Ricochet Podcast #30: A Soap Opera With Hats

It’s late August, so it’s more pop culture than politics on the podcast this week as we tackle Mad Men, vampires, South Pacific, the Drambuie mistake, and the definition of a bunco party. Then, columnist Virginia Postrel joins us for an boots-on-the-ground report of the LA Obama-Jam, why Michelle isn’t Jackie, the allegedly non-functioning U.S. Senate, and the Target controversy. So sit back and grab a martini: it’s a podcast best enjoyed shaken, not stirred.

And now the links:

  • Behold the mistakenly delivered bottle of Drambuie!

  • You Only Live Twice on IMDB
  • Production Designer Ken Adam’s Wikipedia entry
  • Justin Bieber sings slowly
  • George Packer’s New Yorker piece on the broken U.S. Senate
  • Todd Purdum’s similarly themed article in Vanity Fair
  • Virginia Postrel’s Atlantic piece on Obama and glamour
  • Jeri Ryan makes Lileks’ life worth living
  • The dog barking in the background is Rob’s beloved Lab Illy

Music from this week’s episode:

Direct link to this week’s show or better yet, subscribe and have the show delivered automagically each week.

  1. James Poulos
    C

    When you’re done soaking up the podcast, do take an extra minute to listen to 1/35 of Justin Bieber’s 800% slowed-down opus (which runs 35 minutes long). Dude sounds like Enya, or Sigur Ros.

  2. Karen

    I don’t know if it’s just my computer or what, but I don’t see the latest podcast on iTunes yet.

  3. Karen

    Nevermind.

  4. Jimmie Bise Jr

    I just read Packer’s article. Ye Gods, what a whiny and bloated thing. He could have shortened it to “The Senate is broken because Democrats don’t get their way immediately on everything” and saved me 30 minutes of my life.

  5. Peter Robinson
    C

    Once again, Jimmie nails it.

  6. Jimmie Bise Jr
    Peter Robinson: Once again, Jimmie nails it. · Aug 19 at 6:12pm

    I didn’t pay much attention to how many pages his article was until I got to the fifth and he seemed to be accelerating. When I saw that “12″ at the bottom of the page, I cried out in anguish. How many times, I wondered, could he tell the same story of evil Republicans who just hate everything and all the noble Democratic “reforms” they spoiled with their silly rules?

    The answer? Lots and lots of times.

  7. Cas Balicki

    The podcast theme that nobody creates anything anymore they just re-mix reminded me of an office party I had the great misfortune to attend some years ago. The new very portable and light-weight video cameras had just come to market, and one of the attendees had brought his to the party. He spent half of the party, roughly an hour to an hour and a half, recording the party. I could not believe what happened next, which was that a television was pulled into the board room and all the partiers sat around and watched themselves “partying”. The passive had overturned the active. It was like some sick Karaoke performance recorded for posterity with the participants given a look before the tape was consigned to a time capsule. What does something like this say about us as a culture when we become more interested in our own and our friends images than we are in them? In this particular case the group I was with couldn’t even create a proper party, what we got instead was video of a party that never took place because of the camera’s presence.

  8. Kennedy Smith

    Hey, Peter, my Little Sis (who’s 19 years younger, and my pop culture correspondent) was fascinated by The Barber of Seville, so didn’t even have to go back to G&S. Some things are simply timeless.

  9. James Poulos
    C
    Cas Balicki: He spent half of the party, roughly an hour to an hour and a half, recording the party. I could not believe what happened next, which was that a television was pulled into the board room and all the partiers sat around and watched themselves “partying”.

    This is so believable it’s almost unbelievable, Cas. And an office party! It seems impossible that this has happened in real life before it has happened on The Office. I have a voracious appetite for more Cas Balicki Office Stories.

  10. Midget Faded Rattlesnake

    I want to know:

    What’s happening with the Drambuie? Any good recipes for it?

  11. Jimmie Bise Jr

    The Hegelian Synthesis returns at 14:20!

  12. Midget Faded Rattlesnake: I want to know:

    What’s happening with the Drambuie? Any good recipes for it? · Aug 20 at 3:46pm

    The Drambuie was exchanged for the actual gift, a fine bottle of 20 year old Bourbon. And Lileks has not been heard from since.

    Jimmie Bise Jr: The Hegelian Synthesis returns at 14:20! · Aug 20 at 6:03pm

    Hmmm, I think we have the makings of our first Ricochet Podcast Drinking Game…

  13. Jimmie Bise Jr

    Ooh! A Blue Yeti! I very nearly picked up one of your brethren when Blue ran a great sale on the model. I declined because I couldn’t really justify the budget-shuffling that would have caused.

    Besides, my Blue Snowball is a wonderful mic and give my own podcast a swanky professional sound!

  14. Cas Balicki

    “It seems impossible that this has happened in real life before it has happened on The Office.”

    James, sorry to get to this so late today, I am at a disadvantage with regard to The Office, as I have not watched television since sometime in 1993. I can, however, assure you that this actually happened to me. I will, however, give you one more story, and prehaps another later, but that one will run in excess of 200 words.

    Two vice presidents with whom I worked had a disagreement at a pub, I’m not sure over what, but it may have been boozing. The drunk returned to the office and peed in the others huge potted rubber tree plant. In short order the rubber tree plant’s leaves began to turn black and fall off. The owner of the plant called in his rubber tree specialist, his wife I think, and she of the green thumb could do nothing to revive the tree. At meetings for months thereafter the victim would wonder out loud what happened to the plant as he, no fool, suspected chicanery. None of us “peons” had the heart to tell him.

  15. James Poulos
    C
    Cas Balicki: There are more such stories, and the long one still remains unwritten, but I don’t want to monopolize this thread. · Aug 20 at 8:03pm

    Best you save them for the book.

  16. Cas Balicki

    One evening the same VP had the temerity to be picking up hookers in his convertible Rolls Royce the very day the city’s counsellors and chief of police were assessing their berg’s hooker problem from the aerie platform of a parkade fronting the town stroll. The VP, on a first name basis with the mayor, loudly invited Hiz Honour to join the party. Hiz Honour took a dim view of being so singled out. As even the dullest wit might guess, this nomadic fete didn’t get two blocks before being interdicted by the local constabulary. Fortunately for all involved Coke Bottle (so named to maintain anonymity and in reference to the individual’s preferred tool when adjudicating bar room disagreements) was among the revellers. Coke Bottle had a pathological hatred for cops. Even before the Rolls stopped Coke Bottle was over the gunwale, shouting at and threatening the two young officers. The police quick to spot trouble shouted for the Veep, “To get the Hell out of here.” Being drunk and not wishing to debate the reasons for his inebriation, our hero sacrificed several thousand miles of tire-life burning away from the cops.

  17. Cas Balicki

    There are more such stories, and the long one still remains unwritten, but I don’t want to monopolize this thread.

  18. Cas Balicki
    James Poulos, Ed.

    Cas Balicki: There are more such stories, and the long one still remains unwritten, but I don’t want to monopolize this thread. · Aug 20 at 8:03pm

    Best you save them for the book. · Aug 21 at 7:36am

    I kind of thought that might be the case, considering that the label cut one of the stories. By now you can probably tell that for a time in my life I worked with a bunch crazies not much into convention or decorum. You can rest easy, though, James, the story that remains unwritten only involves a hockey game, a mustang ranch, an irate wife (no surprise there), and national television coverage. In all other ways its your run of the mill frolic that has our hero wearing off a three martini lunch over a long weekend.

  19. Ottoman Umpire
    Blue Yeti Hmmm, I think we have the makings of our first Ricochet Podcast Drinking Game…

    Are you forgetting ~Paules’s one man show?

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