"Trenchant satire" = poop jokes. J. Robert Lennon at Ward Six presents the Literary Blurb Translation Guide.
"Good news -- this is the point in the graduation speech where I tell you a personal anecdote about perseverance and then quote a song." Lexington High School in suburban Boston is the alma mater of comic theorist Scott McCloud, evironmentalist Bill McKibben, a winner of Survivor, an SNL cast member, thinky writer Melanie Thernstrom, and MetaFilter favorite Amanda Palmer. But when it was time to choose a commencement speaker they wisely went with Eugene Mirman, LHS class of 1992. (SLLOLYT) (Eugene Mirman battles the pink robots, previously on MetaFilter.)
Am I supposed to be laughing or taking notes? Comic Charles Fleischer, who played Carvelli on Welcome Back, Kotter and voiced Roger Rabbit, gives a Ted talk which degenerates into what appears to be a dissertation about the number 37 and its relationship to string theory, delivered in a rapidly shifting sequence of accents; watch the audience get more and more uncomfortable as they try to figure out whether they're watching a stand-up routine, a Kaufmannesque prank, or a guy going crazy right before their eyes. TED should have known what they were getting; Fleischer has been performing some form of this routine for decades. (Warning: numbered suit.) Transcript of the routine. Fleischer's strange myspace page. (Warning: strange music/talking on click which I can't figure out how to turn off.)
“I don’t want anyone on my team that doesn’t play to win.” Red Klotz, 88, has been head coach of the Washington Generals since the early 1950s, and played for the team himself until the age of 62. In the linked story, he provides Kansas City sportswriter Joe Posnanski with the greatest quote of all time (that wasn't it up there) and recounts his two glorious victories over the Harlem Globetrotters (against 13,000-some losses.) Now Klotz may have a secret weapon against his long-time rivals: after 50 years as straight men, the Generals are trying to become the wackiest team on the court.