Oh, hi, Dames Nation.
We were just browsing.
We’re Andrew and Craig, and thanks for having us as your guest editors on this day for April Fools! As you some of you may know, we run a little bookish podcast called Overdue, which started life as an excuse to hang out and make ourselves read but has grown into a Fulfilling Creative Enterprise. We won’t go ON and ON about it (though you’d best believe Dame Margaret and Dame Sophie have each been stellar guests), but we did think we should rep our #brand and share some literary links before we dive into our own flavors of the week.
“Check Out” These Links (Like, from the library. Get it? Never mind.)
Just because William Shakespeare was writing over 400 years ago doesn’t mean you can’t find out new stuff about him! Folger scholar Heather Wolfe is using handwriting analysis to discover details about these scripts that have languished in incorrectness for centuries. Autolycus isn’t a “fawning fellow.” He’s a “fawning felon.” DUH. Who said an old Bard can’t learn new tricks?
Did you know that the New York Public Library has a restaurant menu collection? It’s beautiful, adorable, and hilarious. 15 cents for a Tongue Sandwich? Sign us UP!
We talked about Aphra Behn’s The Rover for this past week’s episode, and in our research we stumbled across a 2003 Harold Bloom article about her being a “fourth-rate playwright.” It’s kind of hard to take his criticism seriously, though, since he spends the entire rest of the article dumping all over any author not codified in the White Male Canon and anyone who would dare to pick up a book by Stephen King or J.K. Rowling (apparently rolling one’s eyes at Bloom is a pastime that literary types have participated in for years, and we are only too happy to jump on that bandwagon).
Andrew’s Top Five Has No Unifying Theme But Whatever
Bro. Don't give me that "cute" stuff, can't you see I'm busy??The Internet is for cats. And even if you’re a dog person, surely you can’t resist the allure of little kittens doing little kitten things. Lately I’m PRETTY into the Foster_Kittens Instagram account, Facebook page, and YouTube livestream, the latter of which is currently following a group of weeks-old kittens who spend all of their time being adorable. The best thing? The Seattle Humane Society has already found good homes for all these kitties, and there’s another round of kittens coming after this batch gets adopted.If you spend as much time watching and thinking about TV as I do, you’ll probably like this Vox article by Todd VanDerWerff about how the structure of TV episodes and seasons has changed in the age of Netflix. Specifically, he laments that these streaming shows are often treated as 13-hour-long movies rather than 13 smaller episodic units that together constitute one serialized whole. If you listen carefully, you might hear the sound of me putting bloated, shapeless streaming dramas like House of Cards and Man in the High Castle on notice.If you’re a millennial with a job, maybe you’ve heard: Baby boomers think you’re terrible to work with and for. This has become a whole genre of article unto itself—Google “New York Times style section millennials” and a wave of it will cascade out of your laptop and wash you away alongside flotsam like the inevitable Slate story in defense of New York Times style section pieces about millennials. This makes it all the more satisfying to read Ann Friedman’s tongue-in-cheek LA Times piece about gently coddling proud workplace boomers whose egos are simultaneously the size of small islands but fragile as Fabergé eggs. Head to the comments for extra fun from people who aren’t in on the joke.People who “well, ACTUALLY” other people should typically be stuffed into a cannon and shot into the sun, UNLESS you’re talking about badass women who ACTUALLY managed to succeed in male-dominated fields that prioritized the accomplishments of other men. Case in point, Hilda M. Kurth, Kathleen M. Norris, and Catherine E. Robbins, who made history in 1927 by being the first women to walk the 272-mile Long Trail from end to end. <Madison>High-lights!</Madison>When they got lost, they played peppy songs on a ukulele to cheer themselves up.Even contemporaneously, they made headlines for “scorning male escort.”The women are collectively known as The Three Musketeers, natch.OK, a man does factor into this story: one gave them a gallon of ice cream. I’d have taken it, too.I promised myself just one tech link, so let’s talk about Nicole Nguyen’s review of Apple’s new iPhone SE for BuzzFeed. I’ve got a bunch of friends and Twitter acquaintances (particularly women, who are so often treated as an afterthought by tech companies) whose phones are getting older and more busted but don’t want to replace them with something the size of a surfbort, and Nguyen’s review ably summarizes all the reasons why an actual human person might want to upgrade. Tl;dr, it’s fast, easy to hold, has a great camera, has a battery that lasts forever, and is a couple hundred bucks cheaper than the huge iPhones, even if no one can quite agree on what the hell “SE” stands for (I’m sticking with Sorry, Everyone). WE DID NOT KNOW WHERE TO PUT THIS BUT WE HAD TO PUT THIS IN HERE BECAUSE WE’RE SO EXCITED PERPLEXEDMMRRMRMRRRRMMMMMMM /Olmecnoises
Someone thought it’d be cool to make a film about hit kids game/whatever show Legends of the Hidden Temple. And we AGREE! While scant details about the project exist, Variety is now reporting that the show’s host (and professional shorts-wearer) Kirk Fogg will be joining the cast! The film is apparently going to be a real, in-fiction movie instead of a game show about kids battling each other and answering questions about fake history, but whatever it is we’re glad it’s happening.While you wait to find out more, maybe read Jaimie Etkin’s great 2013 interview for BuzzFeed with Fogg and Dee Bradley Baker (voice of Olmec) about what it was like to make the show. Now let’s just hope that all those Temple Guards still have their SAG cards...Craig’s Top 5ish Things (There Could Have Been More But Word Counts)
Poor raptors. Those large heads CAN lead to overbalancing issues.I love dinosaurs, so I’ve set a Google Alert that’s guaranteed to forward me at least three articles a week about a new dino discovery. Unfortunately, there simply can’t be that many new dinosaurs. In fact, FiveThirtyEight crunched the numbers - and it’s HIGHLY unlikely. This is sad news for people who like hearing about a new Pantydraco or Futalognkosaurus every week, but it’s great news for people who like to annoy their dinophile friends by dropping the word Brontosaurus like it’s a REAL thing. (I’m totally NOT talking about my podcast partner, by the way. I promise.)Speaking of living in the past, I simply cannot stop talking and reading about American Crime Story: The People Vs. OJ Simpson. The show, from Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy, does a fantastic job transporting viewers to the 90s while shining a light on why the case is still relevant today. Most of my exposure to the original case came at an age where I was better equipped to absorb it through parody and commentary, so it’s been fascinating to dive deep on the source material. Some access points:One of my favorite episodes was Marcia, Marcia, Marcia, which shows lead prosecutor Marcia Clark’s struggling with public perception while trying to handle the biggest case of her life. Here’s the actual Marcia Clark talking to Slate about what the show gets right, how tough it was to do her job on national television, and how amazing Sarah Paulson is.Costume Designer Hala Bahmet spoke with Fashionista a few months ago about how they approach the show’s faithful-with-some-exceptions look. Fun fact: they were urged NOT to reach out to the actual people depicted, but they did get some hot fashion tips from the designer who styled the Defense “Dream Team.”It’s almost baseball season! And while I realize sports aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, I’m sure even the most casual of sports fans can appreciate weird stories like “Jason Heyward got stung at least 20 times by a swarm of bees, but hit a home run anyway” or “Baseball Player’s Laugh Sounds like a Cackling Demon.” What I like about these stories is how they remind us about how bizarrely human many pro athletes can be, especially in impossibly statistic-heavy games like baseball. Some players are even trying to resist Big Data with a fervent cry of “I’m human, gosh darnit!” Another fun thing is watching your favorite sport grow in long overdue ways. I’m beyond pumped that Jessica Mendoza will be at ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball desk this year, and the New York Times (caution: paywall) recently ran a piece on women working as scouts in Major League Baseball. There’s room to grow on the MLB’s part, to be sure, but these women are super cool.Like fine, expensive chocolates, every other day I treat myself to another video from the Walk of Life project. Their hypothesis: "Walk of Life" by Dire Straits is the perfect song to end any movie. I think they’re right. My evidence: Dr. Strangelove and Star Wars: A New Hope.There’s a lot of darkness in the news lately, and it’s hard to know what to do when the world feels like a nightmare person made it just to test your resolve to stay alive at all. A few times this year, I’ve gone back to “Fifteen Things for When the World is Shitty and Terrifying” by Katherine Fritz, a writer for MTV Style and American Theatre Magazine. She posts with great humor and empathy at her blog I Am Begging My Mother Not To Read This Blog. You MIGHT be amused by her story about the time someone tried to pay her to write about sex toys (NSFW, of course).This week in Hamilton
D'awwwww, feel the love!Amazing perfect angel Jonathan “Groffsauce” Groff is abdicating his throne this month, handing King George’s crown over to Rory O’Malley so he can go be in some David Fincher something-or-other that will probably be FINE but still isn’t Hamilton (it’s a Netflix drama called Mindhunter, based on the 1996 John Douglas book of the same name). Groff’s last performance is on April 9th, which seems too soon to be allowed.We’ll miss Groffsauce’s foppish, hammy portrayal of King George almost as much as we’ll miss his behind-the-scenes antics. As sad as we are about his departure, it gives us a good opportunity to look back at some of his Greatest Hits.The time Beyonce decided she would steal The Walk, enshrining it in the Western canon for all time.Every. LMM/Groffsauce. Tweet. As compiled by Dames M and S over here.The time he taught Stephen Colbert The Walk—balancing a phone book on one’s head is apparently the best way to learn.We are also overjoyed to talk Lin-Manuel Miranda this week, if only because it means getting to share one of our favorite things about him: his intense love for the podcast My Brother, My Brother, and Me. As it’s one of OUR favorite podcasts, too, we feel all the closer to LMM for this, but his fandom has recently transcended mere human adoration. He is tossing around his cultural currency like a lovable drunk billionaire, cashing in favors and Snapchatting celebrities all in the hopes of making his three favorite podcast boys laugh.
Allow us to submit the following timeline as evidence:
Clerkin' for his late mother's landlord, *greatjob*! LMM guests on MBMBAM and writes “Fugue for Brotherhorns,” an extended Guys and Dolls riff with the lyrics changed to fit the podcast. Just listening to LMM fan out about something as hard as we all fan out about him is endlessly endearing.LMM works not one, but two references to this stupid podcast into his magnum opus.MBMBAM does an extended riff on car horns for different situations (circa 25:00), including one that tells people around you that they’ve done a *greatjob*LMM pulls strings to get Carly Rae Jepsen to tell youngest brother and noted Jepsen enthusiast Griffin McElroy that he’s doing a *greatjob*LMM gets wrestler/actor/walking smile The Rock to tell Griffin *greatjob*LMM gets Tyra Banks, expert smizer and erstwhile host of Griffin’s favorite reality show, to tell him *greatjob*LMM hides a secret *greatjob* car-horn-honking motion in his Hamilton performance at the Grammys, surely this has gone too far. (LMM to the MBMBAM Facebook group, mere moments after winning a major award: “DID YOU SEE IT”)LMM gets Andre 3000 to record an extremely esoteric, deep-cut reference to the Girl Talk remix that used to serve as the show’s closing theme like three or four years agoLMM films a video of Griffin’s brother Travis as though Travis were a real celebrity, continuing a rich tradition of Griffin-trolling.Seriously. He LOVES the McElroys and he is helpless.
If you yourself are interested in learning more about the McElroy Empire but find MBMBAM a little intimidating, we’d also recommend any one of the three shows each brother does with his wife: Justin and Sydnee’s Sawbones, which is about medical history; Travis and Teresa’s Shmanners, about manners and etiquette; and Griffin and Rachel’s Rose Buddies, which is a celebration of (what else) The Bachelor and all its related spin-offs. LMM listens to all of them, which should be as much endorsement as you need.
THANK YOU!We couldn’t be happier to have guested here in Dames Nation, and we hope you’ll come listen to the Dames discuss V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic on our show next week.