This Week's Guest: Dave Holmes
My guest this week is Dave Holmes, who you might know from the podcast International Waters, or his articles in Esquire, or his book Party of One. I first saw Dave on MTV, in a proto-reality show competition to become a VJ back in the late 90s. On screen, it was clear that Dave was the most qualified, most knowledgable, and most engaging contestant, with an encyclopedia knowledge of music and an infectious passion for talking about it. But what nobody who was watching could know was that for Dave, entering that competition was an urgent bid to change the course of his life before he went absolutely crazy.
This Week's Recommendation: Mame
Thanks again to Dave for joining me. Check out his podcast International Waters, and his book, Party of One, now out in Paperback. The book's a memoir, structured around 21 songs that were pivotal in his adventuresome life. And as he mentioned, those adventures nearly didn't happen, since he grew up believing that his passion for art and culture and expression was something that had to be put away as an adult.
For my recommendation this week, take a look at the movie Auntie Mame with Rosalind Russell, later remade with Lucille Ball. I think the original non-musical version is more fun, but the important thing is the message of both -- that famous line, "life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death."
Mame is a flamboyant New York socialite, the kind of woman who knows where every good party is happening because she's it's not a good party unless she's there. Her nephew Patrick is tragically conventional, and the story unfolds we see Mame's indomitable spirit gradually overtake Patrick's cringing conventionality, singlehandedly stoking the family's optimism and excitement for adventures that might lay ahead.
Like Peter Pan or Puff the Magic Dragon, Mame's a guardian to a world of imagination and curiosity. But unlike them, she doesn't shut the door to that world when you reach a certain age. Life doesn't have to stop being a banquet when you become an adult. And even through growing up does require some measure of responsibility, growing up doesn't have to mean giving up.