FF48 - Pearl Harbor

Intro by John Roderick

Today's show debuts on December 7th 2018, a day that will live in infamy as the day we chose this garbage scow of a film to mark the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. I am truly sorry! This maybe was my idea and it would constitute audience abuse if only state- and federal law had caught up to the fast-paced hazards of modern life. Since at the time of this airing audience abuse is not prosecutable, I can only stand by this decision with both middle fingers raised. History will not be kind to me, I'm sure. It is also well beneath my dignity to walk anyone through the day the Germans [sic] bombed Pearl Harbor, but suffice to say, this movie sets itself within the context of Melrose Place and is an offense to the senses. It is no spoiler alert to say that not even Adam could find much to redeem it. Although now that I think about it: He does have a Ben Affleck throw-pillow on the foldout couch in the basement his wife refers to as Adam's bed. So maybe he was quietly seething? Who knows! Who cares!

I'm going to take this time instead to give you some behind the scenes glimpses of the whole Friendly Fire operation as a Hanukkah present, mostly because Hanukkah does not require children to be good to receive gifts. Did you know I introduced Adam and Ben? I met Adam when he was 19 or 20 and he would come to Long Winters concerts and ask me to sign his report card. After a few years, when he brought me enough gifts that I bothered to learn his name, he started making a documentary about The Long Winters and I talked to him adoringly about myself for hours. I remember him saying: "John, stop saying I'm 19 or 20! I'm 29 years old, I'm a grown man!" He really was adorable! I met Ben a few years later in New York and he couldn't have been a day older than 14. If I remember correctly he was wearing tennis whites and a straw boater, which was weird enough even before you add in that he was working as a P.A. on a film where all the other crew members were in black Carhartts. I think maybe he brought me some coffee and he tried to show me his screenplay. I always mix him up with the other P.A. from that same period who wore a bowler hat and carried a shoeshine box.

Anyway, Ben wanted to make a TV show where I drove across the country in a primer-colored Corvette and solved historical mysteries. Truth be told, he was almost as annoying as Adam so I thought if I put these two dingdongs together maybe they will combine their strengths and come up with an interesting film project, starring me, that might actually have a chance of being completed. So I brought them together and they immediately hit it off and started playing with LEGOs or whatever young people do. It was much later when they came to me with their idea, which did not star me at all and was a complete embarrassment, namely a podcast where they talked about Star Trek. They were not asking for my blessing, they were far too gone by that point, but I did record a promo for their show where I told their potential audience that it was a bad idea and that they should all be embarrassed. That show, called Star Trek Embarrassment or something, was a hit and both Ben and Adam immediately became big swaggering podcast stars, which is another way of saying that they had to beg their wives to take them seriously and stop making them sleep on the foldout couch.

I should say for the record that although Ben and Adam professionally identify as nerds, they do not personally identify themselves that way. Neither one has any Jean Grey figurines, their dogs are not named Uhuru or Frodo but have normal names like Spunky or Barf Poop or whatever people name their dogs. I don't own a dog. I do not believe either of them plays videogames or Settlers of Catan, nor have they ever emailed Kevin Smith for life advice, nor do they read anime or cosplay, except for Ben who eternally cosplays as a prep school assistant coach and world history teacher from 1950, which is why Ben gets along so well with Jesse Thorn who dresses like the headmaster of that same prep school, who took part in LSD experiments during the war. No! They appear to be normals, snorks, regulars and it is only when they take off their dockers at the end of the day that their Captain Picard Underoos are visible.

Well eventually they did come to me with a project, not one that would make me a big star where I drove across the country in a primer-colored Corvette, but this one, a podcast about war movies. And I relented because by that point they'd both grown on me and become actual friends whom I liked and admired and knew to have tremendous personal integrity and intelligence. Don't let them know I feel this way! So we started doing this show and I want to stipulate that none of us are experts about anything, not a single thing! We are just three dingbats who are doing this dumb thing. I know I talk about war stuff like I know about it, but that's just how I talk! If this show was about endocrinology I would talk about it like I was the world expert because I am an old-fashioned asshole.

Ben is an expert at being a hankey-clutching liberal snowflake, but beyond that he doesn't appear to know anything about anything, and Adam just makes dick jokes and only gets excited when he's asked to identify an airplane. Please do not for one second imagine that we know what we are talking about or care when someone gets mad that we called a Marine a soldier or got the logistics of German food wagons in World War I wrong. I'm sure there are some podcasts that get all that stuff right and they are super-boring and they have no dick jokes and you aren't listening to them, you are listening to this one. When the action is over and we look back, we understand both more and less. Today on Friendly Fire: Pearl Harbor.

The Long Winters: Live at the Showbox by Adam Pranica

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