So, to get into character as the PC, does that take some sort of method acting?
No, I’m not an actor, per se . . . . I was out there in the wilderness with PCs feeling completely frustrated, and appreciating their attempt to be nice and easy to use and constantly amazed by the fact that they were the most confusing boobs. I myself am a Mac user. I bought the very first Mac, or convinced my father to buy it, in 1984. I used it through high school and college; it was the first computer I used outside of college, then I went though a brief period of exile during my corporate years as a professional literary agent, where I was forced to use a PC . . . . Mac has always gotten the design and the interface down pat. They just know it. PC’s efforts to emulate this, and its constant failing, and its self-satisfied arrogance about it being the most used platform in the world, all of that made it very easy to craft a character who, while he is a boob, and often concerned about how he comes off, at his core really feels bad for the Mac. Is really so delusional to believe he’s much cooler than the Mac. The whole reason they’re standing in that white room is because he’s trying to help the Mac out.
It's fair to say your stock has risen in the past year or so.
I don’t play the markets!
Are you nervous about the perils and pitfalls of fame?
What would the perils be, exactly?
I dunno, Paris Hilton just got arrested for DUI?
Well, I don’t think, as flattering as you are, that I’ll ever have to face the scrutiny that a Paris Hilton will have to face.
Do you yearn for fame? Is it something you crave? Or is it just a byproduct of being so smart?
No, I think I’m a writer and sort of a performer, and part of the deal is wanting to connect with an audience. Wanting to have your work read or enjoyed. And there is a real pleasure in knowing that you’ve made that connection with people and that they seem to like it. So in that sense it’s extremely rewarding. Let’s face it: it’s fun. It’s tremendously fun. I have it all. I’m very happy to have ended up here and cast aside any wild dreams of astronautism or TV stardom. I would say most disorienting now, I’m getting knocks on my door: “Wanna be an astronaut?” Not quite literally. But you know what I’m saying: all those fantasies that creative people in a media-saturated culture have, that have been cast aside, now are coming true. So I would say that what I feel is now a certain measure of amusement, amazement, and shame.
Well, next time someone knocks on your door, just make sure it's not an eel, staring balefully at you.
Yeah, I get my share of that as well. But unlike colonial-era Americans, I think I know why the eel is staring angrily at me. That makes it a little bit easier to tolerate. They’re all PC users.
On the Web
John Hodgman: http://www.areasofmyexpertise.com/
John Hodgman's blog: http://areasofmyexpertise.blogspot.com/