Episode 53: Pieczone Gołąbki

Episode 53: Pieczone Gołąbki

The Overthinkers check in with our far-flung correspondents.

Matthew Wrather hosts with Matthew Belinkie, Peter Fenzel, and Mark Lee to overthink their love of America, and then to field listener e- and voice-mail, almost none of which comes from America. Ontario, Australia, London, Poland, Germany, Iraq (!)… and one from Nebraska.

Tell us what you think! Email us or call 20-EAT-LOG-01—that’s (203) 285-6401. And… spread the overthinking by forwarding this episode to a friend!

Download Episode 53 (MP3)

29 Comments on “Episode 53: Pieczone Gołąbki”

  1. perich OTI Staff #

    This podcast had more of Wrather reading verses aloud, per minute, than most podcasts. His voice is dreeeeeeeamy.


  2. Marty #

    On the subject of patriotic songs, nothing can really top Dennis Madalone’s ‘America We Stand As One’.

    Sample lyrics:

    USA, America, we stand as one
    USA, America, we stand as one
    And you must carry on, carry on, carry on my love
    You must carry on, carry on, carry on my love.

    On YouTube, for your viewing (dis)pleasure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4difPEQ8wA4


  3. Dan From Canada #

    So you opened your podcast mentioning that Belinkie was “listening to ‘Cartoon all-stars to the rescue'” on repeat, I just today at work, completely having not heard this podcast at all, Wiki-hopped my way to “Cartoon all-stars to the rescue”

    You’re transmitting directly into my brain now…should I be worried?


  4. Gab #

    Jay-Z did an album “American Gangster” inspired by the movie of the same name. I have it. I like it. But I think some movies just save a lot of their “soundtrack” songs for the credits. The _Spiderman_ movies, for example- there are a few seconds of a bunch of songs by pop artists, one after another, and then they all come up on the soundtracks.

    What about that software doctors use to transcribe their reports?

    I don’t know if I’d call the _Traveling Pants_ movies “comedies.” They’re closer to dramedy, imo.

    I’m reading _Pride and Prejudice and Zombies_ right now, no joke. There are illustrations! And great discussion questions at the end. I think the appeal is that it’s taking known characters and situations and modifying them in such a ridiculous fashion. I’m reading to see how things are changed to incorporate the zombies. For example, at the first ball, the one where Darcy meets and slights Lizzy, the Bennet girls fight off a zombie attack- and he watches and is enraptured by her great fighting skills. Or when Jane gets stuck at Bingley’s, she didn’t just catch a cold, she was also attacked on the way, and there is great relief when they realize she isn’t infected with the zombie virus.

    You’re thinking DODGE Charger, Belinkie. And I always thought the song was about rejecting the monetary aspect of organized religion, like tithing, because you shouldn’t be able to just buy your way into Heaven- she’s not ACTUALLY buying the stairway, she wants to THINK she is, but is doubting it. The nature lyrics are about forgetting the bureaucracy of religion and just keeping faith. And oh yes, the Led Zeppelin guys totally admit they wrote about Tolkein, sometimes with specific references. One of my favorite songs by them, “Ramble On,” has the line, “‘Twas in the darkest depths of Mordor/ I met a girl so fair/ But Gollum and the evil one/ Crept up and slipped away with her.”


  5. Gab #

    …or was it Fenzel? Second-guessing myself, sorry if I said the wrong name. I do that.


  6. sarielthrawn #

    I’m reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies too. I don’t mind it. But I’ve never read the original. I like it.

    From Wiki:

    “Quirk Books editor Jason Rekulak developed the idea for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies after comparing a list of “popular fanboy characters like ninjas, pirates, zombies and monkeys” with a list of public domain book titles.[1] Rekulak turned the project over to writer Seth Grahame-Smith, as described by Grahame-Smith in an interview with Time Magazine:

    ‘He had these lists, and on one side he had a column of War and Peace and Crime and Punishment and Wuthering Heights and whatever public domain classic literature you can think of. And on the other side he would have these phenomena like werewolves and pirates and zombies and vampires. He called me one day, out of the blue, very excitedly, and he said, all I have is this title, and I can’t stop thinking about this title. And he said: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. For whatever reason, it just struck me as the most brilliant thing I’d ever heard.’

    Grahame-Smith began with the original text of Austen’s novel, adding zombie and ninja elements whilst developing an overall plot line for the new material- “you kill somebody off in Chapter 7, it has repercussions in Chapter 56,” he explained in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.”


  7. Matthew Belinkie OTI Staff #

    @sarielthrawn – So is anyone else bothered that this guy basically took a public domain book, wrote 20 new pages, and sold it as something new? I’m certain that one could write a great Jane Austen novel about zombies, but Grahame-Smith didn’t want to put in the work of writing, you know, an actual book.

    I will admit that there’s a certain cleverness in working the zombies into a preexisting story. That’s a very Overthinking It type project. But wouldn’t readers be more entertained if, for instance, Grahame-Smith kept the same story, but rewrote the entire text to include zombies on almost every page? I’m sure these guys did it the way they did partially because it was quick and easy, and that irks me.

    On the other hand, it’s selling for less than $8 on Amazon, only a couple bucks more expensive than the regular text of the novel. So at least they’re not charging too much.

    Anyway, you want a REAL beach read, people? Get ready for Shatnerquake:
    Shatner fights different versions of himself to the death. I’m rooting for Rescue 911 Shatner. Only 100 pages, but once again, less than $10.


  8. Gab #

    @Belinkie: (I know I’m not Sarielthrawn, but hey, I’m opinionated.) Well, to be fair to Grahame-Smith, 1) it isn’t changed *exactly* as you make it sound. He didn’t just plop the pages in as their own entities (although yes, there are some scenes where that’s clearly what happened, but out of the nature of what’s going on- during a walk that is only mentioned in the original, a detailed battle may be included); I think that number comes from the total amount of text, so it’s more like he added whatever pages WORTH into it. It’s pretty consistent in zombies making an appearance somehow every page or so due to the mentioning of the British fight against the zombies in some way, be it because it gets substituted for some other reason for discontent, or because it was simply added to a train of thought or line of dialogue (but in a way that actually doesn’t feel *too* forced). Or if it isn’t the zombies/the struggle, it’s this whole sub-culture he created having to do with combat and training. So there is a lot of potential for addition (that is definitely milked) in how he makes the girls good “warriors,” which is by no means ladylike, and oh my gosh, this is going to prevent them from finding matches, they must follow an honor code, etc.- some lines of dialogue were changed to fit that. And 2) I see very little difference between this and all of the remakes and reboots Hollywood does. At least _P&P_ is old enough to *be* public domain, while we had two _Hulk_ movies in five years and are getting reboots of stuff like _The Karate Kid_ and _Tron_ and remakes of pretty much every classic horror film evar. Is _P&P_’s being a *book* make it sacred? Why can’t books do what movies do? And further, movies/TV already DO it to books, so why not at keep it in the same form of distribution?


  9. mlawski OTI Staff #

    Nah, I agree with Belinkie. The trouble is not that it’s a book. The trouble is that very little of the original was changed. Yes, legally it’s fine; P&P is in the public domain. But it’s like taking a public domain movie and dubbing the word “zombie” over every, say, fifty words. That’s not a reboot. That’s not a remake. That’s not even a parody. It’s just lazy. It’s even lazier than doing a YouTube Poop of the original movie, because that would at least involve doing some editing.

    But maybe Belinkie and I are just jealous that a) we didn’t come up with the idea and b) we didn’t make a lot of money off it without putting in the grunt-work to make it a true parodic piece of art. But at least we still have our souls! Souls, I tells ya!


  10. Sylvia #

    the score to the 1812 Overture includes cannons, which is probably why it’s often included with any fireworks display. Fireworks. Cannons. It’s all about the explosions.

    The Hollywood Bowl fireworks are extremely spectacular.


  11. Dan From Canada #

    I bought Pride And Prejudice and Zombies a while back as well, there was no way I could resist the title, but I only got about 40 pages in before I gave up. I’m just really not a Jane Austen fan (Or The Bronte sisters et al) or really of the whole “If we’re completely honest with ourselves, this is actually a trashy romance novel, just an incredibly repressed victorian era trashy romance novel with classier vocabulary” genre, so the fact that the book is still 80% Austen by word count was just too much to get me all the way through.

    Though I mean “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains” is possibly the greatest opening line of any book ever.

    “Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
    Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
    Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
    With loss of EDEN, till one greater Man
    Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat”


  12. Matthew Belinkie OTI Staff #

    @Fenzel – Dan from Canada is onto something. So I double-dog dare you to write an epic poem about zombies. “Brains Lost”? Although plotwise, the Odyssey conforms more to the convention of survival horror – a small group of heroes, trying to navigate a hostile world and make their way home.


  13. Gab #

    I guess I have no soul, because I’m actually enjoying it. (Oh well, not like I was expecting to go anywhere fancy when I kick the bucket.) No, I haven’t finished it yet, but I think there is more than “dubbing the word ‘zombie'” going on with it. And I’m also keeping in mind that it’s not *supposed* to be thought of as a great, epic effort, nor taken seriously in the slightest. I think it’s supposed to make fun of “classical” literature and the study of literature in general, pointing at what Dan said about the truth of the plot- like I said before, there are “discussion questions” at the end which are themselves somewhat satirical of literary analysis.

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s “good,” but it isn’t bad, at least, and it is certainly very clever, as far as I’m concerned.

    I dunno, I enjoyed _Terminator: Salvation_, too, so perhaps I’m just a very poor judgment of entertainment in general.


  14. fenzel #


    Wow! Quite a challenge!

    Might have to take you up on it.

    Any particular request for meter?


  15. fenzel #

    And by the way, if I were to P&P&Z it, I’d definitely use the Iliad.

    “BRAINS of Achilles, son of Peleus, that brough countless shambling undead upon the Aecheans — sing, O muse . . .”


  16. Matthew Belinkie OTI Staff #

    @Fenzel – I feel like there are two ways to adapt the Illiad. One, the Greeks are all zombies, but they’re zombies that can give pretty speeches and scheme and do everything the Greeks in the real Illiad. So Achilles is the most feared of zombies, but he can still talk about how he’s going to eat Hector’s brains.

    The more challenging approach is making the Greeks REAL zombies – no ability to speak or do anything more complicated than clawing at Priam’s city walls. The sad part is, you lose pretty much half your characters, considering real zombies don’t argue and complain about their zombie kings. Then again, I REALLY like the idea of Odysseus being the very smartest of all zombies, which in this case means he’s JUST smart enough to figure out how to use a doorknob or something.

    Yeah, my approach would be, the zombies have been trying to get into Troy for ten years now, with no success. The poem would probably focus less on Achilles, who’s a zombie and therefore doesn’t have much to say, and a lot more on the Trojans. Somehow, Paris has to have been directly responsible for the zombie outbreak. I’m honestly not sure how and if the gods factor into it. Presumably, only Hades would be rooting for the undead. Or maybe not – I could see how he’d be very freaked out by the concept.

    However, maybe a stronger idea is to take the language and conventions of epic poetry, and apply it to a modern, Hollywood zombie story. For instance, imagine retelling Dawn of the Dead in verse. The humor comes from taking something cliche and treating it like a myth.


  17. Dan From Canada #

    Well didn’t Paris take “The love of the most beautiful woman on earth” as his bribe for picking Aphrodite in the apple-inspired beauty contest?

    Maybe the way in which he can get the attention of the aforesaid most beautiful woman is that they turned all the other men into zombies to make him more appealing.

    It’s a very D&D wish-spell interpretation of the offer that provides you a nice vehicle for why everybody is a zombie.


  18. Hazbaz #

    Hello Chaps,
    Thanks for Ovethinking my question, but I feel I have to ask Matt why he was so filled with ardour over my pronounciation of the word “nought?”


  19. Gab #

    ::geeking out:: oh em gee, ZOMBIFIED ILIAD!!!!

    Maybe not *all* of the Greeks are zombies- it would be kind of neat if Achilles kept Patroklus secretly hidden or something. Maybe the “wrath” of Achilles is he can turn people into zombies somehow, or he tosses those he would direct said wrath at into a pit filled with undead. And what would happen if a
    freshly zombified Hektor sprang up and started attacking while his father was negotiating for his body’s release? And Menelaus is actually a secret zombie, too, so he does everything Agamemnon tells him to do because he’d being blackmailed…

    Nononono, I just need to stop right now.

    The idea of epic format to a zombie story is highly appealing, too.

    Hm, that also makes me wonder, what would a Shakesperean zombie play look like?


  20. Dan from Canada #

    Alas poor Yorick, I knew him Horati-arrrgghhh


  21. Hazbaz #

    I come to bury Caeser, not to eat him


  22. Matthew Wrather #

    @hazbaz It’s just something we never hear in the States. An American would say “Zero Degrees”. Plus I’m just generally an anglophile.


  23. Tom #

    Literally, a Caesar salad. Literally. And the Zombiliad would probably be better cast as the Zombaeneid, if you really wanted to focus on the Trojans.


  24. Dan From Canada #

    Trojan brand zombies to reduce the risk?


  25. Dan from Canada #

    Romeo and Juliet could finally have a happy ending too. After the mutual suicide (Spoiler warning!) they could live on forever together. How romantic!


  26. Amy #

    Wow – I fell behind the pack on posting.

    @Belinkie – I completely agree with you. How much easier would it have been if Grahame-Smith had showed a little ingenuity and written an entire adaptation of P&P chock full of Zombie goodness. I don’t know if I’m more outraged by his laziness, only adding 20 odd pages to the book, or that some lame ass publishing company was putting together other combinations such as Ulysses with Pirates or Alice in Wonderland with Ninjas…. although I might actually be interested if Ninjas popped up and offed the Queen of hearts.

    @Gab – you are completely right the _Traveling Pants_ movies are very much damedies, and bad ones at that. They are based on a series of books by Ann Brashares, aimed towards tweens. Given his affinity, I’m surprised Wrather hasn’t read them yet. ;) The story revolves around pants that travel via the postal system, and four girls trying to find their places in the world. Most definitely not a buddy comedy Lee; nice try though.

    I was informed by my best friend that I must have wrote my letter with a mental block, because one of our favorite movies is what she would consider the closest example female buddy comedy. I submit to you and the panel, “The Sweetest Thing,” featuring Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate and Selma blare. Raunchy shenanigans abound, and a musical number about the male member to boot! If you haven’t scene it, I suggest it. Minor sappy love scenes are counter balanced by a glory hole scene… it all works out.

    I must disagree with the idea that the Bro-mance movies also are by relationships. They are cursory, or at best, catalysts for the antics to begin. Whereas many, many, many “chick flick” movies are solely driven by the longing for the companionship of the male species.

    You guys also need a car person to go along with the sports person and the token female. It could be a matching set!

    Oooo… Zombie Shakespeare! I smell a contest! :)


  27. mlawski OTI Staff #

    @Amy: I think you’re right that some bromance movies fail to consider the bromantic relationship too much. But! I haven’t seen it yet, but there’s a movie that came out this weekend called Hump Day which seems to be primarily about the male-male companionship. Also, I’d argue that the last third of Superbad was one of the more romantic things I’ve seen in a movie in a long while.

    But I totally agree that we need more antics-based chick flicks. More girl buddy comedies! More girl-focused sex comedies (of the “I need to get laid by graduation” type)! Girl stoner comedy? Uhhh, why not? (Is it wrong that the last true “girl-centered non-romantic comedy” I can remember watching is Mean Girls?)


  28. Amy #

    @Mlawski I did see a girl stoner comedy recently, Smiley Face, but she didn’t have a buddy. She was also both the protagonist and antagonist. Which made for cute but awkward moments.

    On the note of stoner comedies and movies with an end credit songs, I just watched Pineapple Express on DVD and the end title was “Pineapple Express” by Huey Lewis and the News. In a way.. its an orgasm for your ears. That one was for you Fenzel. :)


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