I don’t remember when exactly I started listening to Tangentially Speaking with Chris Ryan (probably 2013) but after I found it I ended up listening to its entire back catalog, and haven’t missed a single episode since. I love the diversity of topics covered in the podcast, but above all I love the way Chris engages with his guests, resulting in conversations that tend to go all over the place, just the way I like them (hence the aptly chosen title).
I started to interact with Chris the way I always tend to with online content: by leaving comments on his webpage. Commenting for me is not only a form of basic ‘netiquette’ –which has unfortunately fallen out of favor in an age dominated by Instagram and Twitter– but I feel it’s also a valuable way to add something to the original content discussed by the owner of the podcast or blog. As I told Greg Bishop the very first time I was on his show Radio Misterioso, if you start as a mere consumer of content, you can easily end up becoming a producer of content, as it was my case.
After a while Chris started to take notice of my comments –I guess it also helped that I was pretty much the only regular commenter he had 😉 — and gradually we started to interact via email. In 2016 he and Cassie were planning on coming to Mexico City and asked me for advice on how to get a good b&b (I don’t think I was of much use) and then during their visit he suggested to meet up and watch the Super Bowl together; which was kind of a surreal experience for me, not only because I ended up breaking bread and drinking ale with a person I had been admiring for a pretty long time by then, but also because neither he nor I were too particularly interested in the game (or sports, for that matter) yet we kept track of the score and lively celebrated some of the plays nonetheless –and here’s another interesting thing: Chris chose to root for the Carolina Panthers because they were clearly the underdogs, and even though they were totally obliterated by the Broncos and the outcome was clear looong before the final whistle, Chris kept thinking the Panthers could overturn the score ’til the very end. So not a total pessimist after all! Despite what you might think after reading his latest book, Civilized to Death…
If you’ve read some of my previous posts, then you know that eventually I became one of Chris’s collaborators in his book projects Tangentially Talking Sex and Tangentially Talking Drugs. And before that, in 2017, I traveled to Los Angeles to join my ParaManiac brethren for our annual get together, and even though Chris was in LA at the time we unfortunately couldn’t coordinate our schedules so we could meet.
I thought by then my chances of appearing in Tangentially Speaking had disappeared for the time being, but then the COVID situation forced Chris to reconsider his policy of only recording podcasts IRL, and in May he asked me if I wanted to record an episode via Skype. Of course he had me at “Radiomango Papachango”!!
So here it is, finally. And aside from chatting about general things like what life in Mexico City is like, the current wave of violence afflicting my country, and other stuff, we of course ended up talking about my forte —UFOs. In hindsight I don’t think I did a really good job explaining my ideas about the phenomenon –for example, I missed a wonderful opportunity of talking about how the ‘apports’ investigated by Chris’s mentor, parapsychologist Stanley Krippner, have MANY things in common with these ‘UFO debris’ that have become such a hot topic in the field (what if a UFO is just one giant ‘apport’ but instead of manifesting during a spiritualist seance inside someone’s living room, it appears in the sky?) but despite the many times I struggled to make my ramblings semi-coherent, I still feel it’s an interesting conversation.