Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhv The audio odyssey of a millennium through the comic 'Cathy'

To some comedians, podcasts feel like an open mic party with no red light telling them to wrap it up. The medium offers the opportunity...


To some comedians, podcasts feel like an open mic party with no red light telling them to wrap it up. The medium offers the opportunity to chat with friends and riff whatever they like, for hours and hours. This is not the case with Jamie Loftus.

With limited edition podcasts like “My year at Mensa,”A descent into the sad and strange world of the members of Mensa, and “Lolita Podcast”, A deep dive into how American culture perverted the meaning of Vladimir Nabokov’s novel, Loftus, 28, branched out into a new medium with surprisingly captivating explorations of niche subjects, imbued with his biting comedic delivery. This approach arose directly from her fear that her comedy shows would classify her as a “gross woman”.

“My stand-up routine consisted of eating dog food on stage for years.” Loftus said. “I have a very strong digestive system. It was built by Alpo. But I was afraid to put myself in a corner: should I eat dog food forever? I can not do that. I will die!”

His most recent podcast, “Aack actor“, about the much-maligned comic” Cathy “which ran from 1976 to 2010, should allay any lingering concerns about the cast.” Aack Cast “- named by the creator of the tape, Cathy Guisewite, she – even – is the journey of a frustrated millennial to understand, but not necessarily forgive, the working white women of the “rightly despised” Boomer generation and their second wave feminist struggles. ”Cathy is a symbol of the how the anxieties and concerns of women can be seen as embarrassing, and not worth discussing, if the character in question is not a perfect role model, ”Loftus said.

During Aperol Pizza and Spritz at the end of August in Bushwick, just before the 11-episode series airs its final episode, typically Los Angeles-based Loftus explained how she found favor for the generation she still has. struggling to understand, the surprising lessons for her own feminism that she learned from her boomer subject, and where generations might never agree. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

How do you decide to dive so deep into what may seem like random or perhaps un-zeitgeisty subjects like the Mensa, “Lolita” or “Cathy” comics?

I automatically gravitate towards topics that people have strong opinions on, but I never really think about why they have them. It’s really the only thing that ties the three series together. I like this space in people’s heads, where they don’t feel so strongly about it that they are going to fight with me before they hear me out, but there is some ground level emotion to meet them.

In “Aack Cast,” the workplace episodes and Cathy’s body image made me sympathize with baby boom women, which for a bitter millennium is quite an achievement.

I know. I also don’t want to go too far in that direction because, well, they’re deeply unsympathetic for a reason. Part of what’s so amazing about the band “Cathy” is that it was a way of watching their story unfold in real time, and I wanted to talk to as many women as possible to follow their version of it. journey, from how second wave feminism influenced or excluded them, to how it was replaced by consumerism and apathy.

Did your mom’s love for comics drive this series?

After “Lolita” I wanted something fun and light and not the darkest place to go. And then just talk to my mom, because she’s a freak for “Cathy”. She was the target audience.

And I wanted to do a series with some kind of recurring cast [the strips are acted out during the series], so it becomes sort of a familiar mini TV show.

When not forbidden in a pandemic, you are a comedian and a television scriptwriter. What makes podcasting different?

The community building aspect is so cool – and terrifying. These intense parasocial ties. I understand; I listen to podcasts and have this personal connection with people who have no idea who I am too. I think where I struggled with that was “Lolita Podcast”. I imagined that when people listened to the show, I could hear very personal things from them. But I felt ill-equipped to deal with it. People who had survived sexual assault as children, people in support groups to keep from offending – it was incredibly intense. I’m so grateful that people were so open with me, but that’s when I found it very overwhelming. Unlike the “Bechdel Cast” community, which is mostly made up of students and sometimes mothers of students, this is a very healthy and enthusiastic film community. [“The Bechdel Cast,” which Loftus co-hosts, is an unscripted-conversation podcast about the portrayal of women in a different movie each week]. For “Cathy”, this is my first group of boomers and it’s crazy.

You kind of follow the line of condemnation and compassion for this generation.

I felt so unfriendly to baby boom women to the point of being deeply unfriendly to my mom. And I always want to make sure I understand something before I decide it’s hogwash. The valid criticism of the baby boomers stems from the amount of power and rights they have, but there have been experiences they’ve had that I just can’t imagine having. I wanted to honor that as well, so it was tricky.

I wanted to see, can I meet my mom where she is, who has a good heart and wants to do good with people, but doesn’t always quite understand. And it was so nice talking to Cathy herself. I hate supporting a baby boomer, but I hope to be like her someday. She is so sweet and so sincerely curious.

You did a special minisode called “Take the ‘Show Your Mom What a Podcast’ Challenge”. Did it work? Have you heard any criticism from them?

I had thought that the biggest obstacle to “Aack Cast” would be the fact that it is a visual medium, but it’s actually that a large part of my target audience has no idea what it is. medium I’m working on. But once you tell moms it’s radio, my mom would say, “Oh, so it’s on demand? “

The few critical messages from baby boomer women that I have received can best be described as “gentle mothering.” They were very like “Honey, I like what you do, but …”

There are things that I have been encouraged to see the baby boomers in my life have progressed on, like talking to Cathy about the lack of diversity in her gang. But there are other things that I don’t know that will change over the course of their life, such as women minimizing the workplace harassment they have faced or even defending it.

Like all that “pride in suffering” badge – if I were to endure this huge problem in my life, everyone should too, and if they can’t, they’re weaker than me. This boomer mentality – it sucks because I can feel it in my own head.

[But] Understanding them better has made me more reflective as a feminist, because I think there is a tendency to throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to past feminist movements. I felt a connection with the women I spoke to, even when we didn’t agree. I cannot approve of their actions, but they have knowledge to pass on.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhv The audio odyssey of a millennium through the comic 'Cathy'
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