Jesse Thorn's blog

Jesse & Lee Thorn on The Mental Illness Happy Hour

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For all of my life and most of his, my father has struggled with a condition called post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. It was precipitated by a combination of childhood trauma and military service. It has changed the way he relates to everyone, including my family.

Over the past twenty years or so, my dad's engaged his PTSD and gotten much better. He certainly still has plenty of problems, but a combination of lifestyle changes, work with refugees from the bombing he was part of, medication, talk and cognitive-behavioral therapy have made a huge impact in his life, and in the lives of the rest of my family.

A few weeks ago, my friend Paul Gilmartin came by our studio to talk with us about PTSD and how it's affected my dad's life as a sufferer and mine as a family member. You can hear the resultant episode of Paul's show The Mental Illness Happy Hour here.

I hope we can have some effect for sufferers and their families, first and foremost. If you may need help, get it. This is especially true for veterans - the VA can be a nightmare, I know from personal experience, but getting help is worth it. It can give you a fuller, richer life.

My maternal grandfather had PTSD (they called it "shell shock" then), and he was never able to get help. It helped break up his marriage and destroy his relationship with his kids. It doesn't have to go like that. My brothers and I have a wonderful relationship with our dad, and that's in large part thanks to the hard work he's done engaging and addressing this condition.

Secondarily, I hope we can make a little bit realer the consequences of war. PTSD isn't just common among soldiers and sailors. It also affects war's civilian victims. War changes your brain, whether you're a soldier or just a regular person caught up in a traumatic situation. For every soldier or civilian who loses a leg to a bomb, many are traumatized mentally in ways that will scar them for life. This is the cost of war that is not talked about, but must be.

Now, I will say this... this all sounds very heavy, but humor, at least in my family, is one of the most important coping mechanisms. It's true for me, it's true for my dad, and it's true for my Stepmother, the funniest person in my family, who grew up in the troubles of Northern Ireland. Paul is a hilarious guy, and I remember getting in some good laughs among the serious business talks. Do give the show a listen.

Herrmerrn's School of French Kissing for Dogs

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"I won the lottery, so I can do whatever I want. That's why I bought out Arby's. But you already know that, from my other commercials. So fuck the haters."

Produced for The Midnight Show, featuring past JJGo guest Hal Rudnick and written by past JJGo guest Heather Campbell.

(via Jordan's Tumblr)

Les Savy Fav + Alice Cooper + AV Club + Yacht = Fun

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Les Savy Fav covers "School's Out" by Alice Cooper on a yacht

School's Out, as covered by two-time TSOYA guests Les Savy Fav, on a rented boat.

That's called SUMMER FUN, people. Get with it.

The Commercials of Errol Morris

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I'm interviewing Errol Morris later today, one of my all-time favorite film makers. Shoot, maybe my #1 all-time favorite film maker. I may have time to ask him about his commercial work, but I thought I'd throw in a couple of pieces here just in case I don't.

Above: "Stay Curious," for PBS. Below, "Olive Loaf," for Miller High Life.

Michael Rapaport & Peanut Butter Wolf: What's In My Bag?

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Michael Rapaport, this week's Sound of Young America guest, and Peanut Butter Wolf, legendary record collector and founder of Stones Throw records, team up to hit the aisles at Amoeba Records in LA. PBW is music supervisor for Rapaport's Tribe Called Quest doc.

The MBMBaM Shirt is Here!

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The all-new My Brother, My Brother & Me t-shirt is here!

Check it out in the MaxFunStore now.

Gil Scott-Heron & Jay Smooth

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I had some of the same feelings about Gil Scott-Heron's passing as Jay did. The difference, I think, is that Jay is one of the most thoughtful, brilliant cultural commentators we have, and I was busy working on this tweet about baby kangaroos .

Roach Gigz - Pop Off

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I went into the Hype Men podcast yesterday and had a lot of fun talking about my hip-hop history and the Bay Area. In fact, I'd say I had hella fun. Sent me down into YouTube, listening to tracks by the hottest MC repping San Francisco right now, Roach Gigz. This one was a favorite.

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