Each week I will publish the most Delicious Ingredients of my Audible Feast … the scrumptious, delectable, savory, rich, sweet, spicy, and best podcasts that have fed my ears this week. They’re listed in no particular order. You can see what I’ve been listening to here to see the competition these shows beat out to make the best of the week.
Hi-Phi Nation: Be a Man (3/21/17): What it’s about: “Our ideas of manhood and womanhood determine the ways in which we raise and socialize our children, but how much does gender in a particular society depend on that society’s relationship with violence? What happens when, all of a sudden, women are allowed to participate in a form of violence once reserved for men? This week, we investigate the effects and side effects of gender norms arising from militarism. Guest voices include two lieutenants in the US Army, LTC Naomi Mercer, Joshua Goldstein, Tom Digby, and Graham Parsons.” Why it’s great: I was fascinated listening to this episode about gender and war, and about how “manliness” is so tied to the military, but at the same time the military is one of the most “equal opportunity” places you can work. Women and men are paid the same, are judged on paper on the same standards, etc. (34 minutes) Twitter: @HiPhiNation
Millennial, Episode 38: We Grew Up Here (3/22/17): What it’s about: “My parents have lived in the same house for over 40 years. It’s where we all grew up. But when they want to sell it, we say goodbye to more than just the house.” Why it’s great: I kind of thought this episode was really going to be about Megan Tan’s parents selling their house and how Megan and her sister felt about it. And it was… but it actually had a lot to unpack about the complicated view kids (and their parents) have about parents drifting apart after decades of marriage. I know so many people can relate to this. I heard the joy in Susan Tan’s voice as she reflected on why they bought the house in the first place, and how she felt about marriage, hope, and the future at the time. It’s a surprisingly touching episode and the Tan family is brave to participate and share their family conversations on separation, love, being an adult child, and of course, the house. (31 minutes) Twitter: @millennialpdcst
The Karen & Ellen Letters, Episode 1: Lists 1 & 2 (3/1/17): What it’s about: “The Karen & Ellen Letters are found correspondance between two teenage girls and their landlord, over a three year period, from the 1980s. This podcast is the reading of those letters and a re-telling of the host’s journey to validate their authenticity. [In episode 1, ] Karen moves into her new apartment with a list of deductions she’s ready to make from her rent. Ellen writes Mark about her hopes and dreams for her new home.” Why it’s great: I can’t do The Karen & Ellen Letters justice in one little writeup here – I plan on releasing a review of the show shortly. But if you enjoy My Dad Wrote a Porno, or other dry humor, you will be enthralled by Karen and Ellen. The letters are absolutely real, and things they wrote are unreal. The aftershows are totally worth a listen so you can “re-read” the letters again and even play a drinking game every time you hear the word “jurisdiction” which the women certainly do not understand the meaning of! (11 minutes) Twitter: @KarenandEllen
The Moth: Andrew Forsthoefel: Deluded in the Desert (3/21/17): What it’s about: “Walking across the U.S., Andrew meets a man who tests the limits of his compassion.” Why it’s great: Classic The Moth episode – an amazing story about a person who decided to take time off to live a slower life. Forsthoefel ended up meeting someone who believed he was here to save others, and this forced him to reflect on what he was attempting to accomplish with his walk. (13 minutes) Twitter: @TheMoth
Fresh Air: Father of 2 Sons with Schizophrenia Talks of His Struggle to Save Them (3/20/17): What it’s about: “As the father of two sons with schizophrenia, author Ron Powers is familiar with the pain and frustration of dealing with a chronic, incurable disease of the brain. Powers’ younger son, Kevin, was a talented musician whose struggles with schizophrenia began at age 17. Just before his 21st birthday, in 2005, Kevin took his own life. A few years later, Powers’ older son, Dean, started experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia and had a psychotic break. “There is no greater … feeling of helplessness than to watch two beloved sons deteriorate before [your] eyes, not knowing what to do to bring them back,” Powers tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross.” Why it’s great: This interview is a master class in interviewing. Terry Gross expertly navigates an impossible conversation with a parent of two sons with schizophrenia, one of whom took his own life. She asks delicate questions with class and grace, and Ron Powers is eloquently honest and thoughtful in his response. (45 minutes) Twitter: @NPRFreshAir
Our Americana, S03E03: Green Bank, West Virginia (The Quiet Zone) (3/21/17): What it’s about: “In a town with no radio or cellular waves, with no wifi or cable, life is wonderfully quiet. We examine our strange relationships with technology and meet a woman who suffers from electromagnetic sensitivity so bad, she spent a year living in a Faraday cage.” Why it’s great: I found this show through The Karen And Ellen Letters (see above!), it is from the same creator, Josh Hallmark, and this is actually the podcast he loves more than anything. The show reminded me of State of the Re:Union, Rumble Strip, The Junction, Brave Little State, and We Live Here – but each episode profiles a different place in the U.S. Stories of true Americana are expertly woven together into an episode I didn’t want to end. I can’t wait to go through the back catalog of this new little gem I’ve found. (46 minutes) Twitter: @ouramericana
All episode descriptions and artwork come from the linked sites. What else was fantastic this week? Send me a note! firstname.lastname@example.org or @audible_feast on Twitter.
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