I’m not going to waste any of your time talking about the angry white racist in the White House’s “speech” last night, because it’s not worth the gunk on the bottom of your shoe that accrues as you walk down the sidewalk. Needless to say, rarely in American politics has one man’s ego and stubbornness caused so many hundreds of thousands of people to go without pay. But here we are.
Instead, I want to start today with this wonderful little radio story from “This American Life.” It’s by producer Zoe Chace, and it’s about a remarkable place in Derby Line, Vermont, that straddles the border between the U.S. and Canada. Literally, the town library is divided between the two countries, located partly in Derby Line and partly in Stanstead, Quebec. Flower pots are aligned at one point to indicate the border.
What “This American Life” explores about this place is how it’s been used by Iranian students living in America trying to reunite with their families, and how this one little library, at least the Canada part, has been a lifeline.
It’s seven minutes of fascinating listening, showing the extreme lengths families have to go to these days, thanks to the xenophobic policies of this administration. Take a listen here; it’s quite a window into our current world.
**Next up today, I thought this was hilarious. The Kansas City Chiefs have been the highest-scoring offense in the NFL this year, and have a great shot at winning the Super Bowl. They play the Indianapolis Colts Saturday, and once again, the Chief with the most boring job on the team has to be punter Dustin Colquitt. Because he never gets to play. Because the Chiefs hardly ever punt.
The Kansas City social media team put together this video showing Colquitt, and how he spends most games.
I love it. Poor punters, no respect.
**Finally today, when someone I trust, like my friend Steve M., tells me to watch a show, that I’m sure to love it and if I watch it, I’ll definitely be blogging about it, then of course I need to give it a try. I trust Steve’s opinion on most things, and despite his fatal flaw of being a fan of the North Carolina men’s basketball team, he’s generally a good fellow.
And of course, he was absolutely right on this one.
On the surface, the new show “Derry Girls” on Netflix doesn’t exactly seem like my cup of tea. It’s about a group of teenage friends growing up in Northern Ireland in the early 1990s, dealing with The Troubles and bomb scares and life at a strict Catholic high school and parents and all of that.
But instead of it being a trite, cliche-filled show, it’s freaking brilliant. And hilarious. And raucous.
The characters, from constantly anxiety-riddled Clare to foul-mouthed and sex-crazed Michelle to sad British boy and butt of all jokes James, are all perfectly drawn, and the writing is whip-smart. You may need subtitles at first because the Irish accents are gravy-thick, but you’ll pick up on the language soon enough.
“Derry Girls” is only six episodes long, and each one is only about 22 minutes, so it won’t take you long to get through it. But I’m telling you, it’s just about the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long, long time. It’s better than a “British comedy,” and even the grownups don’t seem like caricatures, and they have some wicked funny lines, too.
I’m telling you, I wouldn’t steer you wrong. Give “Derry Girls” a try on Netflix. Any show that can refer to John Travolta as “the disco dancer from Look Who’s Talking” is worth a shot.