•November 7, 2020 • Leave a Comment

The old Chef Boy-ar-dee ads filmed in Italy made a big impression on me as a kid. Like this one of kids running to eat beefaroni in Venice’s Piazza San Marco.

They were like little one-minute neo-realist musicals, indistinguishable in my mind from the movies on the Children’s Film Festival.

My favorite was the one with the jingle to the tune of Oranges and Lemons, but I can’t seem to find anything but a 1980s remake, which is extremely similar, but lacks the filmic grittiness of the original.

How to Lose an Election

•November 4, 2020 • Leave a Comment

A history of the concession speech in America.

From Radio Diaries.

Reading a Face 2

•October 28, 2020 • 3 Comments

If you had to choose which candidate to vote for based solely on this pair of photographs, would you choose the terrified contestant in a compulsory North Korean beauty pageant, or the neighbor out walking her dog who’s tickled that you asked for a photo?

Photos courtesy of the Jaime Herrera Beutler and Carolyn Long campaigns.

Seattle Peace Chorus Get Out the Vote

•October 27, 2020 • 1 Comment

Let America be America Again: words by Langston Hughes, music by Frederick N. West.

The Seattle Peace Chorus is a local institution, a very earnest group of old Seattle liberals/hippies who specialize in choral uplift, so when I heard they were giving a virtual Get Out the Vote concert I figured I could use some of that uplift. I was expecting a choir performing from each person’s remote location, but what they’ve created is a well-produced, collaborative patriotic pageant, complete with slide show history lessons, poetry readings, handbell choirs, dance, and unabashed performative inclusiveness. It is a corny and inspiring thing.

You can watch the whole concert here, or these highlights:

Audio Drama: Life Lines

•October 26, 2020 • 1 Comment

Life Lines is an audio drama about an emergency services dispatcher. The 15-minute episodes, like her job, are relentlessly eventful and moving. I really love this show.

All four seasons can be heard on the BBC Radio 4 website.

Written by Al Smith.

A-WA: Hana Mash Hu Al Yaman

•October 15, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Just learned about the amazing Yemeni-Israeli sister act A-WA.

Hana Mash Hu Al Yaman means “This is Not Yemen“.

The Masque of the Red Death

•October 7, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death, read by Nate DiMeo for The Memory Palace.

Full text at Project Gutenberg.

Spot the Troll Quiz

•September 24, 2020 • Leave a Comment

I got 7 out of 8.

Talking Heads: Air

•September 11, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Reading a Face

•September 11, 2020 • 3 Comments

What a mix of emotions on Trump campaign chair Bill Stepien’s face in this photo. What is he feeling? Pride? Sadness? Disgust? Love? All of the above?

The photo is by Saul Loeb, and is in today’s Washington Post.

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