To all Defector readers who are little podcast freaks, we have some news for you. For the past few months we have been in "the lab," working with projects editor Justin Ellis and our producer Alex Sujong Laughlin. Today we can finally share that we have a new podcast, with an official name and everything: Namedropping, hosted by us, Giri and Samer.
(The transcript for the trailer is here.)
Now, for your prepared questions.
Why does Namedropping exist?
We just wanted to present a numbered list of the famous people we know, in a popular audio format.
Good one. But why are you so interested in names?
Like plenty of people from immigrant families, we're both used to having our names mispronounced. Introducing yourself at a party or leaving a name with a barista becomes this involuntary, near-daily prompt to reflect on a range of things: the pressure to assimilate, the value of convenience, the preservation of culture, simple aesthetic preferences.
So you're just going to talk about picking up takeout?
Although that's one of the ways we were sensitized to the importance of names, it's not the whole scope of Namedropping. We're hoping to move beyond "smelly lunch" tales and use names as an entry point into broader stories about social norms, religion, gender identity, linguistic taboos, mistaken identities, family dynamics, and life online. An episode isn't so much a pronunciation guide—though we'll also be sure to get that nailed down—as it is an interview that happens to take this particular angle. We want each guest to have a place to commiserate, even if no two experiences are the same. Surely there is a Giri-Samer duo somewhere with far different lives than ours. (Ideally, we'd talk to them one day.)
Are you bringing famous people on the pod, at least?
The celebrities are hoarding all of them for their own podcasts, but in any case, you do not have to be famous to be on Namedropping. Recent studies have shown that all kinds of people have names. Nonetheless, consider this an open invitation for Barack Hussein Obama to appear on the pod, with the stipulation that he cannot talk about Bruce Springsteen. We have lots of other questions for you.
Who will you talk to, if not Barack Hussein Obama?
Don't be so quick to rule that out, bucko. Generally, though, we want to hear from anyone whose name has affected the way they move through the world. Did it hold you back—or vault you forward—in the workplace, on the court, in a relationship? Are your Google results a minefield because you share a name with an infamous or unsavory person? Are you a Siri who's fed up? For our purposes, it's very convenient that everyone has a name, and everyone who listens to the pod will know other people with names. We hope to stumble on new leads pretty often.
Would you interview Elon Musk?
That's a specific and abrupt question. No, but his and Grimes's child, X Æ A-12, would be considered as a potential guest for Namedropping, albeit not for a while.
OK, now give me all the contact information and other necessary details.
You can subscribe to Namedropping here on Apple or Spotify, and here's our RSS feed. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Instagram. You can also leave a question in the comments, and we'll probably answer it.