Note: The first episode shown during the Fourth Quarter 2012 was a rerun of #610 on September 24, 2012.
Episode #616: First World Problem
First Broadcast: 10/1/12
First we chit-chat about Apple Maps replacing Google Maps in iOS6, and its similarity to Amazon revoking an edition of 1984 from its Kindle devices not too long ago. Then we talk about 2001: A Space Odyssey, the many negative reactions some people have had to it, the bad reviews on I.M.D.B. for many ostensibly good films (such as Rear Window, Vertigo, Citizen Kane, Man With A Movie Camera, Apocalypse Now, and Taxi Driver), and how one of the common threads running through the bad reviews is the disbelief that anyone could genuinely like these films without being told to like them by some authority. Now, I might not agree with someone who likes a film that I think is bad, but I certainly wouldn't accuse them of lying about liking it. This makes me wonder: does this inability to believe that someone's opinion is genuine extend to other areas as well, such as politics, for instance? Could this be another explanation for why some people of a more restrictive mindset might think that their beliefs are the only valid beliefs, and other people's beliefs just aren't real to them? Is the inability to understand or acknowledge certain works of art as art a symptom of a broader inability to tolerate other forms of difference as well? Perplexing questions. I don't know if I have good answers yet.
Episode #617: Wait, Big Bird?
First Broadcast: 10/8/12
Tonight, we talk about the first debate between President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney; the many, many lies Mitt Romney told during the debate; Big Bird; the ineffectiveness of moderator Jim Lehrer; some of the issues not discussed in this debate; the Human Rights Bingo cards that remained mostly empty after the debate; the development of the Internet; and the horrible ways the U.S. is terrorizing parts of Pakistan with drone strikes. That ought to hold us until the next debate.
Episode #618: Actual Math
First Broadcast: 11/12/12
As you probably know by now, this past week President Barack Obama handily won re-election to his office, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney by almost 3 million votes in the popular vote, and ultimately winning the electoral college 332 votes to 206. This was apparently a complete shock to almost all Republicans, who seemed to be living under a collective delusion that all the polls were wrong (except the right-wing polls), that all the news was biased (except the right-wing news), and that most eligible voters wouldn't even show up to vote (except for the right-wing voters). Needless to say, the right-wing pundits and polls were spectacularly wrong, and the supposedly "skewed" "lamestream media" polls were completely right. Will this harsh dose of reality finally convince this misguided party and its followers that perhaps "you can’t alienate every minority group in the country (blacks, Latinos, Asian-Americans, gays)—-not to mention the majority group, women—-and hope to win a national election"? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe Gordon Ramsay and Robert Irvine can go up to these people and shake some sense into them...
Episode #619: Blue Part of A Blue State
First Broadcast: 11/19/12
Florida finally finished counting its votes, and the results are in: Obama won Florida this year as well, upping his electoral vote total to 332, a hefty victory over Mitt Romney's 206. Additionally, Obama also earned over 3 million more votes than Romney in the popular vote, so Obama's 2012 victory was beyond dispute. Nevertheless, some people in this country feel that elections are only valid if their preferred candidate wins, and some of Romney's more fervent supporters are so disappointed with Romney's loss that they would rather secede from the country altogether. Of course, there are also many Americans who have other ideas for those would-be secessionists who, perhaps, haven't thought this whole thing through. Maybe they all need to take some advice from Chauncey DeVega and just "chill out"? It's an idea.
Episode #620: The Worst Subway Ride, Ever
First Broadcast: 11/26/12
Did you spend Thanksgiving with your family this year? Was it because you had already moved back in with your parents? Was it necessary because of your unpaid internship? Was it the only alternative to living dormitory-style in Murray Hill? In any event, we hope your holiday was more pleasant than the week of violence that Israel recently inflicted on Gaza, and we hope the cease-fire that followed actually stays in place. Peace is preferable all around, for everyone.
Episode #621: Tree-Induced Seizure
First Broadcast: 12/3/12
Attempted Repeat: 2/18/13 Episode #628 was rerun by MNN instead.
Is Occupy Sandy doing a better job than other non-profits at helping people who were affected by that storm? Was Sandy such a powerful storm because of global warming? Why are so many people in and out of Congress not accepting of science? Why are none of the House committees in the next Congress being chaired by women? Are you recycling a Christmas tree? So many questions!
Episode #622: Mental Jump Cut
First Broadcast: 12/10/12
Dave Brubeck, perhaps best known for the song "Take Five" (which he didn't write) from the album Time Out, passed away on December 5th at age 91 (one day shy of 92). On that same day, it would have been the 122nd birthday of Fritz Lang, if he was still alive. No doubt, he was one of the many reasons why the German film industry was Hollywood's only real competition prior to World War II. Shifting gears, we discuss how students at Cooper Union are occupying an office on their campus to protest a proposed plan to start charging tuition and eliminate their current full scholarships. With the default rate on student loan debt now surpassing that of home mortgages, I think their concerns are very understandable.
Episode #623: Cosmically Speaking
First Broadcast: 12/17/12
The so-called Mayan Apocalypse is only a few days away, but that's only the latest in a long line of apocalypses that have petered out previously. Planetary alignment may mean one thing to astologers, but NASA has other things to say about it. Perhaps that could be a subject for a future Ig Nobel Prize (you know, like the study that proved that Kansas is indeed flatter than a pancake). In other news: The Sunshine Cinema says it needs to sell alcohol in order to stay in business; Sol Moscot is moving across the street from its flagship location on Delancey Street; and Bleecker Bob's is closing for good sometime within the next two months. Maybe things will be better the next time we chat...