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.

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.

Links

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.

Lise Nørgaard – Writer, feminist and UTTER BADASS

Lise Nørgaard is a Danish journalist and author who discovered her superpower (writing) and has used it tirelessly to promote women’s rights and social justice.

She also created Matador, the best Danish TV show EVER, and (maybe most importantly) had a pastry named after her.

BTWs include implanted memories and swing dancing.

In the moment of meta Alex Katie shares a story of how she used enthusiasm to defuse an online feud.

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.

Billy Strayhorn: The Unsung Hero Of Jazz

Everyone who knows jazz knows Duke Ellington. But did you know that many of the Duke’s most famous songs were actually written by a gay black musical prodigy called Billy Strayhorn?

In this episode Katie celebrates the life and music of Strayhorn who received little recognition (or even money) for his work but who still lead a “lush life.”

BTWs include the Baader-Meinhoff effect.

In the moment of meta we share a tip on how you can use enthusiasm to connect with new people.

Links

All the songs:

BONUS songs: 

Cynthia and Hatsune: Fictional women who became real

Cynthia Gaba was a celebrity in 1930s high society in New York. Hatsune Miku is a singer with a global fan base who has even gone to space. But here’s the twist: Cynthia was a mannequin and Hatsune is 100% digital!

How did two women, who are clearly not “real” in the traditional sense, become so successful and what does that say about the nature of celebrity and even of reality? What is real?

BTWs include William Gibson’s 1996 novel Idoru which predicted Hatsune Miku, men who fall in love with fictional women, Thor Ragnarok and ragging on Game of Thrones. As usual.

The moment of meta

In the moment of meta we propose the next enthusiandment: You don’t have to participate in something to be enthusiastic about it.

Links

Niels Bohr: The Man Who Played Dice With The Universe… And Won

Alex gets his hometown pride on and celebrates the life of fellow Copenhagener Niels Bohr, a man who revolutionized physics twice over. He may be the smartest person in physics… and he was definitely the nicest!

Hear about Bohr’s epic feud with Einstein (drama!) and get a very short intro to the weird and freaky world of quantum physics.

BTWs include:

  • Nerd humor
  • The world’s smartest cat
  • Dead people. So many dead people.

This episode was co-written by FDC Willard.

Moment of meta

In the moment of meta we talk about intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation and which one is better for enthusiasts.

Pics

Links

Josephine Baker: The Most Interesting Woman In The World

Singer, dancer, entertainer… but also civil rights activist and spy for France during WWII. Josephine Baker truly is the most interesting woman in the world.

Hear all about her amazing life, including her cheetah that would often escape its leash and (encouraged by the audience) menace the band and how she adopted 12 children of different races to form a “rainbow tribe”.

BTWs include:

  • Celebrity nicknames
  • Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction”
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

In our Moment Of Meta, Alex talks about one of the “commandments of enthusiasm” (or enthusiandments as he insists on calling them over Katie’s strong objections) namely that any topic can be fascinating when presented with enthusiasm.

Links

Episode 1: Harpo Marx – The Happiest Nudist in Hollywood

Harpo Marx (of the Marx Brothers) was a genius of physical comedy but, maybe more impressively, he was a nice and fun person who lived a truly happy life.

Raised in a poor Jewish family on Manhattan and thrown out of school (literally) in 2nd grade, he still ended up living an incredibly interesting life and becoming friends with people like George Gershwin, George Bernard Shaw and Salvador Dali.

Hear about his most epic pranks and about his occasional nudism. Harpo could (and would) turn any boring situation – like a game of golf – interesting by taking off his clothes.

BTWs include:

  • Some of the strangest town names in America
  • Weird vaudeville acts of the 1920s

In our moment of meta, Katie reveals how she came up with the name of the podcast – Electric Enthusiasm – and shares two important quotes about enthusiasm.

Links