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Maximum Fun is your home on the internet for things that are awesome. Our blog will guide you and our family of podcasts will entertain and inform you. About

Moichandising moichandising moichandising!

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In the first few weeks of The Sound of Young America's new, listener-supported era, we've gotten a number of contributions from listeners. We're up to about $75/month in steady income, which certainly isn't enough to live on (the ultimate goal), but will certainly give me some capital to reinvest in the show.

For example:

I'm preparing the big mailing to everyone who filled out our listener survey at the end of 2005. I finally found an old copy of Office 2000, and used it to complete the required mail merge... I'll pick winners of all the many prizes (Onion books, DVDs, etc) soon and announce them in the May newsletter.

I also hopped onto Ebay to purchase a card laminator... everyone who responded to the survey will get a brand new Maximum Fun Club card, laminated by yours truly (well, my girlfriend volunteered to help). Hopefully I won't burn my face off or anything.

Also! I just ordered some Sound of Young America stickers... the image on them is pictured above. Everyone will get one of those, too.

I've also got Dan Grayson, best known for designing the TSOYA website and co-writing (and singing) the theme song, "Maximum Fun," working on two other merchandise projects as well... the first is a new "Maximum Fun" pin with the pink elephants graphic I've been using for The College Years.

The second is... wait for it... T-Shirts!

Once Dan's done designing them, I'm off to Barrios Unidos in Santa Cruz to spend my life savings having them printed up. BU is a great non-profit that works with at-risk kids in Santa Cruz and Salinas, helping them build their community. We decided to print them on American Apparel shirts, not really for political reasons (my friend who's a union organizer tells me that while they're sweatshop-free, they're also big union busters), but mostly because those are some really nice shirts. Shirts are so expensive, I'm not sure how we'll distribute them, but I'll think of something.

Anyway, I need to know what size people are, so click here to take the one-question survey.

Jonathan Coulton at Mo Pitkins in NYC

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Our pal John Hodgman drops us a line about his partner-in-crime, Jonathan Coulton:

I wanted to let you Coulton fans know that Coulton is offering a VERY SPECIAL concert of songs themed to the first of May (and other themes) on May 1, this Monday, at 7PM, at "Mo Pitkin's" THE place to go for bawdy calendar-based songs and also: chopped liver.

He has many many more songs than you've heard before, as he has been writing one per week for the past 1000 years--part of his incredible "Thing A Week" podcast via his website, called, not surprisingly www.jonathancoulton.com.

Coulton is indeed hilarious, and his website features lots of music you can hear, buy and get for free. It's a unique twist on the pop-rock-humor hpioneered by They Might Be Giants. Like "Skullcrusher Mountain," as heard on The Sound of Young America, which is the usual evil-maniac's-lament type tune.

San Francisco Film Festival

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The San Francisco International Film Festival is in full swing here in San Francisco. There are many, many films being shown, but programmer Sean Uyehara offers us some tips on upcoming films worth checking out...

Backstage, Dir Emmanuelle Bercot (France)
Backstage takes on the dark, frenzied world of fandom, immersing viewers in a surreal melodrama of desire in which Lucie, a starstruck teenager, develops an unsavory and dangerous relationship with her idol, pop icon Lauren.

Sean says: "It's sort of like Aaron Spelling meets Antonioni... it's the kind of film that's crossing so many boundaries, it's really a fun, crazy ride."

Screens at the Kabuki in San Francisco, Tues May 02 / 7PM

Cock Byte: Masters of Machinima
Machine animation geniuses Rooster Teeth Productions, creators of the wildly popular online episodic parodies Red vs Blue and The Strangerhood, appear in person to present their greatest hits and new work, all made using the 3D graphics engines from videogames.

Sean says: "Our executive direct likes to say 'they give machinima legs.' There's a lot of people tinkering with machinima, it's really interesting, it's really neat, but it needed a step forward in the evolutionary process to really turn into something that seems viable in the long term and that's what Rooster Teeth is doing."

Screens at the Aquarius in Palo Alto Wed, May 03 / 6:45

Adam's Apples, Dir. Anders Thomas Jensen, Denmark
A pitch-black comedy/religious parable in which a truculent neo-Nazi ex-convict and a dementedly upbeat country priest square off amid Old Testament plagues centered on a parish apple tree.

Sean says: "It's about someone who gets out of prison, doesn't feel like righting himself, and then anything that you can imagine going wrong to him does. And it's hilarious. Because it's not happening to you."

Screening at the Aquarius in Palo Alto, Tue, May 02 / 9:30 PM

Addictive TV, England/France
Trailblazing VJ outfit Addictive TV presents a "best of" selection from the acclaimed Optronica film and music festival and performs The Eye of the Pilot, a live mashup of 1950s 8mm film, art deco-inspired graphics and music.

Sean says: "Imagine your favorite DJ, doing your favorite music mix... some sort of mashup. And then taking your favorite films, your favorite TV spots, some archival footage, mixing it all up, and putting it together. It's an absolutely overwhelming, mind-boggling experience."

Showing/Performing at the Kabuki in San Francisco Mon, May 02 / 9:45 and
at the nightclub Mighty in SF Wed, May 03 / 9:00

Sean talks about watching 1400 films a year for the festival on this week's show.

E-40 is Quarterbackin'

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"hyphy is energy, it's lettin' yourself go, it's doin' the fool, it's actin' the rectum, it's a stress reliever, it's lettin' your hair down, it's energy, you know what I mean? If I wanted to put it in a sentence, I could say, 'What happened over there, man? Why that shit happen over there, they throwin' shit up, and it's a whole bunch of hyphy mo'fuckers makin' believe they fools.' That's the way you put that in a sentence."

E-40 interview on Pop Matters

The Princess Bride

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What a coincidence... I was just reading the bit of William Goldman's wonderful Hollywood memoir, "Which Lie Did I Tell?" where he talks about The Princess Bride. And what do I find on the internet? The Princess Bride for $5.99 with free shipping. Use code 85704.

Podcast: College Years - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

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This week on TSOYA: The College Years:
* The Evil Computer Bent on World Domination stops by for a rousing session of "Relationship advice from an Evil Computer Bent on World Domination."
* The Extreme Weatherman gives us weather that is now five years out of date.
* Gene describes a dream he had, in which Nolan Ryan made out with his mom.
* We hear an amazing dream from Dan about emo kids taking over UCSC's Porter College, with a twist that must be heard to be believed.
* A caller calls in and tells us she listens every week -- we don't know that she'll call in a few months later, ask Gene out, and they will then date for over a year.
* We have a contentious discussion about Radiohead

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W. Kamau Bell: Sarah Silverman is Racist.

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W. Kamau Bell is one of San Francisco's top standup comedians, and a good friend to The Sound of Young America. He wrote this provocative note on his myspace blog, and I thought it was perfect to share with you. What do you think?

Sarah Silverman is racist.

I put this sentence at the end of a bulletin I posted recently. And the funny thing was the amount of responses that I got to that comment and not to the bulletin itself. (Though at this point I don't even remember what it was about either.) I put it in randomly. It was a thought rolling through my head at the time, but not because it was a "joke". I actually do believe it.

ANYWAY... Here's my point. First of all despite what people may think since I am a comedian, I don't have any INSIDE information as to her racism. (I have only met her once BRIEFLY several years ago, and like much of that alterna-stand-up crowd, she seeeeeeemed nice at the time... but then why wouldn't she?) I just saw her movie, Jesus is Magic, and I was... well... not so much stunned as I was disappointed in how racism is apparently becoming chic amongst the hipsters. (I guess if they can make Coldplay hip ANYTHING is possible.)

Watching her act I was just left cold by how racist jokes are apprently OK when they come out of a mouth of a beautiful woman who allegedly coats them in IRONY, but somehow when Larry the Cable Guy does his red state/redneck jokes(some of which are racist), David Cross and Lewis Black speak out aganst him in Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone is the same magazine that places the mantle of both Lenny Bruce AND Richard Pryor on Silverman's shoulders.

To quote Eddie Murphy in RAW, "GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK!"

Sarah Sliverman NO PERCENTAGE of either Lenny Bruce OR Richard Pryor. (I have to believe that she would admit to this.) Those tw GENIUSES used the topics of race and sex to criticize the status quo AND to further the discussion of these topics along, not to just titillate as she does.

There is NOTHING wrong with titillation as long as it is not dressed up as intelligent social criticism.

It's not that I don't think she is funny. I GET THE JOKES. In fact, that is most of my problem... After listening to all of her racist jokes in her movie, I walked out thinking, "I GET IT, SARAH! All the stereotypes about black people are TRUE. Thanks for the update." I'm sure many would say that I am missing the ironic twist... YOU'RE CORRECT! After five or six of her jokes supporting the same stereotypes that have been perpetuated in the U.S. for four hundred years, I COMPLETELY MISS THE IRONY. Her comedic point of view on race seems so simplistic and unevolved. I would think her act was BRILLIANT... if she was twelve... or if it was out of the mouth of a comedic character who is CLEARLY an idiot... you know, like Andrew "Dice" Clay. His first album is still hilarious

The experience of watching her movie was all made the more pathetic for me due to the fact that these jokes are performed in front of a mostly white audience. (I say mostly, because I did actually see ONE black guy in the audience. And yes he was laughing... maybe because he came with white people.)

The ultimate tragedy of this is that Hollywood clearly not only condones this, but sees it as brilliant. In a time of incredible comics like Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, and... (Well, I guess that's all we have for now.) who are clearly links to Bruce and Pryor AND are working hard to advance society's conversation about race it is painful to see Silverman SOOOOO celebrated. I will conclude with what I often say in situations like these, if me and all my friends (comics, performers, musicians, and artists) were as successful as her I wouldn't even blink an eye at her antics.

And YES, I know her act isn't all about race, but anyone familiar with her knows that it's basically 70% jokes that put down women and 30% jokes that put down minorities.

I'll leave it to someone else to cover that other 70%.

W. Kamau Bell Online

Airplane Giveaway: Jasper Redd and Kamau co-host TSOYA, as we give away a plane ride (realaudio)

TSOYA: Comix & Comix Pt. 3 with Sarah Silverman, Brad Meltzer & Kasper Hauser (MP3)

Kamau can also be heard regularly with Kevin Avery on Live 105's morning show in San Francisco, reviewing movies as "Siskel & Negro."

Want a Maximum Fun Club card?

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If you really want your own Maximum Fun Club card, but you came into this thing post-TSOYA listener survey, then email me with the subject Maximum Fun Club. Include your mailing address, please. If you filled out the survey and included your address, you'll get one when I do the mailing in a few weeks.

Wow, Michael Jackson can DANCE.

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Watch this, and tell me this man isn't a Great Genius of Popular Entertainment.

In other news: he may or may not be a child molestor, and his racial identity is deeply problematic. Let's focus on his dancing.

Strangers with Candy trailer...

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Will it work? Who knows. My feeling, based on the fact that it's been pushed back several times, is that it may not. It was a bit grotesque in half-hour form... I can hardly imagine watching that character for ninety minutes. Of course... I'll be there opening night.

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