Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:45 pm
Traveled from D.C. to Missouri in mid-August with "The Fishy Fleet" (an offshoot of anti-GMO protest group Occupy Monsanto). It was a convoy of 17 activists piled into a 1960s-era RV and 5 "fishy" cars with friendly looking frankenfood sculptures on top ...
Near Pittsburgh the fleet held up traffic when a toll booth attendant took a pix with her iPhone. One Ohio woman, who followed "Fishy Sugarbeet" into a gas station, proclaimed: "That's the freakiest thing I've seen in Perry County β lately!"...
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 2:02 pm
Twitter isn't always the best place for big, thorny philosophical conversations. But it's a great forum for catharsis and taking the temperature of a popular sentiment. Sometimes, rarely, it's actually both.
On this week's roundtable podcast, we open with Lake Bell's movie In A World, which takes place in the world of voiceovers. We chat about the movie itself, and about Bell, but also about where voiceovers stand right now. Are they still important? As important as they used to be?
Then, we take a reader suggestion and talk about reconstituted bands β replaced singers, replaced drummers, and sometimes entire new versions of bands you thought you knew. This takes us into the story of Journey, the matter of The Beach Boys, and much more.
"I didn't do this to do any hating on anyone. I did this to be funny. I did it to be a joke," says Tuffy Gessling, the rodeo clown behind a skit at the Missouri State Fair earlier this month that sparked outrage when a masked "President Obama" was chased by a bull that Gessling said was "gonna getcha, getcha, getcha, getcha!"
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 10:17 am
In a recent book, Hidden in the Mix: The African American Presence in Country Music, editor Diane Pecknold rounds up some of the better music writers in academia in order to put a light on country's many black roots and the country's unease with said roots. It's not perfect, but what's good here makes the collection indispensable.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 6:32 am
For the first time in 30 years, obesity rates in the United States have remained flat. Given the grim numbers, that finding hardly counts as uplifting news. I like the way this inelegant headline cuts to the heart of things: "U.S. adult obesity rates holding steady, but still bad."
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 6:03 am
"I was born a colored man and don't you forget it," announces Henry Shackleford in the opening pages of musician and author James McBride's novel, The Good Lord Bird. A manuscript, supposedly discovered after a church fire cleanup, offers the first person account of Henry, a young slave living in the Kansas Territories in 1857, as he becomes involved β reluctantly β with the anti-slavery forces led by John Brown.
Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 11:27 am
Amanda Knox, whose murder conviction was overturned in 2011, will not travel to Italy for a new trial in the stabbing death of a fellow student. In May, Italy's supreme court ordered Knox to be tried again, along with her former boyfriend, Italian Raffaele Sollecito.