RD: Malls! Theme parks!
PF: Yeah, and late-night television. Sorry. But we all participate in these things, which are the only game in town for making a living in the culture industry.
PF: It’s got to be new, right? Nobody’s paying me to write my thoughts about software from 50 years ago.
RD: If they are, they’re expecting it to have some relevance now.
PF: It needs a hook, right?
PF: And it needs to connect. That is the world we participate in, and that is how the economy works around content. But ultimately, the pleasures in my life are, like, drifting through old radio. If I had a desert island pick, and it was between, I don’t know, a book of restoration poetry and five filing cabinets filled with old ads, I would take the ads. They’re just more exciting and weird.
RD: What I like about the term “ephemeralism” is that it’s a contradiction in terms, because the nature of something being ephemeral is that it does go away. To be an ephemeralist is to say, “No, it didn’t actually go away. I’ll observe it. I am giving lie to the idea that this was ephemeral.”
PF: That’s right. That’s what changes with the digital — all that ephemeral stuff. Spotify is a great example, my God. I listened to ... it gives you the stats. It was 80 or 90,000 minutes of music. Sometimes it’s garbage pop on repeat, but I just wrote a piece about going in and searching “Hitler” one day and then seeing who the related artists were. And it would be like Lindbergh, and I’m like, “Well, that actually makes sense.”