Friday, August 03, 2018

Podcast Roundup Weeks 30 & 31

Since I last posted about two weeks ago, I've listened to 84 podcast episodes. I'm actually catching up a bit since a lot of podcasts go on summer break in August. Here are some of my most recent binges.
Small Town Dicks is the product of two hosts, Yeardley Smith (yes, from The Simpsons) and Zibby Allen, talking with police detectives from what they call Small Town, USA, but a cursory search online shows to be a city in Oregon.  I actually kind of hate this podcast a tiny bit because it's so rah rah police (when they talked about having a SWAT team in a small town, I almost lost my mind ranting and raving to myself about the militarization of police) and I really hate how all the cops on the show start stories with "Myself and my partner were called to the scene..."  No reflexive pronoun needed!!!! Stop trying to sound smarter than you are!

Anyway. I digress.

There's a four-part mini-series called "The Sociopath and the Whistleblower" (episodes 11-14) that examines how a police officer in this department got caught doing a lot of corrupt things, not limited to embezzlement, theft, sexual assault, and possible murder.  The podcast has the officer who investigated the corrupt officer on and it's pretty interesting. There's some good, old-fashioned gumshoe detective work and some good railing on the ineptitude of criminals and the police. I blitzed through those episodes, only occasionally muttering to myself about improper grammar.
The idea behind the Potterless podcast is that there is an adult man who has never read the Harry Potter books and he reads them and has a podcast talking about his reaction to the books. I had attempted to listen to this podcast before, but he was SO MEAN about the first book that I listened to two and a half episodes and unsubscribed (sidenote: 327 Pages We'll Never Get Back is two dudes dissing Ready Player One, which is another book on my favorite list and I also only listened to an episode or two of that podcast).  I mean, I think the HP series has some faults and I'm more than happy to discuss those faults (consider the awesomeness of the Witch, Please podcast that critiques the series through a feminist lens), but this guy had a grudge against the series and I found myself on the defensive, instead of reexamining my preconceived notions with some thoughtful and close reading.

At some point, someone who is also a Harry Potter fan told me I should revisit this podcast, so I skipped the first book and listened to the second book.  I thought it was better, but still thought it was a superficial critique of a beloved classic. By the time he got to the third book, The Prisoner of Azkaban, though, I thought he had chosen better guests (loyal Rowling-ites) and they started to push back on the main host's ridiculous and unfounded denunciation of Rowling's writing and characterization. I actually found myself occasionally nodding my head in agreement with some of his statements, so I think we're getting somewhere with this podcast. I have hopes that the next book will be even better.

And those are the binge-worthy notables, my friends.

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