Beyond Bourne

By now, you know that the Serial podcast is back. I’m not going to be following it here, as the revelations from the Bowe Bergdahl interviews are already making the mainstream news and I’m sure there are already many commentaries on the podcast. I’ll just say I found it sad when Bergdahl said he left his unit to prove he was “the real thing,” a real soldier like Jason Bourne. It’s tragic he had no better role models than a Hollywood fantasy. Not that I blame Matt Damon — it’s probably a not uncommon example of how impressionable and stupid young men can be (I can attest, having been an impressionable and stupid young man myself).

If Bergdahl needed ways to bring attention to the safety concerns he says had been ignored, wouldn’t it be great if he could have thought about some more realistic (and less dangerous) examples to follow. Everyone knows the story of the civil rights lunch counter sit-ins, but do our schools teach the value (and skills) of creative nonviolence? What if instead of action movie nonsense kids were exposed to the real-life story of the Otpur! Movement that used nonviolence and humor to topple a dictator, or learned about The Yes Men and their disarming approach to corrupt institutions, or were introduced to any of the dozens of organizations working for nonviolent social change.

Anyway, on to the comedy and stuff! Here are this week’s podcast summaries.

With a bunch of recent news about opioid abuse, it’s worth checking out the recent addiction episode of Before You Leap. For an upcoming episode, I also spoke this week to Anastacia Marx De Salcedo, author of Combat-Ready Kitchen, an amazing look at the military’s influence on our food. And farmer Judith Redmond and I talk about the connection between climate change and agriculture. What happened when the waiters did not know how to restaurant.

Judge John Hodgman just barely eludes a summary judgment for Molly, who awesomely guessed the extremely obscure cultural reference (although she did not say it in Russian – hint!). Molly says her friend Hector texts her too much for professional and personal advice. If a robot sends you an email saying an application is due in a week, is it due in a week? The Judge thinks the robot may be broken. Jesse thinks this would have made for a good Oliver Sacks case. Is vocal fry real? Hector really wants to know (in his own defense, he was trying to be annoying). In the verdict, a new piece of settled law! Check it out.

On the Savage Lovecast, Dan talks gun nuts and Planned Parenthood and takes one-minute questions. Can he keep his answers to one minute?  Is road-head safe? The CDC says no, but Dan has a tip for safe driving sex. Do racist/homophobic old people get a pass? What’s the going rate for a bj? And can you haggle over it? Is his cum spritzy, or is it champagne? Dan uses physics for a (completely whacked) theory on guys who last and those who don’t. Nancy rants about what she terms the “women are idiots” callers (her words, not Dan’s!). Dr. Barak joins Dan to answer a couple of questions. And lots more.

Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast: this week’s show is just for the guys. Maybe just for guys who were teenagers in the 80’s and 90’s. Maybe just guys who were teens in the 80’s and 90’s and who haven’t matured any since then. Gilbert and Frank interview Jim “Mr. Skin” McBride, who’s website is the go-to spot for nudity in film. Hilarity ensues. If you can handle the mature (read: immature) content, Jim’s recall for nude scenes in many awful movies (and some good ones) is truly remarkable, and the story of how the site got its start is worth hearing, especially for those old enough to remember the early days of the internet. On the movie-mini, Gilbert recommends the 1950’s film The Big Knife, with Jack Palance, Ida Lupino and Rod Steiger (from a Clifford Odets story). It ends horribly with everyone unhappy — what’s not to like? Frank suggests The Rocketeer, the 1991 movie with Alan Arkin, Paul Sorvino and Jennifer Connelly. Everybody’s trying to get their hands on the jetpack!

I’m catching up on Roderick on the Line! Here’s episode 181: John is on his first RV Odyssey –and Jesse Thorne of the MaxFun network saves the day! Will John move into the MaxFun offices and have facing desks with Jesse? John goes to a psychiatrist, and starts making some exciting decisions! Is he on Lipitor – or is that Dick Cheney? John is Mr. Hawaiian shirt in November. And on 182: the first-ever episode with John and Merlin talking together, from an undisclosed location in San Francisco. She’s the most powerful superhero in the universe, why does she need any hair?  John’s old mattress leads to the longest Casper mattress promo read ever. Why was Merlin yelling “No video!” at John. Trigger warning: unknown caller asking for a video call.

On Bullseye, it’s a live episode! David Cross from Mr. Show (his new Netflix show with Bob Odenkirk, harking back to his old show with Bob) comes by. Why the new show needs more chap stick, and why Dave had shoulder surgery. They have the best audience whistlers. Jesse gives Dave a heartfelt thanks for being a guest in the early days of the show. Then, a stand up set from Aparna Nancherla, a writer for Late Night with Seth Myers (or you may know her from Totally Biased). Actor and fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson comes by, Jesse calls her one of the most impressive guests ever! And her Mom did not tell her that she sucks. Finally, music from legendary rapper Pharoahe Monch and DJ Boogie Blind.

Stop Podcasting Yourself – Paul Bae from The Black Tapes podcast comes by. What does Dave shirk? Paul becomes a dog guy! Stories from Paul’s days as a sub – the names and genders have been changed. Pop-up shop experiences, “we didn’t start the fire” parodies, Dave is a pieman, but what’s a bundt cake?

The David Steinberg Podcast will post David’s interview with comedy legend Carl Reiner next week. You can check out the teaser now.

On Le Show, Harry speaks with the always insightful Yves Smith of the Naked Capitalism blog about private equity and public employee unions. As Jack Nicholson said, “You can’t handle the truth!”

Unfictional has stories on the theme, “Thought I was Dead.” A writer comes down with a rare psychological disorder so she actually thinks she’s dead. Hear how it’s made her more grateful and more compassionate, even while living with the fear that the feeling may come back. Then, a scientist and former hacker tells of the time when his online status was changed from “alive” to “dead.” Finally, a man hits rock bottom, when unexpected help comes just in time.

On 99% Invisible, the faux Chinese architecture of San Francisco’s Chinatown explained. Surprisingly, it has a lot to do with how the Chinese community successfully fought the rising racism following the 1906 earthquake.

On WTF, Marc talks to comedy writer Adam Resnick (from Letterman and more) about Jews (the Germans hate the Russians), growing up in Harrisburg PA (where there were no psychologists), and Adam’s new memoir Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation. It’s not about show business, but it’s funny (yet not a humor book). Computers – now we don’t need to be masturbate all day because we can shop online! Are we circling the drain? Is Adam’s Cabin Boy movie a synonym for shlock? Then on Thursday’s show, director Danny Boyle comes by and talks about his movies, including the new Steve Jobs biopic. Is it more important to be happy, or sanctified? Find out how Danny was as an actor, and how animal cunning is an important tool for a director.

On Risk!, a story of seasickness on a Lake Michigan boat trip. Then, a young man finds his Dad lying in a pool of blood. And, flirting in history class leads to a troubled relationship. And Kevin reads his erotic fiction.

The Moth has two travel stories. Amir Baghdadchi wants to know, is that Amish women wearing a bonnet, or is that a terror headdress? And Dameon Wilburn brings a bit of Detroit along on her trip to Paris.

Doug Loves Movies from Portland, comedian Amy Miller saw Creed, her underwear says she really liked it. Was comic Sean Jordan wearing finishing pants when he saw Fifty Shades? And Jake Johannsen saw Southpaw, but Doug may be done with boxing movies. The gang plays “Tell the Truth-favorite Will Smith movie edition.” Is Jake playing Getting Doug with High? Then they play “Whose Tag line Is It Anyway” (or is that “Whose Slag Line?”). The movies of Keanu Reeves on Last Man Stanton.

Hidden Brain asks, are responses to jokes clues to our true biases and preferences? And why do we laugh at stuff anyway? With clips from Louis C.K. and a chat with Bill Burr. Is Bill’s joke going in a Greenpeace direction, or a Klan direction? Also Shankar mentions the benign violation theory from Peter McGraw, author of The Humor Code, who we spoke to for our episode on creativity, humor and activism.

On Story Collider, writer and science communicator Rachel Pendergrass had childhood dreams of several perfect jobs. So how did she end up in a dead-end food service job? Then she gets a dream job at the aquarium – and gets to hang out with penguins! But jobs are jobs, right?

Plus Alec Baldwin talks with Jimmy Fallon on Here’s the Thing. Is Jimmy auditioning for SNL, or Cirque de Soleil? Why are Jimmy’s grandparents locked in the backyard?


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