Transcript: Imprint season 14 episode 11 | Dec 04, 2002

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 long gray blazer.

Tina says HELLO.
I'M TINA AND THIS IS ANOTHER
EDITION OF IMPRINT ON TV
ONTARIO.

In a clip, Michael signs books in a bookstore.

Michael says THANKS FOR COMING.

Tina says TONIGHT, WHY CRIME WRITER
MICHAEL CONNELLY IS SO POPULAR
WITH HIS READERS.

Dennis is in his fifties, with gray hair and a goatee.

Dennis says HE'S ONE OF THE FEW GAMES
THAT HAS BEEN ABLE TO TAKE
JOURNALISM AND TURN IT INTO
STORY TELLING.
MOST JOURNALISTS THAT TRY TO
WRITE CRIME NOVELS TEND TO
WRITE THEM JOURNALICALLY LIKE
TOWN PLANNERS WRITE TRAVEL,
THEY TALK ABOUT THE BUILDINGS
AND NOT THE EXPERIENCE.

Tina says WHY NEW YORK WRITER
A. M. HOLMES LOVES WHAT SHE DOES.

At an interview, Holmes says AND YOU GET TO BE A BIG FAT
LIAR AND GO CRAZY IN THE SENSE
YOU CAN SPEND YOUR DAY, YOU
KNOW, BEING FUNCTIONALLY
SCHIZOPHRENIC, COME OUT OF
IT AT NIGHT AND GO OUT TO
DINER AND HOPEFULLY SEEM QUITE
NORMAL.

In an old clip, Marshall says TV ITSELF IS A KIND OF HAPPEN
TECHNICALLY AND IT TENDS TO
INVOLVE PEOPLE IN ITS OWN
VORTEX.

Tina says AND THE LEGACY OF MARSHALL MCLUHAN, HOW HIS
GENIUS HAS ENDURED WELL INTO
THE ELECTRONIC AGE.

Derrick says THEY TRY TO SWEEP HIM UNDER
THE CARPET BUT NOW HE'S BACK
AND HE'S MEAN, YOU KNOW.

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

Back in the studio, Tina says
MICHAEL CONNELLY HAS KNOWN
SINCE COLLEGE HE WANTED TO BE
A CRIME WRITER.
HIS PLAN WAS TO START IN
JOURNALISM AND PARLAY HIS
EXPERIENCE ON THE CRIME BEAT
INTO FICTION.
WELL, THE PLAN WORKED.
AFTER 11 BEST SELLERS, A CLINT
EASTWOOD MOVIE BASE OD BLOOD
WORK AND A I THINKING
ENDORSEMENT FROM FORMER US
PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON.
HE IS AT THE TOP OF HIS GAME.
IMPRINT CAUGHT UP WITH THE
WRITER WHEN HE CAME TO TORONTO
IN SUPPORT OF HIS LATEST
APPROXIMATE BOOK, CHASING THE
DIME.

Michael is in his fifties, with a goatee and white hair.

Signing books, Michael says THANKS FOR COMING.

A male reader says APPRECIATE IT.
I COME EVERY TIME YOU ARE
HERE.

At the bookstore, a man in his fifties says MICHAEL CONNELLY.
I DISCOVERED HIM WAITING FOR AN
AIRPLANE AND PICKED UP BLOOD
WORK.
FABULOUS BOOK.

A red book cover reading "Blood work" features a picture of Clint Eastwood.

The man in his fifties continues I THOUGHT THIS MAN AND THE
MYSTERY GENRE IS A
BRILLIANT WRITER AND TWISTS OF
PLOT AND I JUST STARTED
PLOWING THROUGH ALL OF HIS
BOOKS THEREAFTER.

Holding a book, a woman in her forties says THIS IS MY NEW BOOK BY MICHAEL
CONNELLY, CHASING THE DIME. THE FIRST ONE I READ
WAS VOID MOON ON THE BEST
SELLER LIST AND PICKED IT UP.
I THOUGHT I WILL TRY MICHAEL
CONNELLY AND I JUST STARTED
READING ALL OF THE BOOKS IN
ORDER AND I BUY THEM IN HARD
COVER BECAUSE I CAN'T WAIT FOR
THEM TO COME OUT IN PAPER
BACK.

Dennis says ONE BOOK HE'S WRITTEN, I
HAVEN'T READ THE LATEST BUT
ONE BOOK HE'S WRITTEN THAT
EVERYBODY SHOULD READ IS THE
POET.
IT'S JUST A BRILLIANT,
BRILLIANT PIECE OF WORK.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Michael Connelly. Chasing the Dime."

Michael says WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE, I GOT
HIT WITH AN EPIPHANY, I
WANT TO WRITE. I WANT TO WRITE
FICTION AND WITH ME, IT WAS
MORE SPECIFIC, I WANTED TO
WRITE CRIME FICTION BECAUSE IT
IS WHAT I ENJOYED READING AND
I DISCOVERED SOME WRITERS WHO
I THINK TOOK IT TO THE LEVEL OF ART,
PEOPLE LIKE RAYMOND
SHORTHANDLER. SO I DECIDED
THAT'S WHAT I WANTED TO DO BUT
VERY FEW PEOPLE GET A CHANCE
TO DO THAT.
I HAD TO FIGURE IT OUT HOW DO I
GET TO THAT POSITION.
I DECIDE ON JOURNALISM BECAUSE
I WOULD LEARN THE CRAFT OF
WRITING OBVIOUSLY. I WOULD
LEARN A WORK ETHIC OF WRITING
BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO DO IT SO
OFTEN AND EVERY DAY.
AND IT WOULD GET ME INTO THE
WORLD THAT I WAS INTERESTED IN
WRITING ABOUT.

At the signing, an old woman says I LOVED YOUR BOOK.

Michael says THANKS A LOT.

Dennis says MICHAEL CONNELLY IS JUST A
BRILLIANT WRITER.

The caption changes to "Dennis Murphy. Writer."

Dennis continues HE'S ONE OF THE FEW GUYS THAT
HAS BEEN ABLE TO TAKE
JOURNALISM AND TURN IT INTO
STORY TELLING.
MOST JOURNALISTS WHO TRY TO
WRITE CRIME NOVELS TEND TO
WRITE THEM JOURNALICALLY LIKE
TOWN PLANNERS WRITE TRAVEL.
THEY TALK ABOUT THE BUILDING,
NOT THE EXPERIENCE.

An old man with a beard says I HAVE BEEN DOWN TO LOS
ANGELES A NUMBER OF TIMES AND
TO ME, THE PORTRAYAL OF LOS
ANGELES IS AS REAL AS IT CAN
GET.
YOU KNOW, I READ THE BOOKS AND
I AM IN LOS ANGELES THE WAY I
HAVE BEEN ON TRIPS THAT I HAVE
BEEN THERE.

Michael says THE DAY I MOVED TO LOS
ANGELES, THERE WAS A HUGE
HEIST OF A BANK, A BANK HEIST
THAT LATER BECAME THE
FOUNDATION OF THE BOOK THAT
BECAME THE FIRST ONE THAT GOT
PUBLISHED, YOU KNOW, I TOOK
THIS REAL INCIDENT AND AS A
REPORTER IN LOS ANGELES, I HAD
ACCESS TO THE DETECTIVES AND I
EVENTUALLY GOT THE DETAILS ON
HOW THEY DID IT.
IT WAS A VERY COMPLICATED
HEIST WHERE THEY USED TUNNELS
THAT WNLT UNDERNEATH THE CITY
THAT WENT UP INTO THE VAULT OF
A BANK.
IT WAS, IN A WAY, THAT WAS
AMAZING THE DAY I LAND IN THE
CITY OF MY KIND OF WRITING
DREAMS, REALLY INTERESTING
THING HAPPENED AND IT -- YOU
KNOW, WITHIN A COUPLE OF YEARS,
I WAS WRITING FICTION BASED ON
THAT TRUE CRIME.

A movie clip plays.

The caption changes to "Scenes from Blood Work."

Clint Eastwood’s character says I'M ON THIS CASE.
I AM IN THIS THING FOR THE
FULL RIDE.

A woman getting out of a car says WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

A female reporter says DID YOU THINK THIS WAS
OVER?

A woman says MY GOD.

A car speeds up.

The caption changes to "Blood Work."

The clip ends.

At the bookstore, Dennis says MICHAEL CONNELLY IS THE BEST
EXPONENT OF A CULTURE THAT'S
SOCIALLY INSECURE AND
TERRIFIED.
IT'S ABOUT PEOPLE WHO HAVE
GUNS.
MOVED BACK TO FLORIDA WHERE
IT'S LEGAL TO HAVE GUNS AND
JEB BUSH WAS ELECTED RECENTLY,
WHERE A LOT OF TERRIFYING
THINGS ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS
ARE GOING. THE LATEST BOOK
ABOUT RECEIVING TELEPHONE
CALLS FOR A PERSON WHO IS NO
LONGER AROUND AND THE
SUSPICIONS ABOUT THAT OR THE
SUSPICIONS ABOUT THAT AND, IT
IS A REALLY GOOD EXAMPLE.
IT'S A VERY, VERY DIFFICULT
AND FRIGHTENING COUNTRY TO
LIVE IN AND I THINK THAT WITH
THE JOB AND HIS OTHER
CHARACTERS, MCKAB AND OTHER
GUYS IS THE JOB IS TO BE ABLE
TO TAKE THE ESSENCE OF AMERICA
AND GO UNDERNEATH IT AND BLOW
IT.

Michael says WHEN I WAS 16 YEARS OLD.
I WAS A WITNESS TO A CRIME
INVOLVING A SHOOTING IN A
ROBBERY.
I DON'T REALLY
KNOW WHY BUT IT GETS INTO
MOTIVATION, I GUESS, FOR SOME
REASON I FOLLOWED THE PERSON
WHO HAD -- I FOLLOWED THE
SHOOTER AND I WATCHED WHERE HE
HID HIS GUN AND I WATCHED
WHERE HE HID HIMSELF AND LATER
LEAD THE POLICE TO ALL OF
THIS.
AND THAT BROUGHT ME INTO THE
POLICE WORLD.
IT WAS LIKE BEING DROPPED IN
ICE COLD WATER OR SOMETHING
BECAUSE I WAS IN A POLICE
DEPARTMENT AND I WAS GIVING
STATEMENTS TO GRUFF DETECTIVES
AND I WAS -- LOOKING THROUGH
THE GLASS AT THE LINE UP T
SUPPOSEDLY PICK OUT THE
SHOOTER AND SO FORTH.
AND IT WAS A -- YOU KNOW, IT
WAS A PIVOTAL POINT IN MY LIFE,
I THINK, RIGHT AFTER THAT WHEN
I BECAME FASCINATED WITH
READING THE CRIME STORIES AND
NEWSPAPERS AND READING CRIME
NOVELS AND THAT EVENTUALLY
LEAD ME TO WANTING TO WRITE
THEM.

Michael speaks to the readers at the bookstore.

Michael says THE ONE THING I
WANTED TO SAY, I HAVE LEARNED
AS A WRITER THAT WHAT MAKES
THE BOOK GOOD IS THE CHARACTER
INSIDE IT.
AND I KEEP COMING BACK TO THAT
AND WHAT I DO AND WHAT IS
INTERESTING IS THE SAME WITH
BOOK STORES AND SO, IF YOU GOT
A GLASS FYOU DON'T HAVE A
GLASS, TOO BAD. BUT RAISE YOUR
GLASS OR YOUR HAND TO THIS
STORE AND NOT JUST BECAUSE OF
THE STORE BUT BECAUSE OF THE
CHARACTER.

[applause]

Dennis says IF YOU CAN TELL A GREAT
STORY WITH A GREAT LITERATE
ATTITUDE AND AN ABILITY TO
LEAN THAT STORY FORWARD, YOU
ARE AN ARTIST.
AS GREAT AN ARTIST AS THE
GREATEST GUITAR PLAYER OR THE
GREATEST PIANO PLAYER IN THE
WORLD.

At the interview, Michael says I AM VERY LUCKY.
I GET TO DO WHAT I DREAMED OF
DOING.
I GET TO STAY AT HOME TO WORK.
THERE'S SO MANY GOOD THINGS
ABOUT WHAT I DO, IT'S KIND OF
LIKE I CHERISH THAT AND I DO
WHAT I CAN TO PROTECT THAT.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, the book appears briefly. The cover features a computer keyboard.

Tina says CHASING THE DIME, THE
LATEST NOVEL BY MICHAEL
CONNELLY PUB PUBLISHED BY
LITTLE BROWN.

Now an animated book sitting on a small table by a statue opens to reveal a clip of a female author signing a book, followed by an old man talking.

Tina says UP NEXT, AM HOMES, THE
CONTROVERSIAL IT GIRL OF
AMERICAN FICTION.
AND LATER, THE LEGACY OF
MARSHAL MCCLUAN.
WHAT GOES ON BEHIND THE
CHEERFULLY LIT WINDOWS AND
MANICURED LAWNS OF SUBURBIA,
ALL MANNER OF BIZARRE AND
SHOCKING BEHAVIOR IF YOU KNOW
THE WORK OF NEW YORK WRITER A. M.
HOMES.
TAKE THE COUPLE IN MUSIC FOR
TORCHING.
THEY SET THEIR HOUSE ON FIRE
OUT OF SHEER BORE DOM OR THE
PEDOPHILE IN THE END OF ALICE,
A CONTROVERSIAL, THAT PROVOKED
PAN AND PRAISE FROM LITERARY
INSIDERS, THIS FALL AM HOMES
BROUGHT A NEW COLLECTION OF
STORIES TO THE INTERNATIONAL
FESTIVAL OF AUTHORS, THINGS
YOU SHOULD KNOW HAS A SINISTER
EDGE BUT THE STORY NEVER VOOER
FAR FROM THE TRUTH.

A. M. Homes is in her thirties, with shoulder-length wavy brown hair.

Homes reads THERE ARE THINGS I DO NOT
KNOW.
I WAS ABSENT THE DAY THEY
PASSED OUT THE INFORM SHEETS.
I WAS HOME IN BED WITH A FEVER
AND AN EAR ACHE.
THE INFORMATION SHEETS HAD THE
WORDS THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
TIPD ACROSS THE TOP OF THE
PAGE.
THERE WERE MEMY GRAPHED PAGES
PURPLE INK ON WHITE PAPER.
THE SHEETS WERE WRITTEN BY MY
FOURTH GRADE TEACHER.
IS THERE ANYTHING I MISSED
WHILE I WAS OUT?
SHE HANDED ME A STACK OF MAPS
TO MATERIAL IN AND MATH
PROBLEMS.
I COULDN'T JUST COME OUT AND
SAY IT.
I COULDN'T SAY, YOU KNOW,
THOSE INFORMATION SHEETS.
I COULDN'T ASK BECAUSE I HAD
ALREADY ASKED EVERYONE. I HAD
ASKED SO MANY PEOPLE, MY
PARENTS, THEIR FRIENDS, RANDOM
STRANGERS THAT IN THE END THEY
SENT ME TO A PSYCHIATRIST.

Now a clip plays of Tina interviewing Homes in a bar.

Tina says AM HOMES, LOVELY TO MEET YOU.

Home says THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

Tina says MY PLEASURE.
TELL ME ABOUT THINGS YOU
SHOULD KNOW.
THE TITLE STORY I JUST LOVE
BECAUSE I MYSELF FELT I WAS
AWAY ON THE DAY THEY HANDED
OUT THE INFORMATION SHEET.
TELL ME ABOUT THIS FEELING AND
WHEN DID YOU FIRST COME ACROSS
IT.

The caption changes to "A. M. Homes. Things you Should Know."

Homes says THIS STORY IS PROBABLY ONE
OF THE OLDEST STORIES IN THE
BOOK AND I SAT ON IT FOR AN
INCREDIBLY LONG TIME BECAUSE
IT ALWAYS SEEMED LIKE A VERY
SMALL STORY AND EITHER A
PARABLE OR A FABLE.
IT'S NOT A FULL SCALE STORY IN
MANY WAYS BUT ALWAYS REALLY
LOVED IT AND PUTING THIS BOOK
TOGETHER AND THINKING ABOUT IT, AND I
REALLY
WANTED TO INCLUDE THE STORY.
AND THAT THERE IS
SOMETHING OUT THERE.
SEARCHING FOR OR NEEDING OR
WANTING TO KNOW AND BOTH IN A
VERY LITERAL SENSE.

Tina says IN
READING ABOUT YOU, DOMESTIC
LIES.
CAME ACROSS AND I LOVED
AND THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS WHAT
I THAT SEEM DOMESTIC LIES.

Homes says I THINK THINGS ARE NOT WHAT
THEY SEEM AND THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN THE PUBLIC SELFS AND
PRIVATE SELFS AND IS
DEFINITELY SOMETHING THAT'S
ALWAYS INTERESTED ME.
I THINK THAT IN MANY WAYS, THE
TRUTHS.
THE THINGS THAT MAY BE TRUE
AND WE ALL MAY THINK
AND FEEL
AND THE THING WITH MY FICTION, PEOPLE
THAT HAVE READ IT AND SAID
THANKS A LOT.
IT REALLY UPSET ME AND REALLY
MADE ME HAVE TO THINK ABOUT
SOMETHING OR DEAL WITH
SOMETHING THAT I
DIDN'T WANT TO DEAL WITH.
I THINK FUNDAMENTALLY, IT'S
ABOUT TRUTHS MORE THAN LIES.

Tina says IT REMINDS ME
AND THE END OF ALICE AND THE
REACTION TO THAT, THAT THIS
WAS A BOOK THAT WAS TOLD, I
GUESS FROM THE POINT OF VIEW
OF A PEDOPHILE,
SOMEBODY MARRIED A GIRL CALL ALICE,
AND CRITICS SAID, IT IS
LIKE PULLING OUT YOUR OWN
TOENAILS.
AND SO, IN THE END
AND THE REACTION, YOU THOUGHT,
YOU WANTING.

Homes says THE REACTION, THAT I SAID,
GOOD, PULL OUT YOUR TOENAILS,
WE SHOULD BE IN THE SENSE THAT,
THIS IS NOT SHING THAT SHOULD
BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE IN
SOCIETY AND IN THE SENSE THAT
THE ABUSE OF CHILDREN IS
OBVIOUSLY A REALLY HORRIBLE
AND DANGEROUS THING AND YET,
IT SEEMS TO GO ON AND ON AND
IT CAME OUT IN 1995 AND WITH
THE LAST YEAR, IN AMERICA,
REALLY ALL OVER THE WORLD, THE
EXPLOSION OF THE PEDOPHILES
AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND IT
IS -- WHETHER IT IS IN A
CHURCH OR JUST IN A COMMUNITY
TIS IN THE NEWSPAPERS EVERY
SINGLE DAY. I THINK IT AMAZES
ME WHAT I HORRIBLE JOB SOCIETY
WE HAVE DONE DEALING WITH
THAT.
SO, AS A WRITER, I THINK,
AGAIN, PART OF MY JOB FEELS TO
ME, REPRESENTING THE CULTURE,
SO I WENT AND REPRESENTED A
PART OF THE CULTURE THAT WE
DON'T PARTICULARLY FEEL GOOD
ABOUT AND PEOPLE WERE SHOCKED
AND HORRIFYED AND TO ME, I AM
NOT INTERESTED IN WRITING
THINGS TO SHOCK PEOPLE. I
COULDN’T CARE LESS.
THE POINT IS WRITING THING ITS
THAT PROVOKE.
IT HIT A NERVE TO ME THAT
MEANS LIKE A DENTIST, I GOT TO
THE ROTTEN PART.
BUT THAT'S ACTUALLY A GOOD
SIGN BECAUSE I THINK I AM
GETTING AT SOMETHING SDIING 95
CAN'T.
IT'S NOT APPROXIMATE
PARTICULARLY A PLEASURE AS A
WRITER TO BE CALLED SHOCKING
AND REVOLTING OR WHATEVER.
BUT, AGAIN, I THINK.
AND LOOK AT AND IT IS NOT
COMING JUST FROM UP HERE.
IT'S COMING FROM OUT THERE AND
FILTERED THROUGH, YOU KNOW,
ARTISTIC SENSIBILITY AND OTHER
THINGS AS WELL.

Tina says YOU GREW UP IN THE SUBURBS AND I
KNOW THAT YOU ARE INTERESTED
IN THAT KIND OF LIFE.

Homes says AND IT IS VERY EDGE OF
WASHINGTON AND I THINK IS
PROBABLY THE WEIRDEST SUBURB
IN AMERICA.
IT WAS NOT REALLY A SUBURB IN
A CLASSIC SENSE.
IT WAS THE FRINGEST OF THE CITY, MOSTLY
DIPLOMATS.
AND DIPLOMATIC COMMUNITY AND
STEAL OUR BIKES AND WE
COULDN'T GET THEM BACK.

Tina laughs.

Tina says OH, GOSH. YOUR CHARACTERS
WHO LIVE IN THE SUBURBS.
THERE IS A KIND OF JOHN --
WHAT IS BEHIND THE EXPENSE.
WHAT IS REALLY COOKING.
THE MOVIE AMERICAN BEAUTY CAME
TO MIND.
THAT SENSIBILITY.

Homes says I THINK IT
IS A BUNCH OF THINGS.
I THINK THAT ONE OF THE THINGS
IS THE CLASSIC SENSE THAT A
SUBURB WAS A SYMBOL OF SUCCESS
IN AMERICA.
YOU MOVED YOUR FAMILY FROM THE
CITY TO THE SUBURB AND THEN IT
BECAME ABOUT ACQUIRING
POSSESSIONS.
SO YOU HAD A BIGGER HOUSE, A
FENCE ACCIDENT A CERTAIN KIND
OF YARD, CERTAIN KIND OF CAR,
CERTAIN NUMBER OF CHILDREN AND
CERTAIN KIND OF PETS.
I THINK THAT THE OTHER THING
THAT HAPPENS IN THE SUBURBS
FOR A WRITER IS THAT THINGS ARE
THROWN INTO, SO, YOU SEE A
PERSON LEAVE THEIR HOUSE VERY
CLEARLY AND GET IN THE CAR AND
DRIVE AND MUCH DIFFERENT THAN
WRITING ABOUT THE CITY.
THINGS ARE ISOLATED.
AN ACTION IS ISOLATED AND DRAMA
SO I LIKE THAT.
AND BEYOND THAT.
AND I ACTUALLY LIKE SUBURBS.
EVERYONE IS SO ANTISUBURB. I
THINK THEY ARE KIND OF GREAT
BUT THAT'S JUST ME.

Tina says AND THERE IS A WONDERFUL STORY
ABOUT THE REAGANS CALLED THE
FORMER FIRST LADY AND THE
FOOTBALL HERO, RIGHT?
AND -- YOU FEEL YOUR ARE INSIDE THEIR
HOME.

Homes says YOU ARE INSIDE
THEIR HOME.

Tina says ESPECIALLY WITH NANCY.
THE BICYCLE AND HER 90 POUND
BODY GOES ON THE CYCLES FOR
THREE HOURS.
AND WHY DID YOU WANT TO WRITE
THAT STORY?

Homes says WELL
IT WAS FOR ME,
AND PULL THINGS OUT OF THE
CULTURE.
IT I WAS VERY INTERESTED AND
ONE WAY OR ANOTHER
ALZHEIMER'S, I THINK IS A
FASCINATING DISEASE AND A
DISEASE THAT WE MAY ACTUALLY
HAVE A CULTURE.
SOY OTHER OF HAVE THE SENSE WE
DON'T WANT TO REMEMBER THINGS,
WHETHER IT IS SOMEBODY'S
POLITICAL HISTORY OR -- IF YOU
REMEMBER, YOU HAVE TO TAKE
RESPONSIBILITY AND I THINK
THAT ESPECIALLY IN AMERICA
RIGHT NOW WE'RE HAPPIER JUST
TO FORGET THINGS, WE FORGOT
THAT HE 'EM BEZED ALL THAT
MONEY.
IT IS JUST EASIER AND I THINK
THAT IS A PROBLEM.
SO WANTED TO WRITE ABOUT THAT
AND THE THEN THE REAGAN'S
FASCINATED ME AS A POLITICAL
COUPLE GIVEN THE PROGRESSION OF
RONALD REAGAN FROM LIFE GUARD
TO GE SPOKES PERSON TO
GOVERNOR OF -- ACTOR, THEN
GOVERNOR AND THEN PRESIDENT
WHICH IS A WILD KIND OF THING
AND THE SIMILAR EVAPORATING OF
THAT POLITICAL LIFE AND
POLITICAL CAREER PROBABLY
WHILE IN OFFICE, REGARDLESS OF
WHAT I THINK OF HIM
POLITICALLY I FOUND THAT
RIVETING.
I THOUGHT IF I'M GOING TO
WRITE ABOUT AN ACTUAL PERSON
WHICH IS NOT SOMETHING I
NORMALLY DO, I BETTER DO A LOT
OF RESEARCH AND I BETTER KNOW
HOW THEY LIVE AND WHAT THAT
MEANS TO THEM.
SO I READ EVERYTHING FROM
RONALD REAGAN'S FIRST AUTO
BIOGRAPHY IN 1961 CALLED
WHERE'S THE REST OF ME?

Tina laughs.

Homes continues SO PAINFULLY, TO THINGS
LIKE KITTY KELLY TRASHY
BIOGRAPHY AND THE BOOK WRITTEN
BY HER ASTROLOGER AND FOUND
THAT ENORMOUS MOUNT OF FACTS,
THE DOOR SHERRY DID INTRODUCE
THEM.
THEY REALLY DID LIKE TO ENTER
THEIR DINNER ON TRAYS IN
BEDROOM EARLY IN THE EVENING
AND CALL IT A NIGHT. IT WAS
ALL KINDS OF DETAILS THAT ARE
ACCURATE AND IT WAS IMPORTANT
TO ME ESPECIALLY ALSO IN
WRITING ABOUT THESE PEOPLE
THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE SUPPORTERS
OF THE REAGANS, NOT READING
THE STORY AND THINK I WAS
MAKING FUN OF THEM.
I THINK THAT WOULD BE TOO EASY
TO JUST WRITE A STORY THAT WAS
DARKLY COMIC ABOUT OH, ISN'T
FUNNY RONALD REAGAN HAS
ALZHEIMER'S AND IT IS NOT
FUNNY. IT'S HORRIBLE.
AND I FELT LIKE IF I WAS GOING
TO WRITE ABOUT THEM,
IT NEEDED TO BE COMPASSIONATE
AND ALSO REALLY CRAWL INSIDE
THAT EXPERIENCE.

Tina says IT IS, I THINK IT’S A COMPASIOMATE TAKE ON THE SITUATION
AND SPECIALLY WITH REGARD TO
NANCY REAGAN AND YOU ARE
RIGHT.
IT IS EASY TO MAKE FUN.
THE ENDURING STARE AND ALL
THAT STUFF.
BUT THERE'S ONE LINE IN
PARTICULAR, I THINK WHERE YOU
SAY SHE THOUGHT THEY WOULD GET
THROUGH THIS LIKE THEY HAD
DONE EVERYTHING ELSE,
GOTTEN THROUGH THE CANCER, THE
ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT
AND SHE WAS GOING TO GET
THROUGH THIS.
AND HE WAS NOT THERE TO HELP
HER. THAT IS SAD.

Homes says IT'S
BRUTAL. THE HIGHEST COMPLIMENT
I RECEIVE FRIDAY THIS STORY
CAME IN WITH SOMEBODY THE OTHER DAY.
ARE YOU THE PERSON
THAT WROTE THE REAGAN STORY
AND I SAID YEAH.
ED READ IT AND SAID HOW DID
THIS WOMAN KNOW ALL THAT. IT'S
ALL TRUE.
IT'S ALL INCREDIBLY TRUE AND
ONLY VERY FEW OF US HAVE SEEN
HIM AND I DONT KNOW HOW SHE
KNEW IT ALL. THAT TO ME WAS
LIKE THE HIGHEST COMPLIMENT.
SOMEBODY INSIDE THAT INNER
CIRCLE TALKING ABOUT IT.

Tina says WELL IT'S A WONDERFUL STORY
AND YOU DO FEEL LIKE YOU ARE
IN THE LIVING ROOM WITH THEM.
YOU, I THINK ALSO TEACH
WRITING AND I THINK YOU HAVE
SAID, ABOUT YOURSELF, YOU ARE
A BIG FAT LIAR.
I HOPE MEANING THAT YOU KNOW,
YOU HAVE A WILD IMAGINATION.

Homes laughs.

Homes says YES.
I THINK THAT ONE OF THE
THINGS, I THINK WHEN I SAY
THAT, I AM TRYING TO EXPLAIN
THAT, IN WRITING FICTION, YOU
REALLY ARE, PULLING THINGS OUT
OF THE ETHER AND MAKING UP
STORIES, YOU ARE MAKING UP
THINGS OR EXAGGERATING THINGS
AND I THINK IT REALLY IS
IMPORTANT TO TEACH YOUNGER
WRITERS HOW TO ENGAGE THAT
IMAGINATION, HOW TO PUSH AT
WHAT IS REAL AND WHAT IS NOT
REAL AND THE ONE OF THE FIRST
STORES.
THE CHINESE LESSON IS ABOUT A
CHINESE, OLDER CHINESE WOMAN
THAT COMES TO LIVE WITH HER
CHINESE DAUGHTER AND WHITE
HUSBAND AND SHE HAS A CHIP
IMPLANTED IN HER -- A GLOBAL
POSITIONING CHIP TO FIND HER
IF SHE WANDERS OFF.

Tina says YOU SAY THAT IF THAT WAS
THE MOST NORMAL THING.

Homes says EXACTLY. WHEN I WROTE THAT
STORE, PROBABLY TWO YEARS AGO
AND I SHOWED PEOPLE, THEY SAID
YOU CAN'T DO THAT.
I CAN'T DO WHAT?
YOU CAN'T PUT A CHIP IN
SOMEBODY. SURE YOU CAN.
WHY NOT?
AND SURE ENOUGH, YOU KNOW,
PROBABLY A MONTH AGO ON THE
EVENING NEWS, THERE WAS A
STORY ABOUT THIS MAN HAVING A
CHIP IMPLANTED BETWEEN HIS
SHOULDER BLADES TO FIND HIM
AND TO ME, THAT WAS SIMULTANEOUSLY
A LEAP OF THE IMAGINATION BUT
ALSO DRAWING ON WHAT IS TECHNOLOGICALLY
REAL AND COMBINE THE
IMAGINATION WITH WHAT IS GOING
TO BE POSSIBLE.
AND THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO
ME, TO NOT JUST WRITE THINGS
THAT ARE COMPLETELY OFF THE
WALL BUT I THINK THAT, BOTH,
YOU GET TO BE A BIG FAT LIAR
AND GO CRAZY.
AND BE FUNCTIONALLY SCHIZOPHRENIC
THEN COME OUT OF AT
NIGHT AND GO OUT TO DINNER AND
HOPEFULLY SEEM NORMAL.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, the book appears briefly. The cover features a dog with a lamp’s head sitting on the floor.

Tina says THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
BY AM HOMES IS PUBLISHED BY
HARPER COLLINS.
THE MEDIA IS THE MESSAGE
AND THE GLOBAL VILLAGE.
THOSE WERE THE CATCH PHRASES
THAT MAKE MARSHALL MCLUHAN THE GURU OF THE
INFORMATION AGE.
THE GUY WHO PREDICTED THE
IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY LONG
BEFORE WE HAD EVER HEARD OF
THE INTERNET. THIS WEEK A TV
ONTARIO, WE ARE CELEBRATING
THE LIFE AND WORK, WAS HE A
PROPHETIC GENIUS OR A QUIRKY
PROFESSOR WITH SOME SNAPPY ONE
LINERS?
TO FIND OUT, WE GO BACK TO THE
IMPRINT ARCADES FOR
REFLEXIONS FROM PEOPLE WHO
KNEW HIM, WORKED WITH HIM OR
SIMPLY INSPIRED BY HIS IDEAS.

In an old clip, Marshall gives an interview. He’s in his sixties, with a moustache and receding gray hair.

Marshall says IN THE ELECTRONIC AGE, IT IS
NO LONGER A DREAM, THE
POSSIBILITY OF TUNING OR
PROGRAMMING THE ENTIRE
UNIVERSE.
IT IS HERE. WE CAN DO IT.

The caption changes to "Liss Jeffrey. MXTV Museum, Rom." Liss is in her forties, with short brown hair and bangs.

Liss says HE DID NOT PLAY BY CONVENTIONAL
SCHOLARLY RULES.
HE WAS A ROGUE SCHOLAR IN THAT
SENSE. HE HAD THE CAMBRIDGE
PHD. HE HAD WRITTEN BOOKS AND
HE WAS OBVIOUSLY A VERY
INTELLIGENT MAN.
BUT WHAT HE DID WAS OUTRAGEOUS.
HE BROUGHT POPULAR CULTURE
INTO THE UNIVERSITY.
HE TALKED ABOUT DESPISED
SUBJECTS LIKE TELEVISION, LIKE
NEWSPAPERS, LIKE THE MEDIA.
NOT ONLY THAT, HE FOUND THEM
IMPORTANT.

The caption changes to "Derrick de Kerckhove. McLuhan Centre. University of Toronto." Derrick is in his sixties, with curly hair and clean-shaven.

Derrick says HE CERTAINLY WAS THE FIRST TO
ANALYZE THE DEBATE BETWEEN
KENNEDY AND NIXON IN A WAY
THAT NOBODY HAD AND NOBODY
EVER LOOKED BACK, THE THINGS
WENT THROUGH BUSH AND BEYOND
REAGAN. SO, A LOT THE PEOPLE
WHO WERE INTO THE THICK OF
THINGS NTHE NOW AS PEKT OF
LIFE, WERE PAYING ATTENTION TO
HIM. ALL OF THE PEOPLE DEEP IN
THE PAST, ALL OF THE PEOPLE
LOST INTO THEIR SPECIALTY PAID
NO ATTENTION TO HIM WHATSOVER, AND
TRIED TO SWEEP HIM UNDER THE
CARPET WHEN HE DIED AND NOW
HE'S BACK AND HE'S MEAN, YOU
KNOW.

He laughs.

The caption changes to "1972."

In the old television interview, Marshall says ONE OF THE BIG VIOLENCE MAKERS
OF OUR CENTURY HAS BEEN RADIO.
HITLER WAS ENTIRELY A RADIO
MAN AND A TRIBAL MAN.

A male TV presenter says AND WHAT IS TELEVISION DO
THEN TO THAT TRIBAL MAN?

Marshall says I DON'T THINK HITLER WOULD
HAVE LASTED LONG ON
TELEVISION.
LIKE MCCARTHY, HE WOULD
HAVE LOOKED FOOLISH.

Derrick says I SAW THIS MAN TALK, SAYING
THINGS I DID NOT UNDERSTAND AT
ALL, BUT ALL SEEMED TO BE
QUITE INTERESTING.
YOU KNOW, SOMETIME ITS IS LIKE
A MOVIE. YOU GO TO SEE A MOVIE
YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND AND YOU
LIKE THE PICTURE.
HE WAS FUNNY. HE NEVER SAID
ANYTHING WITHOUT MAKING A PUN
OR A JOKE. SO THAT WAS KIND OF
IMPORTANT, TOO.

A clip from a 1979 TV program plays.

Speaking to a group of people, Marshall says ANY FORM OF COMMUNICATION
IS A KIND OF DISTORTION AND
THE GOOD TEACHER HAS TO BE A
HAM.

A man in his sixties says SHAME, SHAME.

Marshall says ONLY PUT --

The man in his sixties says A PROFESSIONAL SECRET.

The man in his sixties laughs.

Marshall continues EXACTLY.
HE CAN ONLY PUT ON HIS
AUDIENCE BY HAMING.
REMEMBER THAT ONE LINER IN THE
GLOBAL NOT TOO LONG AGO,
SCHOOL FOR ADVERTISEMENT --
THEATRE SCHOOL, HAMS.
LIKE ADVERTISING TO GET RID OF
THEATRE.

The clip ends.

Liss says THERE IS A FAMOUS STORY OF
HIM SPEAKING TO A GROUP OF
AMERICAN ACADEMICS AND AT THE
END OF HIS TALK WHICH WAS ALL
OVER THE MAP AND TRYING OUT
IDEAS, AT THE END OF HIS TALK
THE FAMOUS ROBERT MURTON GOT
UP AND SAID, WAS BASICALLY
SPUTTERING SAYING BUT
PROFESSOR, I HARDLY KNOW WHERE
TO BEGIN AND HE AT THE FRONT
OF THE ROOM LOOKED AT HIM AND
SAID, YOU DON'T LIKE THOSE
INSIGHTS, I HAVE GOT MORE.
THE AMERICAN ACADEMICS HATED
HIM FOR THIS.
HE WOULDN'T BE RESPECTFUL.
WELL, HE WAS WASN'T RESPECTFUL
BECAUSE HE THOUGHT A GREAT
DEAL HAD BEEN MISED AND I
THINK THAT HE WAS DEAD RIGHT.

The caption changes to "Robert Fulford. Writer/Journalist." Robert sits by a library. He’s is in his sixties, clean-shaven with receding gray hair.

Robert says THE STRANGE THING ABOUT
MARSHAL IS THAT HE CAME OUT OF
THE ACADEMIC TRADITION AND YET
HE WAS TOTALLY UNACADEMIC.
EVERYTHING YOU CAN DESCRIBE AS
ACADEMIC, THAT WAS WHAT
MARSHAL WAS NOT.
THAT IS TO SAY METHODICAL,
CAREFUL, WORRIED ABOUT ONE'S
SOURCES, PERHAPS HE COULDN'T
HAVE COME UP WITH ALL OF THOSE
IDEAS HE CAME UP WITH.
AND UNLESS HE HAD BEEN THIS
IMPATIENT SORT OF THROWING
OUT SORT OF -- PERHAPS MORE
METHODICAL PERSON COULDN'T
HAVE MADE THOSE LEAPS I FIND
SO ATTRACTIVE IN REREADING HIS
WORK.

A clip from a 1972 interview plays.

Marshall says TELEVISION ITSELF IS A KIND
OF HAPPENING, TECHNICALLY, AND
IT TENDS TO INVOLVE PEOPLE IN
ITS OWN VORTEX.

Robert says I THINK PEOPLE USED TO
WONDER, HOW DOES HE GET AWAY
WITH IT. HOW CAN YOU BE SO
OFFHAND.
WELL, THE ANSWER IS THAT HE --
FIRST OF ALL. HE WAS
BRILLIANT.
HE WAS ORIGINAL AND PEOPLE
WILL FORGIVE A LOT FOR
BRILLIANCE AND ORIGINALITY, AND
PEOPLE WILL FORGIVE EVEN MORE
IF THEY REALIZE THAT THEY'RE
THINKING ALONG MORE
INTERESTING LINES THAN THEY
WERE WHEN THEY FIRST HEARD HIS
WORK.

A slate reads "What if he is right? Tom Wolfe."

Dennis says FOR ME, IT WAS THE -- IF THE
MEDIUM A MESSAGE, THE USER IS
THE CONTENT AND THE MEDIUM IS
THE MESSAGE REMAINS PRETTY
WELL STANDARD FARE FOR MOST
PEOPLE WHO START LOOKING INTO
MEDIA.

A TV screen reads "The whole world is watching."

Dennis continues IF YOU KNOW THE
STRUCTURE OF THE MEDIUM, YOU
KNOW SOMETHING FUNDAMENTAL
ABOUT THE CULTURE THAT THEY
OCCUPY.

The caption changes to "Philip Marchand. The Medium and the Messenger." Philip sits in a living room. He’s in his fifties, with a white beard and gray hair.

Philip says I TEND TO THINK THAT
THESE ARE MORE IN THE NATURE
OF ADVERTISING SLOGANS OR COME
ONS TO TRY TO TWEAK PEOPLE'S
CURIOUSITY AND SAY WHAT THE
HELL DOES THAT MEAN?
AND THEN YOU READ MORE AND
YOU KNOW, HE DELIVERS MORE
COME OS OF THIS NATURE AND IT
IS AN ENDLESS PROCESS OF
TRYING TO STIMULATE PEOPLE TO
LOOK AT THEIR ENVIRONMENT IN A
NEW WAY.

The slate changes to "The Mechanical Bride: Folklore of Industrial Man. First book published in 1951."

Philip continues HE WAS VERY DISAPPOINTED IN
THE REACTION TO THE MECHANICAL
BRIDE BUT IT DIDN'T SELL AND
IT WAS NOT REVIEWED WIDELY AT
ALL.
IT JUST SEEMED TO SING WITHOUT
A TRACE.
AND SO THAT WAS -- THAT WAS
REALLY A HARD THING FOR HIM TO
ACCEPT THAT THIS BOOK HE HAD
WORKED ON FOR SO LONG JUST
SIMPLY DIDN'T SEEM TO REGISTER
AT ALL.

The slate changes to "The Guttenberg Galaxy. Published in 1962."

Philip continues THE GUTTENBERG GALAXY
AND IT SEEMED TO BE OFFERING A
NEW THEORY OF CULTURE.
FINALLY PEOPLE BEGAN TO SIT UP
AND TAKE NOISE NOTICE.

A black and white TV clip plays. The caption changes to "1979."

A man with white hair says AND JOINING IN THE ACT.

Marshall says JOINING THE ACT IS BEING
MANIPULATED.

The man with white hair says WHY?
YOU ARE PART OF THE
MANIPULATION.

Marshall says SURE, YOU
ARE --

The man with white hair says PART OF THE ACTION.

Marshall says YOU ARE PERFORMING
ACCORDING TO THAT PARTICULAR.

The man with white hair says DOING IT DELIBERATELY.

A man in his sixties says ANYBODY KNOW WHAT'S GOING
ON HERE?

[laughter]

The TV clip ends.

Robert says DID I UNDERSTAND AN
ENTIRELY?
ABSOLUTELY NOT. I DON'T BEING
ANYBODY DID.
I DON'T HE UNDERSTOOD HIMSELF.
WE USED TO SAY IN TRYING TO
TALK ABOUT HIM.
HE IS MORE LIKE A POET. YOU DON'T
EXPECT A POET TO BE ABLE TO
EXPLAIN EVERY LINE TO YOU, YOU
KNOW, USUALLY DON'T EVEN HAVE
THE NERVE TO ASK HIM WHAT THE
LINE MEANS, IT MEANS SOMETHING
TO YOU OR IT DOESN'T MEAN
SOMETHING TO YOU.
AND THAT'S POETRY.

In an old TV interview, Marshall says BY THE WAY, AT THIS MOMENT, WE
ARE ON THE AIR AND WE ARE ON
THE AIR, WE DO NOT HAVE ANY
PHYSICAL BODY, WHEN YOU ARE ON
THE TELEPHONE OR ON RADIO OR
ON TV, YOU DON'T HAVE A
PHYSICAL BODY, YOU ARE JUST AN
IMAGE ON THE AIR.
DEAD WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A
PHYSICAL BODY, YOU ARE IN
DISCOUNTED BEING AND YOU HAVE
A VERY DIFFERENT RELATION TO
THE WORLD AROUND YOU.
AND THIS, I THINK, HAS BEEN
ONE OF THE BIG EFFECTS OF THE
ELECTION DAYS.
AND IT HAS DEPRIVED PEOPLE
REALLY OF THEIR PRIVATE ENTITY.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, Tina says AND
THAT’S A WRAP FOR THIS EDITION.
IF YOU ARE CURIUOS ABOUT ANY
OF THE BOOKS ON TONIGHT’S SHOW,
YOU CAN LOG ON TO OUR WEBSITE.
I’M TINA SREBOTNJAK, I HOPE
TO SEE YOU NEXTWEEK.

Theme music plays as the end credits roll.

Special thanks International Festival of Authors. Lava Lounge. Original’s Santa Fe Saloom. On Campus with Marshall McLuhan, c. University of Toronto 1979.

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

E-mail: imprint@tvo.org.

Website: www.tvo.org

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2002, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Imprint season 14 episode 11