A Professional Bee Botherer (Ep 320 - Lord of the Rings/Lewis Bartlett)


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By Matt Baume. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

My guest this week wears a lot of hats, and occasionally frocks. Lewis Bartlett is a bee scientist, baker, and drag queen who found his way from Yorkshire, England to Athens, Georgia. A shy, nerdy kid, he found refuge in Lord of the Rings novels and Live Action Role-Playing (or LARPing) groups, but he reached a turning point where he decided to give all that up, along with years-long friendships, so that he could pursue the studies that eventually led him to become, as he says, a professional bee botherer. But as an adult the old nerdy pastimes of his youth have come back to him in unexpected ways, such as his observation that bees are the ultimate World of Warcraft players.

We’ll have that conversation in a minute. First a quick thanks to everyone who supports the Sewers of Paris on Patreon. And! If you’re a fan of science and drag, check out an upcoming online cabaret show featuring Lewis and many other queer scientists. Tickets are now available for Science is a Drag, a livestream to be held on Tuesday March 9, 2021. Just go to Eventbrite.com and search for Science is a Drag Volume 3.

And just a reminder that I’ve started a new weekly newsletter for all the stuff I’m working on. You can sign up at mattbaume.com — each week I give you a little sneak peek into upcoming projects, little bits of weird fun cultural artifacts I’ve uncovered in various archives, and of course links to cute animal videos.

Also check out my YouTube videos for deep dives into queer pop culture history. And I hope you’ll join me for a very special livestream this Saturday, January 23, with my guest Brett White — TV critic for The Decider and recent Sewers guest. We’ll be chatting about the new show WandaVision, its connection to classic old sitcoms, and the magic of queer-coded characters on shows like Bewitched. That’s on Saturday January 23 at 1pm pacific, at Youtube.com/mattbaume.

And I hope you’ll join me for regular videogame livestreams over at Twitch.tv/mattbaume every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoon at 2pm pacific.

329 episodes