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Speakers’ Club May 11, 2019: ‘The Twilight Zone’


For this Speakers’ Club, time willing, we’ll discuss three episodes of “The Twilight Zone”: ‘To Serve Man,’ ‘Eye of the Beholder’ and ‘Monsters on Maple Street.’

Rod Serling’s seminal series ran for five years from 1959 to 1964 and perfected the art of the twist ending. Be prepared to take a trip to the fourth dimension.

Bring the popcorn and be ready to think about what you see, hear and feel.

Grim, Grinning Ghosts:

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Speakers’ Club April 27, 2019: Star Wars

Darth Vader


Word Crimes:

When is Star Wars day?

Moosebutter John Williams Medley:

Long time ago, far, far away
Long time ago, far, far away
Kiss a Wookiee, kick a droid
Fly the Falcon through an asteroid
‘Til the princess is annoyed
This is spaceships
It’s monsters
It’s *Star Wars*
We love it!
Come and help me, Obi-Wan
X-Wing fighter and a blaster gun
Dance with ewoks, oh, what fun!
This is spaceships
It’s monsters
It’s *Star Wars*
We love it!
Get in there you big, furry oaf
I couldn’t care less what you smell!
I take orders from only me
Maybe you’d like it back in your cell
Your highness, your worshipfulness
Your highness, your worshipfulness!
No one cares if you upset a droid (Nobody cares if you upset a droid)
That’s because droids don’t tear your arms out of socket (Nobody cares)
I suggest a new strategy: let the Wookiee win
That’s because nobody cares if you upset a droid
Now we listen to Luke whining
One more season, one more season, one more season
I was gonna go to Tosche
Station for power converters
Now I guess I’m going nowhere
It just isn’t fair!
(Wookiee noises)
(Wookie noises)
Wookiee! Wookiee!
Wookiee! Wookiee!
Someone move this walking carpet
Someone move this walking carpet
(Woo-kiee, Woo-kiee)
Someone move this walking carpet
Someone move this walking carpet
(Woo-kiee, Woo-kiee)
Kiss your brother, kiss your brother
Princess Leia!
Well, I guess you don’t know anything about women
(Kissing noise)
(Who’s your daddy? Who’s your daddy?)
Who’s your daddy? Who’s your daddy?
Luke, I’m your father
(That’s not true!)
It is useless to resist
(My hand!)
Come with me, my son
We will rule
(I’ll never join you!)
Search your feelings, it is true
So, you have a twin sister who
Obi-Wan was wise to hide
(Is that Leia?)
If you will not turn
Then perhaps she will
Give in to your hate
You are mine
Long, long, long time ago
Far, far, far, far away
Long, long, long time ago
Far, far, far away
Kiss a Wookiee, (kiss a Wookiee)
Kick a droid, (kick a droid)
Fly the Falcon (fly the Falcon)
Through an asteroid!
‘Til the princess (’til the princess)
Is annoyed (she’s annoyed!)
This is spaceships
It’s monsters
It’s *Star Wars*
We love it, it’s true!
(Episode III)
Coming to you!
So let’s go (go, go, go to the movies)
Stand in line (buy, buy, buy me some popcorn)
Cause it’s al- (please, I like extra butter)
-most the time! (Join the Dark Side!)
May the Force be with you all!
(John Williams is the man!)

Moosebutter “Star Wars (John Williams Is the Man)”

Tony Dyson on creativity:

What did “Star Wars” change?


Summer blockbuster

Science fiction at the movies: “The Black Hole”

What does it have to do with “Star Trek?”

Other ‘Star Wars links:

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Speakers’ Club April 20, 2019 Hip Hop


Word Crimes:

2020 News Program 1981 documentary:

Hip Hop Evolution trailer:

1979 First known rap hit:

1980 Blondie’s Rapture: First rap song on MTV

1981 The Beastie Boys form “You Gotta Fight (for your right to party)”

1983 Ice T and gansta rap

1987 Public Enemy politically charged intro album

1988 NWA “Straight Outta Compton”

A Tribe called Quest, Tupac, Dr. Dre, Grandmaster Flash, 2 Live Crew, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Puff Daddy, Ice cube, LL Cool J, Sir Mix-A-Lot,

The Death of a Culture:

  • Nipsey Hussle: Age 33, shot in 2019, He owned several businesses in L.A.’s Crenshaw District and, according to the Los Angeles Times, was known to employ struggling residents, many homeless, and once gave a pair of shoes to every student at a nearby elementary school.
  • XXXtentacion: Age 20, shot in 2018.
  • Phife Dawg: Age 45, diabetes in 2016, member of A Tribe Called Quest.
  • MCA: Age 47, cancer in 2012, member of the Beastie Boys.
  • Guru: Age 48, cancer in 2010, member of Gang Starr.
  • J Dilla: Age 32, cardiac arrest in 2006.
  • Jam Master Jay: Age 37, shot in 2002, Run DMC.
  • Lisa Left-Eye Lopes: Age 30, car crash in 2002, TLC
  • Big L: Age 24, shot in 1999.
  • Notorious B.I.G.: Age 24, shot in 1997.
  • Tupac: Age 22, shot in 1996.
  • Scott La Rock: Age 25, shot in 1987.

“Accidental overdoses having claimed the lives of Mac Miller (26), Pimp C (33), Kriss Kross’s Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly (34) and Ol’ Dirty Bastard (35).”

“N.W.A. member Eazy-E (31) perished from complications due to AIDS in 1995. Mobb Deep rapper Prodigy (42) died from complications related to sickle-cell anemia. ig Pun (28), Nate Dogg (41) and Craig Mack (47) all had heart failure. For MC Breed (37), it was kidney failure. Three 6 Mafia co-founder Lord Infamous (40) died of a heart attack. Heavy D (44) suffered from heart disease and died from a blood clot in his lungs. Like Phife Dog, Tim Dog (46) died from complications related to diabetes.”

“Neglected neighborhoods rarely offer viable healthcare or affordable healthy food options.”

Above quotes taken from Nipsey Hussle op-ed cited above.

Inner city, systemic racism, poverty

See something similar in history of women writers from late 1800s.

Evolution of Hip Hop Dancing according to Jimmy Fallon and Will Smith:

History of Rap according to Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake:

Difference between Hip Hop and Rap according to Ebony:

Vocabulary and history:

Run DMC:

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Speakers’ Club Apr. 13, 2019 Musicals


Word Crimes Rehearsal:

The Musical on Broadway and at the Movies

The Jazz Singer: First synchronous sound movie was also a musical. Al Jolson.

The Wizard of Oz: I’m Melting; O-e-o-e-ooooo; Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain:

My Fair Lady: Broadway with Julie Andrews; movie with Audrey Hepburn. Andrews took the Mary Poppins Role and beat Hepburn out for the Oscar that year. From the play “Pygmalion.” Hepburn’s singing voice was dubbed over.

Fiddler on the Roof: Tradition!

The Phantom of the Opera:

Guys and Dolls, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando:


Damn Yankees:

Singin’ in the Rain:

The King and I: Yul Brynner

Porgy and Bess:


Chicago: The original “Orange is the New Black” with music.

A Chorus Line:

Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat: Donny Osmond;




Hamilton: Lin Manuel Miranda

Excalibur, the Man of La Mancha, Cabaret, Les Miserables, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, A Star Is Born, Porgy and Bess, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Evita, Fame, 42nd Street, Grease, Wicked

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Thinking Deeply with the Nostalgia Critic Exposes American Culture and Identity

The Speakers’ Club at Satori School where I lead English Speaking sessions first introduced me, figuratively speaking, to the Nostalgia Critic. When I asked which topics they would like to cover before the Speakers’ Club ended for the season, the Nostalgia Critic was one of the right topics they chose. So, I started doing some research.

First, I filled out the contact form on Channel Awesome. I thought if the kids could actually talk with Doug Walker they would get more out of the session and enjoy it 11 times more (because Doug likes to go one step beyond) than if I conducted the session myself. I didn’t expect a response, but Doug did get back to me to tell me he was too busy to Skype, but he would be doing something special for the kids. And he did.

Then I started looking at the 12 seasons of videos he has done. I had to cull them by length and relevance. Speakers’ Club is only 90 minutes long, so I tried to find videos that were in the 20-minute range or less. Relevance was a little more problematic. I tried to stay away from videos that would most interest my class – the Batman ones – and find videos that would speak to the American culture.

The tribute to Roger Ebert, the video on originality, and Is Charlie Brown Christmas overrated? are the ones that caught my eye and ear. In these three videos, Doug Walker breaks down the reason why things are the way they are and how it affects the culture at large. His commentary shows that he has thought deeply about these subjects. He didn’t just dismiss them out of hand or accept them as they are, he went beyond to understand what it is that appeals to him, others and how they have altered America in their way. His M&M characters video shows the same amount of thought and research but was too long for inclusion in the Speakers’ Club.

The Nostalgia Critic is loud, brash and swears. Sometimes, he makes not safe for work jokes that are inappropriate for a younger crowd. However, he doesn’t just rip things apart – something that would be easy to do and possibly garner more video views. Instead, he applies his knowledge and research to whatever subject he’s discussing.

And what he’s discussing is the very essence of American Culture. He’s discussing the very things that made our childhoods and have thus made us Americans. He is discussing how we came to be who we are through our media consumption and what it means to us today. In short, his discussions touch the very core of our identities, and as such, his show is worthy of our attention. Dig into the Nostalgia Critic and find out who you are.

Books to help you think deeply: “Penguinate! Essays and Short Stories: Improve your Creativity for a Better Life and World” and “Penguinate! The Disney Company.”

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Speakers’ Club April 5, 2019: Music Groups

Speakers’ Club April 5, 2019: Music Groups


Practice “Word Crimes”

Groups not singers; 1950s to 1980s.

Top Music groups of the 1950s – The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly & The Crickets, The Platters, The Drifters, The Coasters…

Bill Haley & The Comets:

The Penguins:

Top Music Groups of the 1960s – The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Byrds, The Four Seasons, The Who, The Kinks, The Shirelles, The Drifters, The Four Tops, Martha & The Vandellas, Sam & Dave, Sly & The Family Stone, The Yardbirds, The Marvelettes, The Lovin’ Spoonful, The Ventures, Jan & Dean, The Ronettes, The Band, The Velvet Underground, Junior Walker & The All-Stars, The (Young) Rascals, The Animals, The Dave Clark Five, The Righteous Brothers, Buffalo Springfield, The Chiffons, The Isley Brothers, Tommy James & The Shondells, The Turtles, The Shangri-Las, Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane, The Mamas & The Papas, Cream, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Simon & Garfunkel, Janis Joplin/Big Brother & Holding Company, Ike & Tina Turner, The Jackson Five, Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention, Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs, Sonny & Cher, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Van Morrison/Them, The Hollies, Steppenwolf, Herman’s Hermits, The Grateful Dead, The Beatles…

The Beach Boys: American Alternative to the Beatles; surfer rock:

The Rolling Stones: The Beatles alternative;

The Supremes: Diana Ross

The Doors: Jim Morrison, great for biking.

The Monkees: A TV Group that became a band. I got to meet Micky Dolenz at Salt Lake Comic Con!

Top Music Groups of the 1970s – Black Sabbath, Paul McCartney/Wings, Fleetwood Mac, Bee Gees, Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire, KISS, The Clash, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band, Aerosmith, The Ramones, Steve Miller Band, Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, Deep Purple, Three Dog Night, Temptations, AC/DC, Kool & The Gang. Doobie Brothers, Yes, War, The Guess Who, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Bad Company, Steely Dan, Electric Light Orchestra, Sex Pistols, Grand Funk Railroad, Kinks, Kansas, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, The Chi-Lites, America, Styx, Blondie, Jethro Tull, Foreigner, Moody Blues, ZZ Top…

Pink Floyd: Play “Dark Side of the Moon as an alternate soundtrack to “The Wizard of Oz”

The Eagles: Hotel California;

Queen: Legendary Freddie Mercury; great songs, terrible to bike to. Bohemian Rhapsody.

Journey: Don’t Stop Believin’:

Heart: Two sisters, all heart!:

Van Halen: Not Van Hagar:

Top Music Groups of the 1980s – U2, Run-D.M.C., Public Enemy, Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard, George Michael/Wham, Metallica, N.W.A, Rush, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motley Crue, The Cure, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, REO Speedwagon, Kool and the Gang, The Smiths, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Eurythmics, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Salt-N-Pepa, The Go-Go’s, Depeche Mode, Sonic Youth, Culture Club, Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine, De La Soul, Chicago, Pixies, Simply Red, Thompson Twins, Dire Straits, R.E.M, The Pet Shop Boys, Whitesnake…

Duran Duran: The Reflex;

The Police: Sting;

Genesis: Phil Collins;

Beastie Boys:

Hall & Oates: Maneater;

The Cars: You Might think I’m crazy, Rick Ocasek;


The Pointer Sisters:

The Bangles:

Men at Work:

Tears for Fears:



The Talking Heads: David Byrne;

Huey Lewis and the News: Greatest band of the ‘80s;

Bon Jovi: Hair band; Livin’ on a Prayer:

B-52s: Rock Lobster:

Flight of the Conchords: Comedy group with multiple sounds

David Bowie Changes

and Major Tom

(Bowie’s in Space)

Pet Shop Boys: West End Girls

(Inner City Pressure)

Jemaine Clement MIB3, Tamatoa in Moana; Bret McKenzie

Minister’s Cat J

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Speakers’ Club March 30, 2019: Nostalgia Critic


Word Crimes

Word Crimes Parts: Contraction, One thing I ask of you

Pure Imagination

Prince songs:


Nostalgia Critic:

Siskel and Ebert:

Ebert Tribute:

Siskel and Ebert Funny moments:

Why is nothing original?

Top 11 scariest moments:

Top 11 cereal mascots:

Charlie Brown Christmas Overrated?

Surprise! Click here if you know the password!

Minister’s Cat J

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Speakers’ Club March 23, 2019: Saturday Morning Cartoons


Word Crimes Sing Along

Pure Imagination Sing Along

Minister’s Cat J

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Persistence of vision

Warner Brothers, Hanna Barbera, Funimation

Bugs Bunny

Scooby Do


He-Man and the Commercial Ramifications



Dungeons and Dragons

Schoolhouse Rocks

Time for Timer


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Speakers’ Club March 16, 2019: Consensus

Speakers’ Club Rules.

Word Crimes sing-along:

Pure Imagination:

Minister’s Cat I.

One Word Story.

Native American Talking Stick:

  • Only the person holding the stick is allowed to talk.
  • Everyone else listens actively.

Let’s talk about a movie night. Come with your suggestion. It must be:

  • Something I have access to
  • PG-13, PG or G-rated
  • Be in English
  • Be less than two hours long

Do we want a movie night? TV series or Movie? Suggestions? Twilight Zone, Star Trek… Supergirl, Arrow… Disney… Classic or contemporary?

Yes, No, Abstain.