Jamie York is a producer for On the Media.
OTM Staff Picks, July 11, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011 - 04:23 PM
Every Monday, the staff of On the Media is going to pick a few things to share with our listeners. They may be new, they may be old, in fact they may or may not be media related in any way. This is our first week trying this out, and we're all very excited to share our staff picks with you. Feel free to offer us feedback in the comments section, and enjoy!
The Death of Mr. Lavarescu by Cristi Puiu
The Trip by Michael Winterbottom
I’m enjoying two things this Monday, unfortunately, neither of them seem super likely to help me come up with an idea for the radio show today.
The first thing is Talking Funny, which consists of comedians Ricky Gervais, Louis CK, Chris Rock, and Jerry Seinfeld sitting in a room talking about comedy. It’s a great interview without any actual interviewer. The best parts aren’t the jokes, the best parts are all the minute discussion about how they make jokes work. It’s on YouTube.
The other thing I’m enjoying is this essay in the Dallas Morning News by the writer Paul Ford. It’s about him and his wife and their efforts to have a kid. It’s a good, funny essay by someone who is willing to show a lot of humility in a newspaper. He also wrote a good manifesto about dropping in on people at their offices.
A story by Chuck Klosterman about an (until now) insignificant basketball game between two small colleges in North Dakota almost 25 years ago.
The last sentence of the first graph describes the game this way:
You've (probably) never heard of either school, and — in all likelihood — you will (probably) never hear of either one again. And if you remember this game, you (probably) played in it.
No one’s ever asked me for a pick of any kind before. This is very exciting. It’s also painful because this site is one of my favorite things. I both want to share it with everyone and want to keep it all for myself away from all of you. My precious. For all I know, everyone knows about it already. If not, check it out! It’s called Legal Blog Watch. They write their own stuff and aggregate stuff. Some times the stories I come across actually have a media-ish angle. That’s how I justify spending work hours reading it. Other times, the stories are just awesome for awesomeness sake. Like, for example, this story about a gang of criminal pregnant ladies in China. One of my favorite parts of the site is the “Three Burning Legal Questions.” It is my first official staff pick and I pick it so so much!
Ghostfunk - My love of the Wu-Tang Clan is well documented, and these remixes of Ghostface Killa songs with vintage African funk, high-life, and psychedelic rock by DJ Max Tannone are a great way of listening to very profane rap music without annoying my wife.
Half-Life 2 - Over the past month, I have replayed 2003's classic FPS Half-Life 2, as well as its mini-sequels, Episodes 1 and 2. Valve, Half-Life 2's developer (who has appeared on the show before) is notorious for its long development cycles, which may explain why there hasn't been another Half-Life release in nearly four years, despite being promised an Episode 3. A guy can only remain patient for so long.
Jaron Lanier profile in The New Yorker - I had a hard time getting through You Are Not a Gadget, Lanier's polemic against technologies that he says devalue human interaction and creativity (he cites many web 2.0 services as having this effect, chief among them Facebook). This profile in last week's New Yorker is a much more succinct distillation of his philosophy, with a healthy bit of personal history thrown in.
So tired from staying up late to watch Damages Season 3.
Patty Hewes is a heroine for our times. There’s so much moral ambiguity in her character: She’s ruthless, cold, calculating and has zero boundaries, but every rule she breaks (and everyone she has killed…ahem) is all in the pursuit of justice for the victims in her class action suits.
Couldn’t put down Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder. As good as if not better than Bel Canto.
I know this is a hornet’s nest to walk into as a first time-recommender, summer music is sentimental and people are fiercely protective of their loves. But, for me, great summer music falls into two categories. It’s catchy, approximately 3 ½ minutes long and feels as good the 50th time as the first - like this. or this. or this. Or it’s trancey, languid music for hot days, that, not incidentally, is perfect for long car rides when you’ve got nowhere special to go. If it’s in a foreign language all the better, it’s one less thing to think about. In the latter category is Juana Molina, but especially Tinariwen. Music custom-built for being lost (or nomadic).
And on the media front, I thought this was a great and perfectly ambiguous version of something journalists know well - what happens while you wait for judgement from someone you’ve written about, or portrayed in some way, or used in a piece.
I produced this week’s segment about “Hot Coffee” the movie, and nominate the film as my staff pick. It was an entertaining explanation of our civil legal system, with a lot of important information that the average consumer needs to know.
Other than that, I haven’t been able to pick much this week other than paint colors and furniture, as I am in the middle of moving. So my next staff pick is the color I am painting my living room. I am also really into this website that lets you upload an image of your room and paint it virtually. But don’t open it at work. It will consume your day.