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?