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I have a strange super-power. When I meet a bunch of random people, especially at parties or gigs, I sometimes am made instantly and overwhelmingly aware — I am talking seconds here — that someone in the crowd is very much worth my time. I have come to trust these intuitions, since many of these people have become important friends and colleagues, opening all manner of Doors to Fun. One of them is The Ungoogleable Michaelangelo, a multi-talented, psychedelicized, and exceptionally witty Dutch-American wordsmith with a great gift for impressions, puns, neologisms, and accents (one of his alters is the Scottish rapper Void Denizen). Michaelangelo I shared a stage years ago when we both dropped Ayahuasca Monologues (here is Michaelangelo’s, and here is mine). Though he has now (reasonably) fled California, I keep up with him and was very happy to appear on an episode of his podcast Self Portraits as Other People. We discussed language and the writing life, and I talked about a lot of stuff I hadn’t reflected on before, at least publicly. Here is Michaelangelo’s description of the show, which he called “Writing at the Crossroads” and he suggests you listen to with headphones:

This episode will be especially interesting for our fellow word-workers, but even if you don’t identify as a writer, we all, inevitably, work with words, whether we want to or not. It’s too late in the game to turn back, go mute, or become illiterate. This episode is a portrait of a writer at the crossroads, adapting to a changing media landscape, and the shifting mindfield that comes with it.