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Episode Info: “The Sears Christmas Wish Book was, for me, a kind of foundational text — a secular counterpoint to the Bible stories I learned around that time in Sunday School. I paged through the holiday catalog’s 620 glossy pages as if they amounted to an intoxicating graphic novel of desire, rich with abundance and possibility.” – Rolf Potts, from “Literature of Desire” In this episode Rolf reads an audio version of his Christmas-themed essay “Literature of Desire,” and discusses the wonders of the Sears Christmas Wish Book with novelist Tod Goldberg (@todgoldberg). Tod is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen books, including the Gangsterland series, which is currently being developed into a television show. He is also the director of the University of California-Riverside Palm Desert Low-Residency MFA, and the co-host of the Literary Disco podcast. Introduction (01:35 – 12:20) Vintage Sears Wish Book online archive What Exactly is Christmas Tree Flocking? from Mental Floss Klonopin (anxiety medication) Janis Ian (singer-songwriter) Enchroma glasses (to correct colorblindness) Literature of Desire essay (12:20 – 33:20) Richard Warren Sears (catalog founder) Mr. Sears’ Catalog (video) from PBS’s American Experience Sears Catalog Home (ready-to-assemble houses) That ’70s Show, Happy Days, Good Times, Welcome Back, Kotter (TV shows) Christie Brinkley and Renee Russo (fashion models) Pong (video game) Big Jim’s P.A.C.K. (toy line) Jay J. Armes (private investigator) JJ Armes action figure (TV commercial) “Is Jay J. Armes For Real?” from Texas Monthly WishBookcom Sears Wish Book memories (33:20 – 51:10) Action figures (dolls marketed to boys) Toughskins (jeans for children) Huffy (bicycle brand) BEST (showroom retail store) “Kerouac’s Fantasy Baseball Obsession” from Mental Floss Coleco’s Electronic Quarterback (game) This episode is also brought to you by AirTreks, an industry leader in multi-stop international travel. If you’ve ever planned a trip with multiple stops, you know that finding the right flights can be difficult. Between balancing travel logistics and cost, it often becomes impossible to build an itinerary that matches your travel goals.  AirTreks is a distributed travel company with employees working from all corners of the world to help with your flight planning, specializing in complex routes with up to 25 stops. The AirTreks website offers suggested pre-planned travel itineraries to help you get started, but can customize to fit your journey. The Deviate theme music comes from the title track of Cedar Van Tassel’s 2017 album Lumber. Note: We don’t host a “comments” section, but we’re happy to hear your questions and insights via email, at ...
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