The time Pulitzer winner Dave Barry told the boss to fire me

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Click to hear
the full interview.
Of all the Pulitzer Prize winners I interviewed in my almost nine years at WNUA-FM, boogerphiliac columnist Dave Barry holds the record for most visits: Three.

So you know I like talking to him.

Our third session, in 1996, as he was promoting his book Dave Barry in Cyberspacewas memorable for lots of reasons, including:

* His funny tour of our station's then-diverse array of computers. ("DOS basically just is there to say, 'Go ahead and try to figure out how to work me.'" "Apple computers … are for your wussy, artistic, heroin-addict type of individual Communist.")

* His computer-buying advice for cyberstuds: "Go to the salesperson … and say, 'How much RAM does this have?' And, whatever he tells you … say, 'I'm going to need more RAM than that.'"

* His suggestion my boss fire mesomething that came to pass less than two years later. (I have no evidence Dave was responsible. But, if he was, I owe him thanks for the push to make my professional leap into, yes … cyberspace.)

So let's return to a time when AOL chat rooms were the rage. ("Chat with people from all over America, and find out what they have to say. Not much, as it turns out.")

Here's my cyberspace interview with Dave Barry.

And, while we're diving into the archives, here are the previous two Barry-Meyerson sessions, including…
  • Our first encounter, in 1992, when he was promoting Dave Barry Does Japan and talked about the burdens of winning a Pulitzer; his presidential campaign; and his distinctive approach to grammar, typography and punctuation. ("I want it to look like a raving lunatic is writing.")

  • And a 1993 interview touting the paperback edition of the same book ("This weighs less, but it has fewer typographical errors … and … has a cover in which I look … even stupider") and describing the weirdness of having his work turned into a then-new TV show, "Dave's World."
Thanks for the memories, Dave.

Related listening: My interview with the author who first published the word "cyberspace," William Gibsonbefore he had an email address.

And don't forget to sign up to get the latest from this blog by email.

Back when 'cyberspace' pioneer William Gibson didn't have an email address

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
William Gibson
(Credit: Frederic Poirot)
Click photo hear interview
Visionary science fiction author William Gibson is the guy who first published the word cyberspacein his groundbreaking novel Neuromancer.

He's the guy credited with coining the axiom "The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed" (which is what he says about 1:40 into this interview with me from 1993, only about two years after the internet had opened to the public).

But it's funny now to hear William Gibson explain he didn't have an email address, pleading a case of — and maybe thereby coining another phrase — "cyberagoraphobia."

(He's gotten over it. He now has a vibrant website and Twitter account, @GreatDismal.)

Here you go: A historic audio sitdown with a transformative writer — hearable here and now for the first time (by anyone but me, anyway) in almost a quarter-century.

Related listening: Greg Bear's 1994 vision of the future of cyberspace, the time Ray Bradbury told me he didn't believe in the Internet, and a funny sitdown with Monty Python's Terry Jones and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy creator Douglas Adams.

And don't miss what's next on this blog. Subscribe by email.

New Orleans + journalism + audio counsel from me

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Last chance to sign up cheap for this year's Excellence in Journalism 2016 (to its friends, #EIJ16) conference in New Orleans Sept. 17-20.

If you don't want to pay much steeper admission prices at the door, pre-conference registration ends Monday, Aug. 29.

Beyond the chance to meet and learn from accomplished journalists like Charlie Rose and inspirational "Spotlight" editor Marty Baron, #EIJ16 attendees will get a dose of my Murrow Award-winning and patented thoughts on radio and podcasting in a session called "Audio: It Doesn't Have To Be Hard."

Also, I'll be coordinating a team of seasoned pros offering resume and portfolio feedback to young (and/or old and aspiring) journalists. (Students get an additional discount.)

Follow #EIJ16 attendees on Twitter here.

Join 'em all. Come on down.