Sarah Abdurrahman is a producer for On the Media
OTM Staff Picks: October 24th, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011 - 04:21 PM
Here is this week's list of picks from the OTM staff. If you want to recommend your own picks, please do so down in the comments section!
Doug Anderson: My pick this week is for all you hardcore radio nerds: "Love+Radio" is a now-defunct podcast by Nick van der Kolk and Adrianne Mathiowetz, produced in my home town of Boston. The stories have hints of "This American Life" and "Radiolab", but with a scrappy and off-beat sensibility. You can download all the episodes on iTunes. I suggest you start out with the one titled The Wisdom of Jay Thunderbolt. [Correction 10/25/2011: The reports of L+R's death are greatly exaggerated. The podcast is actually alive and well, now being produced out of Chicago by Nick van der Kolk. The show actually just received major accolades at the Third Coast International Audio Festival, and it's gearing up for a new season in 2012. Be sure to tune in! -DA]
Jody Avirgan: I'm a little loathe to include a video that has 12million views, but somehow none of the other producers here had seen this, so...this one-minute excerpt from a much longer (and absolutely brilliant) dimension-skewing mixed-medium vacation epic from Johannes Nyholm.
Last week I talked about one of my favorite YouTube phenomenons - the random pairing of songs and photographs. Today, another: users posting their lyrics in the comments section of instrumental beats. I guess these are aspiring rappers who have written their own rhymes for their favorite songs. They post them in the comments, give each other advice, and – maybe, just maybe – hope that the original artist sees it? I’m not sure, but at some point I’d love to see a project that pairs up the original artists with the new lyrics written by random YouTubers. Wouldn’t that be neat? (Don't steal that idea) Here are two examples. J.Cole "Lights Please" Original and "Lights Please" instrumental with a bunch of lyrics in the comments section and Common Market "Connect For" Original and "Connect For" instrumental with lyrics in comments section.
Bob Garfield: OK, look, there is only one book I have read four times in a two-year span and it is Diary of a Wimpy Kid. My 10-year-old daughter loves it and I love it more. Jeff Kinney is observant like the best stand-up comic, very funny and has total recall for middle school.
Alex Goldman: This weekend I watched Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits for the first time since I was a kid. It still holds up as being completely bizarre. They certainly don’t make kids movies like this anymore. Even the trailer for the movie is a head trip.
Chris Neary: My staff pick this week is one of the most dramatic moments of my college football watching career. After Wisconsin put together a remarkable late game comeback to tie the game, Michigan State had a few seconds left to lob a Hail Mary into the end zone for the win. It worked. Hail Mary’s never work. So much so that the play is synonymous with desperation. It’s the equivalent of hitting a half court shot in basketball or throwing a no-hitter in baseball. If you don’t like football, the video is worth watching for the slow-motion modern danceseque repeats of the final play.
Gianna Palmer: Michael Specter takes a fascinating look at Portugal's drug policies in his expertly reported piece, "Getting a Fix" (in the October 17th New Yorker). Portugal is the first country to completely decriminalize personal drug use of all kinds, and Specter investigates the effects—many of them positive—that the policy has had on the country's overall well-being. He also addresses the obvious question: could this work as well elsewhere?
And, in much lighter media consumption, I'm really happy "Parks and Recreation" and "Happy Endings" are back with new seasons. Both of these shows have gotten much, much better since their first seasons—though I probably wouldn't watch "Happy Endings" if it weren't for Casey Wilson. She is, as her character would say, ah-MAH-zing.