FOTI #10: Manic Pixie Dream Girls in Commentopia

Hey y’all! FOTI back in the heezy…

In this episode, we discuss a viral video that accuses legendary TV science educator Mr. Wizard of being a dick, debate the merits of a tumblr entitled Rich Kids of Instagram, and marvel in awe at a young woman running for New York State Senate whose campaign slogan is inspired by LMFAO. Plus, we go deep into the topic of internet comments. We have music from the San Francisco band Grass Widow, our Internet Challenge Surprises, and lots of other great stuff courtesy of our legion of Likers.

Four ways to listen:

We’ve continued our tradition of leaking out the topics on our @FOTIpod Twitter account before the show is posted, so you can check out all the sites and links before you hear the discussion, if being fully-informed is your thing.

To the links! The tweets we posted last night are below — plus bonus links.

We’ve watched more of NuttyMadam’s Twilight reaction videos than we care to admit, but this utterly self-contradictory response to the Robsten split seemed perfectly keyed to this episode, where we explore the crazed world of Internet comments (more to come on that).

Choice comment from our Liker John D: “This is amazing. She’s so conflicted- devastated and angry by the news at the same time castigating the media for reporting on it. She admonishes us to “leave them alone” yet can’t stop talking about how betrayed she feels. I love her and I hate her.”

We also celebrated the Summer Olympics with a discussion of NBC’s bad coverage of the Opening Ceremonies and a draft of our favorite Olympic moments:

After Kerri Strug’s immortal vault, we selected Michael Johnson’s 200m world record in 1996, Katerina Vitt’s moving tribute to the people of Sarajevo, Nastia Liukin’s balance beam performance to win the all-around gold, the 1968 Black Power salute by Tommie Smith and John Carlos, and the 2002 Salt Lake City pairs figure skating competition that ended in chaos and scandal.

All that said, we’re thoroughly enjoying the 2012 Olympics so far. Let’s get this doin’ done, USA!

Internet Report Card

Outstanding comment from our Liker Tim:  “I remember each and every one of those episodes vividly. He’s not a dick. Kids are stupid. It’s time we stopped mollycoddling today’s generation of un-pin-stuck, never-seen-a-sliced-banana-before, non Newtonian-physics-knowing (notice properly omitted hyphen), participation-ribbon-having kids and started teaching science the right way–through beatings.”

Look at Joss Whedon stealing this whole damn thing!

If you enjoyed this, Episode 2 of Written by a Kid is out now. Thanks to Liker Dave for passing this along.

Conservative politics meet Jersey Shore! GIF Style.

Alpine’s still waiting for the first pro-Hunger Games platform, though.

In the most blatant flight of hypocrisy this program has yet known, Alpine delivers the boilerplate “Don’t be a hater” speech favored by all the reality stars, crap bloggers and D-list celebs that this website routinely mocks.

But seriously, how can you hate on THIS?


Our Musical Guest

Grass Widow, outta SF, just dropped their third album, Infinite Logic. It’s a maelstrom of surf-rock harmonies, lo-fi indie jams, and trippy pop gems.

Their name is incredible, a recapturing of an old timey term for a quote-unquote “loose woman,” or at least a manless one. You might have seen them on Portlandia, in a skit where Fred Armisen tries to cram Joanna Newsom’s harp into a tiny hatchback after a hippie meadow jam.

They are awesome. Buy their album and enjoy!

Internet Challenge Surprise

It’s hard to explain how awesome this podcast is, but if you’ve ever been a history nerd or aspired to become one, give it a listen today.

Wrath of the Khans Part 2” came out after we recorded the podcast — I’m gonna reward myself with it as soon as this is wrapped up! (Here’s part one.) Carlin’s entire Collapse of the Roman Republic series is incredible, but brace yourself before listening to “Logical Insanity,” because the descriptions of firebombing may give you nightmares. UPDATE: Just checked it out, and it’s awesome. There’s an extended metaphor comparing the pre-war sparring between Genghis Khan and the Khwarazmian Shah to a high profile prizefight. As with all topics that catch Carlin’s interest, though, it gets pretty gruesome and disturbing at times, so maybe don’t listen with your kids in the car?

In connection with the release of the film Ruby Sparks, there’s been a huge backlash against the very concept of the MPDG, led in part by Ruby Sparks screenwriter/star Zoe Kazan. That’s why this video is so pot-stirringly delightful, dragging in cinematic icons like Maria von Trapp and Annie Hall in an approach sure to infuriate haters of the MPDG concept…

The Dark World of Internet Comments

Inspired by the drama on Rotten Tomatoes about insane comments left for negative reviewers of The Dark Knight Rises, we dug into the endlessly fascinating topic of comment sections.

Newspapers seem to struggle with these dark forces more than other sites, with tabloid newspaper comment sections being absolutely devoid of reason. But anonymous/pseudonymous commentary has been a pillar of Internet culture since day one, as evidenced by one of the best sites around, MetaFilter.

We also talk about the comment boards at, where entertainment industry titans and armchair experts duke it out in the comment section every day under cover of anonymity. Some sites are turning to Facebook to save the day, hoping that “real name” type identification and Facebook moderation will fix everything, but is it really a service to public discourse to turn over all discussion to the Zuckerberg death star that seeks to monetize its users’ every thought?

We were encouraged by Gawker Media’s attempts to push the envelope, as described in this excellent CJR article. Will systems like Gawker’s Kinja usher us toward Commentopia? In any case, the sewer system of the Internet will probably continue to be stinky for some time, but we wouldn’t disconnect our computers from it for all the troll-spray in the world.

Shoutout to the Likers

So many great finds by the contributors and Likers this fortnight that we couldn’t fit into the show:

Thanks for listening! We’ll be back in 2 weeks with Episode 11!

Theme song by Snowplows.
Cover art by Vicious Rumors.
Special thanks to Jacob Daneman and Pitch Perfect PR for musical assistance!

About Alpine McGregor
Just like you, man. I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase. All in the game, though, right?

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