Pod Review April 24-30

Tomorrow is international labor day, which seems wasted on a lock-down Saturday, but the tradition here is to buy or offer lily-of-the-valley for luck, and this year’s fresh little pod smells delicious ! Yesterday, the President announced the agenda for reopening the country, which is an excellent antidote to gloom. I remain cautious as I can’t get vaccinated for quite a while still, but we have some reasons to feel unstuck.

  • West Cork Episodes 9 to 13: And so I completed the series, but it didn’t end in a climax. On the contrary it sort of stalled in an impasse. The French family of the victim wanted to have the trial in France (and I couldn’t help but wincing at the way the podcasters explain French law) and the main suspect remained all too present in the small village where the murder took place. Too bad the podcast was finished when France actually condemned the suspect in absentia. It is clearly a good show but the pacing is an issue.
  • Rough Translation “How to speak bad English”; about native speakers and the rest of the world, who has learnt English at school. It made me laugh out loud to learn that ESL people can communicate just perfectly whenever a native speaker is not in the room, and that things go south when the British or the American comes in. I would say that this is a rather angelic view, as I work all day long in English with non-native speakers. I don’t mind any accent, but bad grammar and poor vocabulary doesn’t help international communication at all.
  • Sorta Awesome #289 We’re obsessed: Gifts for moms and more! I’ll have to check the show notes especially where stationery and face masks were mentioned (I don’t like to throw the word “obsessed” everywhere, but I can’t deny I’m a stationery addict)
  • Things you can’t ask yer mum S3E1 [new to me] I read about this podcast in the “Good Trade” newsletter. Yes it’s British, and this episode was an Agony aunt for 20-something people. I didn’t feel really invested, but I’ll try again as the two hosts seemed kind and fun.
  • Floodlines by The Atlantic Part 2: Come Sunday. Completely addictive, but I want to pace myself because it’s hard to listen to.
  • 💙 This American Life #736 The Herd. The tagline was “what happens when your own community suddenly turns on you?”, but I feel that it didn’t reflect the episode. It’s more about trusting the doctors and health authorities in times of Covid.

Not very surprising coming from me, my favorite episode this week is (once again) This American Life‘s, because it started with a topic I’d thought I head a million times before and turned my expectation on its head. How people don’t trust any authorities anymore, how some American people made fun of Fauci, bullied health officials or even attacked them and willfully ignored facts while the world spiraled into the epidemics. And yet I came out of the episode more hopeful than I’d ever thought. There was a focus group full of people who’d said they distrusted vaccines and would not get the Covid shot. After a few rounds of arguments, suddenly they flipped. Their previous antivax convictions were shaken by a combination of facts and emotional stories, and it was the miracle treatment to convince them! I held my breath listening to this moment, it was so good.

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