Episode 68 — David Rees


David Rees is the guest.  He’s the author of How to Sharpen Pencils, a practical and theoretical treatise on the artisanal craft of pencil sharpening, for writers, artists, contractors, flange turners, anglesmiths, and civil servants, with illustrations showing current practice, now available from Melville House. He is also the creator of the comic strip Get Your War On, which has appeared in the pages of Rolling Stone magazine.

Amy Sedaris on How to Sharpen Pencils:

Of all the great artisanal crafts, hat blocking, cobbling, and trolloping, I think I was most disheartened to see pencil sharpening relegated to the dusty bin of history.  That is why I am so thrilled David Rees is picking up the reins of the forgotten art of manual graphite-encased-in-wood point-crafting.  I love my pencil!

Topics of conversation include:  Hollywood Boulevard, Roosevelt Hotel, celebrity mummies, pitch meetings, Facebook, Scrabble, the visual beauty of phone numbers, Chapel Hill, Wisconsin, Manitowoc, cranes, America Club, Sheboygan, Porsche posters, Lamborghini Countach, bullying, Transformers 3, Michael Bay, American doom, Oberlin, Jesus and Mary Chain, physics class, pencils, social cohesion theory, learning your limits, feigning indifference, philosophy, Norman Care, Wittgenstein, how to live a good life, how to be a good person, how to honor the advantages you’ve been given by making sacrifices for the betterment of other people, losing religion, ethics, Kant, Minutemen, punk rock, Reagan, progressive Christianity, mastery, simplicity, complexity, Get Your War On, clip art, 9/11, George W. Bush, Soft Skull Press, the census, pencil sharpening, and the golden age of pencil use.

Monologue topics:  dreams, intruders, locking the door, bad sleep, prank calls, subconscious thought, and inescapable neurotic obsessions.