Pod Review June 18-24

This is the final stretch of the marathon… school year over here, and I’m getting so tired that I can’t really concentrate on podcasts. Some shows have just been background noises and I can’t remember one single thing that was said, so I indeed won’t mention them here… Conclusion: the ones that make it to this post are really, really good because even my scattered brain has been obliged to pause and listen.

This is the case for the great conversation between the Lazy Genius Kendra Adachi and Kate Bowler: #253 How to give yourself permission with Kate Bowler. It is a generous and kind conversation between two wise women, and frankly who doesn’t need that right now?

On the contrary, I’m going to quit Heidi World mini-series right here and there: I’m not a fan, and this has probably more to do with the form rather than the content. These episodes are long narrations read by Mollie Lambert, and here is my problem: her voice is droning on and on at the same pace, it just lulls me to sleep. It reminds me of Karina Longworth of You Must Remember This, but on a bad day. I acknowledge that this is highly personal, so if you want a dark tale of the seedy underworld of LA in the early 1990s you can still try by yourself.

Instead, I’ve started the season of NPR Rough Translation about Work and it is fascinating. The first episode is about China and how a small-time thief turned slacker icon on Youtube was completely squashed by the Chinese regime who can’t tolerate anyone contesting the culture of hard work and blind obedience to the Chinese ruling values. The second episode is about Lunch break culture in France, and of course I had to listen! I started with a critical eye because Americans have often a false, clichés idea of La France, but at the end I’d learnt a few things about my own country!

To end this post (and because it’s already the end of the day here as so many events are unfolding in the US) I can’t help but mention that I listened this week to an episode by NYT The Argument, from beginning of May, about the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court’s leak. It’s weird to have listened just a few days ago 2 people talking calmly about the odds of this decision being overturned. I’d rather have them get a bit more outraged, and I know The New York Times wants to keep a measured voice to contrast with all the noise and violence on social media, but it’s rather sad to listen to hopelessness, resignation and exhaustion.

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