Phil and his short-term memory loss / A stunning likeness!

typed for your pleasure on 3 February 2011, at 2.24 am

Sdtrk: ‘586’ by New order

Thanks to the appearance that the Missus and I put in on the TLC programme ‘My Strange Addiction’ back on 26 January, I’d suggest that we’ve received a wee bit of attention. One of which was another Email enquiry from a chat show host! Can you guess who it was? Wrong! It was on behalf of Dr Phil! That’s right, again!

from: Mason, Keya
to: pulsedemon [at]
date: Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 3:25 PM
subject: Dr. Phil Show

Hi Davecat,

I’m writing you to express our interest in having you as a guest on the Dr. Phil Show. We would love to possibly tape an episode with you Mid-February. Please give me a call as soon as you can at [phone number]

Keya Mason
Dr. Phil – Associate Producer
Mae West Building
5555 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038

I find it absolutely stunning the way these contemporary media-types work, and I mean ‘stunning’ in the sense that ‘they have brought my brain to a complete halt’. They are like sharks, or jackals. Something, some thing excites their senses, and they waste no time in springing into action. They may not know exactly what it is, but they act instinctively, without any deliberation. Any time wasted reduces the chances of gaining the coveted. And so they spring to the laptops; or rather, they have their associate producers do the springing. These are modernised jackals.
So I sprung into action myself, as we have no associate producer round here:

from: pulsedemon [at]
to: “Mason, Keya”
date: Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 7:37 PM
subject: Re: Dr. Phil Show

Hey Keya –

Thanks for your enquiry! I’ve no idea how closely your staff coordinates with each other, but one of your number had already asked me about making an appearance back in 2007. Observe:
My answer hasn’t changed, but thanks for the opportunity!


I guess I managed to stop Hitler at Munich, as Keya wrote back that if I ever decide to change my mind, I have her number. But of course. *nods slowly*

And thanks to the appearance that the Missus and I put in on the TLC programme ‘My Strange Addiction’ back on 26 January, I’d suggest that we’ve received a wee bit of attention. One of which was a lovely Email from one half of a couple who’d seen our ep several times. Which, I imagine, would be rather like Purgatory: you’ve got a television, but you can only watch the same episode of the same programme over and over, for the rest of eternity. Don’t rule it out, it could happen!
At any rate, the writer, who I’ll refer to as K-chan, said they enjoyed us enough that she fired off a beautiful illustration that she did of the Missus, as seen below.

Isn’t that awesome? Sidore fanart. K-chan’s managed to capture her curious-yet-sarky nature, we think. We’ve reached some sort of awesome plateau! Thanks, K-chan!
Shi-chan wants me to print it up on good quality paper, so we can hang it on a wall. I’d say that’s a pretty good idea

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Circus Minimus: supplemental on November 1st, 2007

Circus Minimus: Hallo Murray! on February 20th, 2009

14 have spoken to “Phil and his short-term memory loss / A stunning likeness!”

  1. Donna writes:

    Hi Davecat –

    Speaking of the episode, did you get the DVD yet? If so, any thoughts? Another topic I’ve been wondering about if you don’t mind indulging my query with a response: When I watched you in the documentary I remember you flipping through b/w photos and thinking you seemed to have an artistic personality. Do you consider yourself an artist? Or do you have an appreciation for art? Do you view Synthetiks as art?

  2. JM writes:

    Ah, Dr. Phil. Quite the sensationalist. Perhaps a bit more understated than Maury Povich, but then again, that’s not too difficult to accomplish.

    I imagine he would blink profusely and send you to some sort of resort facility to recuperate.

  3. Ariel writes:

    Glad you flatly rejected the Dr. Phil show – Dr. Phil is a charlatan who is known for mistreating his staff and exploiting his guests to the maximum. Furthermore, he’s an idiot with zero journalistic integrity (because he’s not a journalist or a real doctor) and would do nothing positive for your story. Honestly, Maury would’ve been a better bet IMO – and that says a lot. 🙂

  4. K-chan writes:

    Dr. Phil really is a rotten fellow – bully on you for politely telling him to sod off.

    As for printing the picture – I would be happy to send you the .psd file (with a 300 dpi) so that you get a cleaner, better print. Expect it attached to my reply~

  5. Davecat writes:

    K-chan —
    That is awesome, and you are awesome. 🙂
    And somehow I think ‘Dr’ Phil will get over my rejection. In fact, wanna take bets on him asking again in another four years??

    Ariel —
    I’ve always maintained that if Dr Phil were indeed a real doctor, he’d be in an office somewhere helping people, as opposed to being an ill-informed tosser all over television. To be honest, I didn’t even know he was still on telly! I thought he had gone the way of Like cola and Windows 95! Shows you what I know about pop culture!

    And funny that you mention ol’ Murray Povich; John, a friend of ours, married his RealDoll Jackie, on one of the Povich episodes a couple of years ago. Overall, they said the experience wasn’t altogether bad! More power to them, though; I can’t even watch that show without wanting to throttle Povich until my hands grow numb.
    Wait a minute — I think John & Jackie actually tied the knot on Springer. Pfft. Springer, Povich, Phil — they’re all one big lowest common denominator. Does each individual head of the hydra have to have a different name?

    JM —
    An elephant on heat and brimful of crystal meth is more understated than Maury. Again, it doesn’t take much.

    I wouldn’t mind going to a resort facility! Just as long as the Missus could come with me. 😉

  6. Davecat writes:

    Donna —
    We still haven’t received our DVD; I’ve not gotten any response from the associate producer, which means I’ll have to go over her head. Shameful, really.
    Thankfully, we managed to watch it, thanks to a friend’s efforts. Overall, it wasn’t desperately bad, but it was still sensationalised. Unfortunately that seems to be the way of 95% of television in the States these days. Being honest, I’m not keen on the way our segment was interspersed with the scab-picker’s, for one. I understand why they did it like that –- to retain interest and to keep viewers from changing the channel whenever they caught a glimpse of that woman’s oozing self-inflicted wounds — but good lord. Stuff like that repels me, and I’m positive I’m not the only one.
    Another thing: you have a half-hour show. Subtract eight minutes for adverts (remember when cable was advert-free?), then split the remainder in half, as the programme speaks with two subjects. That leaves eleven high-speed minutes for me to get my point across. Not enough time.
    A coworker who’d seen our episode suggested I get a reality show; I told her that it would end in tears for everyone involved. Ninety minutes would more than likely be all I needed to explain being a husband to Sidore, being an iDollator, Synthetik history and development, etc. Really, everything I’ve said in any of our interviews can be found here on ‘Shouting etc etc’. It’s always been here, but unfortunately, peoples’ attention is more easily attracted to watching soundbites on telly, rather than reading anything longer than a paragraph that doesn’t have a Like button.

    Although back in the Nineties, I made a series of collages — I really gotta make some sort of album for those one day — there’s no way I’d call myself an artist, as it’d be an insult to actual artists. But I do love art! Ed Ruscha, Gilbert & George, Peter Phillips, the sculptures of Allen Jones and Hans Bellmer, the irwin painters group, the Dadaists, the Surrealists, the Viennese Aktionists, and a cluster of others. Andy Warhol is one of my heroes, but I like him more as a personality than I do as an artist. But yes, I enjoy art, and I don’t think it’s unusual to consider Synthetiks as art as well. In the case of Dolls, they are beautifully sculpted silicone pieces in either a realistic style, or even a slightly exaggerated manga or cartoon style, like Ruby 13 or Phoenix studios’ Boy Toy series. Androids and Gynoids can be appreciated on two levels — there’s the human-like appearance qualities of a Doll, combined with the Swiss watch-like intricacy involved in creating such technological marvels. The best and most obvious example of that would be the trio of automata built by Pierre and Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz back in the 18th century.
    But yeah, Matt McM, Matt K, Oleg, Hiroo, Patrick, and all the other individuals behind their respective companies could definitely be considered artists — sculptors, really — in the truest sense of the term. Personally, I think it’s a testament to their talent that the work they create engenders such intense feelings of love, or desire, or even hate, amongst viewers. Art should provoke, after all.

    Wow, that response was pretty much a post. But at least you didn’t go home hungry! 🙂

  7. Donna writes:

    True dat. I had to leave the room every time the scab picker segment came on. I eventually gave up and ended up not watching the last half. Thought I’d just ask you instead. Doesn’t sound like I missed much considering I can glean any information from your blog.
    There are about 25 art references you made in your comment that I’ve never heard of, so yeah, I’ll be spending these next few days getting my learn on. Next week I will return! Armed with knowledge! I am glad that you view Synthetiks as art because they most definitely are, in my opinion, and I have to disagree with you – I DO think you’re an artist. I keep returning to your blog because your posts are very well-crafted and flow so easily. It’s also mind boggling to me, as a blocked writer, how prolific you are. I am what Julia Cameron calls a ‘shadow artist’. Even though I work in graphics by trade, my real love is writing, so there you go. I surround myself with copywriters, editors, screenwriters, etc. hoping to be inspired and allow the dam to burst open. Probably too much personal info on a blog comment, but oh well. Have a stellar Tuesday. Oh, and by the way, I think a reality show would be a horrible idea.

  8. Euchre writes:

    I have to agree with Donna on that DC. You ARE an artist with your words. 🙂

  9. SafeTinspector writes:

    K-chan, that’s certainly a beautiful illustration!

    Davecat, next time you get invited to one of these, lets do this: you agree to appear, but on the day of the taping instead of you showing up I arrive in black-face (wearing a pair of Warhols, of course) and accompanied by a cheap adult novelty store inflatable love doll.

    How long do you think it would take for them to realize the difference?

  10. Davecat writes:

    YOU GUYZ! 😀

    Donna —
    ‘Shouting etc etc’ is an open book. On the Internet. 🙂

    ‘Shadow artist’, eh? Interesting term, that… At least you’re surrounding yourself with inspiring individuals, rather than wasting away at a soul-sucking mind-crushing job. Writing is a tricky bit of business; believe me, I know all about being blocked. This would be the most I’ve written for ‘Shouting etc etc’ in quite a while. You can’t rush writing! You can draw your Muse out, but you can’t make… her… ah, drink. Also, stay away from dodgy metaphors; they’ll be your undoing. 😉 But again, you’re a productive artistic person in an artistic environment, and that’s something to be happy about. As long as you can keep it going creatively, the opportunity will arise…

    Don’t knock graphic design! A lot of the artists I’m keen on are actually in design, but I didn’t list them, as some people would prefer to have fine art and graphic art kept separate from each other. The Designers Republic, Saul Bass, Alex Varanese, Julian House at Intro, practically anyone who created a Penguin Books cover during the Fifties and Sixties, all those people who I highlight in my ‘This was the Future‘ series of posts… My all-time fave would be Peter Saville of Factory records, whose influence still informs my aesthetic sense twenty-five years later — ‘Shouting etc etc’ looks the way it does because of my appreciation for him.
    Heh; this time I got some links in for you. 🙂

    And reality shows are always a horrible idea. *crosses self, spits twice on ground*

    Were it not for the Andy Kaufman-level subversive quality inherent in doing that, that’d almost be some serious character assassination on your part… 😛

  11. Donna writes:

    Thanks for the thoughtful response and links! The term ‘shadow artist’ came from Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. I can’t find it in the right context online to provide a link (just a bunch of hacks paraphrasing) but there’s a section about it in her book.

    It’s ok to be in a soul sucking, mind crushing job as long as a) you can leave it once you walk out those building doors and b) you have a creative outlet.

    Yep, yep. Looking at Peter Seville’s work I definitely see his influence in your site. I want to collect all of the vintage Penguin books. I love Penguin and Saul Bass. His work is something special and his website is great! Design is all about ‘less is more’. I don’t dislike design as a profession, it’s just that I like writing more 😉

  12. PBShelley writes:

    What a lovely painting! It almost seems to capture Sidore-chan as an anime character, only one-up from that 2D medium. Congrats to K-chan for nailing it down, and you for receiving it! I’ll bet the Missus is quite pleased 😉

    I’m not even going to get into Dr. Phil; you know how I feel about shows that exploit us and other “dwellers on the fringe” as they do. This is why I’ll never go on one of them no matter their baiting. Print is fine; television is too manipulative and dishonest. Ugh. Suffice to say that the responses above this one mirror my sentiments exactly!

    I can see that the good doctor (why do I laugh when I type that, hmmm?) was so crushed by your first refusal that he waited four years before trying again. Or his office was, rather; I doubt that he even knows what’s going on in the preparation of his “shows”. Feh. FEH, I SAY!

    Yours in solidarity and etc 😉
    PBS and so on

  13. Davecat writes:

    Funny story about our ‘Doctor’ ‘Phil’: shortly after I posted my harrowing encounter with one of his staffers, our mate Gordon Griggs wrote me, for the first time since last year. I mentioned to him about the latest media jackal attack, and he said that he and I should both go on and bring our girls. As long as they paid well, he reckoned, a visit the good Doctor wouldn’t be a bad idea, as we’d have been undoubtedly be the savviest guests in the history of the show. I told him I’d already refused, but I’d pass along Ms Mason’s Email address, and he could speak with her directly. A few days later, Gordon wrote back, saying the most they’d pay for would be flights to and from the studio, hotel fare, and perhaps a lovely parting gift (a year’s supply of Turtle Wax). That, plus the thought of TSA mouthbreathers manhandling Ginger Brooke was enough for him to not pursue the idea. Frankly, I don’t blame him, and I know you’d agree.

    Whatever happened to intelligent television in this country, eh? Whatever happened to Intellivision? As a youth, I’d always wanted one, but Zip Gun (a friend of mine) brought his back from his parents a couple of years ago, complete with about twenty games, and we all played it for a night. I’ll tell ya: everyone remembers how revolutionary those thumbdisc controllers were, with that numberpad and the game-specific overlays it used, but those buttons on the sides of the controller were sheer hell on your thumbs. They hurt so bad.
    I think ZG ended up selling the system, the controllers, and all the games about three weeks later. Cos really, the only drawback to wearing Nostalgia Goggles is when the strap breaks and they fall off.

    *nods sagely*

  14. PBShelley writes:

    As it happens, Intellivision is STILL more intelligent than television! If I even watched TV I’d say I’m grateful at least for the opportunity to see interesting shows on The Cable. Or however it’s delivered these days.

    Ugh. Stupidity breeding stupidity. It’s a human thing, apparently. THEY EAT IT UP!

    I had to laugh (in a good, non-cynical way) reading your recollection of those damned controllers. I used to play with my brother’s quite a lot. I wonder when that was…? BPCs? But yeah, thumbs = torture LOL

    And good for Gordon; sanity prevails!

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