Thursday, June 29, 2006

Your NPR Must-Hear

And the first person who says "NPR Must Hear" is an oxymoron gets a pie in the face.

These are stressful times, cupcakes, but I heard something last night that distracted me and made me laugh. After arriving home and ironing out my mail, I had an hour before bed to sit over a bowl of edamame and the crossword puzzle. As always, I had NPR in the background. (NPR, you're my best friend. No, really. Sometimes when I'm sad, I tell my secrets to Kurt Andersen). I was listening to a show on AM 820 I'd never heard before called Open Source. The theme for tonight's show, for your infotainment, is "potato guns for peace". The theme last night was "We Say Potato". So maybe they work a theme for a whole week? I don't know, more listening is needed to figure this out.

So anyway, the host had on as his guests Jim Leff, the guy behind Chowhound and Michael Pollan who has been absolutely everywhere ever since his book The Omnivore's Dilemma was published. Now, maybe I don't know the right kind of people, but I have never heard anyone get so excited about potatoes. From Pollan, I learned that the best way, nay, the only way to make good french fries involved two words I don't much like to consider when I'm eating: "horse fat". Let's say no more about that, shall we?

However, the real star of this thing was Mr. Chowhound. Remember those old commercials when Sonny would go cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs? Leff was going positively cuckoo for tubers. You could almost see through the radio his eyes rolling back in his head and his feet leaving the earth. Then he started talking about some mythological (?) island in the South Atlantic populated only by descendants from a shipwreck where he wants to go for the ultimate potato orgasmic experience. The ranting was cute, for the first minute, then I thought, Good God, this man is off his spud! Also, whenever Leff want to conjure up the image of a snooty, dandy, elitest he used the names Zsa Zsa Gabor and Claus von Bulow. Although I was a little embarassed that his referrences were so outdated, I couldn't help but think, "Wow, there are probably twenty people listening to this broadcast right now and probably only three listeners who know who those people are. And I am one of them."

If you've got a lot of time, if you love potatoes or if the curiosity is killing you, you can listen here.


Michael said...

Open source rocks!! I listen to it via podcast.

A little while ago they were looking for food-related blogs, I couldn't think of any. When I discovered yours, I was pissed that I hadn't known of it before. Sigh.

AJWP said...

We listen to Open Source out here in Worcester. Christopher Lydon used to host The Connection, but there was assiness involved and he left. Petunia and I were psyched to hear his new show on WGBH. I caught last night's potato discussion, too--pretty fun stuff.

acaligurl said...

greetings from cali, hmmmm you learn something new everyday! i love potatoes and curiousity was killing me so i had to listen.

Cupcake said...

The more I read about Open Source, the more I'm really getting into it. I'm paraphrasing the mission statement here, but basically they say that they are not a public radio program with a blog but rather an online community that collectively produces a radio program. Dudes, you are blowing my mind. Last night I finally got around to watching Raging Bull then I followed it by listening to the Open Source episode on Boxing with David Remnick .