Episode 49: Peeking Down Under

The Overthinkers take on your mom (ha!), Australians, and a dad who doesn’t like movies.

Matthew Wrather hosts the panel of Overthinkers as he, Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, and John Perich take on your mom (ha!), the land down under, and whether “Sariel Thrawn” is a real name (hint: yes) and solve listener problems, including virginity and a dad who doesn’t like movies.

Tell us what you think (and tell us your ideas for the 50th episode)! Email us or call 20-EAT-LOG-01—that’s (203) 285-6401. If you haven’t yet, take the very short survey! And… spread the overthinking by forwarding this episode to a friend.

Download Episode 49 (MP3)

18 Comments on “Episode 49: Peeking Down Under”

  1. Gab #

    OHOHOH! I haven’t seen it, but I’ve heard the _Secret Garden_ soundtrack and love it! I don’t have a favorite musical (I love too many), but I can tell you my LEAST favorite: _West Side Story_. Now go ahead and shoot me for this blasphemous assertion. You have my address now. ;)

    50th Episode: Overthink… each other.

    Prolific. Interesting diction. Sounds better than “stalker,” though. Like I’m a virus. oOOooooOO Oh, and yeah, my mom was sick when she did it, or so she says. So I’m going to assume that’s why she gave our full names and her numbers. Anyway, she couldn’t even remember what she said after hanging up. Sorry about that.

    I hate to comment as if you’re not around, Sariel, so uh, I’ll ask directly. Based on your name’s end in “el,” are you a male? The feminine versions of archangel names end in “elle,” like mine, so that’s an educated guess based solely on the spelling and nothing more.

    Actually, Wrather, I think your suggestion of _Air Force One_ was pretty good, but I like all of the movies y’all suggested. If *dark* comedy isn’t a problem, I’d recommend _The Ref_. Fantastic dialogue, not too much suspension going on, very clever situation(s). A lighter comedy: _Tommy Boy_. Again, some really clever lines, plus the physical comedy of Chris Farley.

    Vegas this summer? No?

    Oh, if only Shana had been there. Maybe I’m being sexist, but I do think there’s a bigger difference between a female’s first time vs. a male’s, if only because the breaking of the hymen can be painful (and this is assuming hers hasn’t been broken yet by something else). And I think society puts more pressure on guys to lose their virginity faster than girls, too. An interesting, and I thought very good, depiction of it from a girl’s point of view was in the first _Traveling Pants_ movie (and it has one of your “Gossip” gals in it). The Popular culture totally romanticizes it and depicts it as a remarkable “experience,” magic, sparklies, and butterflies, oh em gee, but in reality, it often is not all that fun or pretty for a girl when she loses her virginity. The girl in _Traveling Pants_ totally comes to this realization in the hard way: she had all these expectations that were not remotely met, and she ends up feeling down on herself- something society tends to force upon girls and women that demonstrate any sexual independence. And I think this all comes back to the double-standard. Men are supposed to spread their seed and are heroes for having sex, but women are supposed to be chaste and are whores for doing it- and the two parties involved in a coupling will simultaneously be treated this way. Think about all of the losing-my-virginity movies you had in mind when talking about this. How many of them were about women or teenage girls? I doubt any; or if they were, she somehow, for whatever reason, ends up feeling guilty or dirty, or she gets abandoned or something by the guy that she lost her virginity with.


  2. Matthew Wrather #

    Sariel Thrawn is a dude. (We weren’t making fun of your name. Srsly.)


  3. fenzel #

    Yeah, after the call was over, I Facebooked Sariel Thrawn, and we were all so amused by his Facebook photo that we friended him immediately.

    Sariel, I hope you do not feel offended by anything on the podcast.


  4. Matthew Wrather #

    Mike from L.A. FTW — Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is exactly right. (And an OTI favorite; I don’t know why we didn’t think of it.)


  5. perich OTI Staff #

    @Tom: Jay-Z! Thank you. Yet another example of a living rapper who’s better than Lil’ “Best Rapper Alive” Wayne.


  6. sarielthrawn #

    Thanks for the podcast shout out! I’m not offended in the slightest.

    Yes, I am a male.
    Yes, I do live in Sydney.
    Yes, I have seen a platypus.
    No, Sariel Thrawn is not my real name.

    It’s just something I came up with years ago when I got my first email address. Thrawn is indeed from Grand Admiral Thrawn and Sariel is supposedly the angel of death in some traditions.

    Thanks for the Facebook love (not that I use it that often).

    50th anniversary topic – The use (and over-use) of gold in the popular culture. With specific reference to muscians (especially rappers) and movie villians (especially bond villians).


  7. Joe #

    Hey. A live event in Australia? Hell yes! You guys just hit a note with our community because it turns out that there is shit all to do down here except think about stuff. So we end up doing similar overthinking similar to you guys just for the sake of mental stimulation. So yeah I’m in Brisbane.

    Also has anyone outside of Australia heard of the quoll? Its like the best native animal we have and it has close to none exposure. Just a weird thought I had. We have like none of them left yet the Koala gets more exposure.

    Overthink On!


  8. Wordsworth #

    Well, I feel special. Hearing you guys tackling my rant was very interesting (not to mention, ego-inflating) and I’ll get to that later. To the podcast!

    Favourite musicals. It’s hard to choose, honestly and I guess it depends on the type of musical I’m thinking of. There’s the song-and-dance musicals we know and love (SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN – and the soundbyte in the podcast garnered a grin – you should do it more often). There’s the more angsty, serious musicals (PHANTOM OF THE OPERA). Then there’s everything in between: DR HORRIBLE, THE PRODUCERS, SWEENEY TODD etc, etc. Like everything, comparing works across genre is a challenge, so I’m going to sidestep the question completely.

    Ah yes, the milestone. Perhaps you should do just that: overthink milestones and the hype that surrounds them. Honestly, do we NEED a 30th Anniversary Special Edition DVD that only has one more documentary than the 25 Years – The Complete Collection? Is there a purpose to these celebrations, or is it just a money-making endeavour taking advantage of our nostalgia? Perhaps there’s not too much new ground to tread, but hey. Otherwise, if you’re seeking the “lols”, I’m going to lodge a vote for Gab’s suggestion, but Sariel’s would be fun too. Heck, I’m easy to please.

    Australia! If you did a live event here, I would be ecstatic, although you will be weeks behind any major release. How I despise the fact that this country does not understand that sitting on popular movies and TV shows for weeks or months on end does not work in this modern day. Anyway, besides that, this land is fantastic and I agree that quolls are under-represented. RE: “Down Under”. I can’t speak for the other Aussies here, but I don’t think it’s that bad of a term – not on the level of “The Yanks”, so far as I can see. In fact, my frequent response to my Northern Hemisphere pals is ‘what’s happening up over?’ However, since we’re in the zone for Overthinking, should we take offence at the phrase? Both words (in perfect tautology) denote being ‘beneath’, and by extrapolation, below those who use the term in other parts of the world. Of course, there’s the geographical positioning, but as we have no absolute proof of which way is up in the universe, this argument can be nullified. Through claiming that Australia is down and under, it implies inferiority. In the 1700’s when the country was a glorified prison ship, fair enough, but we have advanced beyond our ball-and-chain and should no longer be casually discriminated against (my, I must sound like I’m bent on seeking conspiratorial hatred – honestly, I’m not). Rise, Austalians, rise and we shall establish ourselves as the up over in this modern world.

    Excuse me, but: “…solve listener PROBLEMS, including virginity…” I’m sorry; I couldn’t resist the urge to be needlessly facetious. However, I do agree with what was said in the podcast about the ‘agnostic’ opinion towards virginity. I don’t think it’s a huge barrier in the wider culture but as with anything it has its extremes. I don’t think there’s a massive conspiracy against the virgins. In the ‘real world’, it’s only an issue if you make it one. My initial comment, however, pertained more towards the portrayal of it in film, television, etc. Often a character’s virginity isn’t mentioned – fair enough, as such an issue usually has little bearing on anything. However, if it ever comes up, it almost ALWAYS has a negative connotation (obviously I haven’t seen every piece of pop culture, so I may be wrong). I can’t think of any modern works that portray a person’s abstinence, whether conscious or not, as something to be admired or even responded to in that indifferent way. It’s a product of this over-sexed society, for sure, but I for one, wish that it was a little more evenly portrayed. I also thought Gab’s points were very poignant too – the values pertaining to sexuality across gender are unbelievably (and wrongfully) polar. Anyhow – I was very pleasantly surprised to hear what you had to say on the topic.

    Now before I sign off, what made you jump to the assumption that this WAS a “clever internet pseudonym”… :P

    Thanks again, Overthinkers.


  9. MaxPolun #

    Great podcast, as usual.

    I did want to add, however, that I think you guys somewhat mis-characterized The 40 Year Old Virgin. Now it’s been a while since I saw the movie, but my impression was that the message of the ending was something along the lines of virginity doesn’t really matter. Steve Carell’s character’s friends made a big deal about him being a virgin, but they come off as immature, whereas Catherine Keener’s character isn’t bothered by it at all. Steve Carrell’s character comes off as more balanced and in control of his life than the others (if extremely weird) until he starts stressing himself out about virginity. I guess the message is something like: the only thing to fear about virginity is fear its self.


  10. Rob #

    Re: Star Wars Episode I, I agree with Fenzel that the backstory about “midichlorians” is total bullshit. But it’s not because it takes that mystical, cosmic-spiritual entity, The Force, and re-casts The Force as a consequence of symbiosis with microbes; maybe this is my scientific bent, but I actually think it’s a nifty idea and there’s a beauty to it. (See Feynman on the beauty of a flower, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSZNsIFID28 .) Instead, the reason that this “midichlorian” backstory is bullshit is that it is clearly stolen from Madeleine L’Engle, whose 1973 novel A Wind in the Door was largely driven by the notion that mitochondria serve this exact mystical, cosmic-spiritual function. (Mitochondria, of course, are the machines in our cells that make most of our energy, and mitochondria are descended from symbiotic microbes that coevolved with early eukaryotic cells, hundreds of millions of years ago.)
    Anyway, what bothers me is George Lucas’s intellectual theft, not his overmechanizing of a mystical, cosmic-spiritual entity.
    (By the way, did they ever discuss this in Science Fiction, Science Fact?)


  11. fenzel #

    No, we didn’t. Star Wars isn’t science fiction, it’s fantasy ;-)

    Flame on!


  12. Gab #

    @Rob: That’s ALL that bothers you about Lucas?


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