Koyaanisqatsi – The EPIC 80s Movie With No Actors, No Plot And No Dialogue

Imagine a movie with no plot, no characters, no actors, no dialogue, no narration, no stunts, no CGI, no special effects and no sound – only super minimalist music. HOW is this movie not a complete boring train wreck?

In this episode, Alex shares his love for a groundbreaking 1980s movie that is utterly beautiful and fascinating and which has inspired so many other works including Madonna music videos, Zach Snyder’s Watchmen and the Grand Theft Auto video game.

BTWs include:

  • Death of the author
  • German expressionist cinema
  • Citizen Kane
  • How NOT to eat marmite

In the Moment Of Meta, Alex and Katie follow up on Katie’s previous challenge to “say yes” to new adventure and share what happened when they did.

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Tove Jansson – Moomin Trolls And Anti-Fascism

The Moomin Trolls are nothing but cute, cuddly, innocent kids’ stories right? Wrong!

And the creator of the Moomins, Tove Jansson, was just a kids’ writer, right? WRONG! She was also a novelist, poet, painter and all-round badass and Alex shares 5 reasons why you should be enthusiastic about her,

BTWs include queer erasure, dancing and lesbian cottage core.

In the moment of meta Katie talks about saying “YES!” to new adventures.

Trixie Mattel – The World’s Hardest-working Drag Queen

Of all the drag queens in all the world Katie loves Trixie Mattel the most and in this episode you’ll hear a ton of reasons why you should be enthusiastic about her too. This includes her insane work ethic, how funny she is and of course her long-standing partnership with Katia.

BTWs include:

  • Makeup
  • Lying to the media
  • Staying friends in showbiz
  • What Katie wants for her birthday

Moment Of Meta

In the moment of meta Alex gives some tips on how to be enthusiastic about your job. Yes – it’s possible!

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RRR: The Epic Indian Action Movie That Goes ALL-IN on EVERYTHING

RRR (Rise, Roar and Revolt) is a brand-new Indian movie that has Katie VERY enthusiastic because of the insane action, the crazy high energy and the men’s fashions. Just don’t talk to her about whatever it is the women are wearing!

It is a HUGE blockbuster in India and worldwide and you can see it on Netflix right now – but first listen to this episode to hear exactly how awesome it is.

BTWs include:

  • What is Tollywood and why is it different from Bollywood
  • Why you should watch RRR with British people

Moment Of Meta

In the Moment Of Meta we talk about an ad that enraged Alex and how to use hobbies as a source of enthusiasm.

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Bees – Fuzzy, cute and essential for our survival

Bees? Yes, bees! They’re cute, they give us honey and without them we wouldn’t have food. And as all of our listeners probably know by now… WE LIKE FOOD!

Learn how bees communicate through dance and pheromones and how they’ve evolved into the perfect pollinators for all of the plants we rely on.

In the Moment Of Meta, we review the 9 enthusiandments we’ve proposed so far:

  1. Don’t yuck someone else’s yum!
  2. Any topic can be fascinating when presented with enthusiasm.
  3. Make sure to share your enthusiasms enthusiastically (you are not too much).
  4. Thou shalt not fake enthusiasm!
  5. You don’t have to participate in something to be enthusiastic about it.
  6. It’s OK to be enthusiastic about something that is flawed.
  7. Be enthusiastic about people. Always tell your friends what you like about them.
  8. You don’t have to be an expert in something to be enthusiastic about it (but researching a thing can deepen your enthusiasm for it).
  9. Seek out adjacent enthusiasms.

Do you have a suggestion for number 10? Tell us all about it in a comment.

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Ella Fitzgerald – From Street Child To First Lady Of Jazz

What a voice. What an incredible musical talent. She came out of total poverty and a life as a Manhattan street child. Ella Ftizgerald – the greatest jazz singer ever?

Hear how she got her greatest hit that time she completely forgot the lyrics to Mack The Knife in Berlin.

BTWs include Chick Webb, racism, Marilyn Monroe and Alex’s new favorite expression for something really quiet.

In the moment of meta Alex talks about letting go of enthusiasms.

Hamilton: Hip-hop history of the American revolution

How can you not love a hip-hop musical about the American revolution where all the founding fathers are played by people of color???

Katie is not just a fan of Hamilton – she is self-proclaimed Hamiltrash. In this episode she talks about what makes the music so great (obviously!) but also about the huge cultural impact that the show has had.

BTWs include Tom Waits, Encanto and the KGB’s hilariously failed attempt to blackmail the president of Indonesia.

In the moment of meta Alex issues a challenge to Katie and all listeners.

The Jewel Box Revue – Making Drag Mainstream – In 1939!

This incredible stage show had 25 men performing as women and one woman MC dressed as a man. It started in 1939 and made drag mainstream with high production values and incredibly talented performers.

But most of all: Meet Stormé DeLarverie, MC of the revue and the butch lesbian whose scuffle with police was the spark that ignited the Stonewall riots. The word badass doesn’t even begin to cover her.

BTWs include:

  • Why the “Mr.” in front of the performers’ names was SO important
  • The Stonewall Rebellion
  • How men wearing women’s clothes will surely lead to the downfall of western civilization
  • The dogs’ secret plan to take over the world

In the Moment Of Meta, Alex once again stans Swedish statistician Hans Rosling’s work on compiling data that shows that the world is getting better in many ways and uses Rosling’s work to quiz Katie.

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The Art Of Drag: Blowing up gender in STYLE

Drag is not just men dressing as women – it’s a playful and enthusiastic art form that messes with our preconceived notions of gender and identity.

Katie – who is about to do drag herself for the first time – shares the history of drag, the most iconic performances and which seasons of RuPaul’s drag race to avoid.

BTWs include best drag names, backronyms and why there is nothing more fake than reality TV.

The moment of meta

In the moment of meta Alex proposes a new enthusiandment: It’s OK to be enthusiastic about something that is flawed.

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Swing Guitar: Preserving A Legacy With Enthusiasm (And Spite)

Swing music is amazing but real swing music that actually sounds like it did in the 30s and 40s is depressingly rare these days. Modern jazz musicians tend to look down on swing jazz and even when they do try to play it, they don’t do it right and it ends up sounding more like modern jazz.

Our guest enthusiast in this episode is Jonathan Stout, a band leader and guitarist specializing in pre bebop jazz guitar. He leads eight different bands, but is best known for Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five and the Jonathan Stout Orchestra, both of which he co-leads with Hilary Alexander. His bands have been heralded as some of the world’s premier swing dance bands.

Jonathan is incredibly enthusiastic about preserving the legacy of swing guitar and honoring the people who created and developed the genre.

Hear about:

  • How Jonathan went from heavy metal electric guitar to jazz music
  • His main idols in swing guitar, especially Charlie Christian who only ended up recording for two years
  • His incredible collection of vintage guitars and what “white whale” guitar he dreams of getting his hands on
  • The time he got the thumbs-up from Norma Miller, one of the original swing dance performers
  • Jonathan’s one simple trick for becoming the best in the world 🙂

Jonathan also plays for us and it’s INCREDIBLE!!!

BTWs include:

  • Racism in jazz
  • The producer who discovered Billy Holiday, Count Basie, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and MANY others

In our Moment of Meta we talk about the fourth enthusiandment: Thou shalt not fake enthusiasm!

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