Pod Review July 10-16

This week was French national day, which usually means summer heat, community bal, fireworks, military parade and a day off. But this year, the weather was completely off kilter, it rained non-stop (but luckily, not with consequences as catastrophic as in Germany and Belgium). Thanks to that short week I had more time for podcasts, in particular to finish some series I’d started.

  • 10 Things to tell you by Laura Tremaine #123 How to feel pretty (when you don’t)
  • Decoder Ring: The Karen (new to me)
  • Death, Sex and Money: the 7 hardest conversations I’ve ever had on this show (new to me)
  • Death, Sex and Money: “The lying stops now”: your hardest conversations
  • Sorta Awesome #313 Sisterly Advice Edition
  • Rough Translation Home/Front series Marla’s War
  • 💙 Rough Translation Home/Front series Marla’s List
  • Rough Translation Home/Front series Rebels on the Valley
  • This American Life #740 There. I fixed it.
  • Radiolab: The Vanishing of Harry Pace Episode 3 & 4
  • Criminal #162 I fought the law
  • Short Wave: It’s okay to let go of herd immunity

This week I tried two new shows. Death, Sex and Money is a celebrated podcast, and I’d wanted to try after listening to Anna Sale in another series. It was perhaps bad timing, but it didn’t really work for me. I might try another time again though. The other show was Decoder Ring, which explains the source of pop culture phenomenon. It was a fun discovery, I intend to try some more episodes.

The best episode I listened to this week was the conclusion to Rough Translation’s season about the gap between civilians and military. Marla Ruzicka, which is the focus of a two parts episode, is an extraordinary woman who managed to bridge that gap, in order to bring concrete solutions to the tragedies of civilian victims in armed conflict. First a pacifist and anti-war activist, she gradually changed her beliefs (losing many of her friends in the process) as she went to Afghanistan and mingled with “professionals” of war: soldiers, journalists, humanitarian aid workers… The story of what she initiated, and her charm and energy, is well worth a listen, and it’s both uplifting and heart-breaking.

The other podcast that moved me (almost to tears) about the last part of the This American Life episode, about the gradual loss of freedoms in Hong Kong and people contemplating exile. These events are not particularly hidden, but because it’s a tiny, daily step to constrain people more and more, we don’t realize it until too late, like the proverbial frogs that don’t jump out of the pot of boiling water when the temperature is raised little by little. A depressing one but I can’t ignore it.

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