Note: The first episode shown during the Third Quarter 2012 was a rerun of #579 on June 25, 2012.
Episode #608: Free Range Prison
First Broadcast: 7/2/12
Repeated: 1/21/13; 7/1/13
Square Pegs, movies from the 1970's featuring "demon children," Over The Edge, 1980's movies about teens with real teenagers, the Archies, and horrible aspects of the suburbs are some of the many topics we discussed during our temporary lack of Internet access. Considering how this turned out, maybe I should ignore the Internet more often. Or maybe not. Hard to tell sometimes.
Episode #609: Heat Drought Food Cost
First Broadcast: 7/16/12
No, not the film by Ang Lee. After a brief discussion about the recent cheating incident at Stuyvesant High School, we discuss the recent record heat in the U.S., how it's likely the latest sign of climate change, a.k.a. global warming, and how it could cause food prices to increase in the near future. Fun topics, eh?
Episode #610: Good For You
First Broadcast: 7/30/12
Probable Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney deliberately misinterprets a remark made by President Barack Obama to mean that no one builds their own business, when in fact Obama said that no one builds a business entirely independent of work done by government and other people--much in the same way that Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren once said: "There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate." This philosophy is older than you might think, dating back at least as far as 1623, when John Donne wrote the following:
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
In other words, we all rely on each other to function, no matter how independent we may think we are. This is why a country--or a school, or a family--cannot be run like a business: the goal of a business is to maximize profits, even if that means eliminating the livelihoods of hundreds or thousands of people. The goal of a school, or a family, or a nation, is to improve the lives of everyone in it, even if that means spending at times without any chance of a profit. The Internet could only become commercially profitable after being built and subsidized for around 30 years by government funds, much in the same way that a child can only begin to live on one's own after around 18 years of family subsidies. Who but the most callous "objectivist" would ever tell a child to either start bringing in an income or get thrown out onto the street? It helps no one to make children homeless, and it makes little sense to deprive an entire nation on a similar level.
Episode #611: No Longer Deviant
First Broadcast: 8/6/12
After a meandering discussion about the age of consent, we get to the real story: Vertigo is now the number one ranked film on the 2012 Sight and Sound poll of the greatest films of all time, displacing Citizen Kane from the number one spot for the first time in 60 years. Does this merely mean the list is not set in stone, and simply reflecting the evolving opinions of critics and directors over time? Or, is this change even less significant than it seems, with two films created 17 years apart merely swapping places from one poll to the next, since Kane is now in second place--where Vertigo was in the last poll in 2002? I have a strong feeling that this discussion will continue in the weeks to come...
Episode #612: Is There Peanuts In This?
First Broadcast: 8/20/12
After a small digression about the comedic genius of Gilbert Gottfried dressing up as Count Dracula and asking people if they thought O.J. Simpson was guilty, we discussed the disappointing aspects of recent movies, specifically this year's remake of Total Recall. Is this because the corporations that own the major movie studios have become more concerned with merchandising and simple ticket sales than with creating actual quality motion pictures? Have people really forgotten how to create a not-half-bad science-fiction film? So many questions!
Episode #613: Lo-Res
First Broadcast: 9/3/12
Weaving in and around a discussion about a breakthrough in data storage at Harvard University (time to start thinking beyond terabytes), we take a small tour through peripherals, games, and software of computers past. All in widescreen! PS: We'll proably go back to full screen next week...
Episode #614: Veered Wildly
First Broadcast: 9/10/12
After a discussion about the forthcoming "4K" televisions, which will no doubt litter the expensive living rooms of the future, we talk about some of the more interesting speeches of this year's Democratic National Convention, including those of First Lady Michelle Obama, Senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren, and 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton. Clinton's speech in particular seemed to fire up the audience the most (even more so than President Obama's speech, in retrospect), and we suspect that if the 22nd Amendment were ever repealed then Mr. Clinton would be nominated again in a heartbeat--and probably win (even if Arnold also became eligible through a combination of efforts). More political news to come, I bet...
Episode #615: Not Doctor Who
First Broadcast: 9/17/12
Repeated: 10/22/12; 10/29/12; 11/5/12
After a discussion about animals stealing cameras, we talk about the violent attacks on American diplomats in Egypt and Libya, Mitt Romney's and Reince Preibus's crass and malignant comments about Barack Obama in response to those attacks, how American politicians once again appear to value American deaths much more than other deaths, and how right-wing paranoid theories about Obama and Muslims can have awful consequences far beyond American borders (you think Republicans are the only ones paying attention to this crap?). Moral of the story: Mitt Romney lies! Though, you might have already known that.