Hallelujah: The Prettiest (And Most Abused) Song In The World

This amazing song took 7 years to write and was then roundly ignored. Only after a cover version and the untimely death of an artist did the song finally become popular.

Since then, Leonard Cohen’s masterpiece has been covered at least 300 times and was used in The West Wing, Scrubs, Watchmen, Shrek and much much more. Everybody treats it like a sad song, but it’s not – Cohen’s intention was much more joyful.

BTWs include death of the author, communication in relationships and ice cream chords.

In the moment of meta, Katie talks about a challenge that enthusiasts everywhere must face: When someone says that you’re “too much”.

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Dune, The Novel: 1000 Times Better Than The Movie(s)

Now that Villeneuve’s Dune movie is finally coming out in America, it’s time for Alex to try to convince Katie to read a book that is notoriously long and complex… but ultimately worth it.

Dune is the best-selling science fiction novel of all time. It was written by American author Frank Herbert, and came out in 1965, over 50 years ago, but contains themes and ideas that make it relevant to this day.

This episode has NO SPOILERS for either the book or the movies.

BTWs include:

  • What Tolkien thought of Dune
  • Connections between Game of Thrones and Dune
  • What went wrong with David Lynch’s AWFUL 1984 Dune movie
  • Why it’s a good thing that Ridley Scott’s attempt to film Dune failed

In the moment of meta we talk about the concept of FLOW and how it relates to enthusiasm.

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Avatar The Last Airbender: The Cartoon That Will Save The World

Avatar The Last Airbender is on paper a kids cartoon show… but it’s also so much more than that.

Over three seasons it tells a story that is poignant, thrilling, funny and – above all – hopeful. Pretty good timing of Netflix to get it onto their service in 2020, just when we all needed a dose of positivity.

Hear all about this amazing show, including:

  • A redemption story that beats even Kylo Ren.
  • Uncle Iroh’s life lessons.
  • Kickass female characters.
  • What kind of bender Katie and Alex would each love to be… but what they probably are instead.
  • Why the live-action movie sucked so badly.

BTWs include:

  • The Aristotelian world view
  • Whatever happened to M. Night Shyamalan?
  • The concept of redemption and the tragic story of an Amish school shooting.
  • Avatar sightings at the recent Olympic games in Tokyo.

And yes, we do end up ragging on Game of Thrones. Again.

In your moment of meta, we explain the 3rd. enthusiandment: Make sure to share your enthusiasms.

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Modesty Blaise: 1000 Times Cooler Than James Bond

Modesty Blaise kicks as much butt as 007 but she does it with way more style and way less borderline rape.

Meet the coolest action heroine of the 60s who began her adventures in newspaper comic strips before making her way into novels and some shockingly bad movies.

Hear about how feminist the stories are for their time (or any time), including sex positivity, nudity and consent-based sex and how incredibly rare and awesome it is that Modesty was the clear leader and Willie was her faithful follower (not slave).

Alex also delivers a heartfelt plea for Netflix (or someone… anyone) to make a Modesty Blaise show. Both so he can watch it but also to annoy the hell out of all the Men’s Rights Activists and conservative pundits.

BTWs include:

  • Pulp Fiction and what Vincent Vega was reading on the toilet in Butch’s apartment
  • What Katie’s mom and Quentin Tarantino have in common
  • Shoehorned romance subplots and why they suck
  • Beverly Hills 90210 and Buffy The Vampire Slayer
  • The trope where every time someone enjoys something, bad stuff often follows

In our Moment Of Meta, Katie talks about the doll called Electric Enthusiasm, which to Alex’s surprise is definitely not a sex doll.

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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.

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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.

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