Friday, April 11, 2008

NPR: Idiots not Allowed

Yesterday, in one of my classes, we discussed Ginsberg's "A Supermarket in California." During our discussion, I mentioned that the line "What price bananas?" contained Whitman-esque undertones, in that the price of bananas is inextricably linked to the environmental, economic, & political conditions of foreign countries. To wit, I retold an anecdote about the induction of bananas into the U.S. economy during the mid-twentieth century at the Chicago's World Fair & how this, to some extent, was indicative of the nascent stages of globalization. Said globalizing forces dialog with the universal, using a particular context (in this case, the price of bananas at a grocery store in Berkeley). The oscillation between these 2 extremes, to my mind, represents Whitman's conceptual framework in many ways (at least when he's being subtle & not over the fucking top). When I mentioned that my banana-knowledge came from a program on bananas, specifically an episode of NPR's Fresh Air, I was met with resounding laughter. IMO, people who don't listen to NPR are kind of stupid. People who are amused by people who listen to NPR are a bit worse.

There are many reasons to love NPR besides Fresh Air. Take, for instance, All Songs Reconsidered: a great music program. This week, they streamed a song from the new Portishead album, as well as 1 from the forthcoming Fleet Foxes, MMJ, & Wolf Parade LPs. Amazing. You can listen to all these tunes here. & holy shit, they just put up a live stream of Malkmus & the Jicks in D.C.!


Johnny Cakes said...

Steve Zissou: Can you hear the Jack Whales singing?
Ned Plimpton: [Tanker horn goes off] Beautiful. I wonder what they are saying.
Steve Zissou: Well actually that's a Sludge Tanker over there...
[Several whales sing]
Steve Zissou: There you go!

simon said...

i found that particular episode most enjoyable. my favorite parts being the multiple renditions of banana ditties.

Anonymous said...

"IMO, people who don't listen to NPR are kind of stupid"

And I think you're stupid for not liking the things that I like.

"People who are amused by people who listen to NPR are a bit worse."

It was the banana part that was funny. Bananas are funny. Don't be so eager to play the enlightened liberal card.

Warchevski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Warchevski said...

Tc, my stupidity is self-evident, so I can empathize when others act in kind.

& yes, bananas are funny. Very funny. Most likely b/c they're shaped like light-yellow penises.

Caracola said...

"bananas, beaches and bases" cynthia enloe. interesting feminist book. ans she talks a lot about bananas...there's even bananas and carmen miranda pictured on the cover...tururu