Jamie York is a producer for On the Media.
OTM Staff Picks, March 20th, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - 12:10 PM
The staff of OTM pick a few of our favorite things. Please leave us comments below and enjoy.
Bob Garfield: Remember that hilarious scene in Lost in America when Albert Brooks tries to negotiate with the casino where his wife (Julie Hagerty) had lost their entire nest egg? Well, turns out, you can negotiate with casinos -- at least in advance -- to lower the house edge and to discount your losses. Amazing Atlantic piece by Mark Bowden about a guy who cut those deals on the way to winning $15 million from three casinos playing blackjack.
Alex Goldman: I read The Walking Dead in its comic book form long before I ever watched the TV show, and I found it plodding and frustrating by equal turns. Because it was originally released as monthly issues, the comic generally contained a savage attack, by zombies or otherwise, every 22 pages to keep fans interested. Unfortunately, that has the effect of breaking up the action, and superseding actual human drama. Add to that the unrealistic relationships between the characters and you have a seriously flawed zombie property.
Which is why I was surprised to find that the TV series adaptation of The Walking Dead fixes much of what the comic got wrong. I understand that a lot of fans are furious there’s not more zombie action, but the show arguably does something more important than zombie attacks: it captures the existential dread that I imagine would follow a zombie apocalypse, and the fragile group dynamics of survivors who are forced to work together in spite of their myriad interpersonal issues. Unfortunately, rumor has it that the show will introduce the hokey character from the comics “The Governor,” so my hope for the show continuing along the path it has cut this season is not high.
Chris Neary: My staff pick this week is stork ankles. Stork ankles are just one of many absurd food choices used in this great Key and Peele sketch.
Katya Rogers: My staff pick was passed on to me by former (and still missed) OTM producer Nazanin Rafsanjani. Being that we are both in the family way, and trying to get ahead of the story, we laughed heartily (and ironically) at this video:
I was also recently introduced to the Ryan Gosling “hey girl” meme when someone forwarded me this:
Why is it so funny? Is it Ryan Gosling’s face? Is it imagining him actually saying those things? I don’t know, but I do know that I laughed at an inappropriate volume when I opened this link.
To conclude: the online Birth Industrial Complex is alive and well.
PJ Vogt: I’m back from a week of vacation, which I spent with Downton Abbey and a digital stack of e-books. My favorite was Leaving the Atocha Station, the debut novel of this poet named Ben Lerner. It’s about an American poet on a fellowship in Spain. If you, like me, read that synopsis and think that it’s a recipe for a boring, boring book, then you are wrong. Wrong! Here’s the excerpt that made me want to read it, maybe it’ll work on you too.
Jamie York: Amidst our ongoing discussions with the surveyors about where fiction ends and non-fiction begins, I’d highly recommend a look at the origins of the ‘essay’. John D’Agata is right, it comes from the French and it means ‘to try’. But it was coined by Montaigne (1533 – 1592) and in How To Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts At An Answer Sarah Bakewell details just how broadly Montaigne defined ‘to try’; how much he was trying, tasting and testing life and writing about it in a way that hadn’t really been done before. For him the essay was a way to live out loud and to subjectively chart his experiences. As a result, his brand of proto-memoir has been a place readers go for a vision of themselves for almost 500 years. Bakewell’s book is a great (and timely) introduction to the relevance of Montaigne and the form he invented.
And just listen to this and tell me it doesn’t feel like Spring. Stay vernal y’all.