Angels in America

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Our drama push continues this week on Novel Ideas with Angels in America by Tony Kushner, a very long two part play about… AIDS, maybe? This is a massive work, resulting in a longer than average episode where we mostly thrash about and try to figure out what various fantastical occurrences actually mean. In this episode, we discuss change, reluctant prophets, conservatism, and homosexuality. We also talk about why Tony Kushner won’t be appearing on the podcast, stupid alternate titles, chewing down a tree, and try to figure out what’s up with Joe. In the angelic realm alone, we examine the sexual habits of angels (always banging), the genitalia of angels (many and varied), and how angels maintain creation (mostly via jizz, as it turns out).

The music bump is “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” not merely as yet another one of Ben’s terrible attempts at humor, but also because it actually appears in the play, though perhaps not in a traditional context.

Angels in America – Angels Be Crazy


A very lengthy play (actually two plays) that is rather confusing to read at times because it’s supposed to be staged. Still has some power and effect though.

Gabs: 7/8 angelic vaginas.

Ben: 8/10 bouquets of phalli.

Ender’s Game

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Novel Ideas returns from a work related pseudo vacation hiatus with Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. If you use any form of media that is connected to the outside world, you’ve probably seen some trailers for the recently released movie. This book has actually been our list for a long time, but we’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to discuss it. Join us this week as we discuss, with the help of Special Guest Star Kevin Smith, this old favorite. In the the episode we talk about the Orson Scott Card controversy, spoilerific plot twists, master manipulators, and whether the ends justify the means. We also touch on how six year olds act most of the time, Yakety Sax, Independence Day, and creative ways of using the word “fart.”

The music bump is “Head Games” by Foreigner. I almost went with “Yakety Sax,” but decided that “Head Games” is actually hilarious if you imagine that Ender is singing it to either Colonel Graff or the Hive Queen, depending on the verse.

Ender’s Game – A Gold Plated Fart


One of the best science fiction novels ever written with special sentimental value to all three of us. Definitely read it before you see the movie, which will undoubtedly not live up to this book.

Gabs: 9/10 Not quite as pants-peeingly good as reading it as a kid, but still very, very good.

Ben/Kevin: 11/10 OMFG

Fahrenheit 451

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Banned Book Month continues with a classic dystopian novel that taught me an important lesson, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. What I learned from this book is how to spell the word “Fahrenheit.” It’s a tough one, guys. In this episode we discuss Bradbury’s unique writing style, accurate futurism, the difficulty of determining cause and effect, and the origins of dystopian stories. We also talk about manic pixie dream girls, sage characters, the impossibility of being universally liked, and what plagues the youth of the future. Also, this is one of our more self-referential episodes. You don’t have to be familiar with our previous episodes and books to follow the conversation, but be prepared for references to: A Handmaid’s Tale, Divergent, Hunger Games, Brave New World, The Giver, Childhood’s End, The Road, and Harry Potter. And possibly a couple of others I forgot to write down.

The music bump is “The Cliffs of Dover” by Eric Johnson in reference to the poem “Dover Beach,” which plays a prominent role in the book. This selection narrowly edged out “House on Fire” by Kansas, but I decided to zag instead of zig.

Fahrenheit 451 – Dystopian Origins


A well known book that offers an obvious theme and plenty to talk about, but written in a style that is rather difficult if you don’t enjoy artistic prose.

Gabs: 6/10 for importance as a classic, 2/10 for actual enjoyment.

Ben: She totally stole my bit. 7/10 for assigned reading, 3/10 for entertainment.