My Summer Lair Chapter #271: How Does Your Fat Mom Feel About Trash Talking?
I heart trash talking so much. That’s why I was elated Rafi Kohan has written Trash Talk: The Only Book About Destroying Your Rivals That Isn’t Total Garbage.
This book is fantastic; I so enjoyed reading it and can’t trash talk it.
Rafi’s book explores trash talking through a number of notable lenses from Art to Science to Psychology.
In this My Summer Lair conversation Rafi confesses: “My goal for the book was more than anything just to take trash talk seriously. As a topic with real gravity, as something that has been dismissed, especially in the United States culturally, as frivolous. As something that’s unserious, as something that is just noise. But I think by doing that, we’re ignoring not only the ways that trash talk can explain not only our sort of modern culture and our modern selves to us within America within the last 30 to 50 years, but also we can understand something about ourselves as social and competitive creatures if we actually explore it as this kind of mode of communication, this language of competition that has existed throughout time.”
Okay that’s fascinating.
I open this My Summer Lair conversation drawing trash talking parallels with graffiti because it’s the same cultural impulse. It’s all the same culture. Basketball and hip hop and graffiti and trash talking are all the same culture.
Just like going to France and you get wine and cheese and baguettes, art and more. It’s all the same culture.
With basketball and hip hop and graffiti and trash talking is all the same culture. But more importantly it’s our culture.
In the book Rafi traces the actual term trash talk to 1981. But then notes that it took off in the 1990s. Trash talk became a collective action. A collective experience that feels so ’80s and so ’90s. It is a shorthand that I instantly understand and often enjoy. I relish the incivility. I appreciate the ball busting both when somebody does it to me and when I can do it to somebody else.
This My Summer Lair conversation was so fun; and yes as a podcaster I trash talk listeners and Joe Rogan. Who has one of the biggest podcasts in the world. You go at Rogan just as you go at Jordan or Brady. We didn’t come this far just to back down right?
Host Sammy Younan
Recorded: Tuesday December 19, 2023 at 11:00 am
Stress free pop culture tastefully harvested for your divine delight. Once a week a carefully curated edition of My Pal Sammy goes directly to your inbox. Sign up for my newsletter so we can have so much fun…like trash talking our rivals!