I Don't Even Own a Television

I Don't Even Own a Television

United States

This is a podcast about godawful books. Each episode, hosts Jay W. Friedman and Chris Collision sit down with some guests to discuss books that all of them wish they hadn't read. Humor, serious talk, progressive inebriation, who could ask for more?

Episodes

A Million Little Pieces  

By a writer who thinks he's hot shit (but is actually just a cold turkey), it's A Million Little Pieces, James Frey's fake memoir slash terrible novel. Lauren Parker drops by to help us get through what may be the worst book we've ever read, full of Man Pain, capitalized Nouns, and long passages about the universal passion of the most boring Americans, boxing.

Thrill to a baffled, hostile trio trying to come to terms with high-school level poetry like "I realize why dawn is called mourning." Enjoy a spirited argument about whether Frey's prose reads more like Evanescence, nü-metal, or youth crew—and if these references don't click for you don't worry: everything comes together by the end. Once we're done, you'll want to buy a copy of the book so you can follow James Frey around shouting his writing at him.

 

Recommendations:

Girl, Interrupted, Susanna Kaysen Best Seat in the House, Justin Roberts "The Rise of the Valkyries", Seyward Darby

Music:

"Positive Hardcore" by Good Clean Fun "All Lies" by NoMeansNo "Mistadobalina" by Del The Funky Homosapien
Blaster Master (Worlds of Power #1)  

Worlds of Power No. 1: Blaster Master: a strange artifact, here, not as clumsy or random as fanfic, an elegant read from a more civilized age. Yes, what we have here is a novelization ... of a video game ... meant for children. But, due to one host's long-standing relationship with the work, we break our normal rules, and craft for you an episode that's chockablock with crackerjack infotainment, including a decided enthusiasm gap between your hosts, a rich vein of fun factage*, and even—yes—a brand-new game with its very own song! Significant blasting; much mastery: that's what you're in for.

So slip into your power suit and check the charge on your laser pistol, because it's time for Baby's First Body Horror. It's time ... for Blaster Master!

*Fun fact: this series of books was listed as by "F.X. Nine" because, depending on who** you believe, the series creator wanted kids to stumble over them when they were looking on the shelves for either Nintendo or Nine Inch Nails, neither of which we recommend you look for.

**whom***

***whomstdve

 

Recommendations:

Helen McDonald, H Is for Hawk Adam Johnson, The Orphan Master's Son

Music:

"Elephant Riders" by Clutch "Standstill" by Gorilla Biscuits "Hot One" by Shudder to Think
TekLab (TekWar Series Book 3)  

Because sometimes there's a man, we won't say a hero, but what is a hero, anyway, who can take skycabs down the mean streets without himself becoming mean, because sometimes we need a hero, are holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night, but we don't need another hero, it's time for William Shatner's TekLab!

Like a cuddly Mike Hammer, or a Mack Bolan who wages a lonely war against evil but still remembers to call his girlfriend at the end of the day, TekLab protagonist Jake Cardigan is just the thing to slip into if you're looking for something comfy. Action! is the name of the game here, but not so much action that you'll get upset or anything. Intrigue! abounds, but is mostly reserved to "Hey, remember when we used to be enemies?" conversations, so don't feel like you have to take notes or pay all that much attention. Wisecracks! are everywhere, but they're not exactly zingers, so relax: you are more than welcome to join this battle of wits even if you're essentially unarmed. It's an enjoyable, easy read, and we hope you'll enjoy loping along with us.

NOTE: Yes, we know Shatner said some stupid things on Twitter recently; No, we don't particularly care. He didn't even write the book, people, and if you really need to take your political cues from an elderly Canadian, might we suggest Margaret Atwood or somebody?

Recommendations:

TekWar!

Music:

"Back to the Grill" by MC Serch "Pure Energy" by Information Society "Don't Sweat the Technique" by Erik B. and Rakim
Rush Revere and the American Revolution  

From the mind of Rush Limbaugh and four of his closest corporate lackeys comes Rush Revere and the American Revolution, a book in his "Time Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans" series; from across the pond, Kefin Mahon joins us to learn some American history from a book best described as "What if Ms. Frizzle was incompetent and evil?"...

Sneezing, hungry, time-travelling horses, troubled teens in war zones, meat pies with the Continental Congress, custom t-shirts and a history teacher with a disturbing fashion sense: this book has it all! Well, except for a plot, a decent editor, or a discernible reason for existing. But in the end, the real history was the friends we made along the way, wasn't it?

Anyway, enjoy this episode, where a charming Irishman learns about the American Revolution with a couple of revolting Americans and we all endure a book that makes an episode of Carmen Sandiego look seriously sophisticated.

Recommendations:

26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss, Kij Johnson John Adams, HBO Series Day of the Tentacle Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes

Music:

"Bloody Revolution" by Warlock Pinchers "Horses in my Dreams" by PJ Harvey "Rush, Rush" by Paula Abdul
You've Been Warned  

Answering the question "Wha happens when you try to write a taut horror-thriller but forget to finish it and just publish your initial collection of scenes and scenarios instead?" it's ... You Were Warned, a couple hundred pages of hard and fast incompetence from the minds of James "The Franchise Maker" Patterson and Howard Roughan, "The Freshmaker."

WARNING: this book makes zero sense. WARNING: it's impossible to explain the cliche-per-page rate here. WARNING: it says right on the cover not to look. It's good advice.

Anyway, this is our first experiment with the works of James Patterson, and, without saying too much ... this is now a James Patterson-cast. So please join us as we ignore the warnings and plunge ahead into an unadulterated world of positively portrayed adultery, laughing girlfriends snarking on scarfing sushi, visions of dead dads and pulsing body bags, and trucks named Bob. Sound good? No? Well, anyway, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.

Recommendations:

The works of Patricia Highsmith The Chrome Library Extension Netflix's "GLOW"

Music:

"Girl, We Made a Promise" by Sunday Shoes "Photograph" by Def Leppard "Warning" by Notoroious BIG
I, the Jury  

From we, the podcasters, for you, the listeners, I, the Jury, by Mickey Spillane. Did You Know: Bad books actually have been around for more than 50 years!? This episode, we we dive into the past and journey to the source of a LOT of the kind of books with narrator/protagonists who take great pride in the thickness of their wrists.

Nasty, brutish, and short, this is a book with all the narrative momentum and coherence of a game of Clue, but with all the cruelty and harsh language of a game of Monopoly. It makes for a zesty, pesto-like episode, as your hosts respond to Mike Hammer's rough brand of street justice with their own inimitable blend of wit, talking shit, and spit (-ting hot fire!). Make some coffee and pull off your clip-on tie, because it's time to get judgey with the case of ... I, the Jury.

 

Recommendations:

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale Norman Mailer, The Executioner's Song

Music:

"Streets of San Francisco" by Henry Mancini "Flipside" by Freeway "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel
Traveler #5: Road War  

Call shotgun, but only if you've got one, because it's time for IDEOTVPOD to hit the open, post-apocalyptic road with our latest men's adventure trip, D. B. Drumm's Traveler #5: Road War. We're under assault from every angle, with buffets of hot first draft prose, torrents of serious horror violence, and dollops of good politics (amongst sprinkles of bad).

So pop the clutch and tell the world to eat your dust, because we're grabbing John Shirley and blasting across the alkali flats in a jet-powered, monkey-navigated hot rod with a book that has everything short of the protagonist finding somebody's keys tucked into the sun visor of their vehicle. Come for the seriously fun pulp satire, but STAY for your hosts talking trash about everything under the sun (and mixing in a couple-three impressions that may (or may not) surprise you). ALSO: this episode has the debut of a great new feature that we're sure to remember to do going forward, a moment where we dedicate the episode to somebody!

Further reading: long, good interview with John Shirley; incredible resource about pulp fiction.

 

Recommendations:

The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin Meek's Crossing, Kelly Reichardt Schismatrix, Bruce Sterling

Music:

"Transmaniacon MC" by Blue Oyster Cult "Highway Star" by Deep Purple "A Rose for Emily" by The Zombies
God's Debris: A Thought Experiment  

If you cross a plague of locusts with a parade of nonsense, what do you get? The answer does not lie in Scott "Dilbert Guy"'s bizarre tract God's Debris. Nevertheless, we were delighted to welcome back our resident religious scholar Lauren O'Neal to try to get some meaning out of a work that truly seems intended to make you think... Unfortunately, mostly what it makes you think is "geez, is this book dumb".

Laughs abound as we sit down next to strangers on the bus and get an earful about the nature of time, the essence of probability, the "women be different than men" problem, and the Deliveryman's Code. No, it's not a season of Futurama; it's infinitely worse than that. (Even the last couple seasons. Yes, this book longish pamphlet is that bad.)

Recommendations:

Finding God in the Waves, Mike What's Happening with Me, Libby Watson The Leaky Crucible Foundry Winged Victory for the Sullen

Music:

"Know It All" by Lagwagon "Tight Like That" by Clutch "Blow Your Mind" by Ohana Bam
I'm With the Band  

For Mothers' Day, the mother of all hanging-out-with-the-band books, I'm with the Band, brought to us by star of page, screen, and earbud, Mara Wilson! It's the book that ties together pretty much every trashy rock book we've done. Ties into a big, skeevy bundle, suitable for the landfill, incinerator, or truck stop book shelf.

Lizard kings, heavy metal wizards, iron butterflies, this one's got it all! Including crabs. :(

Grab your all-access pass for fun, and hop on board the rock and roll train, bound for ... somewhere in California, I guess? The '70s? Backstage? Anyways, whereever we're going, you won't need ... robes. Get comfortable, because it's about to get pretty ... intimate. Turn the incense up to 10, set lights to "seduction" and crank the tunes loud enough to cover the sounds of furry boning. And then listen to this podcast!

Recommendations:

Almost Famous You Must Remember This Play It As It Lays Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys Viv Albertine

Music:

"Against the Seventies" by Mike Watt "This Ain't the Summer of Love" by Blue Oyster Cult "Valley Girl" by Frank Zappa
Valley of the Dolls  
Valley of the Dolls spins a tale as old as time: three young women meet, attain world-spanning prominence and fame as, respectively, the world's greatest singer/actress, the prettiest model alive, and a, ah, "European art movie" star, then develop various addictions (including cruelty, attention, and good old-fashioned pills and booze), with various, mostly very sad, outcomes. There was no way we could have handled this one solo, and we were incredibly lucky to have the legendary Maura (@maura) Johnston join us to try to make sense of this hot mess.

Like the movie says: fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night! But a grand one, very grand, with axes to grind, and scores to settle, and unflattering portraits of our friends to paint! Pop a 'doll and get ready to experience the ultimate high, as The Only Podcast That Loves You hops in the candy-pink convertible (with a dog painted on every door), picks up Our Pal Maura, and heads for ... the Valley of the Dolls.

 

Recommendations:

The One-Eyed Man, Ron Currie Girls on Film, Julie Burchill Borne, Jeff Vandermeer

Music:

"Purple Pills" by D12 "Adult Books" by X "Feelgood Hit of the Summer" by Queens of the Stone Age
[FLASHBACK #1] Those Who Trespass  

We don't normally do this, but given current events, we figured there'd be no better time to dig back through the archives and re-release a classic episode, Bill O'Reilly's batshit thriller "Those Who Tresspass", with special guest Jeb Lund.

Please, join us in 2014; a time before Collision, before segments and fun little jingles. Listen to me Jeb crack each other up talking about what may be one of the most widely distributed pieces of self-insert fan fiction ever created.

And also, fuck Bill O'Reilly now and forever.

(Don't worry, new episode will still be coming out in two weeks as usual, this is just a supplemental bonus.)

Widow's Walk  

This episode, we're hitching a ride on up to Boston to tag along with a sassy, tough-guy grandpa private eye, as he attempts to get to the bottom of a mystery involving real estate fraud, a dead gay banker, the dead gay banker's young widow, her boyfriend, a lot of ancillary characters that don't make any sense unless you've read the other 30-odd books in the series, and a lot of looking at women's butts. Alternate title for this episode: Death Comes for Dadventure. Widow's Walk, by Robert B. Parker.

NOTE: this is an older episode from the secret vaults, so please excuse any awkwardness. Life intervened this week, and made it impossible to record a shiny new episode.

 

Recommendations:

Girl in a Band, Kim Gordon Burning Fight, Brian Peterson

Music:

"Alpha Centauri", At the Drive-In "Telephone", TTC "MMMbop", Hanson "Roundball Rock", John Tesh
ICP: Behind The Paint (Pt. 2 of 2)  
In the second leg of our ICP saga, our grease-painted patron points us past the platinum peaks and into the valleys of his following, less successful, records, and walks up to the precipice of admitting "I started smoking weed and found god" but in the end sticks with "we had this all planned out from the beginning and never changed anything about ourselves." Along the way, he describes both putting on weight and losing weight in the most off-putting ways possible, has a few extremely boring feuds with nü-metal musicians and burns some bridges in pro wrestling, and describes it all in the vaguest ways possible. Then the book just sort of ... stops, and we're all very relieved and grateful.

MASSIVE THANKS TO our truly wonderful pals Bill (@sundownmotel) Hanstock and Lemon of the F Plus Podcast for running in, guesting hard, and bringing the ICP heat!

Note from J. W.: Sorry this is late. Editing this episode almost drove me, quite literally, to a nervous breakdown. I'm going through some other shit right now, of course, but the sudden realization that I have now spent more than three hours of my life critically discussing a book about clown rappers was hitting me pretty hard.
I'm better now. And this episode rules. So enjoy it. Enjoy it EXTRA hard with the knowledge that it almost cost me my sanity.

 

Recommendations:

Three-Headed Shark Attack, Netflix Six Feet Deep / Niggamortis by The Gravediggaz What We Eat When We Eat Alone, Deborah Madison

Music:

"S.O.S." by Abba (the Bill Hanstock theme) WCW Monday Nitro Theme "Something For You" by David Rolfe "Rock Lobster" by The B-52's
ICP: Behind The Paint (Pt. 1 of 2)  

It had to happen, and it had to happen in exactly this way: I Don't Even Own a Television meets the juggalos, as we sit down with with a clown and read Violent J.'s Behind the Paint. Be forewarned, this one goes places we rarely go; and be advised, this is our first ever two-part episode!

Here in part one, IDEOTV prepares an ICP primer. We enjoy endure wallow in the band's early days, ranging all the way from suburban Detroit to slightly different parts of suburban Detroit, described with all the deft language you'd expect (or maybe demand) from the "musicians" responsible for "songs" like "I Stuck Her with My Wang" and "Beverly Kills 50187". Grab a well-chilled two-liter bottle of store-brand soda and prepare to return to a time when you still thought flipping somebody off counted as a revolutionary act. 


Recommendations:

"Heads and Straights" by Lucy Wadham "Occultation" by Laird Barron

Music:

"Here Come the Gravediggaz" by Gravediggaz "Malpractice" by Redman "Tru Master" by Pete Rock w/ Inspectah Deck
Monday Night Jihad  

You're guaranteed to get a kick out of retired pro football placekicker Jason Elam (and his ghostwriter special writing pal Steve Yohn)'s taut Riley Covington thriller Monday Night Jihad! Well, unless things like grade-7 sexuality and Steve-Bannon-grade Islamophobia somehow impede your enjoyment of pulp literature.

Anyway, come with us and meet the team that stands between us and those who would ruin our football games! No, not medical professionals: the terrible terrorists who lurk among us ... on our football teams. This will make some kind of sense eventually. We hope.

Recommendations:

1Q84, Haruki Murakami Remains of the Day, Christa Wolf

Music:

"Madden 2002 Theme" by Pharoahe Monch "Official" by Pharoahe Monch "Lyricists Lounge Freestyle" by Pharoahe Monch
The First Inaugural Bad Book Party (Live)  

Bit of a change of format this time around, as we bring you our second live event, and our first Bad Book Party! From audience-provided oddities to the long-awaited appearance of probably the most-requested book in the show's history, this is an action- and guest-packed hour or two you won't want to miss.

Thanks to everybody who came out, thanks to Casey for helping us surge past a few technical difficulties, thanks to Andrew at Green Apple Books on the Park for getting the event ball rolling, thanks to Green Apple Books on the Park for being gracious, flexible hosts (with super-shouts to Colin), and thanks to all our amazing guests:

Eugenia from the Muni Diaries Lauren and Niko from Sunday School Dropouts Lauren Parker Lemon from the F Plus

Recommendations:
We recommend that you come to our next live show!

Music:
Various production cues from "Ren & Stimpy"

No One Here Gets Out Alive  

Prepare to grapple with the gods* as we're joined by comics writer and major dude Christopher (@xtop) Sebela to discuss the sleaziest rock bio we have ever seen, the legendary No One Here Gets Out Alive, by Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman. From dong-flashing to Dazig, this conversation has it all!

*Second-division**
**At best

Whether you think Jim Morrison was a modern-day Dionysus or just the original fat man in the bathtub (with the blues), this is a show you're guaranteed to enjoy! (NOTE: guarantee not valid if you think Jim Morrison was good or important.)

Also! Mark your calendars, because I Don't Even Own a Television and friends are throwing a Bad Book Party at Green Apple Books on the Park in San Francisco! This free event will be at 7:30, Saturday, February 11, 2017, and it's going to be more fun than not going to it, that's for sure. Come out! Join us! EVERYONE will MAKE IT OUT ... ALIVE!

 

Recommendations:

Dave Davies, Kink, An Autobiography Nick Kent, The Dark Stuff Steve Jackson's Sorcery! Charles Mingus, Beneath the Underdog

Music:

"Shut The Door" by Fugazi "Arsehole" by Snuff "The Thing That Only Eats Hippies" by Dead Milkmen
Timeline  

Years ago, at a cheap theater, a bunch of us went to see the inexplicable remake of H.G. Wells' classic, The Time Machine. About an hour in, my pal leaned over to me and stage whispered, "I wish I had a time machine!" and I missed about the next 10 minutes of the movie because I was crying / wheezing out of laughing so hard. Anyway, if you had a time machine, you'd probably want to use it to go back and prevent Michael Crichton's Timeline from existing, because hoo boy is this one a by-the-numbers cash-grab. Most of the clunkiest dialogue we've ever read, a plot that more or less forgets to happen, and more authorial lectures about the badness and madness of academia than you'd expect—or want to sit through.

Anyway, please join us for a trip through Michael Crichton's One Single Idea, in this little medieval-flavored mashup of Jurassic Park and WestWord, a striking dish we're calling ... Timeline.

Also! Mark your calendars, because I Don't Even Own a Television and friends are throwing a Bad Book Party at Green Apple Books on the Park! This free event will be at 7:30, Saturday, February 11, 2017, and it's going to be more fun than not going to it, that's for sure. Come out! Join us! You'll have the TIME of your LINE!

(Note from J. -- Yes, his name is just Jai Courtney, not Jai Courtney Smith. I have no idea why I said that. This will make sense later... in a future timeline.)


Recommendations:

Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada, Wrestle Kingdom 11 Moonlight, Barry Jenkins

Music:

"If I Could Turn Back Time" by Cher "Backwards Traveller" by Wings "Definitive" by Company Flow
Outlaw of Gor  

With a kind of ... lugubrious inexorability, rough-hewn, thick-thewed hosts J. W. Friedman and C. Collision thrust themselves into the rugged world of John Norman's Gor, where the tawdry pages of Outlaw of Gor await us and our stern attentions.

A true legend in the universe of bad books, the Gor series avidly answers the question "what if Edgar Rice Burroughs but with the racist bullshit cranked to eleven and a huge amount of really badly handled bondage and domination fantasies interspersed with heavy, heavy quantities of bad philosophy?" It's basically the perfect book for us, is what we're saying. If only it weren't so plotless and dull...

Also! We would like to announce our next live show! We're hosting a Bad Book Party at San Francisco's Green Apple Books on the Park, Saturday, February 11, at 7:30 p.m. It's totally free, is gonna have a bunch of rad guests (Niko from Sunday School Dropouts, Lauren Parker, Lemon from The F Plus -- and that's just the ones we're announcing now!), and is going to be the most fun you can have in the month of February.

Saturday, February 11, 7:30 p.m.
Green Apple Books on the Park
1231 9th Avenue, SF CA 94122

 

Recommendations:

Ursula le Guin Search Party

Music:

"Whip It" by Devo "I Can't Dance" by Genesis "Sex Dwarf" by Soft Cell
Ender's Game  

Our holiday tradition rolls on as we encounter yet another massive science-fiction hit, as we, with help of shadow producer Casey Occhialini get all up on Orson Scott Card's Hugo and Nebula winner Ender's Game. Ender's Game is about a young boy and a sociopath — but I repeat myself — who fears his brother, is in love with his sister, and enjoys provoking young boys into confronting him and then murdering them. Also he enjoys video games! Which turns out to be important and good, because playing video games is just like leading people into battle. Which he also does.

Anyway, we enjoy the fast fun and frantic action of this inexplicably well-regarded tale of children screaming fart-related insults at each other while occasionally pausing to wonder "Wait. What the hell is going on here?" and trying hard to avoid wading (too) deep into the world of Ender's Game's politics. Anyway, change into your sleep uniform and join us in the Battle Room, where the answer to everything is to remember, because reasons, "The enemy's goal ... is down." (Oh High Commander is this book ever dumb.)

Recommendations:

Creating the Innocent Killer, John Kessel

Music:

"E.T. Boogie" by Extra T's "War is Our Destiny" by St. Vitus "X-Ray Vision" by Clutch "War" by Edwin Starr
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