Steve J. Moore

Posts Tagged ‘npr’

Diana Saw Dr. Awkward Was an Aid.

In Comedy, Film, poem, poetry, Radio, The Web, TV on February 8, 2009 at 6:50 pm

So I’ve spent much of this weekend doing several things while my wife was out of town: finding new blogs and people to follow on twitter, watching TV, putting off writing assignments, and watching as much Demetri Martin as I could find on YouTube. If you are following me on Twitter (@stevejmoore), then you probably saw me sharing my excitement at Mr. Martin’s videos as I discovered them.

I had seen his work on Comedy Central, knew he wrote for Conan O’Brien for a while, and was a big fan of his flip-chart bit because of the part where he draws an empty circle and says, “this is a pie chart about procrastination.” That killed me.

I highly suggest that you check out his DVD, Demetri Martin, Person and his new show coming up this Wed. on Comedy Central as well. If Bill Gates was successful because he dropped out of Harvard, then Demetri is so because he dropped out of law school.

What stuck out to me most in his routine was the over 200-word palindrome

img_0310

Yes, I drew these all by myself

“Dammit I’m Mad”

by

Demetri Martin

Dammit I’m mad.
Evil is a deed as I live.
God, am I reviled? I rise, my bed on a sun, I melt.
To be not one man emanating is sad. I piss.
Alas, it is so late. Who stops to help?
Man, it is hot. I’m in it. I tell.
I am not a devil. I level “Mad Dog”.
Ah, say burning is, as a deified gulp,
In my halo of a mired rum tin.
I erase many men. Oh, to be man, a sin.
Is evil in a clam? In a trap?
No. It is open. On it I was stuck.
Rats peed on hope. Elsewhere dips a web.
Be still if I fill its ebb.
Ew, a spider… eh?
We sleep. Oh no!
Deep, stark cuts saw it in one position.
Part animal, can I live? Sin is a name.
Both, one… my names are in it.
Murder? I’m a fool.
A hymn I plug, deified as a sign in ruby ash,
A Goddam level I lived at.
On mail let it in. I’m it.
Oh, sit in ample hot spots. Oh wet!
A loss it is alas (sip). I’d assign it a name.
Name not one bottle minus an ode by me:
“Sir, I deliver. I’m a dog”
Evil is a deed as I live.
Dammit I’m mad.

Truly the work of a solitary genius. Off the top of my head, I only know a few palindromes beyond the title of this post (ah, did you catch it?), “madam, I’m adam,” and “racecar.” I certainly can’t imagine spending time trying to create an entire poem out of nothing but these reflexive devices; simply astonishing and awesome. I think his act, if you take a bit of time to watch it, says a lot about art. Martin was interviewed this week on NPR, which is what prompted me to find more of his material. He has a great narrative and is now an artist I respect very much. His stand-up explores more than jokes; he gets in so many digs about humanity, philosophy, and social idiosyncrasies, but does so with such loveable sophomoric snark, that you have to digest it all with a hearty chuckle.

Very funny, and I hope his new show will be too.

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Words for Music, A Sonnet for “The Management”

In Film, Music, Radio, TV, Writing on December 12, 2008 at 11:48 pm

One Strange Title to Another


“Oracular Spectacular” alone is a whopping four iambs,
but I hate counting syllables, hand to my throat
bumping into my chin awkwardly. I’m always left laughing
and I lose count. Better to stick with number of lines
as I listen to the Brooklyn breeding psych pop dancing
of The Management. The only rhyming happens between keys,
as the electric feel wages weekend wars with the youth
and the handshake kids decide “it’s time to pretend”
with pieces of what, I cannot tell. The speaker foam
hides a prision for Bob Dylan, condemned to jamming
with the Sex Pistols using only old church organs,
a hand-me-down strat and Barry Gibb’s larynx. Voices
transport me in a telephone booth to a discotech arcade
where pac-man does lines, trying to escape the ghosts.

.

.

The MGMT’s newest album, “Oracular Spectacular.”

oracular_spectacular_2008

You Had Me at, “Hello”

In World Events on September 4, 2008 at 7:11 pm

Since I’m student teaching this semester, I find that impressions are made quickly on people in high school halls classrooms. You encounter hundreds of people across seven or eight hours, giving glances, nods, and greetings, but how many people do you actually acknowledge?

I usually end up listening to NPR at some point every day, if not reading it online, and one of my favorite segments is “This I Believe.” On August 14, 2008 Howard White contributed a piece called “The Power of Hello,” which opened with this statement:

I work at a company where there are about a gazillion employees. I can’t say that I know them all by name, but I know my fair share of them. I think that almost all of them know me. I’d say that’s the reason I’ve been able to go wherever it is I’ve made it to in this world. It’s all based on one simple principle: I believe every single person deserves to be acknowledged, however small or simple the greeting. 

I promise to leave my connections of this post to Jerry Maguire at this picture (and the title quote), but this picture sums up what I’m trying to get at. People need to make deep meaningful connections with other people. Now, you can’t expect to yield life-long friendships from every person that you meet (but what a great goal 😉 also, I’m never sure what to do with parenthetical emoticons… besides comment after them), but I’ve found that saying hello to as many people as possible can have a profound cumulative effect. It may not be that day or that week, but when you look a person in the eyes, make contact, and say “Hi Kristin” you make a very personal connection, if only briefly, that says, ” I chose to give you a moment of my time because you are here.”

This is something that White expresses as a core human belief of his; it was something his mother taught him at ten years of age that stuck with him throughout life.

I believe that every person deserves to feel someone acknowledge their presence, no matter how humble they may be or even how important.

What a great parent. Sure, taking your kids to dance, soccer, and music lessons is a great way to build character, but how often do you get to really change the way another person operates day-to-day? Saying hello may seem microscopic in a world where human rights, political correctness, and privacy are broadcasted as major concerns; but, small things add up. Just like “keeping the change” can build a modest percentage onto a savings account (no matter how pithy the bank’s interest rate), making a deposit in other peoples’ days can compound all of our social interest.

Howard White’s NPR piece can be found here