HOST EVADES VICOUS MORLOCHS TO MAKE IMPORTANT INTERVIEW
Since 2005, JAMES EVAN PILATO has served up news, commentary and loads of music from his stacks of wax, plastic and tape. James currently hosts the programs Morning Monarchy, Pump Up Tha Volume, and New World Next Week live from his stronghold. Read Flip City's interview with the Media Monarchy in Issue 12 and catch James at www.MEDIAMONARCHY.com
FC: Between vinyl, VHS, DVD, cassette, 8-track and print, how much space have you dedicated to physical archiving?
JEP: It’s gotten bonkers. We moved here to Santa Fe just over four years ago, and moving everything then and adding to it since then. It’s probably a thousand some records, thousands of magazines and comic books, which would probably be a quick second to G.I. Joe. Comic books was a pretty close move in the mid-'80’s. I do have some 8-track tapes, they’re the worst format ever. The play head would always fall off and not make contact with the tape. They always sucked.
What kind of comics would you collect? Were you a super hero guy?
Oh, of course. And literally G.I. Joe. MARVEL basically had G.I. Joe, and the Star Wars license which they do again to this day. Probably like the licensed things, like the storybook on 45 and tape as a little kid. You know when you hear this sound - doo-di-la-deet, it’s time to turn the page! Indiana Jones and Star Wars, those sorts of things were the ones I was interested in. So whether it was comic books or records, it was always that kind of stuff. It wasn’t rock-n-roll because I wasn’t really allowed to be into that, because I had a Christian upbringing. That’s the whole hilarious irony of conservative Christianity sometimes. It’s like war and violence and stuff, oh it’s super great, but if it has anything to do with sex or rock music...
James, why do we need stuff anymore when the internet contains everything?
I talk about that all the time with my buddy I refer to on the show as Alexa friend. He’s a real longtime, like 25-plus year legitimate great buddy; like, I was in his wedding. We are real friends. He’s not a made-up thing that I talk about on the air to bust on something. Not that he was very much into collecting like I was, and we lived together a bunch in college. He’s very anti-stuff. Doesn’t want stuff. Even times that I would try to, I’d ask can I get you something for your birthday or Christmas?; he’s all, oh god, no don't get me that box set. I won’t even be able to play that. But you love that band. I don’t want stuff. But of course he’s heard me say it’s very easy to have the internet disappear things. Even without nefarious actions it can sometimes be hard enough to keep things archived and keep track of things online. Hard drives fail, websites don’t get paid for. Things do kind of disappear because of the nature of people. There’s a great story years back where Amazon removed copies of Orwell's 1984 that people had purchased from their devices; they said it was over some kind of licensing issue. I’m sure they have probably done that with other purchases of widgets or whatever. Essentially Amazon memory holes copies of 1984 from people readers. To me, that’s the best example of what could happen, it’s just a very meta story that is funny but very illustrative.
Do you visualize in your nightmares a future where all human culture is digitized, uploaded, and then someone pulls the plug?
I mean to some degree yeah. The first thing that popped into my head when you started to ask that was the 1960s movie The Time Machine that has the pretty blond Elois that just laze around above earth and eat grapes and the Morlocks down below are the ones that keep the gears turning. He goes back in time and asks them about their library and one of them is like, oh yeah, I think I know...it’s almost like Idiocracy. Oh yeah, a time machine, it's at the Costco I think. So, he gets them to take him to the library and he picks up the books and they literally crumble and fall apart into dust because they didn’t take care of them for millennia. So they had these physical things and they didn’t take care of them and still lost that knowledge. Even more than wanting to think about the nightmare of that scenario, I prefer to fantasize about my own scenario of having a big place where I’ve collected all my media, that essentially becomes some sort of library. Some sort of future library that’s a membership-based thing. That’s probably more what I fantasize about - while everybody outside might be wandering around looking at limited versions of things on their devices, here in the Monarchy Castle it’s got all the books and records. ..