I Don't Even Own a Television
This is a podcast about godawful books. Each episode, hosts Jay W. Friedman and Chris Collision sit down with some guests to discuss books that all of them wish they hadn't read. Humor, serious talk, progressive inebriation, who could ask for more?

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Level 26: Dark Origins

What lurks beneath the bottom of the barrel? Well, we checked. Turns out that beneath the barrel's bottom slithers Anthony Zuiker's Level 26: Dark Origins. This episode, we're sneaking into the villain's dungeon, conveniently located in 2009, when it, apparently, seemed like a good idea to let the guy who made up CSI get together with his buddies and make this exceptionally book-like object, supplemented with zero-budget video clips, high-school-notebook-level drawings, and an attitude towards sex and violence best described as HOLY CRAP THIS IS AWFUL WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE.

Episode highlights include: A PATENTED DIGRESSION! Clsn failing repeatedly to learn how to pronounce "Zuiker"! A book that includes the description "sick son of a bitch"! Book highlights include: when civilization collapses (next Tuesday), you can probably cook a pigeon over it, if you can catch a pigeon. And start a fire. You know what? Nevermind. Eat a potato instead; much easier to catch than a pigeon.

NOTE: this book is truly bad, and contains a lot of material about violence, including sexual violence. If you are sensitive to material like this, you may want to avoid this episode. (We certainly wish we'd avoided this book.)

 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "New Level" by A$AP Ferg
  • "Cut Self Not" by Faraquet
  • "Cheesecake Truck" by King Missile
  • Theme from "Law & Order"
Direct download: 6420-20Level2026-20Dark20Origins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm PDT

Dragons of Autumn Twilight: Dragonlance Chronicles Vol. 1

As foretold in ancient scrolls, Clsn and J. fulfill the grim prophecies and embark on a quest most dire: get somehow through the dullest book we've seen in ages: Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's Dragons of Autumn Twilight: DragonLance Chronicles Volume One.

Like listening to somebody misexplain the plot of a movie you've already seen, while pretending the plot is something they made up, getting through this book is a tall dang order, but we made it. And so will you. Brush up on your magic words and get ready to laugh at a book that purports to Chronicle DragonLances, but that actually contains somewhere south of a half-dozen dragons and literally zero actual lances. Grip tightly your ocarina and prepare to raise your voice in the songs of your people (particularly if your people, like our people, are partial to Pony). The roads are dusty, and your leathern saddle is no doubt cracked, but a few ales and some spicèd potatoes will soon have you ready for adventure with your friends.

Our party awaits! Come with us and we guarantee one thing: you're em fail your saving throw against having fun!

 

Recommendations:

  • "The Door Into Fire" by Diane Duane
  • "Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan" by Jake Adelstein

Music:

  • "Roll the Dice" by PAC DIV
  • "Rumpshaker" by WRECKX-N-EFFECT
  • "Timorous Me" by Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
  • "Scenario" by A Tribe Called Quest
Direct download: 63_-_Dragons_of_Autumn_Twilight_-_Dragonlance_Chronicles_vol_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm PDT

62 - The Da Vinci Code (w/ Lauren O'Neal and Niko Bakulich)

Renowned author Dan Brown's renowned book The Da Vinci Code provides a renowned topic for renowned podcasters J. W. Friedman and Chris Collision, along with renowned guests Lauren O'Neal and Niko (from renowned podcast Sunday School Dropouts. An extremely popular book yields an extremely long episode, with enough jokes to make anyone enough of a believer to found a secret society devoted to hiding the truth about the show ... or maybe to hiding the truth about the show while pointing out that actually all of popular culture is about the show. It's all a little confused. Anyway, if your Grail is L A F F S, then this episode is for you!

Note: This is an extra-long episode because J. is not feeling well enough to edit it down to a shorter length. But it's very good and you will enjoy every minute, we promise.

Extra credit reading: Geoffrey Pullum's legendary eviscerations of Dan Brown's prose style.

 

 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "The Rose" by Mudhoney
  • "Les Invisibles" by Blue Oyster Cult
  • "Catholic Dress" by Dahli Seed
  • "Holy Grail" by Jay Z
Direct download: 62_-_Da_Vinci_Code.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:33pm PDT

Seven Deadly Sins: Settling the Argument Between Born Bad and Damaged Good

Prepare yourselves for true depravity, because this time around, we're taking on Corey Taylor, vocalist of Slipknot and Stone Sour, and his book Seven Deadly Sins. Two men alone could never take on such a large number (to say nothing of the seven newly proposed sins or the main one he admits he forgot to add), so J. and Collision welcome back juicy guest Lemon!

We laugh, grimace, yell, and learn as Corey Taylor spools out a deeply failed attempt to be a stand-up comedian (inexplicably in written form) as he attempts to answer the question "What does Corey Taylor think about things" and actually just answers "What would happen if a Hot Topic got hit by magic lightning and turned into a really talkative guy on the bus".

Episode highlights include the most successful Plot in 60 Seconds of all time, J. and Collision slowly succumbing to Bud Lite Lime-A-Rita poisoning, and the amazing contortions required to find high points in this book. Episode lowlights include the prose and ideas of Corey Taylor, a man who would very much like you to know that he has Had Sex. A lot of times, and in all of the ways.

NOTE: if you believe you have heard a word mispronounced on this show, please take it up with your podcatching software, as we have checked and we assure you that everything is correct on our end.

 

Recommendations:

  • The Boy Looked at Johnny, Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons
  • Our Noise, John Cook
  • Our Band Could Be Your Life, Michael Azerrad

Music:

  • "They Come in Gold" by Shabazz Palaces
  • "Mandy" by Barry Manilow
  • "You Deserve It" by Future
  • "Whistle While You Work"
Direct download: 6120-20720Deadly20Sins.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 6:41pm PDT

War Against the Mafia: The Executioner, Book 1 (Mack Bolan)

If you like your sex scenes extremely long and your gunplay extremely every single chapter, then you just may be the target audience for Against the Mafia: The Executioner, Book 1, the legendary piece of action-trash that introduced Mack Bolan to an extremely unsuspecting world.

From chapters like "A Master's Stroke" and "God-Damn Iron-Man Bolan" (not kidding) to "The Goof", "Forecast: Warmer Tonight and Tomorrow", and "Execution Hill", J. and Collision dance madly backwards through the raging river of fear that powered the writing of this book, a terrified look at a completely unrecognizable 1969 America, a cringing fantasy of one tall-ass man with lots of long-ass long guns (and knives) standing up for families and righteousness and shooting people who get in your way and banging one whole lot of ladies.

New segments! Bizarre word choices! Some of the mannest manning any book ever manned! Philosophy lectures! Incredibly angry diary entires! EXPLOSIONS AND FUCK YOUR HELICOPTERS! If you ever caught yourself wishing "I wish somebody had written Scruples, but for dudes", step right up.

We do need to mention explicitly: this book is a very aggressive ode to a sniper; it also contains a lot of bizarre speculations about sex work. If that sounds like something you'd have a hard time with (at this point in history, or just at all), we definitely understand and understand if you want to give this episode a pass.

 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Violent School" by Dead Milkmen
  • "Mayor" by Pharoahe Monch
  • "Sexecutioner" by GWAR
  • "No Way Back" by Adonis
Direct download: 60-20War20Against20the20Mafia.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:32pm PDT

Sass Girls X (w/ K Thor Jensen)

In the quest for the weirdest and worst artifacts available, J. and Collision welcome K. Thor Jensen to the show to discuss Sass Girls X, by Imari Imarea. You're gonna need a safe, well-padded environment for this, because this book's ridiculous levels are matched only by its levels of terribleness. A failed attempt at bringing the energy and conventions of anime to the page, Sass Girls X is more or less what you'd get if an internet forum came to life and instantly got a bad fever.

This book is an incredible rarity, which is why we're breaking some of our rules to bring it to you. You have NOT read anything like it, and it's unlikely you would ever would have had the ... pleasure of this book's prose, so get ready. Get ready to taste an unholy mix of obscure sexual fetish(es), videogame obsessiveness, slapstick humor, "fuck it" plotting, and more appropriations than Earnest Cline could pull off after an espresso enema. And get ready to update your list of things that have made you say "holy shit", because this is DEFINITELY going on it.

 

Recommendations:

  • The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter
  • The Shaggs' Own Thing, The Shaggs

Music:

  • All music this episode is from the CD "SGX", which comes with this book.
Direct download: 5920-20Sass20Girls20X.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:56am PDT

Big Apple Takedown (w/ Kefin Mahon)

Big fun in this big episode about Big Apple Takedown! Your hosts and exceptional guest Kefin Mahon get in the ring to take on a brief story by Rudy Josephs that reads like the world's least creative marketing executive using some extremely branded action figures slash dolls to reenact a half-remembered and very boring episode of your second-favorite TV show. Taste the thrills that only come with a book whose entire reason to exist is to remind you of things you like! Hear the confused joy of J. and Kefin as they endure the important question "Hey, are the 'characters' in this book actually the ones that are supposed to be there?"! Smell the the baffled despair in Collision's voice as he explores "who the pants are the dolls this 'writer' is playing with, anyways?"!

We may not know why this book exists, but we do know that if it's gonna go ahead and exist, we need to bag on it—hard. And that's exactly what we do. Because that's the I Don't Even Own a Television Pledge. That's what we bring to you, and that's what this dumb book earns. So slip into your tights and get ready to wrangle with a champion-level pile of garbage. NOTE: win or lose, you're gonna need a belt (of strong brown liquor) to deal with this one.

(p.s. "Shimmering Warlock" is J.'s weird wrestling-related rap project so all the bumper music in this episode is made by him and available for free streaming at soundcloud and http://shimmeringwarlock.com)

Recommendations:

  • Perdido Street Station, China Mieville
  • Have a Nice Day, Mick Foley
  • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë

Music:

  • "Wrestling Still Rules" by Satellite High
  • "Work the Angles" by Shimmering Warlock
  • "Machka Udrya" by Shimmering Warlock
  • "Too Flamboyant" by Shimmering Warlock
Direct download: 5820-20Big20Apple20Takedown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:55am PDT

Money. Pizza. Respect. Two of these things are probably okay, but all of them will leave a bad taste in your mouth when they come from a "book" by Joshua "The Fat Jew Joke Thief" Ostrovsky. And we sincerely hope that Joshua got none of those things in exchange for cobbling together this somewhat book-like object for whatever hard-to-imagine audience he might once have had.

Yes, this episode, J. and Collision are delving deep into 2014's most second-tier memes, from "saying 'someone drinks rosé' is funny" all the way to "saying 'beef jerky' is funny". Except these memes are packaged with way more offensive epithets, racist commentary, and lazy page-occupying filler than you'd expect. Enjoy J.'s most vibrant anger yet! Snicker at Collision's least convincing high points segment ever! But most of all, sigh at the society that has made a talent-free joke thief like Ostrovsky very nearly successful.

NOTE: we expect that Joshua will respond to this the only way he knows how: by stealing somebody else's ideas. So, when he launches his own podcast about bad books, probably called "I Don't Read I Only Own a Television", with segments like "Dramatic Passage", "What Would They Choose?", and "What Is the Best?", please help us denounce this twerp's thieving ways.

 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Shoop" by Salt-N-Pepa
  • "No Scrubs" by TLC
  • "Crazy B*tch" by Buckcherry
  • "Refusing to be a Man" by Propagandhi
Direct download: 5720-20Money20Pizza20Respect.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:54pm PDT

Armor

Wow, what is there to say about John Steakley's Armor? Strap on your favorite defense mechanisms and join J. and Collision as they try to answer this difficult question about a novel that dares to answer the less difficult question "what if Starship Troopers were incredibly stupid and repetitive?". Yes, we take on Armor, the book that should have been called A Constant Reminder of Better Books: The Book. As a read, Armor is a terrible slog that looks you square in the eye and shows you atrocities while growling "war...is heck" before bafflingly pivoting to whimsical wisecracking and brief interludes of rough sex. This read was not the smoothest ride, is what we're saying.Anyway, lots of fun this time around, as we reminisce, we rant, we rave, we riff, we just in general rue the day we read this wretched collection of strenuously brutal action scenes and quarter-baked philosophical musings. Yes, this is one of those books where, when you're struggling to say something nice, you end up saying "there was this literally one joke? that I didn't hate?". Enjoy the proceedings as we wrestle with a book that's not just mediocre ... it's very mediocre. Protective plating and safety eyewear recommended!

NOTE: our first post-Patreon episode, this one features excellent new microphones! Unfortunately, due to the unforeseen obstacles of life, there was some construction going on outside, so there may be a little extra buzzing and banging in the background, over which we had zero control and for which we have all the apologies.

 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Turnstile" by Hot Water Music
  • "War Pigs" as performed by Cake
  • "Wargasm" by L7
  • "Ants in My Pants" by James Brown
Direct download: 5620-20Armor.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 3:13am PDT

List of the Lost

LISTENER ADVISORY: it is okay to like the Smiths, who were good; it is defensible to like Morrissey, because there's no accounting for tastes; but if you like this book, there is something seriously wrong with your Literature Appreciation Module. This episode, we're taking on an oft-anticipated "novel" by former Smiths frontman and one-time cultural icon Morrissey. It's a slim volume of overwritten truisms and underedited sentences going under the pointless title List of the Lost. Buckle in, friends, because this might be, sentence by sentence, the worst-written book J. and Collision have endured.

Thrill to: more singing than normal! Be amazed by: Collision's vast, weighty knowledge of hip-hop! Slog through: a book whose only reason for existing seems to be that ol' Mozzer isn't convinced you've heard quite enough about animal rights, sexual repression, and the dismal, deleterious effects of ... television news. Collision apologizes for his limpest approach to Plot in 60 yet. J. gets deep into personal, political, and pre-post-hardcore history. We all have a really good laugh at how Morrissey seems to think heterosexual sex acts work.

Also! We are extremely pleased to announce a way for our friends to help us keep this show rocking hard and mocking bad books: we now have a Patreon, and anything you can do to help us out will be much appreciated! No worries: the show is free and it always will be, but there's loads of cool extras available, so if you like the show and want to help us do it faster, harder, better, hit up the page and see what you can do. Thank you all, and we love you!

 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "This Charming Man" by Braid
  • "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" by Deftones
  • "There Is a Light" by Ghost Mouse
  • "Girlfriend in a Coma" by El Mariachi Monterey
Direct download: 5520-20List20of20the20Lost.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:23pm PDT

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