You may wonder what authors think about when their books are banned, so why not frequent vlogger and author John Green who found his book, Looking for Alaska, in the crosshairs of censors. I should note this particular video is from 2016, referencing the top challenged books of 2015. There’s usually a lag time compiling the data: while it’s interesting, it’s not necessarily pressing.
However, the video is also under 3 and a half minutes and –assuming you’re not put off by the editing style that presents him as a hyperactive Q flitting to either side of the video frame– he covers a lot of philosophical ground in that time.
He notes one of the challenges to the book involved one person reading one page and raising high dudgeon on that basis alone. I’ll delve into the phenomenon of how flimsy many of these book challenges are later this week.
In the meantime, enjoy his thoughts on books, society, and what goes on in school superintendent offices.
This nearly hour-long entry is essentially a long question-answer session from UCLA circa 1971. As with many of the other videos I’ve come across, many of his answers and references are very topical to 1971, so be warned that you may need to fire your history synapses for some of the shows and events cited.
Nevertheless, I found many of the answers –even though they were very much of the time regarding the recent departure of Star Trek from the airwaves to Serling’s displeasure at his current gig Night Gallery– to be interesting enough to share.
Now, while this is a video, it’s simply a recording of the session at UCLA… and because there wasn’t any presumption of broadcast, you’ll hear some salty language from both Serling and some of the student. Also, and this is something I’ve found in some of the other videos I’ve watched, Serling can be irascible and prickly with some of the questions… which is interesting, because he seems remarkably self-aware that he is being irascible. Perhaps the most poignant aspects of this self-awareness is when they discuss his addiction to smoking, which he knew was not good for his health.
In last Friday’s post about the not-so-secret history of Fanta, the author of the Atlas Obscura article goes a little bit into the history of Coca-Cola itself (since that company begat Fanta). And got me thinking a bit more about the origins of Coke and cocaine and then I got to Drunk History, a series that, if you’re in the right frame of mind (or sheets to the wind) is tremendously fun. Happy Friday!
You probably already knew that I enjoy debunking a conspiracy theory as much as the next secret member of the Illuminati, but today seems especially appropriate, being the date back in 1969, when humans walked, @#$ing walked, on the moon.
I was recently writing a short story that I purposely wanted to have a “Twilight Zone” feel for both the structure my overall understanding of how the story would unfold. I mean, I linked to it above, but the phrase “Twilight Zone” and its implications has permeated culture so thoroughly that, even without an impressive three follow-up series, I think it would still occupy a place in people’s minds.
So, after finishing the story, I came across this video in my “stuff to check out” folder and enjoyed it immensely. It appears to be a mash-up of at least two sessions Rod Serling had with students in the 60s or 70s (so if anyone finds the uncut versions posted, let me know). In it they discuss creativity, the writing process, Serling’s very definite views on the subjects, and –as comes as no surprise– more than a little autobiographical info on what made Serling tick.
This past weekend, seeing as it was Independence Day and all, I had an opportunity to introduce my sister to what comfortably remains one of my favorite musicals: Hamilton. Little did I know that the cast once did a version of Hamilton’s opening number as if they were the musical Sweeney Todd, another one of my favorites. Of course, given the hijinks (and shenanigans and tomfoolery) are endemic among theater folk, so I suppose I should have expected this:
Seeing we’re in a American history kinda mode, why not revisit a bunch of myths and facts about the two dollar bill. But they don’t stop there, get ready to enjoy several ingots’ worth of numismatic facts!