The Basement Lounge
The Basement Lounge

Season 1, Episode 24 · 3 years ago

My Favorite Famous Dead Person - EP #24


While we break for the holidays, I'm giving you guys a chance to get to know me a little better with some smaller episodes.

This week, I'm telling you about my favorite famous dead person, and why my reasons for being a fan aren't what you think they might be.

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Hello, this is Lady Sarah and you are listening to the Basement Lounge. Hey, guys, it's Mike Is. Wanted to let you know that I've once again been nominated for best local comedian in Dayton, Ohio, and right now you guys can vote for me by going to Daytoncom and clicking the best of Dayton banner. Vote for me, but the best comic of two thousand and nineteen here in Dickon, Ohio. I appreciate your vote and I'll see you guys soon. Hey, guys, this is Mike Shay and I want to talk to you about anchor. Yes, anchor is the brand new free way for you to get your podcast career off and running without any cost to you. Simply download the anchor APP or go to Anchor Dot FM to get started. Anger is the easiest way to make a podcast to give you everything you need in one place for free. You can use it right from your phone or your computer. Their creation tools allow you to record and edit your podcast so it sounds tolay magnifeek without having to worry about all the costly set up. They'll even distribe get your podcast for you so it can be heard everywhere. spotify, apple podcasts, Google podcast, stitcher, all of that, and you can easily make money from your podcast with no minimum listenership. They sent you up with awesome sponsors. All you got to do is record a script, kind of like what I'm doing now, throw it onto your show and start making money once again. Download the anchor APP or go to Anchor Dot FM and get your podcast career off and running right now. Just do it already. Hey, guys, this is Mike and Before we get the show started, I wanted to let you know that you can now join the basement lounge team by supporting the show on Patreon. Right now. We have a one dollar tier that is so full of cool rewards you'd be a fool to pass it up. Just go to Patreoncomlash Basement Lounge pod to sign up right away. And now on with the show. Grab a drink, pull up a chair and settle in, because you're in the basement lounge. Hey, what's going on, everybody? Welcome to another little filler break time episode of the Basement Lounge. Whatever the Hell Em Columnies, happy hour? I don't know. Would working on the working on the bar puns. What's going on? Guys on Mike, your host as always, and this week's kind of a weird episode. I pulled some ideas out of the pod decks, episode deck and it popped up with a really interesting topic talk about, and I thought this would be a fun one because the answer is a little cliche, but not for the reasons you might think. Today I'm going to be talking about my favorite famous dead person. I know it's weird, it's a little bit is are. You know, we always get asked that question. If you could, you know, invite someone, dead or alive, to dinner, who would it be? And my answer usually ends up being this person. I'm a huge fan of this person. I have a several...

...of their collected works. This person is a writer, was a writer, however you want to look at it. Very influential in a lot of the things that I myself have created, very influential a lot of the things that I'm a fan of and just all in all, kind of a fascinating person to read up on, because every time I read up on this person, I learned a little bit more about him that I didn't know the first time. And the person that I'm talking about is Edgar Allan Poe. Now, I know it's probably not a huge surprise. Oh go figure, the guy who likes heavy metals into Edgar Allan Poe because he's all about that Goth Shit. And now that that's true, like the gothic imagery and kind of just that general, you know, darkness that's associated with Edgar Allen Poe is what initially got me interested in and you know, I went through a goth the Gothy mo phase in high school, and who among US didn't? And it just you know, that's initially what got me into it. You know, of course, obviously in middle and high school you have that required reading of stuff like the tell tale heart and the cask of the Monteato, which I actually wrote like a really lengthy research paper about for a class at took in college. And it's it. Yeah, he's so. His work speaks for itself. It's creative, it's dark, it's menacing, it's different. But that's not why Edgar Allan Poe is my favorite famous dead person, and the reasons I'm going to give you are actually probably something you none of you, really knew. I myself didn't know this until a couple of years ago, and it it took a lot more research to really uncover what this meant. But the main reason I am such a fan of Edgar Allen Poe is because, believe it or not, Edgar Allen Poe was America's first professional writer. Now, I know that sounds a little off, but but bear with me, because I'm going to explain what I mean. Obviously there were writers long before Red Gar Allen Poe. That goes to that saying. But he was the first professional writer and what that means is he was the first person in the United States to make a living, not a wealthy living, but a living entirely from writing. Now let's in order to it's that really established that we got to talk about, like how how things were back then and how things were are now. So nowadays, let's say you become a published writer. Let's say I were to finish a novel and have it published and go into circulation. Well, you know, I obviously get money from the publisher for for you know, they pay me to write the book and to give them. They pay me for the book so they can publish it and distribute it. But there's also, you know, royalties we get. We I would get from from the book and that basically means that, you know, the once the money comes from all the book stores and gets back to the publisher, I would get a royalties, a cut basically of the money made...

...from those sales, and that's how writers kind of make regular paychecks as they publish a book and they get royalties. Musicians get the same too. May same thing to musicians get royalty checks from the music that they release through their record labels. They get a cut of what comes back. So that's how writers make a lot of their money. There's the finder's fees from publishers, there's the initial publishing fees and then there's the royalty checks. And you know, their books go out all over the world, so they get royalties from where their books are sold over in France or Italy or Spain or Russia or wherever else they're sold. That's where writers get their money from, along with, you know, other kinds of like sponsorships and, you know, getting their books option to buy Hollywood and things like that. But that's now. That's in two thousand and twenty. That's how that works now. Back when Edgar Allan Poe was writing and even long beforehand, that's not the way the world worked. There really was. There really weren't professional artists back then. That wasn't a thing. You couldn't make a living in the arts back then. Even to this day it's still pretty hard, except there's more ways to do it. But back when I gar Allan Poe was writing, that wasn't a thing. Royalty checks weren't a thing, mostly because there was no way to really track that shit back then. Nowadays, everything you know you've got. You've got the UPC codes and stuff like that and ways to track everything, and and and, you know, electronic digital systems. It's all trackable nowadays. Back of the eighteen hundred they didn't have that Shit. You didn't have that Shit. And here's the way that writing and getting paid to right back then basically worked. Anyone that we associate with as a as as as a writer, you know be at Ralph Vaanda Emerson or Robert Frost, or you know any of they. You you know Mark Twain, any of those guys. All of those guys had other jobs. You have to remember that Mark Twain owned a owned like a like a general store. A lot of them were farmers, storekeepers, shop owners, barbers politicians. They had other jobs and then they would do their writing on the side. They weren't professional writers, they did other Shit. What Made Edgar Allan Post so unique was that he made his entire living from writing. He didn't have other gigs. Now, he didn't make a wealthy living. I mean the guy basically just made enough money to pay his bills every month, but that all came from writing. Now, how he did that, how he was able to accomplish that was was a little complicated. He had to get a little creative with..., and this is what really speaks to the creative mind that was in Edgar Allan Poe, because he was able to see a way to do this that nobody else had at that time, because he was willing to do it. So the way it worked was he would write a poem or a short story and he would have that published in like the local paper or some local magazine, and he'd get paid anywhere from like five to ten dollars for each of his publications. Now, keep in mind back then five or ten dollars was a it was a nice little chunk of money. I mean back then a dollar was like a lot. If you had a dollar who look out so to get five or ten dollars. You know, a person could pay a lot of their bills with five or ten dollars. So he would write a poem or a short story and have it published in in a paper and you get paid for that and that would be pretty much all the money he would see for that particular piece of writing. It would probably get circulated to some other publications, get published in a national magazine. He might on occasion see a little bit of kickback for that if he was able to get it published directly. But pretty much once the thing was published and he got his his five or ten bucks, that was it. That was all you'd see. Now. Back in the day newspapers were kind of the all in one go to place for your entertainment. You know, they didn't a TV, didn't have radio, you know it didn't have you know, em be three players are you know, you had books and you had newspapers. You basically had the written word. That was your entertainment. People would actually go to live theaters to watch Charles Dickens just tell one of his stories on a stage. It wasn't even a play, it was just him standing on a stage just verbally telling his stories, like that's it. That's the thing people would go to do. They would go to listen to an author tell one of their stories. Like every year, a Christmas time, Charles Dickens would tell a Christmas carol as if he was just, you know, reading it off the page, which you probably was actually doing it. People would pay to go watch that. So editar Allen Poe realize that in order to make them living as a writer, he just had to write a lot of Shit. And what it turned into was that he would get paid for anything he had published in the newspaper. So in the newspapers they would publish short stories, poems, but they would also publish critiques of like plays and other people's poems. So what happened is eggar Allan Poe would have a poem published and you get paid for that poem and then in the next edition of the paper another local writer would write a critique of that poem or that Short that Short story,...

...similar to how we have film reviews nowadays. But somebody would write a critique of Egg Allan Post story like, let's say, for example, Tell Tale Heart. He publishes Tell Tale Heart and then somebody in the next edition to paper, maybe a week later, gives a critique of the tell tale heart. Well, that person who wrote that critique, they got paid for that because they wrote something and it was published. So the paper would then pay the person for their critique of a groulland post story. But what then happen is Edgar Allan Poe himself would would clap back. He'd fire back with his own rebel of that critique or he would publish a crit a critique of that writer's work, and they'd have it. was kind of like the original twitter battle. Like nowadays to see people get into twitter feuds and shit getting to college, get into flame wars and the youtube comment section, and this was kind of the original version of that. So what was happening is Edgar Allen Poe would get paid a couple of bucks every time he'd publish a critique of someone else's work or rebuttal to someone else's critique. So he was constantly picking fights with people through the newspaper, through these critiques, just to continue to have stuff to write. He would intentionally like go after other people's work. He was kind of a Dick. Edgar Allan Poe was kind of a Dick. Let's let's be completely honest about that. But he would post really like he would seriously criticize other people's work just to get them to come back at him so that he could then go back at them and continue to have a back and forth in their writings, so that he was constantly writing things to get paid for. He actually spent more time publishing critiques of other People's work that he did publishing his own work, which is again he was kind of a Dick, but he was getting paid for those critiques and he was getting paid for the things that he did write. And so what would happened is he would write these things, he'd get paid a couple of bucks for him and those couple of bucks would get him through the month. He found a way to make a living just writing because there were no royalties. There were there were no you know, there was no copyright or publishing rights. His stuff was getting republished constantly over in France and over in England and over another countries all over the country. He didn't see money for that, though. That's just the way the world worked back then. So in a way he was trying to find a way to cheat the system. Is really how it worked, because the system at that time, like I said, you couldn't really be a professional writer because you didn't get more than the the onetime payment for the stories that you got published. That's just the way it worked.

So he found a way to take the system and make it work for him. He just wrote a lot. Most people weren't willing to do that because you know, at the end of the day that's a lot of work. And he yeah, he kind of had to sour his reputation. He wasn't a well liked guy because, again, he was pretty savage and critiques, because he would critique everybody. He'd sometimes showed to the paper with five or six or seven critiques of he would he would go through the paper and critique every original work that was published in there and he would publish all those critiques and then just get paid for each of the critiques. Now suppose you're wondering, well, why would the paper continue to do this? Why would the paper let him do that? Why would the paper shell out all that money for him to critique all these people? Because people ate it up. Is the thing. The papers were happy to publish these because it's sold papers again, this was the original twitter war. Why do you think twitter is cool with people going back and forth at having at it, especially the celebrities on twitter, because it gets people using twitter, it gets people on the APP. And so, you know, like the Boston Harold if I think that was the paper. I think they were. That was the paper he was publishing to back then. was happy to have him start these feuds with other writers because people would buy the paper to read what, you know, Poe had said the WHO or who had said what the Poe back again. So the papers were selling out like hot cakes. So for the you know, the ten dollars that they paid to Edgar Allan Poe, which again ten dollars a lot of money back then, but they'd make that money back in spades. They'd make that money back like crazy. So for them, yeah, they were they were writing a pretty big check to eggar Allan Poe because they knew that, basically, he was good for it. They knew that he was good for the money. They knew that it was worth publishing his stuff because they knew they were going to get the return on their investment in the number of papers that got sold. It's crazy to think about that really, really and truly. It is crazy to think about the fact that Edgar Allan Poe was America's first professional writer, only in the sense that he was the first person to find a way to make a living writing in a time and place, in a world we're making a living off of art didn't exist because there was no way to make it happen. There was no way to really see that return on investment until the Gran until Edgar Allan Poe figured out a way to cheat the system. But the fact that that guy was so smart and was so creative that he was able to find a way to make the system that was built up against an artist, he was able to make...

...the system work for him. When you look at how nowadays, so many artists, you know, musicians and bands, are breaking off from record labels and starting their own or bridge producing their music independently, when so many websites like band camp exist where artists can distribute their music on their own and just get their money back without having to worry about going through other complicated measures. Ed Garland Poe kind of started that. He really did start that. He was the first. He was kind of like the first, like you know, twitter, you know, Internet celebrity in that way. Yes, he did produce amazing original content, but he was the first one to really he was like the first professional critic as well. When you think about it nowadays, we think of professional film critics, you know, every people all over youtube and on the Internet. They kind of you know, they wouldn't have careers if it wasn't for Edgar Allen Poe, because he wasn't just the first professional writer, he was really the first professional critic, because so much of what he was writing was criticisms of other works and clapbacks of criticisms of his work, and that is fascinating to me. That is absolutely fascinating to me that, yes, I love Gralan Poe because he writes dark, fucked up shit. That that goes to that saying. But what really makes me respect and and have such an inspiration in a love for the guy is that he was able to do what so many of us want to do, which is take writing, take our art form, and turn it into a professions. He made writing a career. No one had ever done that before. We like to joke. Nowaday is about, Oh, you have an art, you want to be an artist. How? How you going to make money as a professional artists, a professional comedian, musician? You know what? Edgar Allen Poe did it first, and he did it without the Internet. He just did it by just constantly throwing stuff out there and seeing what's stuck and getting paid for what stuck. Nowadays it's a little bit harder because you know you can be a musician and you know it's hard to find a paying gig. Or as a comedian it's hard to find a paying gig. But part of the way you do that as you just keep doing gigs until one of them does pay. And again that drive, that that that motivation to seek out where the money is in the craft that you have chosen to hone into a career. Edgar Allan Post started that and that is why he's my favorite famous dead person. That's why Edgar Allan Poe was in as an inspiration to me. Yeah, the cool dark stuff like that. That's all fine and Dandy. I'm out of that phase in my life, but I still have a love for the man because of what he was able to do for...

...the future of professional artists everywhere. They wouldn't exist without at a growl and Poe. That's something to think about. Guys. We are getting close to starting up brand new interview episodes here on the Basement Lounge. You got a couple more weeks here, but in the meantime of you guys are enjoying these short little episodes and we back again next week with a really fun episode. I think you're going to enjoy it as much as I'm going to. At you know, I'm kind of at the kind of at the will of the US Postal Service at this point, but I've all goes according to plan. I think you guys really going to enjoy next week's episode. In the meantime, make sure you guys check out my website. Go to Mike Shay comedycom, go to the website for this podcast, the Basement Lounge podcom, and make sure you go to Daytoncom and vote for me for the best local comedian of two thousand and nineteen here in Dayton Ohio. Then, in the meantime, I'll see you guys real soon and, as always, lift well, rock on, take care and Bubby.

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