The Blog of Young America

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Podcast: The Lobotomist with Jack El-Hai

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Show: 
Bullseye


Jack El-Hai is the author of "The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and his Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness." It traces the life of Dr. Walter Freeman (pictured above), who popularized the lobotomy. The technique was innovative in its time, but Freeman continued performing it long after more effective pharmaceutical treatments were available. Nonetheless, Freeman was an innovator in treating the physical causes of mental illness.

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The Sound of Young America is underwritten in part by Project Breakout

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Yuval Taylor on "Faking It: The Quest for Authenticity in Popular Music"
Wonder with Michael Ivins of the Flaming Lips and New Yorker writer Lawrence Weschler
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Podcast: The Lobotomist with Jack El-Hai

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Podcast: Sarah Thyre, author of "Dark at the Roots"

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Show: 
Bullseye


Sarah Thyre is an actress and writer. She's been seen as Coach Cherri Wolf on "Strangers with Candy," and on The Upright Citizens Brigade and Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

Her memoir, "Dark at the Roots," describes her childhood in the deep south. Rebellious and irreverent, but also secretly deeply class and status conscious, she struggled through catholic school as an outsider.

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Our intersititial music is provided by Dan Wally

The Sound of Young America is underwritten in part by Project Breakout

You might also enjoy these shows:
Entertaining with Jimmy Carr and Amy Sedaris
Author Vendela Vida
30 Rock co-star Jack McBrayer

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Podcast: TSOYA Classic: No F***ing Eagles

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Show: 
Bullseye


We continue our journey into The Sound of Young America's vast audio archive with this program from The Sound of Young America Classics.

Our guests: We talk first with the founders of Lebowskifest, an annual celebration of all things Big Lebowski. Aherents call themselves "Achievers," and flock to the events, typically held in bowling alleys.

We also talk with Seth Greenland. He's the author of the novel "The Bones," which satirizes Hollywood and the world of comedy.

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Podcast: TSOYA Classic: America's Future

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Show: 
Bullseye


We continue our journey into The Sound of Young America's vast audio archive with this program from The Sound of Young America Classics.

Our guests: Joe Garden is currently features editor of The Onion. He's been a writer there for many years, and is also a candidate to replace Conan O'Brien as the host of Late Night.

Chris Jackson founded the entertainment advocacy and prank group H.O.P.E., or Horrified Observers of Pedantic Entertainment.

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The Comedy of the Schlub

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Sharon Waxman, a former TSOYA guest and a reporter with a great talent for finding the angle, has an interesting piece on the Judd Apatow ouvre in the Times today.

The question she introduces to the debate is an important one, and she quotes Mike White (the man behind such wonderful films as "School of Rock" and "The Good Girl"):

“To me, I definitely stand in the corner of wanting to give voice to the bullied, and not the bully. Here’s where comedy is catharsis for people who are picked on,” he said.

“There’s a strain in ‘Knocked Up’ where you sort of feel like something’s changed a little bit,” he continued. “My sense of it is that because those guys are idiosyncratic-looking, their perception is that they’re still the underdogs. But there is something about the spirit of the thing, that comes under the guise of comedy, where — it’s weird. At some point it starts feeling like comedy of the bullies, rather than the bullied.”

Apatow writes to Waxman:

“I think there is a nerd’s fantasy involved in many of these films. We all wish that somebody would take the time to get to know us, and love us, warts and all.”

He added: “I always wanted to be given a shot. And the sick part is this: No matter how many shots I get, I never completely lose the feeling of inadequacy that makes me wish I would get a chance to prove myself.”

The line between nerd-schlub and bully-schlub is a fine one. I think a great illustration might be the films of Adam Sandler, where while the protagonist is often a weird outsider type, and invariably a man-child, there's little attention paid to the real feelings that are so central to "The 40-Year-Old Virgin." Often in Sandler's films, acting like an emotionally stunted jerk is almost the reason for his triumph.

I haven't yet seen "Knocked Up," and I'm very excited to, but this will give me something to consider between now and then.

Podcast: Jordan, Jesse GO! Ep. 22: Florida Gators & Hawaiian Penguins

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In this week's Jordan Jesse GO!, we discuss vacations and more.

Introduction
Jesse and Jordan are in a Scottish forest. They discuss the fact that Jesse forgot Jordan's birthday (and cannot name the birthdays of close family members). They also discuss the Fry Daddy.
Great Story
Jordan discusses the meanest he's ever been to someone at work.
Jordan Sings
Jordan performs "Hot Cross Buns."

Vacation Spots

We follow up on last week's discussion of vacation spots. Disneyworld, Disneyland, and Papaya King are discussed. Jordan talks about his upcoming working vacation in Hawaii, where he will meet a real penguin.
Pledge Break
May first through fifteenth is the MaxFun Drive. Donate.
Drinking Game

Listeners call in with some JJGo drinking game rules. We resolve to create an official game here on the forum.

Outro

A caller calls in -- he has just graduated college after 12 years.

ACTION ITEMS

* Donate to support MaximumFun.org
* What's a time you were mean to someone? What was a job or relationship that brought out the worst in you?
* What does one do when on vacation by oneself (besides masturbating in your hotel room)?
* Do you have questions for Rutger Hauer? What should we do with Rutger?


LISTENER SONG

"Tied to a Million Things" by The Pale Pacific from Urgency

CONTINUING ACTION ITEMS:

* Review the show on iTunes.
* Do you have a dispute Judge John Hodgman can solve on a future broadcast? Email it to us! Put Judge John in the subject line.
* Have personal questions for Jesse and Jordan? Call 206-984-4FUN and tell us what they are!
* Would you like to play Would You Rather with us on a future episode? Email us or give us a call at 206-984-4FUN.

Call 206-984-4FUN to share your thoughts on these ACTION ITEMS.

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Our theme music: "Love You" by The Free Design, courtesy of The Free Design and Light in the Attic Records

The Sound of Young America and Jordan Jesse GO! are supported in part by Project Breakout!

Pledge Drive Update

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Wow!

Our first-ever MaximumFun.org pledge drive is going really fantastically well. We're giving away a bunch of prizes, including t-shirts, hobo illustrations, a copy of SkyMaul and a copy of The Areas of My Expertise, and a DVD box set of Get Smart. We're also getting lots of listeners stepping up and becoming supporters of maximumfun.org. And, of course, they'll all get Maximum Fun Packs in the mail, with their own Maximum Fun Club cards and more.

So far we've had (by my count) 34 new pledges -- most of which are monthly commitments. I want to thank the following folks for supporting the show thus far:
Sarah Z, Kyle H, Margaret H, David B, Craig S, Edward M, Mike D, Jeff M, Ayesha M, Marylee R, Reena R, David S, Guan Y, Tim A, Mark M, Scott S, Justin Z, Tom S, Brian S, Adam L, Nicholas L, Adam K, Chris F, Elias G, Matt A, Maryam M, Kristen S, Neal S, Elisabeth C, Zack S, Carol M, David L, Mason P, Daniel S, William R, Keren K, Rachel L, Charles F, Alex T, Ben W, Derek H, Joseph C, Aaron M & Linus B.

Not yet a donor? You still have time. I'm absolutely committed to keeping this drive to two weeks, but there's still a full week left.

If you haven't yet given, what's holding you back? Just haven't pulled the trigger yet?

Donate now.

This American Life TV show renewed

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I think it was good and has room for improvement, and I'm betting it will just get better. Six more episodes.

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