This American Life is amazing, and other things of note.

Worth every one of the 1,500 pennies.

After talking blogging with one Benjamin Feingold, I’ve decided that I should try to post a daily entry. The daily entry will be some mix of link listing (culled from my RSS reader upon my arrival home) and notes from my day, if anything warranted noting.

1st off is This American Life. Ben and I went to see Ira Glass & Co. at the IFC Center for their Live Show. What their live show would be, I didn’t know. I’d been a casual listener and appreciator of the show, but somewhere around the time when the Red Sox were leading the Yankees by 14 games and I lost my mind and started listening to Bill Simmons’ podcast, I stopped following TAL and the amazing people they track down. There were three segments shown tonight: a teen who thinks he’ll never fall in love because he doesn’t want to fall in love, thanks to his comfort with his own state of life, and the drama that accompanies love, a Salt Lake City artist who tracks down the bearded for recreating biblical scenes which he will photograph and then paint, and finally, in the kind of segment that makes me so glad that Ira Glass decided to do what he does, an Iraqi who came to America, and wanted to learn what Americans thought about the war.

The first two segments, probably unintentionally, relate to each other for the fact that they deal with problems that will result from finding someone you will date/love/marry. The guy in segment 1 avoids love for the trouble it will almost definitely bring, and the narrator of the second video (not Glass, someone whose name I can’t remember, as I don’t carry pen and paper like I should) comments about how it’s thought that the person you are in a romantic relationship with is subliminally picked or found because they will provoke your worst personal issues. The narrator of segment 2 reaches this idea in her focus on the bearded man who portrays Jesus, and his atheist girlfriend whose father is a devout Mormon. I frequently was geeking out and siding with the teenager’s philosophy, until they unveiled his favorite past time, the wedge issue that is Dungeons and Dragons. That’s too much for me, friend-o.

Segment 3 was a taste of what’s to come in season 2. Again, I’m drawing blanks on names, but here’s the gist: an Iraqi man who comes to New York and wants to know what Americans (who probably support the war or at least supported it’s start) have to say about the war in Iraq. Quickly he learns something that Dennis Leary explained a while ago: New York [City, I assume] is, for the purposes of debate and pride, not really a part of what people think “America” is. New Yorkers direct him to the midwest and the south to learn about what supporters of the war have to say. What follows is a series of interviews conducted at an almost too-cute booth that was built in probable homage to Lucy’s advice booth from the Peanuts comic strips. The interviews are each amazing, and I won’t really go into detail about them, other than to say that they stretch the gamut of batshit insane soldiers to pre-teens who feel horrible about what our country has done in Iraq.

Also given to the Ira Glass hungry masses:

– rejected footage of one way they might have taken the visual narrative of the tv show, where in Ira Glass nods and listens along during the interview and looks very very weird. Not like he doesn’t look weird just by being himself.

– analysis of the differences between the show on tv and the show on radio, and how it obviously is a bajillion times faster to make the program for radio than it is to make it for television. Those damn moving images.

I reccomend that you watch, download, and keep tabs on everything that is This American Life. Heck, from what I saw tonight, the show alone is just as much reason to subscribe to Showtime as Weeds or Californication is.

2. HBO will air the first 4 episodes of the fifth season The Wire on On Demand a week prior to their regular season premiere. This show alone is the only reason why we’re still subscribing to HBO. They do this, I think, because the copies of those four episodes always leak thanks to the screeners given to journalists.

3. As previously stated here at Chill Don’t Pay The Bills, Super Mario Galaxy is astoundingly good. Here are links to two interviews, one with the game’s director, Yoshiaki Koizumi, and the other with our favorite plumber’s creator, Shigeru Miyamoto. Read and learn.

4. My good friends over at Brunchtastic have double the thanksgiving cooking coverage. Here are today’s posts from Blake, on what he learned cooking thanksgiving dinner for his mother and sisters, and Jen, on why you can never have too much mashed potatoes.

5. If by some chance I have readership in, or that travels to, Germany; they are lucky bastards. Radiohead’s giving them the first two stops on their next tour. I saw them at Bonnaroo in 2006, in a performance that I’ll never stop talking about, and loved it. Go see them any way you can.

Bonus! You made it this far, you get a music video.

Murs – Yesterday & Today.

Vegas odds are on me not doing this tomorrow. We’ll see.


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