Cantankerous Episode #13: Dummy Wallet

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It looks like we’ve set a new record! It’s been almost EIGHT MONTHS since our last episode of Cantankerous (well, technically there’s a lost episode in there somewhere) and boy are we back with a bang! In this episode (number 13 for those keeping track), Reed shares his regrets in not pursuing a career in the arts, his slow descent into reclusion, and his reasoning for carrying a ‘dummy wallet’ when walking the streets of Thorold, Ontario at night. Reed also plays the role of raconteur, attempting to improvise a story on the spot in a desperate attempt to prove his inability to spin an engaging yarn. Thankfully, he totally redeems himself by sharing some lurid details surrounding a recent correspondence with a female pen pal, leading to a debate as to whether or not including the word ‘hello’ in an email subject line will make it through the spam filter. Finally, we open the show up to your Twitter questions, resulting in a half hour confrontation as Reed attempts to explain why he chose not to travel to the Big Apple to attend the world premiere of Jay’s first feature documentary (and visit with some of his Film Junk fans). It’s a cathartic, honest discussion that will leave you feeling like you’re listening in on something you shouldn’t be. So sit back and enjoy another fun-filled episode of your favourite oct-monthly podcast, Cantankerous!!

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  • rot

    I would say Greenberg is about as unromantic as it gets, but if you mean that they made a movie that focuses on this characteristic, sure… it’s nice out of the bazillion films that come out that they throw us a bone and give us something closer in proximity to the misanthrope characteristic we identify with, then, I don’t know, Al Pacino hoohawing through Scent of a Woman.

  • I get really annoyed by miserable people who proclaim themselves the ‘real life Larry David’ as though we should all find their misanthropic musings inherently charming or funny. It’s this self-romanticizing that somehow excuses their behaviour and allows it to go on and on and get worse and worse. It’s obnoxious to everyone but themselves. THAT is narcissism.

    Larry David is a comedian. For someone to claim they’re the real life Larry David simply because they’re an asshole is a disservice to the career of Larry David.

  • rot

    um, if that is directed at me: self-romanticizing or trying to articulate a characteristic for the sake of brevity and convenience? If you compared your style of filmmaking to Errol Morris I wouldn’t call that self-romanticizing, I would say that is trying to pinpoint in words however crudely what you do.

    But on Larry David being a comedian doesn’t give him ownership of a characteristic, he is just a highly visible misanthrope. I am not nearly as charming and funny as he is, but then I am not bald either and I didn’t write Seinfeld. Well-observed.

  • Wow, rot, you really do understand me, for the most part.

    Someone mentioned that I would like the movie Greenberg. Hopefully, I’ll find it in a bargain bin eventually.

    With regards to what Jay said about him perceiving me having no intention in going to NYC, I want to say that I would have gone to NYC if I felt a need to go, or if I felt I would have had a good time. I understand that perhaps, as a friend, I should have said “Yes” immediately, and worked around any issues that came up. For whatever quirks in personality I may have, I’m the type of person who generally makes a mental pro/con list before making a decision. I even thought about showing up in NYC and surprising Jay, but then I thought that might be narcissistic of me to think that he would take pleasure in having me show up there unexpectedly.

    As an addendum to some of what rot said, I am finding that the more I live in “isolation,” the more annoyed I get at having to do little things that many people do everyday of their lives.

  • “With regards to what Jay said about him perceiving me having no intention in going to NYC, I want to say that I would have gone to NYC if I felt a need to go, or if I felt I would have had a good time.”

    This doesn’t make sense. I PERCEIVED you having no intentions? You just admitted in this statement that you DIDN’T have intentions because you felt you had no need to go and wouldn’t have fun. No?

  • auraldissonance

    I just want to say that I hope Reed really knows what good friends he has in Jay and Sean, both of whom seem to go rather far out of their way to include him in the podcasts and what sounds like real life stuff as well.

    I have personally lost several friends due to some of my own antisocial idiosyncrasies in the past. Especially with regards to not showing up places I’ve been invited or important events.

    I don’t know what Reed is truly like in reality, so I won’t presume to give him advice on how to handle his own foibles.

    I will say that *I* make the effort now to do things with friends more often and make myself more available, even if it’s something that might make me uncomfortable. Often it IS a huge effort, and I still backslide from time to time, but in the end it all usually turns out far more fun than my crazy brain expected.

    Take from that what you will.

  • In the tradition of the amateur psychology going on in this comments thread, here are some interesting points on Compensatory Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

    – SEEKS TO UNDO FEELINGS OF INADEQUACY BY FORCING EVERYONE’S ATTENTION UPON HIMSELF OR HERSELF.

    – Seeks to create an illusion of superiority and to build up an image of high self-worth.

    – Has disturbances in the capacity for empathy.

    – Strives for recognition and prestige to compensate for the lack of a feeling of self-worth.

    – May acquire a deprecatory attitude in which the achievements of others are ridiculed and degraded.

    – Has persistent aspirations for glory and status.

    – Covers up a sense of inadequacy and deficiency with pseudo-arrogance and pseudo-grandiosity.

    – Alternates between feelings of emptiness and deadness and states of excitement and excess energy.

    – Entertains fantasies of greatness, constantly striving for perfection, genius, or stardom.

    – Frequently entertains a wishful, exaggerated, and unrealistic concept of himself or herself which he or she can’t possibly measure up to.

    – Produces (too quickly) work not up to the level of his or her abilities because of an overwhelmingly strong need for the immediate gratification of success.

    – Suffers regularly from repetitive oscillations of self-esteem.

    – May react with self-contempt and depression to the lack of fulfillment of his or her grandiose expectations.

  • rot

    Reed, You can get Greenberg for $7.99 at Blockbusters, at least in Toronto.

    I do want to clarify one thing, after Jay’s last comment and dropping the “N” word.

    There are (at least) two kinds of narcissism, the one preoccupied with yourself but not without insecurities, doubts, some humility, and the one where you think you are the shit and everyone is stupid not to be cowering before you. I think of myself as part of the first category. I have opinions I think I am right about and willing to debate them, I think for the most part I am following a path that works but is by no means THE ONLY PATH, and my interests interest me. That said I am vocal about what I think, or at least in the right company. This kind of narcissism I see as good, I prefer the people that speak their minds candidly, like Jay and Reed, than the kind that parrots what others say, or tries hard not to offend. Life is so boring, the monotony of 90% of the automaton interactions we have in the world, that it is a relief when someone, irrespective of their opinion, can be narcissistic and speak their mind without fear of reproach.

  • Either way, this sort of conversation is the desired response to this podcast (or at least this episode). It’s unfortunate that someone might write it off as a ‘downer’ or an ‘attack’.

  • rot

    narcissist in that you are preoccupied with yourself, as in the mythological character it gets its name from.

    Clinical psychology works from arbitrary normatives that satisfy the ‘narcissism’ of its theorists. It is ‘official’ bullshit. But as a story, sure, sounds like Reed.

  • rot

    It is weird because I find Jay and Sean hold back in Cantankerous, that Reed leaves a lot of opportunities for attack, far more than they take, so my read on it is they are being pretty decent. Far from a downer, I find it funny and at times, insightful.

  • I should start a Compensatory Narcissistic Personality Disorder Anonymous club. I think I have all the aspects that Jay listed.

    Hmm… I think I’m having a real communication problem with Jay. I did not decide to not go and then continue a charade of please keep me in the loop as a joke. I wanted to be kept in the loop so that maybe something might come up to make me decide to go. I felt that this was the type of decision that could be made at the last minute.

    auraldissonance, I hear you.

  • Great episode, and great comments as well. As Jay says at the top of the page, it definitely feels like something you’re listening in on that you’re not supposed to be. Where else are you going to find such honest and real conversation in podcast form?

  • Daniel

    “something might come up to make me decide to go”

    It was the premiere of your friend’s documentary. In New York. What else would ‘come up’ to make you go?

  • Tough question for me, Daniel. Offhand, I can’t think of anything that would have made me want to go. I’ve just been deciding to choose the path of least resistance. Maybe that’s why monks live only with the company of other monks.

  • Erik from Germany

    get a new one up please!!!