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Published: Wed, 10 Jan 2018 08:23:53 -0800

Last Build Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2018 08:23:53 -0800


"Do one thing for me, Sredni Vashtar."

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 08:23:53 -0800

Sredni Vashtar — introduced by Stephen Fry and read by Susie Grimshaw. Saki previously. The text (and many more Saki stories): Sredni Vashtar.

The urgent mission of "Making Gay History"

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 16:59:27 -0800

In the late 1980s, author Eric Marcus set out to record the oral history of the gay civil rights movement in America. "I felt such responsibility to these people, most of whom had never had their stories told, or they had been long forgotten." Making Gay History, the podcast, has three seasons so far. Season 1: Preview Episode 1: A never before heard conversation with trans icon, self-described "drag queen," and Stonewall uprising veteran Sylvia Rivera. Sylvia relives that June 1969 night in vivid detail and describes her struggle for recognition in the movement. Episode 2: You've never heard of Wendell Sayers, but once you hear his story, you'll never forget him. Born in Western Kansas in 1904, Wendell was the first black lawyer to work for Colorado's Attorney General, and risked everything to join a gay discussion group. Episode 3: In 1947, Hollywood secretary Edythe Eyde, a.k.a. Lisa Ben, had the audacity to publish "Vice Versa," the first ever "magazine" for lesbians. Even more audacious, she imagined a future gay utopia that has all come to pass. In the '50s, Edythe sang gay parodies of popular songs in LA gay clubs. Episode 4: In 1945 Dr. Evelyn Hooker's gay friend Sam From urged her to do a study challenging the commonly held belief that homosexuals were by nature mentally ill. It was work that would ultimately strip the "sickness" label from millions of gay men and women and change the course of history. Episode 5: Frank Kameny fought for what was right. And he never gave up. Lessons for us all. Episode 6: When Jeanne Manford's gay son was badly beaten at a protest in 1972, she took action and founded an organization for parents of gays known today as PFLAG. Episode 7: WWII veteran Chuck Rowland turns theory into action, co-founding one of the first LGBT rights groups, the Mattachine Society, in 1950—a time when gay people were considered sick, sinful, criminal, and a threat to national security. Episode 8: A generation ago, tens of millions of people turned to "Dear Abby" in her daily newspaper column for advice. Long before others did, and at considerable risk, she used her platform and celebrity in support of gay people and their equal rights. Episode 9: Self-described gay rights fanatics and life partners Barbara Gittings and Kay "Tobin" Lahusen helped supercharge the nascent movement in the 1960s and brought their creativity, passion, determination, and good humor to the Gay Liberation 1970s, leaving behind an inspiring legacy of dramatic change. Episode 10: Vito Russo loved movies, but he looked behind the silver screen and saw how Hollywood was sending a message that LGBTQ people were less-than-human. He decided that that had to change. He wrote a book, co-founded GLAAD, and when his life was on the line, was one of the people who founded ACT UP. Season 2: Preview Episode 11: Meet Marsha P. Johnson and Randy Wicker—two very different heroes of the early LGBT civil rights movement. Marsha was a Street Transvestite Action Revolutionary. Randy led the first gay demonstration in 1964 in coat and tie. Episode 12: Shirley Willer had good reason to be angry—she was beaten by the police and a dear friend was allowed to die. Because they were gay. She channeled that anger into action, traveling the country in the 1960s to launch new chapters of gay rights organizations. Episode 13: Hal Call never minced words. The midwestern newspaperman and WWII vet wrested control of the Mattachine Society from its founders and went on to fight police oppression and champion sexual freedom. He also made more than a few enemies along the way. Episode 14: Part 1: Jean O'Leary was passionate—about women, nuns, feminism, and equal rights. She left an indelible mark on the women's movement and the LGBTQ civil rights movement, but not without causing controversy, too. After all, she was a troublemaker. And proud of it. Episode 15: Part 2: Jean O'Leary had a vision for the national LGBTQ civil rights movement. On March 26, 1977 she led the first delegation of lesbian and gay acti[...]

"didn't I just read this on the front page yesterday morning?"

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 12:24:43 -0800

Uncivil is a podcast hgosted by journalist Jack Hitt and Rutgers professor Chenjerai Kumanyika that covers The Civil War Stories You Don't Learn In School (and why you didn't learn them), which feels like Urgent Listening In Today's America THE RAID [w/ transcript] - A group of ex-farmers, a terrorist from Kansas, and a schoolteacher attempt the greatest covert operation of the Civil War. THE DEED [w/ transcript] - A 19th century promise, and a 21st century betrayal. The past and present of 40 acres and a mule. THE TAKEDOWN [w/ transcript] - We sat down with Nikole Hannah-Jones of the New York Times Magazine, Al Letson of Reveal, and Christy Coleman of the American Civil War Museum to talk about how they take down Civil War myths. [FULL CONVERSATION ON SOUNDCLOUD] THE SOLDIERS [w/ transcript] - A woman discovers a secret that the government long tried to keep hidden: a secret about who exactly fought in the Civil War. THE SPIN [w/ transcript] - From the cemetery to the big screen, a 150 year old push to rewrite American history. THE SONG [w/ transcript] -We dig deep into the anthem of the Confederacy, and learn that almost everything we thought we knew about it... was wrong. THE PAPER [w/ transcript] - A small shopkeeper in Philadelphia unwittingly stumbles into a con that helps take down the Confederacy. THE SENTENCE [w/ transcript] - In 1640 three men attempted to escape indentured servitude. The outcome lay the foundation for the split in America that lead to Civil War. THE ASSETS [w/ transcript] - Rachel Swarns [previously] of the New York Times joins us to discuss what she discovered when she followed the money trail of one of the nation's top financial institutions all the back to the 19th century. THE PORTRAIT [w/ transcript] - A listener voicemail sends us deep down the rabbit hole into one of the most toxic myths of the Confederacy.


Sun, 17 Dec 2017 03:20:38 -0800

Melvyn's Abrupt Opener

... self-deprecating comedic humility balances the gravity of life...

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 20:15:18 -0800

"Heavyweight," the Podcast That Contends with Our Regrets "When the writer, radio producer, and humorist Jonathan Goldstein set out to create his Gimlet podcast, "Heavyweight," whose second season concluded on Thursday, he considered introducing each episode with a subway P.A. system that would talk to him like the voice of God. On the podcast, Goldstein—a longtime producer at "This American Life" whose radio show "Wiretap" aired on the CBC for more than a decade—acts as a kind of social instigator and meddling therapist. With gumption, empathy, and comic awkwardness, he ventures into people's lives and tries to help them resolve things from the past: an unsolved human mystery, lingering guilt, a falling-out, hurt that's turned to grievance." (slNewYorker)

Basically, anything that can be fancied, we attempt to fancy.

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 08:55:13 -0800

"Nichole Perkins was parched. 'The thirstiest,' she offers. And who could blame her? The writer had been scrolling through Twitter when she came across it—a photo of Luke Cage actor Mike Colter, seated, smoldering. She paused. And then she wrote 'I bet he mashes his cornbread in his greens, eats it with his fingers, then looks at you like 'you next.' Elsewhere, Bim Adewunmi read Perkins' tweet and gasped for air. She was scandalized, appalled, horrified! She was in love: 'I was like, 'It's so disgusting! It's disgusting. Oh my god, it's amazing.' She had known Perkins for years, but the tweet was a revelation. Perkins wasn't just a likeminded woman on the internet. She was the rarer breed: a friend in filth." And thus - Thirst Aid Kit, a buzzfeed podcast, tumblr, and twitter, was born. ---
"Talking about who we fancy is obviously a very shallow pursuit, but it is also a deeply human one. Thirsting is revelatory on a cultural level, and when it comes to lust, we must remember that it is all learned — taught and reinforced from the time we are first able to process texts. It's about so much more than a square jaw or the shape of a curl. To talk about who we fancy is to talk about politics, art, economics, migration patterns, history, and of course, our loins. Sure, we traded Tumblr links and gifs about our thirst objects, but we also spoke openly about how we came to arrive at this place. How our histories — which inevitably intersect with pop culture — allowed us to arrive on a social media platform, sweating and giggling over people who will probably never know we exist."
"I know people will go, 'Oh, how is it different than if it was a bunch of dudes doing it?'" Adewunmi says. And it's true: a Buzzfeed podcast in which men sat around, documenting—in sometimes vivid detail—their attractions to women celebrities would likely not go over well. "But the power structure means it is different," Adewunmi says. By which she means that men and women aren't equal, and so when women dissect a photo of Mark Ruffalo, it doesn't feel quite like it would if a bunch of dudes put Kate Upton under a microscope. Our culture is still a patriarchal one, Adewunmi maintains, defiant. So with this new podcast duo, raunch becomes subversive, even radical. Eventually, Adewunmi would like for Thirst Aid Kit to push audiences to really examine their desire, why it takes the shape it does, what influenced it. And if that makes listeners blush, well, good.

a true piece of art is a window into the transcendent

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 19:53:29 -0800

Dissect is a musical podcast "created by Cole Cuchna, "one person, working in his spare time, in a garage in Sacramento." It is also a moving and illuminating deep look into the music and genius of Kanye West, via a deep dive into his album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Even if - Especially if you are a music fan who has found Kanye to be insufferable and unpleasant, it is worth your attention, because there is a good chance that the experience will be relevatory, and you might find yourself encountering some surprising moments of grace (at 26:20). A list of episodes

Private Dick/Family Man

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 10:35:39 -0800

Talking Simpsons, the in-depth Episode-by-episode Simpson's podcast, takes a break to explore the history and backstory of the USA Network's attempt to create a raunchy and extremely 90s competitor to The Simpsons, Duckman (92 min). They discuss the episode 'About Face', available online here.

So I called the scammers back.

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 19:42:34 -0800

"Six months ago, I got a phone call from someone pretending to be Apple Computers. And, just through sheer force of will, and I guess a lot of free time, me and Damiano managed to figure out a lot about these people." A story of friendship, sleuthing, and scamming. Full transcript available at the bottom of the page.

A Mortician's Tale: "What would a mortician's private emails look like?"

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:36:19 -0800

Video games have never really gotten death.... Death in games is a punishment, a roadblock, a temporary setback, an opportunity. It's not a real end; it's mechanical, never philosophical.... A Mortician's Tale ... takes death—the real thing, that universal human experience of being divorced from all sensation, from existence itself—and handles it in direct, even quotidian ways. It makes the end of life visible, and in doing so crafts one of the only meditations on death in videogames that feels authentic. A Mortician's Tale (game trailer) is more than a mortuary simulation, it's a narrative-driven death positive video game where you play as a mortician tasked with running a funeral home, doing everything from preparing bodies for burial or cremation to dealing with a large, corporate funeral service and their push to up-sell grieving families. And you see your work to completion, as described by Julie Muncy in her review for Wired (also linked above the break): After every body prepared, the game brings you to the funeral, where you have a moment to confront the human cost of all of this, to see it and identify with it. A Mortician's Tale insists the player mourn, if only in an abstract, impersonal way. The great intelligence of A Mortician's Tale is to bind all of this action to the simple structure of a click-based simulation game, in which you do most everything by clicking on the mouse. Games in this style are often browser-based, and compel the player to perform simple, repetitive tasks, either on a schedule or to gain concrete rewards. Here, the clicking emphasizes the mundanity of the mortician's tasks. Here is one of the scariest things in the world, happening in the most casual way. Click the scalpel, make an incision. Drain the blood. Don't forget to wash your hands when you're done. One Of 2017's Best Games Is About Being A Mortician -- Cecilia D'Anastasio reviews the game for Kotaku, with GIF'd screencaps and more plot summary, if you want to know what you might be getting into here. "What would a mortician's private emails look like?" is a question I now regret never asking. But it's not a training to become a mortician, as some elements crossed the line in terms of general squeamishness and game ratings, as discussed in an interview with Gabby DaRienzo, the game creator, by Kelsey "Kelso" Eriksson on an episode of her Deathcast program. DaRienzo talks about being influenced by Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, the book by Caitlin Doughty and her Order of the Good Death, as well as friends and colleagues. She's also very interested in death in video games, and made a podcast series to discuss the topic, called Play Dead (Cast). Gabby also referenced Death & The Maiden aka Dead Maidens, which "[strives] to portray death in its entirety, and encourage our contributors and audience to confront this often challenging topic through science, literature, art, first person narratives, culture, history and current events." [...]

For decades, that open-endedness has brought players back to the table

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 19:24:56 -0800

At FiveThirtyEight, Gus Wezerek asks, "Is Your D&D Character Rare?": "We got a peek at what kind of characters everyone is building, and a lot of players are sticking close to reality." Going beyond basic descriptors, Neal Litherland at Improved Initiative explores uncommon ways to think about Pathfinder characters in a regular feature: "Unusual Character Concepts," e.g. "The Farmer Ranger," "The Heretic," and "The Pill-Popping Paladin." And in an interview about the podcast Tell Me About Your Character, Steve Keller praises "that off-the-cuff, excited meander" exemplified in his first interview about someone's favorite character.

Dissect is a serialized music podcast

Sun, 08 Oct 2017 21:14:52 -0800

Now in its 2nd season, Dissect uses "long-form musical analysis, broken into short, digestible episodes" to explore Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in depth. Enjoy the 1st season's 23 episodes dedicated to Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly. Dissect is created by Cole Cuchna.

"Please Listen with an Open Heart"

Sat, 30 Sep 2017 15:15:34 -0800

Queery is a hour-long weekly (or biweekly or...) podcast where standup comedian Cameron Esposito talks about queer life with a guest, usually someone from the entertainment industry. It's a very LA-centric show, but Esposito seems to be aiming for a range of guests and is definitely taking a broad approach to LBGTQ+ and race. She and her wife, Rhea Butcher, also do the standup podcast Put Your Hands Together with Cam & Rhea and the web tv series Take My Wife. Cameron Esposito and Take my Wife previously

"It's definitely a tokenization."

Sat, 02 Sep 2017 10:10:57 -0800

"Even after World War II, a conflict we typically characterize as an unambiguous moral necessity, veterans disrupted an emerging nationalist, anti-communist consensus. Robert Saxe, the author of Settling Down: World War II Veterans' Challenge to the Post-War Consensus, told the New Republic, "A lot of World War II veterans came back and had some pretty significant critiques of America." Those critiques ranged from dissatisfaction with the military itself, where the divide between officers and enlisted men reflected broader class tensions, and with civilians, who benefited from a wartime economic boom without risking their lives in battle." The Invisible Veterans Of The Left Related : What A Hell Of A Way To Die a podcast by leftist veterans. Example episode : So What Does A Socialist Utopia Do With A Standing Army?

Big Oil Has Never Been Cheaper, Lets Buy It

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 11:26:22 -0800

So, you want to nationalize the US oil industry? Bill Humphrey and Nate at Arsenal For Democracy provide a beginner's guide to a pragmatic government purchase of the US oil and gas industry to wind-down fossil fuel production rapidly in the global public interest (Audio, 51:00) Notes, outline, and sources. (PFD)

But you don't get to take their words for it

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 09:36:33 -0800

'Reading Rainbow taught a generation of kids that they could (a) go twice as high as a butterfly, (b) go anywhere, and (c) be anything. Unfortunately, if you chose to be "LeVar Burton using his classic Reading Rainbow catchphrase," the place you will go might be court. According to The Hollywood Reporter, WNED-TV Buffalo, New York, is suing the children's show host in part over his continued use of the tagline "But you don't have to take my word for it" on his podcast LeVar Burton Reads.' The podcast, where "in each episode, host LeVar Burton hand-picks a different piece of short fiction, and reads it to you," is really quite lovely, so if WNED's true mission was to promote reading by driving the entire outraged internet to the soothing embrace of LeVar Burton's voice, then they seem to be succeeding.

Nick, this changes everything.

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 07:42:31 -0800 games journalist Nick Robinson, best known for his work with the irrepressible Griffin McElroy on such acclaimed projects as Car Boys, Touch the Skyrim, and gamestorming podcast CoolGames Inc, has by proxy developed a "soft boy" image of friendly inclusivity and innocent, goofy charm. So it came as a shock this weekend when a Twitter spat over a glitch snowballed into the outing of Robinson as one of the industry's more notorious missing stairs, with multiple colleagues and even young fans accusing him of sexual harassment. Reaction was swift: longtime friends broke ties, Griffin expressed shocked anger and pushed back on calls for proof, and Polygon suspended Robinson pending inquiry. Vice Media's Waypoint podcast sums up the situation with a frank discussion (starting @32:54) of sexism in the gaming industry, power dynamics in a world of personality-driven social media fandom, the difference between legal and social transgression, and how to deal when a favorite artist betrays your trust. Twitter summation: "The whole internet loves Nick Robinson, a lovely Car Boy! *5 seconds later* We regret to inform you Nick Robinson is a sexual predator." (See also the Milkshake Duck phenomenon.) One of Robinson's targets posts her story to the /r/CoolGamesInc community and gets a broadly supportive reaction. She had previously shared some of his uncomfortable overtures on Twitter, though these exchanges were apparently only the tip of the iceberg compared to other behavior that had been confirmed privately. Somewhat ironically, Griffin and his sister Rachel's Bachelor(ette)-themed podcast Rose Buddies had an episode in June all about that show's recent sexual misconduct scandal where they discuss their feelings of shame and complicity just for hosting a podcast about it. It's tough to listen to but offers a telling glimpse of Griffin's unfiltered reaction to such news outside his own circle, perhaps shedding some light on why he didn't jump to Nick's defense, question the provenance of the accusations, or even go radio silent as friends/colleagues tend to do in similar situations. A 2015 blog post contrasting the dark side of the "soft boy" image with the more popularly known "fuckboy" epithet The Daily Dot's 2014 story on a similar scandal involving YouTuber Alex Day is quite relevant: Just one day after Day posted publicly about the dangers of the power imbalance between YouTube creators and their fans, several women came forward to say that he'd treated them in a way that fit a pattern of manipulative behaviour towards his female friends and fans. For those who felt that they knew Day through his social media presence, this type of accusation was difficult to believe. But as YouTuber Anthony D'Angelo pointed out in a video, watching someone's videos and interacting with them as a fan is not the same as knowing them on a personal level. Their online persona is their professional brand, and 10 minutes of edited YouTube footage per week is not a window into the soul. [...]

Bob's Docs Episode One: Manipulation

Sun, 06 Aug 2017 12:56:03 -0800

For the month of August [On The Media will] be running a series of interviews Bob [Garfield] has done over the years with documentary filmmakers. In the OTM office, the producers have been referring to the collection as "Bob's Docs." Over the next few weeks we'll go through some tropes of documentary film-making, from prurience to access to the personal journey. Episode one is about the deadly sin of manipulation. [audio, downloadable, 23m] I didn't find a link to a transcript, sorry.

Aww Josh! What is that?

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 12:21:27 -0800

We've talked about Justin Trudeau. We've talked about The West Wing Weekly. But have we talked about Justin Trudeau on The West Wing Weekly? [JT segment starts at 45:04] PS. Justin Trudeau is also in Rolling Stone this week.

Not your usual Getting Things Done.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 06:55:27 -0800

Interested in productivity but can't relate to the dry managerialness of GTD or the saccharineness of the planner decoration world? Want advice and insight from nerdy, salty, artist types? Check out Productivity Alchemy, a podcast by sysadmin and media producer Kevin Sonney featuring his wife, author, illustrator, and Wombat Test Subject Ursula Vernon, as well as interviews with people from all walks of life who are all convinced that they are not as organised as people think they are.

A show where an interviewer interviews interviewers about interviewing

Sat, 08 Jul 2017 12:06:08 -0800

The Turnaround with Jesse Thorn is a limited-run podcast that interviews world class interviewers about how they do what they do. Running throughout this summer, it has already featured Ira Glass, Susan Orlean, Audie Cornish, Marc Maron, and Larry King, with more to come including Werner Herzog, Anna Sale, Katie Couric, and Terry Gross. The podcast is a co-production with the Columbia Journalism Review, where you can find edited transcripts of each episode. (And yes, Jesse is mefi's own YoungAmerican.)

Podcast to the head!

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 17:39:20 -0800

Venerable Canadian comedy troupe The Frantics have pored over their entire CBC radio archive for a (planned) 50-part Best Of Frantic Times podcast. Perhaps better known outside Canada for their relatively short-lived TV sketch show Four On The Floor, The Frantics were a four-man comedy troupe most famous for Mister Canoehead, the ubiquitous-for-Doctor-Demento sketch and song Ti Kwan Leep and Boot to the Head, and a fairly well-received Star Trek sketch in the early days of the Just For Laughs comedy festival. Some of the material is... anachronistic is the charitable description; "sexist as hell" is the more accurate label. But for Canadians of a Certain Age, this was the cornerstone of our pre-KiTH comedic development.

The Boy from the Black Sea

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 12:09:39 -0800

'Shadows: The Val Lewton Story' - part one of a series in which the The Secret History of Hollywood podcasts tells the story of film producer and screenplay writer Val Lewton, with prologues by Mark Gatiss.

Friday night's alright for wrestling (or lots of great podcasts)

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 04:30:30 -0800

HCW Championship Wrestling, 'which has often been called , quite correctly, the worst wrestling ever seen on anyone's TV screen'. To balance that out, lots of great podcasts, starting with Jim Smallman's Tuesday Night Jaw, popular and well liked wrestling podcast on the Distraction Pieces network. HCW Wrestling is shown on Ben TV (Wikipedia) at 12:30am Friday night/Saturday morning. Jim Smallman's website iTunes podcast list for Tuesday Night Jaw Other great podcasts from Distraction Pieces: Dr Suzie Gage - Say Why to Drugs (iTunes only, sorry) Scroobius Pip - Distraction Pieces interviews Youtube channel for HCW Championship wrestling