Jamie York is a producer for On the Media.
OTM Staff Picks, February 21, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 04:46 PM
The staff of OTM pick a few of our favorite things. Please leave us comments below.
Sarah Abdurrahman: I am picking the Baz Luhrmann film “Strictly Ballroom”, an off-beat comedy about going against regulation in the rigid world of competitive ballroom dancing. It is really dramatic and silly, and a lot of fun to watch. Plus it has a great soundtrack.
Brooke Gladstone: Stephen Colbert’s shout out to his mom on Monday’s show.
Alex Goldman: I am a huge fan of gibberish. I think that gibberish, wordplay, and deliberate mispronunciation are probably the purest form of comedy. A couple weeks ago, fellow producer Jamie York hipped me to a YouTube channel that is tailor made for my discerning taste in nonsense: Pronunciation Manual. A parody of another YouTube channel called Pronunciation Book, Pronunciation Manual is a master class in how funny gibberish can be. Learn how to hilariously mispronounce such phrases as “haute couture,” “l’espirit de l’escalier,” and names like “Ellen Degeneres,” “Michael Ondaatje,” and my personal favorite, “Joaquin Phoenix.”
Chris Neary: Read this Times obit of John Fairfax. This guy had a remarkable life, so much so that I wasn’t sure it wasn’t an Onion piece the first time I read it.
It begins with the line: “He crossed the Atlantic because it was there, and the Pacific because it was there also.”
Later in the obit:
At 9, he settled a dispute with a pistol. At 13, he lit out for the Amazon jungle.
At 20, he attempted suicide-by-jaguar. Afterward he was apprenticed to a pirate. To please his mother, who did not take kindly to his being a pirate, he briefly managed a mink farm, one of the few truly dull entries on his otherwise crackling résumé, which lately included a career as a professional gambler.
Mr. Fairfax was among the last avatars of a centuries-old figure: the lone-wolf explorer, whose exploits are conceived to satisfy few but himself. His was a solitary, contemplative art that has been all but lost amid the contrived derring-do of adventure-based reality television.
PJ Vogt: Why do the lyrics in songs have to rhyme? That question got stuck in my head on Saturday and now it won't go away. So after Googling "lyrics that don't rhyme," I've been listening to this Whiskeytown cover of Dreams, by Fleetwood Mac. I never noticed this before, but "Dreams" doesn't rhyme much in the verses. The chorus, sure, but the verses are mostly just a string of non-rhyming lyrics.
Further questions: 1. When did rhyming songs even start? 2. Are there tons of popular songs that don't rhyme that I just never noticed?
Jamie York: Thanks to the good people at the International Reporting Project I was on a reporting fellowship in Malaysia this fall. There are many things I’ve missed since I left but one of the simplest is Sisters Crispy Popiah. Pasar Baru Bukit Bintang (also known as Imbi Market) is a classic open-air wet/dry market, a little off the beaten track in Kuala Lumpur. On Saturdays and Sundays breakfast is the thing and Sisters Popiah has a well deserved long line. Sisters serves one and one thing only, a wrap of delicious, mysterious vegetables (and maybe pork skin, dried shrimp, peanuts?); alternately sweet, savory and crunchy. It’s best chased with a mug of iced Hainanese coffee from the place on the left, not on the right. It's a madhouse on the weekends and everyone's got an opinion about what you should eat but I’d urge you to sit, sweat and eat popiah like you might never be back.