Top Eleven Things: Sometime in June Edition


I was going to publish a  post or two this week, but things piled up, and now I don’t have time. I’m overdue for one of these lists, anyway. Some of these might end up as bigger posts later on, in a perfect world I guess. Enjoy.

11. Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

This is basically a guidebook to comic book criticism, and it is a must-read for anyone who is even vaguely interested in comics, art, literature, movies, looking at things, using a brain, etc.

10. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Yeah, this is my summertime album for real.

9. Halt and Catch Fire

When  Mad Men ended, I was like, I want more of this, but skip the seventies and make it about computers. Lo and behold, AMC was way ahead of me.

8. The theme song from The Adventures of Pete and Pete

This is the most infectious earworm I’ve encountered. I think it has been stuck in my head since 1995, and it gets uncontrollably more pronounced each day. I still don’t mind, because it’s such a great song. However, in my early twenties I made the mistake of looking up the real lyrics (or at least, what someone on the internet assumes are the real lyrics) and that’s when I became a grown up. I wish I could have just stayed in Wellsville.

7. The Star Wars ring theory

This is a daunting read, but really worth it. I take issue with the author insisting that this structure is so groundbreaking that is redeems George Lucas eternally or whatever, because it doesn’t, and the prequels still suck. In fact, I think some of things are partly to blame.

6. Rob Ager’s Shining analysis

Ager has a great YouTube channel dedicated to film essays, and they’re usually pretty enlightening. Though his recent Star Wars plotholes series is kind of nitpicky. Anyway, he released another video about The Shining which brings up an important point the documentary Room 237, a film I absolutely love, by the way. But the film does faultily give equal credence to every interpretation of Kubrick’s Shining that are out there, but some of them are a bit more significant than others. And, unfortunately, the one that is the least plausible is the one that everyone always talks about.

5. A good pair of headphones

I just can’t seem to get my hands on one.

4. Marriage equality in Ireland

Fair play to ye.

3. Marc Maron’s interview with Terry Gross

I’ve been listening to Maron since the early days of WTF, and I think listening for that long brings a perspective on his work that’s impossible to understand if you jump in now or any time in the last three years or so. His interview with Terry Gross is truly a landmark for his podcast, and hearing his satisfaction is delightful. And well-deserved, because this is one of the best performances he’s given as an interviewer, interviewing perhaps the greatest interviewer in radio.

2. Mad Max: Fury Road

Of course. It’s one of those films, man.

1. Father Ted Island

Ok, there’s actually no such place, but last week I went to Inisheer, the island that can be seen in the opening credits of Father Ted. It’s the greatest Irish TV show ever, and the island was perfectly quaint and beautiful, even if the boat ride made me unbearably nauseous.

Standing in front of the MV Plassey, a ship that wrecked on Inisheer in 1960, carrying Irish whiskey and yarn. Below, the Plassey from the opening credits of Father Ted.


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Cody Ray Shafer

Cody is a writer and media critic living in Salt Lake City, Utah. When he's not writing he plays guitar and sings with his wife Sara Beth. They have one son, Oliver, and pug, Hugo.

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