Our most ambitious production ever -- an adaptation of George Saunders' hilarious story "Ask the Optimist," from his most recent collection, The Braindead Megaphone. Produced by me (Jesse Thorn) with video & puppetry by Brian Hogg for Hoggworks.
You can view piece in video form above, or in listen to the radio/podcast version below. We convinced George's publisher to let us run this piece by arguing that it might "go viral," so please share! And for some perspective on George's work, don't miss this interview I conducted with George and ran a few days ago, or this show, which features an older interview with George.
Austin Grossman is the author of the new novel "Soon I Will Be Invincible," a literary look at a team of superheroes and their nemesis. Before he became a novelist and academic (he is currently a PhD candidate at UC Berkeley), he was a writer for video games.
Paul F. Tompkins has been performing standup comedy for over twenty years. He's perhaps best known as a castmember of HBO's Mr. Show, and as a talking head on VH1, Real Time with Bill Maher and Countdown with Keith Olbermann. He's just released his first standup CD, called "Impersonal," on AST Records.
John Sellers is the author of "Perfect From Now On: How Indie Rock Saved My Life." It's really two stories -- how he fell in love with indie, and how he came to obsess over the band Guided By Voices. Eventually, Sellers met the band, and disaster ensued.
Like a lot of music nerds, Brian Coleman is into liner notes. Unlike a lot of music nerds, however, Brian's chosen genre (hip-hop) rarely provides them. Instead of whining about it, Brian wrote "Check the Technique." The book records the oral history of the great albums of hip-hop's golden era, from "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back" to "Life Is... Too $hort." Coleman calls this history "the invisible liner notes."