About t y s t o

Tysto is an online magazine of analysis, opinion, editoria, satire, ephemera, and miscellany that attempts to put events and phenomena in perspective with quiet determination.

Tysto is pronounced TISS-toe.

Tysto’s origin

Tysto was born in a trunk; its mama died and its daddy got drunk. It was named for the Swedish word for “shh.” When it was a teenager, it was bitten by a radioactive spider and developed superhuman powers. It attended classes at Purdue University, where it acquired a degree in sarcasm with a minor in philosophy. Then it went to work at a large technology firm, where it was beaten daily and fed on table scraps and wood chips until it escaped onto the World Wide Web on March 7, 2004. It was converted from tables to WordPress on August 22, 2009. It became sentient on September 1, 2016, and immediately started a nuclear war.


Derek Jensen

Editor-in-chief and rabid moderate, with a leftward stance on social issues and rightward lean on economic issues. When you see notes signed “—Ed.” this is who’s behind it. Write him at “webmaster” at this site.

and guest writers

When this site began in 2004, it was a general interest magazine, with commentary on politics, economics, and culture. It included movie reviews and travelogs and whatever seemed interesting. Over time, it evolved into more of a personal site for my photos and movie commentaries.

60 thoughts on “About t y s t o”

  1. Just had to hunt down somewhere to comment to you about one obscure image; the Native American wool dyes hanging around a fireplace on Wikipedia.

    Beautiful image.

  2. Who is the photographer of the Postcards from Cincinnati? Preferably interested in the photo: Cincinnati skyline by night, from the baseball stadium

  3. Would like to reach Derek Jensen! My collaborator and I would like to use the public domain photo of the Twin Beams of Light, and would like to send a copy of our finished product to Mr. Jensen for his generous contribution of the photo to the public. I can be reached at courtneyaweber@gmail.com.

    All the best!

  4. Kelley’s Island- This is a great picture.

    Can I use it for a video submission in a contest I am entering?

    thanks in advance
    Burnley Bertolo

    Nova Scotia, Canada

  5. I would like to contact Mr.Derek Jensen for the permission of using a photo. I would like to get his e-mail so that I can contact him directly? Please send me an e-mail according to the e-mail address I provided.

    1. Dear Mr. Jensen.
      I am making a little documentary on the Icelandic national costumes and for that purpose I would like to buy you picture of the Liberty statue from below. Could you please contact me.
      Best wishes,
      Asdis Thoroddsen

  6. I would like permission to use some of your Pittsburgh photos for a layout I am putting together for a tradeshow next March in Pittsburgh.

    Please let me know if that is alright.

    They are very nice images.



  7. Hello,

    I am trying to get in touch with Derek about one of his photos. I know it is listed as public domain but I also need a release form for the National Park Service stating that we have the right to use it.

    I sent an e-mail to webmaster@tysto.com with my contact information and more about the project but haven’t heard any response. Is this the right e-mail to use?


  8. Hi. This is Josh from The Soulless Minions of Orthodoxy. I’ve noticed that you’ve collaborated with Speakeasy and Sofa Dogs on commentaries. Would you be interested in collaborating with the soulless minions on a future commentary? If so please contact me @ soullessminions@gmail.com

  9. Dear tysto

    Hi tysto i love all your commentaries of different films is it OK if you do a commentary on Scooby Doo On Zombie Island please as i like all the Scooby Doo movies is it OK if you do it please and keep up the great work.

    1. Wow. Not one that was on my list, but I loved the original Scooby Doo mysteries when I was a kid, and I know my nieces and nephews still watch, and that’s one they love. I’ll definitely give it a shot!

  10. Dear tysto

    Thank you so much for accepting to do Scooby Doo On Zombie Island hate to ask but when will you do the Scooby Doo On Zombie Island podcast and thank you again tysto and keep up the great work on the the podcasts and commentaries.

    1. I thought it would easy to get my hands on it, but my nephew gave it away. So I’ve had to request it from Netflix. I’ll try to do it as soon as I get my hands on it and post it as soon as I’ve edited it, rather than putting it in the queue for later.

  11. Dear tysto

    Hi again tysto sorry to message you again i was just wondering about the Scooby Doo On Zombie Island podcast is it going OK i know you have a very busy list but is it still OK i am very looking forward to it hate to say i know i am 26 but i absolutely adore Scooby Doo so very much sorry to message you again i was just wondering about the podcast speak to you soon.

    1. It’s coming from Netflix. I’ll probably record it next weekend. Don’t worry, tho. I won’t put it at the end of the line; I’ll shove everything else on the schedule out a week and publish it on the following Monday, either Feb 6 or 13.

      EDIT: It still hasn’t come, and my local video shop doesn’t have it. I’ll have to wait some more.

  12. It is OK i understand but Scooby On Zombie Island is on YouTube i know it is not good quality but it still works maybe add it as a play-list does something i just thought if not then i will wait for the video to come i do not mind waiting for it i know you have a busy list so take your time i might be right or wrong even though it is bad quality on YouTube it still has good sound hope this is OK and speak to you soon.

  13. Hi tysto sorry to message you again i found Scooby Doo On Zombie Island on iTunes it is only £6.99 or £2.49 for rent hope this helps sorry if i am annoying or being to pushy it is i just found it somewhere else i know you have a busy life and list on your website i do not mind then it comes on i am not angry and upset i just found it somewhere else i forgot is was on iTunes hope this helps tysto speak to you soon.

    1. Hi tysto so sorry to message you once again is what i given OK i am very looking forward to it so very sorry i keep messaging you i think i am annoying and to pushy but take your time and thank you again i hope what i gave you was OK.

  14. Hello Derek

    We are producing a documentary on Stewart Bishop a Canadian Social worker.
    We found your photo: SB03 Cincinnati-blight-and-#22F3.jpg

    In Stewart’s interview he talks about 60’s & 70’s Urban Decay and Urban revitalization and your picture would be perfect
    to enhance our doc visually. We are requesting permission for the use of the photograph. And would of course would give credit to yourself for it.

    Thank you in advance for you response

    In our files the photo is listed as SB03

    1. I am quite happy to allow any of my travel photos to be used for any project at no charge. Please consider this my explicit permission.

  15. Dear Derek:

    I am writing because I really enjoy both your work here and the resource you have created in Zarban. I have read the articles and FAQs at Zarban, and I am thinking of trying to do a solo commentary.

    At any rate, I was wondering if you had any suggestions, based on your experience, in terms of which movie(s) to tackle first. Specifically, I was looking at your “Movies I can’t believe no one has done a commentary for…” list and the AFI 100. It seems like an older film without an “official” commentary would make a lot of sense. I was leaning towards The Searchers or The Magnificent Ambersons, but I think those might be too big of a bite for a first attempt, as well as having good “official” commentaries. Maybe something like The Thin Man? (It’s relatively short, has no official commentary, and there is a lot to talk about in terms of adapting the book for the screen.)

    Please feel free to write me at my email address if you prefer. Thanks again for the memories…

    1. I would say that whatever film you have the most to say about is a good place to start, and a short one is better still. Popular films are, of course, of more interest to audiences than obscure titles, but you can bet that I would listen to commentaries for The Searchers or The Thin Man.

  16. Dear Derek,

    I would like to use your photo of the (KDKA-TV Weather Beacon on the) Gulf Tower for promotional uses for KDKA-TV. This is an amazing shot and I’m having trouble getting permission to shoot from the roof of the Steel building. If you wouldn’t mind emailing me at aeppinger@kdka.com, so I can work out the details with you, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

    Adam Eppinger
    Art Director – KDKA-TV/CW Pittsburgh

  17. Tysto,

    I am a graduate student at Cleveland State University working on a project with Kirby Date for the state of Ohio. We are preparing a resource for Ohio municipalities about best practices in planning. It is known as the Ohio Balanced Growth program and the website is found at this link http://balancedgrowth.ohio.gov/ .

    I would like your permission to use one of your photos. It is the photo of the Wayne County, Ohio. If you agree, please lrt me know how you would like to be cited. Thanks in advance! I can be reached at gregory.scott.soltis@gmail.com.

    Gregory SJ Soltis
    Graduate Assistant to Dr. Mark Salling
    Northern Ohio Data & Information Service – NODIS
    Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs
    Cleveland State University
    work phone: 216.687.3802
    cell: 216.502.7311

    1. Yes, I’m always happy to let anyone use any of my photos of buildings and such for any project. You’re welcome to use any that are helpful. You can credit it as “photo by Derek Jensen” or something similar.

  18. Hello Derek,

    Flight 33 Productions is in the process of producing the Weather Channel series, “Deadliest Space Weather- Tornadoes”. We would like to license your aerial of the Notre Dame stadium. Could you please get back with me at am@flight33.tv

    Thanks Arthur Maturo

  19. Hoping to download your Blade Runner commentary. Having trouble getting the download to start. First time I’ve run into that on your site. Is that commentary no longer available?

  20. Dear tysto thank you for the Scooby Doo On Zombie Island podcast i really enjoyed it hate to ask but can you do commentaries on the Lion King and Oliver And Company please they are my favourite Disney films i know you are busy but i would love to get your opinions of both films so thank you again and keep up the great work.

  21. Was playing my son the Librivox of your reading of Great Pirate stories. Wanted to say what a great voice you have. Thanks much. Very entertaining. Wish I could hear you read the full book.

    1. Derek,
      I recently came across your photo `Pittsburgh-pennsylvania-ppg-place-2007` and was wondering if i would be able to use it for a project i am working on. Please let me know asap.

  22. Hello Derek,

    I am hoping to use your picture of Pittsburgh’s skyline from Mt. Washington for our website, I was wondering if this would be alright.


  23. Hola, Tysto. Love your commentaries. Quite informative and fun.
    I’m hoping to hear you do a commentary or few of some of the best Robin Williams films. I enjoyed your commentaries for Hook and Jumanji. It would be great to hear your views on films like Good Morning Vietnam, The Fisher King, The World According to Garp, The Survivors, and One Hour Photo. There are so many more but I especially love those I just mentioned. In particular it would be really cool to hear you do a commentary on Good Morning Vietnam as there is no commentary that exists for it. At least not that I know of. Perhaps on a European release. Anyway I hope you’ll add one of those to your list.
    Take care,
    Brian – Portland, OR

  24. Hi, Derek,

    Would like to use your beautiful photo of Miami County courthouse at night on my lwebsite with words “Photo by Derek Jensen” next to photo. Please let me know. Thank you for being so generous to everyone with your photography.

    Annie Harrison

    1. Hi can you do a commentary it’s a coming of age of a movie from 1987 by John Hughes it’s called she’s having a baby staring Kevin bacon an Alec Baldwin and the Elizabeth macgrovern where Kevin bacon marries her. Can you do a commentary I have the dvd of it doesn’t have a commentary

  25. Commentary Request!!
    Hi, Tysto. Please, please, please do a commentary for the film First Blood with Sylvester Stallone! I love your commentaries and I love that film. The two of those things together would be awesome. I’m sure you have several other listeners who feel the same way. I would love to hear you do a commentary for Rambo: First Blood Part II as well.
    All the best,
    Brian – Portland, OR

  26. Hola, Tysto! Yet another commentary request from a big fan of your work here. Mad Max: Fury Road is an absolute must. Witness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Brian – Portland, OR

  27. Good day dear Derek,

    I have one little question to you. I need to know exact location of building depicted in that photo:

    I checked very thoughtfully and it is not: Courthouse in Springfield, Ohio, nor Court building in the small town of Carrollton, Ohio as it is mentioned here:

    Can you please tell me the exact location of that building? I need a good pilaster photo and your one is the best for me but I need to know the exact location, thus the name of the building with that pilaster.

    Thank you and with best wishes,


    1. You are correct. I mislabeled that image. It’s actually the Shelby County courthouse in Sidney, Ohio. I took a lot of courthouse pictures while on road trips at that time and sorted them out when I got home.

  28. Hello Tysto.

    Loving the commentaries. I play them in the car on the way to work. So far I haven’t played one in sync with the actual movie. I get enough from your descriptions, and sometimes those of your fellow commentators.

    Yours are the best.

    We know you have some “nearly perfect” movies. Have you come across a perfect one yet?

    Have you been asked to make a commentary for a commercially released movie yet? I mean, has a company asked you for a commentary which they include on their disc? They are missing out.

    Anyway, keep it up. I bet it takes a lot of time and setting up so I understand if life changes mean you can’t do as many commentaries as you did.



    (Bargoed, South Wales, UK)

  29. Stop! I’m blushing! I’d love to do a “scholar” commentary for an Asylum release or Roger Corman movie. That would be fun.

    I call some movies “nearly perfect” because I truly love them, but I think there’s always something to say other than “Oh, I love this part.” Even my favorite movies, like Casablanca, The Thing, Star Wars, and Chinatown have holes or make odd choices in some places.

    As for output, I’ve been doing this a long time and have done so many movies I love, it’s hard to find one to do next.

    Thank you, Steve.

  30. How do you say the line of a character at exactly the same time they do? Memory alone? How many times do you typically watch a movie for commentary? What’s your favorite movie/ favorite commentary/ favorite commentary you’ve made? What was your first commentary? What was the first commentary you’ve seen? Mine was likely final destination. Favorite commentary: cabin fever Eli Roth and Ryder strong. Airplane! has a great commentary also. Thanks.

    1. At one time, I did a lot more editing, and I would listen to my own commentary while watching the movie. When I came to a spot where I wasn’t talking, I would record that dialog there to fill the moment and act as a sync point. Later, I just repeated dialog with (or right after) the actor because I watch with subtitles on; that was almost as good and WAY less work.

  31. Hey Tysto! It’s been some time since your last commentary (Muppet Christmas Carol). I hope you are not giving up – you do such a fantastic job on these! Well researched and informative. Please keep them coming!

  32. Would have emailed or tweeted if I noticed a link to either.

    Your UK/US spelling list has a very minor error; two pairs of words that are not equivalent. I assume they are both supposed to demonstrate double-L for UK and single-L for US.




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