What is this show about?
Everything! Big questions about life and how to live it. In each episode ex-lawyer/comedian Daniel Kaufman takes on a different subject using interviews, monologue, stories, and music.
What’s a myoclonic jerk?
You know the twitch that happens as you’re falling asleep? That’s a myoclonic jerk. Scientists think the brain confuses the feeling of your muscles relaxing with the feeling of falling or dying and sends a startle impulse to your body to save it.
Why is that the name of this show?
Why not? Don’t be so uptight! Anyway, yetanothernarcissistwithamicrophonevyingforyourattention.com was taken.
Why does it come out so infrequently?
Although it is released as a podcast, each episode of this show is aiming at something more like a documentary. Each episode of MJ has several interviews, each of which is trimmed down drastically, and what remains is lovingly edited and rearranged further for pacing, clarity, and impact. Each episode requires research, reading, writing, and lots of thinking. We have to hunt for movie clips and music and sound effects. Actors and interviewees must be corralled. Then the whole puzzle has to be pieced together (see graphic below). Nobody asks Werner Herzog why he only does one movie a year, right? So cut me some slack! I’m trying to make something non-disposable. If you like what you hear here, please understand that it takes a long time to make it. I’m committed to 20 episodes, however long it takes. Thanks for your patience, and also for your impatience!
Are you saying you’re the Werner Herzog of podcasting?
Yes, smart-ass, that’s exactly what I’m saying.
How are you able to use all that copyrighted material?
Copyright Act of 1976 17 U.S.C. § 107:
…the fair use of a copyrighted work,…for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use, the factors to be considered shall include: 1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such a use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; 2. the nature of the copyrighted work; 3. the amount and sustainability of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and 4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.”
So being that Myoclonic Jerk is a not-for-profit show that intends to educate and criticize, and that it uses brief excerpts of movies and songs that will never in a million years hurt the market for those works (and may in some cases help), there’s no copyright infringement going on here. Hear that, lawyers? I’m clean! You’d only be wasting your time suing me, so don’t even bother!
Where did that cool logo come from? Why an eyeball monster?
From that cool artist, Adam S. Doyle. Why are you calling it a monster? That seems harsh.
What’s the story on the theme song?
It’s cobbled together from a few sources, the main one being the intro to the song “Run to You” by the amazing Buke & Gase. The “What’s it all about” is Dionne Warwick from “Alfie”, the “Myoclonic Jerk” is Hugh Laurie as Gregory House (looped and slowed down more each time), and “I’ll show you the life of the mind!” is John Goodman in Barton Fink.
How can I help?
Aren’t you sweet to ask! Lots of things…
Discuss! The most important thing! Well listening is the most important, but after that I want to hear from you! Send in your thoughts, links to relevant stuff, songs, drawings, quotes, gushing praise, whatever!
Spread the word! Use one of the share buttons to the left, like it on Facebook, rate it on iTunes, Tweet about it. If you’re one of those quaint people who still uses your mouth, tell a friend… Stuff like that. There’s no advertising budget so the size of the audience is largely up to you.
Give money? This is not-for-profit, but not-for-losing-my-shirt would also be nice. If you have a few bucks to spare, feel free to donate. Or you can give at no cost to yourself by using our Amazon link before you shop there. Or maybe you’d like to be a new sponsor? Give a holler if so…
Myoclonic Jerk is edited using Audacity, the free, cross-platform sound editor. You can see how the show (above is #5 – Addiction) looks as I edit it. It’s a mosaic! And most of the larger pieces are themselves made up of dozens of pieces and have undergone hundreds of tiny surgical excisions. Are you starting to feel guilty for how hard I work for you? It’s my pleasure! But if you need to assuage your conscience, you can figure something out… Thanks also to freesound.org and freemusicarchive.org, two great resources.