Variant Edition | This Column Has Seven Days #121 // Flip The Bird
349698
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-349698,single-format-standard,eltd-cpt-1.0,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,moose-ver-1.4, vertical_menu_with_scroll,smooth_scroll,woocommerce_installed,blog_installed,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.12,vc_responsive

This Column Has Seven Days #121 // Flip The Bird

Devin R Bruce is a friend to Variant Edition and to all good-hearted creatures who roam the Earth. In each installment of This Column Has Seven Days, Devin discusses his favourite pop culture experiences of the past week in an effort to share the joy of an overlooked gem, an old favourite that’s bubbled up to the surface, or a classic work that he’s finally gotten around to. Comic books, movies, television, novels, podcasts, music, Old Time Radio: there’s something for everyone. Here’s what he’s been up to this week.

* * * * *

Another short one this week, as my middle finger is pretty aggravated and is begging for some rest. Just wanted to drop a couple choice morsels out there for culture-hungry people to snap up.

* * * * *

Chris Gethard’s Beautiful/Anonymous podcast (the full title is Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People)  is yet another comedy interview podcast. But because it comes from the Godfather of Alt Comedy himself, it’s a comedy interview podcast with a difference. In each episode, Gethard is connected to an anonymous person who has randomly called in, and he can’t hang up until the call is automatically disconnected an hour later. In that hour, Gethard has to have a conversation with these anonymous strangers, each of whom often has their own agenda, and find the funny and touching stories that are often hiding just beneath the surface. Gethard is a master of the interview process, following his callers for the first few minutes of the call, then slowly asking questions that lead them down the path to something truly interesting. I listened to a random sampling of the show’s 63 episodes this week, and I found each of the episodes insightful, revealing, and funny in very different ways. A depressed, lost underdog that Gethard longs to champion; a man who wants to talk about getting a passport that ends up talking about his youth as a member of an Orthodox Jewish community; a woman struggling after her sister-in-law and best friend of twenty-five years cheats on her brother; a high school girl who called in an hour after her first kiss. These don’t sound like conversations that would be full of laughs, but one of the things I like the most about Chris Gethard’s comedy is that he’s able to find the humour in the mundane and the tragic. After listening to a half-dozen episodes of the show in as many days, I only hope that one day I’ll be free when the show’s recording, and make it through to Chris. And if I do, I promise not to tell anyone.

* * * * *

Okay, this is admittedly an odd entry, even for me. But if you like music and don’t know much about it, and are interested enough to download a thirty-six-and-a-half hour audio program about the topic, then How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition is the digital lecture series for you. Robert Greenberg is a perfect instructor; highly knowledgeable about the subject, patient enough to explain the finer points without dumbing it down, and full of awkward passion and lame dad jokes. Since I started listening to one 45-minute lecture a day, I have honestly had a more of a spring in my step, plus I know more about contrapuntal motion, the history of the Baroque movement, and Gregorian chanting than I ever did before. It’s a very niche recommendation, but it’s also silly and interesting and I get to listen to great music to boot.

* * * * *

I think I’ll leave it there for this week. I have been reading a lot of comics lately, but they’re mostly volumes in the middle of a run and not really the kind of thing that works well for this format. (Though for those that are interested: Lone Wolf & Cub Volume 10: Hostage Child unexpectedly brought me to tears the other day. That series is just the best.) Until next time, look for the simple beauty in the mundane and intimidating things in your life. I’ll see you in seven days.

AUTHOR: Devin R. Bruce
No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.