Podcast Review February 12-18

As I’m writing this post, I’m hours away from official winter break, yippee! The kids are off school today, and from tomorrow I will be away for several days at the seaside (that’s the perk of distanced working, you can work from any holiday rental with a good broadband connexion). I hope to rest and sleep and enjoy brisk walks in the windy, salty air… And of course, I’m bringing lots of books and podcasts. Before that, a recap of my week shows that I have been absorbed in the latest Serial production: The Trojan Horse Affair, which I persist to call the Trojan Affair, the Trojan Letter, the British Horse Affair… (British accents seem to add layers to the story, especially when a British official denies knowledge of the affair with that particular stiff upper lip)

In short, I loved it, loved it so much that I was sorry for it to end, but the final episode was *so* frustrating to me! I wanted a true resolution, and unfortunately even Bryan Reed (of S-Town fame) could not get it. There were all these twists and cliffhangers, like in the first season of Serial, and it was both painstakingly detailed and far-reaching in its interrogations. I really enjoyed the interactions between Bryan Reed, who comes out as the seasoned, slightly blasé old-school American journalist, and Hamza Syed, the rookie, idealist, ball-of-energy (shall I add cute? 😳) British student journalist. They argue about journalism ethics, about Islamophobia and about everything else, they fight each other and support each other at disappointing moments along the way in this long investigation. But this is not fiction, and two guys on a mission can’t single-handedly solve decades of Islamophobic prejudices and discrimination. Sigh.

  • The Trojan Horse Affair: part 5 (A study in Scarlett)
  • The Trojan Horse Affair: part 6 (Cucumbers and Cooker Bombs)
  • The Trojan Horse Affair: part 7 (The detail of the deputies)
  • The Trojan Horse Affair: part 8 (An appointment in Perth)
  • Sorta Awesome #377 How to really love yourself!
  • Science Vs. Joe Rogan: The Malone Interview. The team from Science Vs, a Gimlet podcast hosted on Spotify, couldn’t avoid confronting the Joe Rogan outrage. Interesting.
  • Friendlier: Connecting with our partners [new-to-me]
  • Friendlier: Food habits
  • Lazy Genius podcast #249 How we’re lazy geniusing the boat situation
  • This American Life #758 Talking while Black. I was not aware of this backlash against BLM and other activists, in the most shocking manner, and the podcast was unsettling. Especially jarring is the interview of a mother in Texas who instigated the ban of an innocuous book by a Black author, because she doesn’t want her kids to feel uncomfortable. To my European ears this sounds crazy to me.
  • Chinese Whispers: The power of Weibo

Despite my focus on the Trojan… thing, I had time to try a new podcast this week: Friendlier, whose reference I picked up on a Facebook group for the Sorta Awesome fans (I am not even embarrassed to mention that). Friendlier is like an intimate conversation between two old friends, Sarah and Abby. It was a bit random and slow for my first attempt, but on the second attempt (my usual policy), I switched to 1.2 in speed and it was perfect to me! I love how normal they both sound, and how caring they are for each other.

I have jotted down lots (lots !!) of new podcasts titles to try during my vacation. If I listen to 2 episodes of each of them, I probably won’t have time to talk to my family for the whole week! 😂. Happy weekend everyone!

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