Wednesday, September 06, 2006

NPR Can Be Funny Sometimes Too

Maybe some of you were listening to All Things Considered on Tuesday around 5:50, and will be able to instantly relate to the following. If not, I highly recommend following the links and checking it out.

Robert Siegel interviewed John Hodgman about his new book, The Areas Of My Expertise, and nearly fell apart on several occasions throughout. I have never heard of Hodgman specifically before this, but have heard him unknowingly on This American Life, and those of you who own televisions which feed off of co-ax instead of antennae have probably seen him on The Daily Show now and then.
He has a wonderfully dry humor which resonates strongly with my own in its steadfast belief in the sanctity of nonsense, and I, too, was in pieces for the majority of the bit. The book is described as " almanac of random, fascinating and utterly unreliable information," and on the show, Hodgman discusses one of his featured topics at length, that of "Hobo Matters." Here's what he has to say about the end of the hobo legacy:
Pearl Harbor happened and the hobos disappeared directly thereafter. No one knows what happened to them. Some say they joined the United States against the common enemy of Europe, others say that they went to the stars or to another dimension, others say they're still out there traveling the rails, singing bad songs from their rotted lungs. But most experts agree that they went to the stars.
He also gives credit to Hobo Joe Junkpan, underappreciated Secretary of the Treasury during the Great Depression, for such innovations as the repeal of the Overcoat Tax, as well as the tax on lakes of whiskey and stew.

But check out the audio. It's on the site, and you'll enjoy it. Also worth a peep is his short video on NPR. It's all there.

Yeah, I'll probably get the book. Nice to know that the insidious NPR promotional machine is doing its job.

And I don't apologize in the least bit for the lapse in posting. Sometimes it flows from my brain like sap from a freshly-tapped maple tree in late autumn, and at other times it's more like expecting to get sap out of a large piece of cheese. Lately, I fear, my blog brain has been that large piece of cheese.


Blogger hodg-man said...

Thank you for listening to the radio, and for saying those things above. My one question is: why do you find NPR insidious?

I mean, I have peered behind the radio curtain, and I have seen the microphones powered by dogs and the great fire pits they throw the donations in. But what have you seen?

That is all.

5:30 PM  
Blogger David said...

ha. well, ok, maybe not the best choice of words, but I think it works... I do love NPR more than most things and many people, dog-powered microphones and all (I always thought it was gerbils), and generally don't associate them with anything harmful or evil — harmful only in the sense of its ability to defocus my attention from Work — just to put that out front.

I have spoken with some who praise public radio for its lack of advertising. I greatly appreciate the lack of overt commercials every five minutes, but between sponsorships, guests on numerous shows discussing their recent books or movies, and constant plugs for Powder Milk Biscuits and ketchup, advertising is alive and well throughout the NPR radioscape, however subtly or not.

Which isn't a bad thing, necessarily. Some things are worth knowing about. I may not have otherwise heard of your book. Ever.

What it is.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Public Radio ate my roommate's soul. Then I gave it $40.

12:20 AM  

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