J500 Media and the Environment

About Me: Ranjit Arab by rarab
February 18, 2008, 3:47 pm
Filed under: Society + Media | Tags: , , , ,

A “conversation” with Ranjit Arab and master-interviewer James Lipton:

lipton.jpg ra.jpg

LIPTON: Your upbringing is quite fascinating—one of the truly extraordinary American narratives of the last century–an Asiatic Huck Finn, if you will. Please tickle our eardrums and tease our imaginations once more with the melodious tale of your origins.

RANJIT: Huh, do you mean where am I from? I was born and raised in Wichita, did my undergrad in journalism at KU in the early 90s, spent most of the ‘90s playing, recording, and touring with some indie bands around town. When that fizzled out I got a job, which led to another job, which led to my current job publicizing books for The University Press of Kansas. Not a bad gig, really. We publish some pretty cool environmental books, among other subjects.

Anyway, I’m also back in school, slowly working toward a master’s in journalism, one that uses my documentary filmmaking as a form of advocacy journalism.

Marvelous! Bravo! Simply divine. Speaking of your documentaries… (reads blue card) You spent some time on Guantanamo Bay, is that correct?

No, that’s not correct–not at all!

But weren’t you accused of terroristic behavior.

Oh, that. You’re talking about that crazy woman I tried to interview. That’s all been well documented. I prefer not to talk about that anymore.

Understandable. I used to be a pimp, but personally I enjoy discussing that…You are an actor.

Yeah, kind of…I mean, I guess so. I acted in two independent films that are scheduled to be released any day now. I really enjoyed acting, but it all just sort of happened by coincidence…I didn’t necessarily seek it out.

Nonetheless, it’s safe to say that your performances continue to inspire audiences nowhere.

Yeah, I guess that’s safe to say.

In 2008 you enrolled in a Media and The Environment class. The world was never the same.

(Long pause) Is there a question?

What did you think you would achieve in this class?

I’m not sure. I’d like to learn how to effectively communicate our environmental problems in a way that is informative, entertaining, and ultimately influential in changing some of our current practices.

That’s it?


Splendid, Now, on to our standard questions. What is your favorite word?

I like words that sound dirty but really aren’t, you know, like Referendum or Discombobulate…say it slowly: dis..com…bob…u…late–isn’t it awesome?

Indeed. What is your least favorite word?


What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Are you hitting on me? To answer your question, I like being reminded I’m just a small part of something bigger.

What turns you off?

You are hitting on me, aren’t you? …Stubbornness. I guess that’s my turn-off.

What is your favorite curse word?

Right now I’d say it’s dipshit.

What sound or noise do you love?

Guitar feedback. Also, tablas.

What sound or noise do you hate?

Alarm clocks

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Blue Man Group alternate

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?




9 Comments so far
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i really did LOL at this. love it. and yeah…that woman is crazy. wow.


Comment by kimwallace

Ranjit, have you seen “Flock of Dodos,” made by a KU Alum, has your girl Connie in it and was at the KS Int’l Film Fest at the Glenwood a while back…

~Sarah H

Comment by shemme

I tried to find an Arrested Development chicken-dance video to post, but it looks like they’ve cracked down. Sad.

John K

Comment by genghiskuhn

I’m glad you find my life struggles humorous… 😉

I haven’t seen “Flock of Dodos” yet but have read a lot about it and had a friend who helped with editing. I really want to see that and the Fred Phelps documentary.

I’ve met lots of smart, caring conservatives during the course of my immigration research, and so it’s always a shock when I see how easily some of these radical conservatives get elected. Most Kansans I know are moderate-conservatives…and they come out in full force to correct any imbalances once they’re made aware of the problems (i.e. Morris’s disruptive agenda). The problem is that they don’t vote on a regular basis, so we need to find ways to keep them motivated.

Couldn’t find the chicken dance clip, eh?…What, do you expect me to track it down? Like the guy in the $4,000 suit is going to track down a video clip for the guy who doesn’t make that in four months. COME ON!!


Comment by rarab

I got really excited when I saw that you were from Wichita too! Good to know that someone else can relate to my suffering.

I usually try not to bash on the ol’ ICT too much, but other people usually do it enough for me. A few days ago, a bus driver asked me where I was from, and when I told him Wichita, he told me that visiting Wichita was the worst thing that he’s ever done in his life (and he looked old). Yikes.

I saw RFK again when he came up here to KU too. I don’t know what’s up with me and watching/hearing things over and over…RFK twice…Al Gore 19 times…

Your writing never ceases to amaze me. 🙂


Comment by Lauren Keith

Thanks, Lauren. I really enjoy your posts, too. Yes, only Wichitans can really understand the guilt of having given the world Pizza Hut, Don Johnson, AND Kirstie Alley. It’s up to us ex-pats to change that.

Yeah, two good things came out of Wichita (present company excluded): The Embarrassment (great, great punk band of the early ’80s) and, of course, I-35.


Comment by Ranjit

Wow, discombobulate is so my second favorite word (you must have forgotten delicatessen when writing this– It’s okay).

I love the format here. Y mi respuesta a su comentario en mi “post,” quiero viajar a Puebla, Mexico. La familia de mi mama es de Mexico y mi hermana vivia en Mexico para seis semanas en el verano de su seguna ano en la universidad tambien. Por eso, Mexico es un pais en particular que es superinteresante a mi. Sin embargo, quiero viajar todo el mundo 😀 Mi espanol no es muy bien, PERO habla conmigo este otono y espero que sera mucho mas awesome.

Comment by Sonya


Comment by Ben Hufbauer

[…] to participate in the Haiti Benefit Show at Liberty Hall and catch up with my former classmate Ranjit over drinks and good music. Have you donated to help Haiti yet? Hope to see you at the Help Haiti […]

Pingback by i love today: sunshine, french toast, children’s books, old cast-iron skillets « kimberlyloc

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