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Culture: AV Club Picks for July 2011 on The Sound of Young America

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Kyle Ryan
Tasha Robinson

The Onion's AV Club editors Kyle Ryan and Tasha Robinson stop by to give us their top picks for July's movies, music and books.

  • A surprisingly practical guide to screenwriting from past TSOYA guests Tom Lennon and Ben Garant, Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!
  • They Might Be Giants' new album out next week, a return to "adult rock" called Join Us
  • A new autobiography from Bob Mould, co-founder of Hüsker Dü, called See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody
  • The smaller science fiction film Another Earth, in theaters next week
  • Jesse & Lee Thorn on The Mental Illness Happy Hour


    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.


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    Hello Stop Podcasting Yourself fans. In case you haven't heard, the hosts of the show and a couple of SPY regulars got together to make a comedy pilot for CBC radio.

    The show is called Adultery, and it's about how people of our generation don’t have the skills or accomplishments that we believe came so naturally to our parents. It’s also super funny.

    It features Charlie Demers and Erica Sigurdson as hosts, and our own Graham Clark is the guest who has to undertake the grown-up task of giving a haircut to a child in a kitchen. Dave Shumka co-produced and edited the show.

    Download the mp3 here.

    It's just a pilot, so any positive feedback we get would be appreciated. Send that to or tweet it to @CBCAdultery.

    Herrmerrn's School of French Kissing for Dogs


    "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)

    Comedy: Jackie Kashian on The Sound of Young America

    Jackie at MaxFunCon 2011, by Kenneth Lecky
    Jackie Kashian

    The very funny Jackie Kashian is an LA-based stand up comic, frequent collaborator of our pal Maria Bamford, and host of The Dork Forest podcast. Her comedy album It is Never Going to be Bread is available now.

    Here's a selection of her stand-up set from the stage of the Lake Arrowhead Conference Center at MaxFunCon 2011.

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


    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.

    Stop Podcasting Yourself 174 - Adam Lisagor and Scott Simpson

    Adam Lisagor
    Scott Simpson

    Adam and Scott of You Look Nice Today join us to talk about spiders, gym etiquette, and general childishness.

    Download episode 174 here. (right-click)

    Brought to you by: (click here for the full list of sponsors)

    Simon Pegg, Actor and Filmmaker: Interview on The Sound of Young America

    Simon Pegg

    Simon Pegg joins us to talk about nerd rants, his philosophy on zombies, and his close-knit relationship with collaborator and friend Nick Frost.

    He's best known as the actor, writer, and director whose guiding hands have been involved in British TV comedy Spaced and films Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Paul.

    His new memoir follows his own journey as the nerdy everyman; Nerd Do Well: A Small Boy’s Journey to Becoming a Big Kid is out now.

    JESSE THORN: It's The Sound of Young America, I'm Jesse Thorn. My guest is Simon Pegg; actor, writer, memoirist, geek. His new book is called Nerd Do Well. It's the story of how, well, let's be honest, a nerd did well. And a nerd did well through nerdiness. Almost all of Pegg's work has drawn on his identity as not just creator, but also fan. He co-created and starred in the British sitcom Spaced, which saw the world of the sitcom, or the romantic sitcom, through a pop culture lens. He made his reputation here in the United States with the hit zom-com, Shaun of the Dead; that's zom-com, half romantic comedy, half zombie film. He was co-writer and star of Hot Fuzz, which was again, a tribute/satire of the action-comedy, and he recently co-wrote and starred in Paul, which was, again, a sort of half-parody, half-tribute to, in this case, the extraterrestrial films of one Mr. Steven Spielberg.
    And how's this for geek credit: he was Scotty in the reboot of Star Trek.

    What binds all of these projects together, of course, is a deep appreciation for popular storytelling, including the kind of genre stories that, let's just say don't have the mainstream artistic credibility of 18th century period drama; in other words, they're geeky.

    Simon Pegg, welcome to The Sound of Young America.

    SIMON PEGG: Thank you very much. It's nice to be here.

    Click here for a full transcript of this interview, or click here to stream or download the audio.

    My Brother, My Brother and Me 62: My Dark Twisted Pretzel Fantasy


    Instead of accepting and moving on from the fact that we missed last week's show to celebrate our freedom and heritage, we're just going to make-pretend that it's still last week. Which we're going to have to do every week until the end of time, we guess. We're not big on exit strategies, here.

    Suggested talking points: The Zookeeper Collapse, Virginity Bandz, Malldate, Carrot Top Canary, Earth Girls are Easy and Deeply Submerged, Yu-Gi-Oh-Yeah, Stankadank, Cake Boss: The Dog

    JJGo Ep. 183: Paprika with Julie Klausner

    Julie Klausner

    Julie Klausner from How Was Your Week? joins us for a discussion of goulash and Daniel Craig.

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