Sarah Abdurrahman is a producer for On the Media
OTM STAFF PICKS VOLUME 24
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 04:13 PM
OTM's weekly round up of our favorite things. Add some of your own down in the comment section!
Brooke Gladstone: I'm late onto the John Jeremiah Sullivan bandwagon. But I just read Pulphead, his enthralling, elegant, profound, and hilarious essay collection, and I am never getting off.
Here's an excerpt from his essay about the coming, inevitable, animal-human war (crammed with gripping facts and credible science) called "Violence of the Lambs":
For every account that seemed a little far-fetched and made me think a few qualifying facts must have been left out, there'd be another that, while admittedly bizarre, had the instant ring of stuff you wouldn't make up, like the jogger in southeastern North Carolina who witnesses saw get surrounded on the boardwalk by a squadron of oversize male hermit crabs, which approached him, kung fu style, with that one bulging claw forward, and appeared to attempt to drive him off a pier. And as always with cases like these, the quote from the zoologist comes around like a mantra: First recorded...not known to have occurred previously...relevant literature was searched but no prior instances retrieved...experts shocked...abnormal...unheard of...
When Livengood came back, I was six inches lower in the chair; I probably looked like a person whose mind had just been destroyed by a satanic video game.
"Still skeptical?" Livengood said.
PJ Vogt: Fellow OTM producer Alex Goldman sent me this series of tweets from a 22-year old Canadian college kid livetweeting his first acid trip. It is sweet and funny and, while I believe it is true, even if it weren't, it would be too good to fact check. Here is an excerpt:
Jamie York: I seem to have a thing for disastrous heist movies lately but my pick this week is a great movie from the early aughts called "Crimson Gold". Written by one of Iran’s finest filmmakers, Abbas Kiarostami, and directed by Jafar Panahi (who just made "This is Not A Film" about his house-arrest and ban from filmmaking) "Crimson Gold" begins with the bungled robbery of a jewelry store in which the robber kills the store’s owner and then himself. What follows from there should be the definition of anticlimax – the ‘hero’ has already killed himself and the robbery’s been nothing but a fiasco – but like "Dog Day Afternoon" or any of a host of other anti-hero movies from the 1970’s the strength of the movie is in the acute character study of the robber and his quotidian frustrations as a pizza delivery guy in Tehran. I also read a really interesting interview with long-form journalist Katherine Boo last weekend and she argued that despite her reputation for 'issue' reporting she never thinks of her characters as ‘representative’ of a problem, that people are always infinitely more complicated then that. The main character in "Crimson Gold" is a perfect example of Boo’s approach, maybe he represents a critique of Iran, maybe he’s more then the sum of the parts of his life we see – maybe he’s not. Either way, it’s a movie that I keep thinking about.
Alex Goldman: The other day I was thinking about being a mediocre guitar player, and what I aspire to. My first thought was that I would like to be able to do those weird, chaotic guitar solos like Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath. But the more I thought about it, I’d rather play like Brooklynite Marnie Stern. She makes music that sounds not quite human. It’s like dolphin sounds or something. Absolutely hypnotic.
Sarah Abdurrahman: I am not the first on the staff to make this pick, but I have just gotten into the TV series "Damages," and have to pick it again. It's a show about lawyers in New York--blah blah, we have all heard it before. But the stories are told in such an innovative way, with flashes between the present and the future eventually coming together as the details of the time in between get filled in. The show is so unbelievably addictive, I don't know what I am going to do when I finish watching the available episodes.