Wednesday, October 08, 2008


this year's revenge of the bookeaters, i have to say totally beats the sufjan stevens year. it just slaughtered it. even though i love sufjan more than life itself.

826nyc teaches younguns how to be creative. and they have done amazing work and produce a lot of stuff. it's just a supremely good way to make kids interested in the arts. rock on.

so ira glass starts the show. and he's so hot. also, hilarious. "thanks for being out here on a debate night. you know, 826 tries to attract those who care about the betterment of the community and our future. so we ask you here tonight as kind of a social experiment, see who doesn't care quite enough about those things to show up for this." he mentions he's friends with bill ayers (he's from chicago) so that meant we all "consorted with someone who consorts with a known terrorist." he performed a dramatic reading of a story written at 826nyc: worldwide food fight. and it is pretty much what it sounds like. a tourist throws a taco in mexico, that hits someone in india, etc. towards the end, there is a bush press conference. ira interjects (i should note, all quotes are from memory), "obvioiusly, whatever bush recommends doesn't get done. and this is a children's story. even children know that the guy can't accomplish anything."

john oliver was the host. and he was fantastic. i'm definitely going to his next stand-up show whenever that might be. "i'll be speaking in an english accent tonight. that means whatever i say will have a bit more authority than what you're used to hearing." he goes on to say that we could have had that had we not gone and thrown out the bloody tea. "i love america. though, it's a bit like falling in love with a woman who is insanely drunk and who starts vomiting all over herself." "i was there for the very first republican presidential primary debate. it was just about as exciting as it sounds. when they all asked who didn't believe in evolution, three of them raised their hands. and none of them lowered their hands and said, 'just joking!' " re: putting stickers on biology books warning them that it may just be a theory he suggested putting stickers on the bible. also, newtons theory of gravity, "it would read, 'this may not at all be true, maybe we can all fly!' and then we'd be like r. kelly." at one point someone let out a whistle at him. "that was a lovely gesture, but done all alone, it just sounds sarcastic."

he discussed how proud he was, as a brit, of the metals that they'd won at the olympics. he clarified to say that he considered all the U.S. metals to also belong to england because he doesn't recognize U.S. independence. "so michael phelps is the second best swimmer in england! the first is the duchess who has a dorsal fin." "you know, the olympics shows the best part about oppression. i mean, imagine cirque du soleil if we could force everyone into submission and make them do acrobatics for 20 hours a day for their entire lives." on the iraq war: "i call this the wasp theory. if you think a wasp is going to sting you, the best thing, obviously, is to follow the wasp back to it's hive and to bang the hive like crazy." he made a joke about galileo dying, followed it with a "too soon?" and ended with some story about some dude on the street who came up to him as he was walking to work and accused him doing crack off a penguin's nose. not sure if it's a true story, but it made for a few jokes worth, albeit silly ones. he finished with a discussion of ridiculous things this culture has created. inflatable grills. oreo pizzas. "you should put that oreo pizza on the flag poles. wave it around. sing to it at baseball games as derek jeter sheds a single tear. you know why? because that oreo pizza symbolizes something. it says, to those countries who wish to harm us, 'there is nothing you can do to us that we're not already doing to ourselves!' "

sarah vowell (who was on the daily show last night and rocked) and dave eggers spoke about 826. everything dave said, sarah translated into "palinese".

kyp malone from t.v. on the radio also did a reading of a story another kid wrote. about a woman named potato who married a monkey and was a banana critic.

musical performances were interspersed throughout. paul simon, who is quite tiny, played the boxer and mrs. robinson. a new song and another song that i can't remember. it was gentle and calming.

then vowell and a cast that included parker posey read from a chapter about new york from jonathan franzen's state by state.

in all, an evening totally worth missing that debate for. anyway, there were youtube clips of the pertinent moments posted minutes after the thing was over. rock on.

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