAY
IT HAS BECOME.
NOW , WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?
HOW HAS IT BECOME AN EMPIRE?
AND YOU ALSO SAY THAT IN FACT
IT'S NOT TO THE IDEALS IT WAS
FOUNDED ON.

James says I THINK THE UNITED STATES
HAS A DETERMINING EFFECT ON
WHAT HAPPENS TO PEOPLE ON THE
REST THE PLANET.
IN OTHER WORDS, I THINK
AMERICAN POWER-- AMERICA
EXERCISES SYSTEMATIC POWER OVER
PEOPLE IN THE REST OF THE
WORLD.
AND I WOULD INCLUDE CANADA IN
THAT CATEGORY.
THAT'S-- THAT'S MOST PARTICULAR
I THINK IN THE WESTERN
HEMISPHERE WHERE THE UNITED
STATES HAS QUASI DOCTRINE.
THE FAMOUS MONROE DOCTRINE THAT
GOES BACK TO THE EARLY 19TH
CEMENT FRIDAY WHICH IS THE
BASIS IN WHICH THE U.S. HAS
INTERVENED IN LATIN AMERICA AND
SENT THE TROOPS IN AND IT'S
ALSO THE BASIS OF THE ABSURD
TREATMENT OF CUBA IN THE
WESTERN HEMISPHERE.
LET'S FACE IT, IF THE CASTRO
REGIME IS OBJECTIONABLE, AND IN
MY MIND AS FAR AS HUMAN RIGHTS
IT'S HIGHLY OBJECTIONABLE, BUT
BECAUSE IT'S A WESTERN
HEMISPHERE COUNTRY, THE UNITED
STATES HAS THIS HISTORIC
NOTION, THIS IS OUR SPHERE OF
INFLUENCE.
YOU DON'T GET TO HAVE A REGIME
LIKE THIS.
AND WE GET TO BLOCKADE YOU
ECONOMICALLY FOR 40 YEARS AS A
WAY TO BRING THAT REGIME DOWN.
SO WHAT I'M ARGUING IS THAT THE
UNITED STATES HAS BECOME A
COUNTRY WHICH NOW HAS A
DETERMINING EFFECT ON WHAT
HAPPENS IN THE REST OF THE
RECALLED SO...

Tina says WHY IS IT THAT AMERICA
THINKS OF ITSELF AS SUCH A
SPECIAL CASE?
YOU SAY THAT AMERICANS DON'T
PLAY BY ANYONE ELSE'S RULES.
AMERICAN RULES WITH THE ONES--
ARE THE ONES THAT-- ARE THE
ONES THAT COUNT.
WHY IS THAT?

James says BECAUSE OF WHAT SENATOR
LIEBERMAN SAID.
RUNNING MATE OF GORE.
HE SAID THAT THE UNITED STATES
WAS CHOSEN BY GOD AND AWARDED
BY HISTORY TO SEARCH AS A MODEL
OF THE WORLD.
THAT'S-- AND TO SERVE AS A
MODEL OF THE WORLD.
AND THAT'S DANGEROUS STUFF.
AND HE WAS CRITICIZED ON BY
PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES.

Tina says IT WAS THE GOD PART?

James says YEAH, IT WAS THE-- IT WASN'T
THE COMMISSION OF HISTORY.
THAT WAS FINE.

Tina says YOU BELIEVE IT'S LEFT RIGHT,
RIGHT WING, WHATEVER.
AMERICA FIRST AND AMERICA IN
KIND OF A SPECIAL--

James says EVERYWHERE I WENT--

Tina says A SPECIAL POSITION IN THE WORLD.

James says I FOUND THAT.
I FOUND LIKE-- THAT SOMEBODY
LIKE SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN
STANDING IN THE PRIMARIES IN
EARLY MARCH AND SAYS THAT “THE
UNITED STATES IS THE MOST
POWERFUL NATION IN THE WORLD
AND THEREFORE A GOOD FORCE--
A-- HAS A CASE FOR GOOD.”
AND CLINTON SAYS I HOPE THE
AMERICA IS LIKE THE 20TH
CENTURY WAS.
TERM AMERICAN CENTURY REALLY
CAPTURES THIS.
IT'S THE NOTION THAT THE UNITED
STATES IS LEADING THE MODEL FOR
WHERE THE HUMAN RACE IS-- AS A
WHOLE SHOULD GO.

Tina says BUT, IN FACT, ISN'T IT?
WE ARE IN A POSITION NOW WHERE
WE DO HAVE ONE SUPERPOWER.
YOU QUOTE, I CAN'T REMEMBER
WHO, A SENATOR IN THE BOOK WHO
says THAT WE HAVE TO-- WE ARE A
SUPERPOWER.
WE HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES THAT
THE REST OF YOU CROWD LIKE
CANADA DON'T.
SO BACK OFF.
AND ISN'T IT, IN FACT, BETTER
TO HAVE A SUPERPOWER THAT IS A
DEMOCRACY THAN ONE THAT ISN'T?

James says THAT'S THE ARGUMENT FOR EMPIRE.
AND I SUPPOSE PEOPLE HAVE SAID
TO ME, WELL, WHAT WOULD YOU
RATHER HAVE?
AN AMERICAN EMPIRE OR A RUSSIAN
EMPIRE?
I DON'T HAVE A LOT OF PROBLEM
WITH THAT CHOICE.
IF I'M STUCK WITH THAT, YEAH,
OKAY, I'LL PICK THE AMERICAN
EMPIRE.
BUT JUST LIKE THE PEOPLE IN THE
UNITED STATES, IN THE 13
COLONIES IN 1776 DECIDED THAT
THE THINGS THAT THE BRITISH
WERE DOING TO THEM AT A TIME
WERE INTOLERABLE BECAUSE THEY
WANTED TO RUN THEIR OWN LIVES
AND RUN THEIR SEWN SOCIETY
BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED THAT
PEOPLES HAD A RIGHT TO DO THAT.
I ALSO THINK THAT.

Tina says SO GIVEN THAT THEN, WHAT ARE
WE TO DO?
YOU TALK ABOUT CANADIANS BEING
ATTACHED I THINK TO THE AMERICAN
CHARIOT.
WHAT ARE HE TO DO?
IN A WAY WE DON'T HAVE ANY
OPTIONS.
IT'S NOT LIKE CANADA CAN SAY
“OKAY, UNITED STATES, SHOVE OFF OFF.”

James says I THINK THAT WHAT WE HAVE TO
DO IS WATCH IT, UNDERSTAND IT,
MAKE-- DRAW JUDGES WITH IT--
DRAW JUDGMENTS ABOUT IT AND
THINK WE'RE FREE TO A CERTAIN
EXTENT TO DECIDE WE WANT TO DO
CERTAIN THINGS.
WE CAN HAVE A HEALTH CARE
SYSTEM IN CANADA.
AND DECIDE THE CONSTITUTION
THAT GIVES THE AMERICANS TO--
THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS DOESN'T
HAVE TO CROSS OUR BORDER.
I THINK WE DON'T HAVE TO RETURN
TO THE BARBARITY TO THE DEATH
PENALTY.
THERE ARE SOME CHOICES WE CAN
MAKE.
WE CAN DECIDE TO BE MORE
COMPASSION THE-- COMPASSIONATE
TOWARDS A SOCIETY THAN TOWARDS
THOSE THAT HAVE NOT MADE IT AS
THE CASE IS THE UNITED STATES
WHERE BILL GATES AT HIGHS PEAK
LAST FALL WAS AS WORTH AS MUCH
MONEY AS THE 100 MILLION
POOREST AMERICANS.
WE DON'T HAVE TO GO ALL THE WAY
DOWN THAT ROAD.
IF SOMEBODY SAID TO ME “CAN HE
WE BE ABSOLUTELY INDEPENDENT OF
THE UNITED STATES?”
THE ANSWER'S ABSOLUTELY NOT.
WE'RE IN THIS EMPIRE.
THAT'S THE WAY THINGS ARE GOING
TO GO FOR A PERIOD OF TIME.
BUT I THINK CANADIANS ARE
PRETTY GOOD AT GETTING OUT OF
CHARIOTS.

Tina says JUST ONE LAST POINT, JUST IN
CASE PEOPLE GET THE POINT THAT
YOU DON'T LIKE AMERICA.
YOU LOVE AMERICA AND YOU LOVE
AMERICANS, DO YOU NOT?
BECAUSE THERE'S ENORMOUS
FONDNESS THAT COMES THROUGH IN
THE BOOK AS WELL.

James says THERE-- THERE'S NO QUESTION.
I FOUND THAT WHEN I TALKED TO
PEOPLE THAT OVERWHELMINGLY THEY
WERE SYMPATHETIC CHARACTERS.
I WAS IN LOVE WITH MY SUB.
AND I-- AND, YOU KNOW, AND I
BECAME-- AS A MATTER OF FACT,
PEOPLE IN MY HOUSE HAVE TOLD ME
TURN OFF THE AMERICAN TV.
WHY DO WE HAVE TO WATCH CNN IN
THIS HOUSE?
WHAT YOU DOING.
I GOT INTO EVERY DRAMA GOING ON
IN THE U.S.
I WENT TO EVERY EVENT THAT I
COULD GET MY HANDS ON.
I EVEN FOUND THAT THE GUY WHO
FOUNDED THE MICHIGAN MILITIA
WAS IN SOME WAYS A STRANGE
LIKABLE CHARACTER.
WEIRD IN MANY WAYS, AND SCARY.
BUT IT WAS A GUY WHO GOT TEARS
IN HIS EYES OVER THE FATE OF
THE PROBLEMS OF PEOPLE IN
SOMALIA.
AND WANTED TO TALK TO ME ABOUT
QUEBEC SEPARATISM.
THE GUY RUNNING THE GUN COURSE
TURNED OUT TO BE A WONDERFUL,
FRIENDLY, EXTRAORDINARY
CHARACTER WHO AFTER I FELL AND
HIT MY HEAD AND CAME BACK TO
SANITY WAS A VERY NICE GUY.
YEAH, ABSOLUTELY, HOW CAN YOU
NOT LOVE THEM?

Tina says HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE THEM.
HOW CAN YOU NOT HATE THEM?
A VERY GOOD BILL.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, Tina continues
“STALKING THE ELEPHANT, MY
DISCOVERY OF AMERICA” BY JIM
LAXER IS PUBLISHED BY VIKING.

Now an animated book with the title “Imprint” sitting in a cactus garden reveals a picture of Salinger. Then, a clip shows the interview with the philosophy enthusiast.

Tina continues LATER, THE SECRETS OF JD
SALINGER REDEVELOPED BY HIS
DAUGHTER MARCHING RENT.
AND UP NEXT, ONE MAN'S PASSION
FOR THE LIFE OF THE MINUTE.
THIS SEASON, WE'VE BEEN
DROPPING IN ON READERS WHO ARE REALLY
PASSIONATE ABOUT THE BOOKS THEY
COLLECT.
STAKE STEVE SINGER, FOR
EXAMPLE.
HIS COLLECTION OF PHILOSOPHY
BOOKS WOULD PUT ARISTOTLE TO
SHAME.

A clip shows Gerald, from Imprint, speaking into an intercom.

He says STEVE SINGER.
IT'S GERALD from “IMPRINT” WE'RE COMING IN.
(BUZZING)
OKAY.
LET'S GO.

The cameraman follows Gerald into a building.
Gerald is in his late thirties, clean-shaven, with sparse brown hair. He’s wearing a dark blue shirt.

Later, Gerald meets with Steve Singer in Steve’s reading room.

Gerald says SO ESSENTIALLY WHAT WE HAVE
HERE IS YOUR PERSONAL QUEST TO
UNDERSTAND--

Steve says RIGHT.

Gerald says THROUGH PHILOSOPHY.

Steve says RIGHT.

Gerald says THROUGH YOUR OWN LIFE AND
THE WORLD.

Steve says EXACTLY.

Gerald says OKAY.
GREAT.
BECAUSE I'LL PICK A BOOK.
LOGIC AND SCIENCE AND
DIALECT.
HOW DID THIS HELP YOU?

Steve is in his early forties, clean-shaven, with short curly brown hair. He’s wearing a black shirt.

He says UM, BASICALLY, THAT WAS
ACTUALLY A LITTLE BIT ABSTRACT
FOR ME.
AS I'M GOING THROUGH THE
PROCESS OF LEARNING ABOUT THE
GREKS, BECAUSE THERE'S TWO--
THERE'S TWO CENTRAL PIECES TO
WESTERN CIVILIZATION, ATHENS
AND JERUSALEM.

Gerald says I THOUGHT IT WAS NEW YORK
AND L.A.

Steve says YOU WERE RIGHT.

Gerald says ALONG THE WAY, IN THIS
COLLECTION, WHAT WERE THE KEY BOOKS?
WHICH ONES WERE THE TURNING
POINT BOOKS?

Steve says THE KEY BOOK THAT CHANGED ME,
ACTUALLY, WAS A BOOK I
ENCOUNTERED IN A CLASS A LONG
TIME AGO.
“ALL THAT IS SOLID MELTS INTO
AIR.”
COMING FROM A PLACE OF DEEP
VACANCY IN TERMS OF NOT HAVING
ANY FORMAL EDUCATION, I READ
THIS BOOK AND I COULDN'T
BELIEVE THAT THIS LITERATURE
EXISTED.
BECAUSE I WAS JUST UNINFORMED.
I JUST-- I NEVER ENCOUNTERED
ANY OF THIS TYPE OF MATERIAL.
SO THAT WAS THE BOOK THAT STARTED.
AND THEN I READ MARX.
AND FROM THAT HEGEL.
AND THEN, YOU KNOW, IT WENT ON
AND ON AND ON.

A clip shows “Capital, volume one” by Karl Marx, followed by a book on Hegel and a book titled “A short story of philosophy.”

Steve continues OKAY.
HERE'S SOMETHING.
GEORGE GRAND.
HE'S ONE OF MY FAVOURITES.
YOU KNOW WHEN-- WHO GEORGE
GRANT IS?

Gerald says SURE.
NO.

Steve says OKAY, GEORGE GRANT IS A
CANADIAN PHILOSOPHER.
OKAY?

Gerald says ALL RIGHT.

Steve says AND GEORGE GRANT ALSO WAS
VERY MUCH INFLUENCED BY LEO STRAUSS.
JUST TO TELL YOU HOW MY OWN
PROCESS GOES, RIGHT?
AND ALSO HE WAS VERY MUCH
INFLUENCED BY SIMON WEIL.
“WAITING FOR GOD.”
THEY'RE ALL VERY INTERESTED
CHARACTERS.
BUT HIS BIG THRUST, GEORGE
GRANT, WAS TO WRITE A COUNTER
ARGUMENT AGAINST THE MODERN
TECHNOLOGICAL PROCESS.
HE WROTE AGAINST THAT.
BECAUSE HE CALLED HIMSELF A
LOVER OF CHRISTIANITY WITHIN
PLATANISM.

Gerald says YOU'VE LOST ME.

Steve says YEAH.

Gerald says BUT THAT'S OKAY.
YOU GET IT.
THE FACT THAT I DON'T... IS
JUST THE FACT THAT I HAVEN'T
READ THIS MAYBE.

Steve says REALLY?

Gerald says BUT I DON'T WANT TO MAKE IT
SEEM, YOU KNOW, AS THOUGH YOU'VE
LOST ME.
YOU SEEM--

Steve says I'VE HEARD THAT LINE BEFORE.
(LAUGHING)
YOU KNOW THAT ALL MY-- MY
NIECES, I HAVE TO TELL YOU.
THEY LIVE IN BOSTON AND WE GET
TOGETHER.
WHEN I START-- WHEN I SAY
NICHIE OR DO SOMETHING LIKE
THAT AT THE DINNER TABLE THEY
ALL GO... (SNORING)
ALL TOGETHER THEY ALL PRETEND
THEY'RE SLEEPING BECAUSE THEY
DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT.

Gerald says THIS IS MORE THAN A PASSION.
THIS IS SOMETHING YOU'RE REALLY
DOOPLY--

Steve says RIGHT.
SO HERE'S WHAT HAPPENS... IS
THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE FIGURE
YOU'RE A LITTLE CUCKOO, RIGHT?
LIKE A LOT OF PEOPLE REALLY
DON'T WANT TO TALK.
THEY JUST DON'T WANT TO KNOW.

Gerald says I'M FAMILIAR WITH THAT.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Steve Singer. Book Collector."

Steve says AND THEN YOU MEET A FEW
OTHER KINDRED SPIRITS.
I HAVE A COUPLE OF FRIENDS THAT
ARE PH.D STUDENTS AND OTHER
FRIENDS GOING ON TO THEIR
MASTERS DEGREES AND DOING OTHER
STUFF AND THEY CALL ME UP AND
SAY I HAVE TO DO A PAPER ON
POST MODERNISM, STEVE.
YOU KNOW?
AND THEY COME OVER AND-- AND
THEY TAKE A HALF A DOZEN BOOKS.
WE CHAT.
I TELL THEM TO TAKE NOTES.
I TRY TO GROUND THEM IN AND--
GROUND THEM AND DIRECT THEM
WHERE TO GO AND BEFORE YOU KNOW
IT, I GET PHONE CALLS AND WE
DISCUSS ALL OF THESE ISSUES.
SO IT ALLOWS ME, YOU KNOW, TO
EXTERNALIZE SOME OF THIS STUFF
THAT'S IN THIS HEAD, RIGHT?

Gerald says I KNOW.
BUT I-- IT'S-- YES.
AND IT'S COMING OUT.

Steve says YEP.
I KNOW.

Gerald says DO YOU EVER WONDER WHERE
THAT-- WHERE IT ALL WILL TAKE
YOU?
LIKE, WHERE ARE YOU GOING WITH
ALL OF THIS?
DO YOU JUST WANT TO KEEP--

Steve says DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE
WHEN YOU'RE SITTING WITH A
GROUP OF PEOPLE, ANY GROUP OF
PEOPLE, NO MATTER WHO IT IS,
OKAY?
FROM ANY WALK OF LIFE, WHETHER
YOU'RE SITTING WITH A GROUP OF
PH.D'SS, WHETHER YOU'RE SITTING
WITH SOCIAL WORKERS.
WHETHER YOU'RE SITTING PEOPLE
THAT ARE EXECUTIVE INSIDE
BUSINESS AND NO MATTER WHAT
TOPIC THEY BRING UP, I'M
TELLING YOU, NO MATTER WHAT
TOPIC YOU BRING UP, YOU CAN
ARTICULATE YOURSELF, YOU CAN
EXPRESS YOURSELF.
YOU CAN ENGAGE IN-- IN
DISCUSSIONS THAT HAVE SOME DEPTH.
LIKE, THAT'S A GIFT.
I MEAN, IT'S AN EARNED GIFT.
IT'S NOT LIKE GRACE.
I MEAN, YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH
THE RINGER A LITTLE BIT, YOU
KNOW TO, GAIN THE KNOWLEDGE.
BUT IT'S REALLY SOMETHING.
AND YOU KNOW, IN A TEN-YEAR
PERIOD.
YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT A GUY WHO
IN 1988 WAS BASICALLY
UNEDUCATED.
NO FORMAL EDUCATION.
TEN YEARS LATER, 12 YEARS
LATER, HERE I AM AND-- AND I
CAN SIT DOWN WITH ANYBODY AND
HAVE A DISCUSSION WITH ANYONE
ABOUT ANYTHING IN DEPTH.
NOT JUST SURFACE.
THAT'S SOMETHING.
AND NO ONE CAN TAKE IT AWAY
FROM ME.
I CAN'T LOSE IT IN BUSINESS AND
LOSE IT WHEN THE RELATIONSHIP
GOES.
I MEAN, IT'S MINE.

(music plays)
An animated transition reads “Imprint.”

Then, Tina reappears in the studio and says
FOR DECADES, JD SALINGER
WAS THE WORLD'S MOST RECLUSIVE
WRITER B YOU IN THE PAST FEW
YEARS AND AGAINST HIS WILL,
THAT'S BEEN CHANGING.

A picture shows a newspaper article featuring a woman in her forties.

Tina continues FIRST, THERE WASL TELL-ALL
MEMOIR BUSINESS HI FORMER LOVER.
NOW ANOTHER EXPOSE BY JD
SALINGER'S DAUGHTER MARGARET.

A black and white picture shows Margaret in her twenties, with long wavy dark hair.
Black and white pictures of the Salinger family flash by.

Tina continues IT DESCRIBES HER BIZARRE CHILDHOOD.
THE TORTURED RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN HIS FATHER AND HIS
YOUNG WIFE CLAIR AND THE EFFECT
IT HAD ON THEIR TWO CHILDREN T
SEEMS THE PRIVATE LIFE OF JD
SALINGER IS NOW AN OPEN BOOK.
DID MARGARET SALINGER BETRAY
HER FATHER BY WRITING THIS BOOK?

A woman appears in the studio with Tina.

Tina continues I GATHER IT'S FILLED WITH
SALACIOUS DETAIL.
BUT GIVE US A THUMBNAIL SKETCH
OF WHAT'S IN THIS QUITE MASSIVE
BOOK, HUH?

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Cynthia McDonald. Writer."
Cynthia is in her thirties, with shoulder-length wavy bond hair. She’s wearing a brown coat over a purple shirt.

She says IT'S A STRANGE LIFE ABOUT
SALINGER.
JD SALINGER WAS A RECLUSIVE.
HE HATES THE WORLD AND WANTS TO
BE CUT OFF FROM SOCIETY MUCH
IT'S NOT SO FINE FOR THE
IMPRESSIONABLE YOUNG WIVES AND
THE WORLD HE BROUGHT INTO THIS
WORLD AND THIS HAMLET IN NEW
HAMPSHIRE TO LIVE WITH HIM AND
THAT'S MARGARET SALINGER'S
PROBLEM WITH HER CHILDHOOD.
THERE SALACIOUS DETAIL, YES,
THERE IS.

Tina says LIKE?

Cynthia says LIKE... JD SALINGER IS A
STRANGE PERSON OF ALL HEALTH
PRACTICES.
HE'S BULI MANY OF THEM IC AND
DRINKS HIS OWN URINE AND HAS A
STRANGE FIXATION ON TEENAGE
GIRLS.
INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, IT'S NOT
A PARTICULARLY SEXUAL FIXATION.
HE LIKES TO USE YOUNG PEOPLE AS
CONFIDANTES LIKE HOLDEN, USED
HIS 10-YEAR-OLD SISTER AS A
CONFIDANTE IN “CATCHER IN THE
RYE.”
BUT MARGARET WASN'T HIS GREAT
CONFIDANTE.
SHE WAS MESSY AND REBELLIOUS.
THAT DIDN'T GO OVER WELL.
SHE'S LIKE A CULT LEADER.
LIKE DAVID KARESH.
HE WANTS THEM TO BE EXACTLY
LIKE THEM.
HE HAS A WIFE 15 YEARS YOUNGER
THAN THEM.
HOW COULD THAT PERSON BE JUST
LIKE HIM?

Tina says HE HAD THAT THING OF WANTING
TO-- PEOPLE TO LOCK AAWITH HIM.
HE WAS A RECLUSE AND HE WANTED
PEOPLE THAT SHARED HIS LIFE TO
BE LOCKED IN DOORS.

Cynthia says EXACTLY.
PEGGY SALINGER WAS DENIED
MEDICAL ATTENTION AND NEVER
IMMUNIZED OR GIVEN PLAYMATES.
ULTIMATELY HER MOTHER HAD A
NERVOUS BREAK DOWN AND SAID
“LISTEN, I CAN'T LIVE THIS WAY.”
I HAVE TO HAVE PEOPLE TO TALK TO.”
THEY WERE COMPLETELY SHUT IN.
THEY HAD SOMEONE COME AND HELP
CLEAN THE HOUSE EVERY TWO
MONTH.
AND THAT'S THE ONLY PERSON THEY
TALKED TO.
AND SHE SAID “I WON'T STAND FOR
THIS.”
HE DID RELENT THIS AND ALLOW
PEGGY TO GO A REGULAR SCHOOL.
ULTIMATELY, THE MARRIAGE FAILED
AND THE PARENTS SPLIT UP WHEN
SHE WAS ABOUT TEN YEARS OLD AND
AFTER THAT POINT, SHE WENT TO
BORDER SCHOOL.
SHE'S BEEN QUITE ESTRANGED FROM HIM.
SHE'S 45.

Tina says DO YOU THINK SHE BE TRAILED
HIM BY WRITING THIS BOOK?

Cynthia says ON THE ONE HAND BE YOU DON'T
LIKE SALINGER WHEN YOU WRITE
THIS BOOK AND YOU THINK LISTEN,
I DON'T CARE WHAT TERRIBLE
THINGS YOU SAY ABOUT HIM, HE'S
SUCH A NASTY GUY, WHO CARES?
BUT IN INTERVIEWS ABOUT THIS
BOOK, PEGGY SALINGER SAID “WHAT
I REGRET ABOUT THIS BOOK IS I
DIDN'T CAPTURE HOW AFFECTIONATE
HE IS AND HOW WONDERFUL OF A
PERSON HE CAN BE.”
AND I SAY TO MYSELF IF YOU HAVE
A CRUMB OF AFFECTION FOR THIS
GUY, WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO
HIM?
THIS IS SUCH A TERRIBLE THING
TO DO FOR A MAN THAT MUST BE
THE MOST PRIVATE MAN IN THE
WORLD.
HE MUST BE UPSET ABOUT THIS
BOOK.

Tina says HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN IT?
A GRAB FOR MONEY?
WHY WOULD SHE WRITE THE BOOK?

Cynthia says SHE DOESN'T WANT TO REPEAT
TO HER SON WHAT'S DONE TO HER.
TO WHICH I SAY, SO MOTHER YOUR
SON WELL.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO WRITE A BOOK
ABOUT IT OR WRITE A PARENTSING
ADVICE BOOK SO I DON'T THINK
THAT NECESSARILY WASHES.

Tina says SO IF YOU TAKE A BOOK LIKE
MARTIN AMES' BOOK, IT'S A BOOK
ABOUT HIMSELF AS WELL, BUT ALSO
A REMEMBRANCE OF HIS DAD,
KINGSLY AMES, THIS WAS LIONIZED
OF THE BOOK OF THE SEASON.
ISN'T THAT WONDERFUL IS THE
DIFFERENCE JUST BECAUSE MARTIN
A MANY OF THEM ES IS A FABULOUS
WRITER SENIOR.

Cynthia says THERE'S TWO SIGNIFICANT
DIFFERENCES.
ONE THAT MARTIN AMES IS PUBLIC
FIGURE.
WE WANT TO KNOW ABOUT MARTIN
AMES.
WE DON'T WANT TO KNOW ABOUT
MARGARET SA IINGER.
HE'S A TERRIFIC WRITER.
HE CAN WRITE WRINGS AROUND HER.
THAT KINGSLY AMES IS DEAD AND I
THINK THAT MAKES ALL THE
DIFFERENCE.
YOU DON'T HEAR THE SOUND OF AN
AXE BEING GRIND ABOUT-- WHEN
YOU'RE WRITING ABOUT A DEAD
PERSON SO MUCH AS YOU DO WHEN A
PERSON CAN READ THIS.

Tina says JOYCE MAY NORTHWARD WROTE
ABOUT THEIR RELATIONSHIP.
SHE WAS 18 AND HE HAS 53.
SHE WAS PILLARIED IN THE PRESS
ABOUT HOW DARE SHE REVEAL
ANYTHING ABOUT THIS GREAT
FIGURE.
DO YOU THINK THERE'S-- THERE'S
AN ELEMENT IN THIS?
THE MALE LITERARY ESTABLISH.
DOESN'T WANT TO SEE THEIR BIG
HERO, UM, TAKEN DOWN A PEG.

Cynthia says I THINK YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY
RIGHT ABOUT THAT.
AND I THINK THIS BOOK
VINDICATES WHAT MAYNARD WAS
SAYING BECAUSE IT SAYS MANY OF
THE THINGS-- THE SAME THINGS.
AND PEOPLE-- PEOPLE LIKE
SALINGER FOR THE PRIVACY IN
THESE INTENSELY-- INTENSELY
UNPRIVATE TIMES ABOUT NOW
SALINGER SAYS THE SAME THINGS
AND WHAT I SAY IS 50 MILLION
ELVIS FANS.
WHEN EVERYBODY IN THIS GUY'S
LIFE SAYS THE THINGS ABOUT HIM,
YOU HAVE TO TRUST THEM.
BUT THE REVIEWS ARE
INTERESTING.
BECAUSE THE REVIEWS ARE SPLIT
ALONG GENDER LINES.
MEN TEND NOT TO LIKE THESE
BOOKS AT ALL.
FEMALE VIEWERS ARE FAR MORE
SYMPATHETIC TO HER.
IT'S TRUE, MALE REVIEWERS LIKE
SALINGER GENERALLY THAN FEMALE
READER DO.

Tina says IT'S THE WHOLE CULT OF
HOLDEN CAUFFIELD, ISN'T IT?

Cynthia says UH-HUH.

Tina says IN THIS KIND OF LITERARY
WORLD THAT HE LIVES IN, I'VE
JUST NEVER UNDERSTOOD WHY AFTER
ALL OF THESE YEARS.
D SALINGER IS THOUGHT TO BE
SUCH A GOOD.
DO YOU THINK IT'S BECAUSE HE
HASN'T SAID A WORD IN 50
YEARS-- NOT 50 YEARS, BUT
HOWEVER LONG IT'S BEEN.

Cynthia says AND BUS “CATCHER IN THE RYE.”
TAKES A HOLD OF NEW YOUTH.
YOU NEVER FORGET ABOUT THOSE
BOOKS YOU LOVE AS YOUTH.
HE WROTE THAT BOOK AND HIS
OUTPUT ISN'T VERY LARGE LARGE.
BUT HE STOPPED PUBLISHING AT
65 BUT WRITING EVERY SINGLE
SING-- EVERY SINGLE DAY WHEN WE
WE-- DAY SINCE THEN AND WHEN HE
DIES, THERE WILL BE A LOT OF
BOOKS.

Tina says ONE LAST QUESTION: WAS IT A
GOOD READ A PAGE TURN SENIOR.

Cynthia says THERE'S NOT ENOUGH ABOUT
SALINGER IN IT.
MOST OF THIS BOOK IS ABOUT
MARGARET SALINGER.
NOT A PERSON WE REALLY WANT TO
KNOW.
WE HAVE REPORT CARDS AND
STORIES OF OLD FIGHTS WITH
BOYFRIENDS AND WE HAVE NOTES
FROM FRIENDS IN GRADE SEVEN.
TRANCE SCRIPT FROM THAT.
DO WE WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THAT.

Tina says IT'S NOT LIKE THE BOOK ISN'T
LONG ENOUGH.
LIKE NOT-- NOT LIKE 427 PAGES
COVER THE FIELD.

Cynthia says SHE'S A SALINGER AND I GUESS
THAT'S GOOD ENOUGH FOR HER.

Tina says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Cynthia says THANK YOU.

(music plays)

An animated slate reads “Catcher in the Rye still sells about 250,000 copies a year.”

Tina says AND THAT'S IT FOR OUR SHOW
THIS WEEK.
JOIN US NEXT TIME FOR MORE
INTRIGUE FROM THE LITERARY MINE
FIELDS.

Theme music plays as the end credits roll.

Imprint. C/O TVOntario. P.O. Box 200. Station Q, Toronto, Ontario. M4T 2T1.

Fax: 416-484-2780.

E-mail: imprint@tvo.org.

Website: www.tvo.org/imprint

Host, Tina Srebotnjak.

Producer, Linda Dunlop.

Director, Susan Beavan.

Music, Joe Sealy.

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2000, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Imprint season 12 episode 2