Each week I publish the most Delicious Ingredients of my Audible Feast … the scrumptious, delectable, savory, rich, sweet, spicy, and best podcasts that have fed my ears over the last 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 earn their spot as the best of the best. This week I listened to 46 episodes for this podcast review recap – 8 new shows for me this week, one of which made it on this list.
Reply All, Episode 127: The Crime Machine, Part I (10/11/18): What it’s about: “New York City cops are in a fight against their own police department. They say it’s under the control of a broken computer system that punishes cops who refuse to engage in racist, corrupt policing. The story of their fight, and the story of the grouchy idealist who originally built the machine they’re fighting.” Why it’s great: Fascinating history of how the quota system developed from something it wasn’t meant to be, because of course – people always find a way to game the system for personal benefit. I didn’t know about the NYPD 12, so of course to find out even more, now I have to watch the Hulu documentary Crime + Punishment. (38 minutes)
Read this 5-star guest review of Reply All from Podcast Brunch Club founder Adela Mizrachi here! (July 2017)
Fresh Air: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus (10/11/18): What it’s about: “Journalist Vanessa Grigoriadis, author of ‘Blurred Lines,’ says one of the challenges when it comes to handling sexual assault cases on college campuses is that there isn’t a universally agreed-upon definition of what sexual assault is. She spent three years reporting on college campuses for the book. Grigoriadis talks about the Kavanaugh hearings, rape culture, and how she sees the national conversation about sexual assault shifting.” Why it’s great: Great interview about a timely topic; it made me think back to what the conversation was around sexual assualt when I started college in 1998. I remember seeing flyers in the bathroom and having very active RAs in the dorms telling us it was not okay for someone to force themselves on you or make you do something you don’t want to do – and to always be with a friend. It’s really interesting to hear how that is changing and how much still needs to change, starting with how we teach children about consent. (43 minutes)
What it Takes: Norman Schwarzkopf: Duty, Honor, Country (9/24/18): What it’s about: “The last time the United States had a grand military parade was in 1991, following the swift, crushing victory over Iraq in the Persian Gulf War. General Schwarzkopf was the commander of that war, and he was widely credited as the person responsible for restoring America’s military might and its reputation, 20 years after the war in Vietnam. The interview featured here was conducted shortly after the Gulf victory, and it gives a glimpse into a critical American moment. Schwarzkopf also reveals many of the lessons he learned about leadership during his 39 years in the military.” Why it’s great: I was a kid during the Gulf War, and I knew who Norman Schwarzkopf was, but remembered him more for being mentioned as potentially running for political office as a Republican (which he never did, and in fact never specifically declared affiliation with any party, but my perception was that he was conservative). So I had some pre-conceived notions about the advice he would give (this episode combined interview clips from two decades ago and a speech given to some young adults, also at that time), but he crushed any bias I may have had. He must have been an inspiring leader to follow, as he was willing to speak of military efforts that could have gone better while at the same time demonstrating a tremendous dedication to our country. (49 minutes)
Carruth, Chapter 1: Rae and Cherica (10/16/18) *First Appearance on Delicious Ingredients*: What it’s about: “Cherica Adams, a former model and dancer from Charlotte, meets NFL player Rae Carruth at a party. Carruth, a Sacramento native, has looks and a magnetic charm. Soon Cherica is pregnant—but the trail of women in Carruth’s past suggest the Carolina Panthers first-round draft pick is struggling with adult responsibility in the face of adulation lavished upon a star athlete. ” Why it’s great: This is a terrific, compelling story of a man who made some terrible life decisions that impacted many others’ lives, resulting in one death and a baby born with cerebral palsy who is thriving today as a teenager. I am planning to write this one up, so I won’t give a lot away, but this is an excellent binge listen that is about true crime (a negative for some and a positive for others) but is also about a mother and grandmother’s dedication, forgiveness, and drive to continue on after the death of her daughter. (28 minutes)
Hidden Brain: Red Brain, Blue Brain (10/8/18): What it’s about: “When most of us think about how we came to our political views, we often give a straightforward answer. We believe our stances on taxes, immigration or national security are shaped by those around us — our friends, parents, teachers. We assume our life experiences are the root of our political ideologies. But what if there is something deeper in us that drives the music we listen to, the food we eat — even the politicians that we elect? This week, we explore the role of biology in shaping our political identities.” Why it’s great: Pretty interesting research – I don’t want to say too much about the content because I think it’s more valuable to listen to this one and personally reflect. (26 minutes)
Someone Knows Something, S5 Episode 2: Dead End (10/16/18): What it’s about: “David speaks with the woman who discovered Kerrie’s body to learn about the crime scene and meets with the police officer currently in charge of Kerrie’s case.” Why it’s great: You guys already know I love SKS, so I’m thrilled it’s back for another season. Once again, David Ridgen bring the listener right to the Canadian town where a crime has remained unsolved for decades. You can feel the chilly air, the boggy ground, almost hear the squelch of the mud where someone left a footprint and tire tracks next to where Kerrie Brown was found murdered in 1986. (71 minutes)
Read my 5-star review of season one of Someone Knows Something here! (June 2016)
Varmints!, Episode 101: Scorpions (10/17/18): What it’s about: “This week on Varmints! Podcast, join Paul and Donna for a discussion of those skittery little weirdos, scorpions!” Why it’s great: 1) I didn’t know that scorpions were arachnids, and I think that’s still really weird now that I know it. 2) The pop culture references to scorpions are awesome. 3) Donna’s German accent while talking about the band The Scorpions is hi-freakin-larious. It has made me smile all day! (42 minutes)
Scene on Radio, MEN Part 8: American Made (10/17/18): What it’s about: “American history—law, economics, culture—has built different notions of masculinity (and femininity) for people of varying races and ethnicities. A trip through a century of pop culture and the stereotyped images that white supremacy has manufactured and attached to Asian and African American men.” Why it’s great: So much goodness in this episode about “toxic masculinity.” The discussion of themes of black masculinity in the movie Black Panther was phenomenal – could I love that movie any more? No. I paid attention to what was right in front of my face when I was watching the movie, that the feminist badass characters were so prominent and it was a matter of fact that Wakanda was mostly a meritocracy not based on gender (other than that whole son defaulting to becoming the king thing – but I guess T’Challa was older than Shuri). Now I want to watch it again and pay attention to the subtext of Wakandan men being able to talk about their feelings, deferring to women sometimes, and simply not exhibiting what we think of as overt masculinity. They’re redefining it in the movie. Of course the thread about Asian men in this episode was also excellent – I knew Marge Gunderson’s interaction with the character Mike Yanagita in the Coen brothers’ film Fargo was a weird interlude that had nothing to do with the story, but what Scene on Radio made me realize was it was an opportunity to take a cheap shot at Asian men and perceived lack of masculinity for no reason. (40 minutes)
Read my 4-star review of Scene on Radio here! (April 2017)
Other Men Need Help: Fancy Pants (10/17/18): What it’s about: “After years of hiding behind clothes, Mark seeks out one of the leading authorities on dandyism to ask for some pants and to share some secrets.” Why it’s great: Second week in a row on the list for Other Men Need Help – great episode about clothes and why the intimacy invoked by talking about how you look is uncomfortable for men. If you like Scene on Radio’s current season on men, you’ll enjoy this slightly lighter take on what’s wrong with masculinity from a guy trying to find the right lane. (40 minutes)
The Sporkful: The Jell-O Curse
Last Seen, Episode 5: The Bobbys
Unladylike, Episode 26: How to Ruffle Feathers
Invisibilia: BONUS: Who Do You Let In?
Criminal, Episode 101: The Fox
The Memory Palace, Episode 133: Antidisestablishmentarianism
30 For 30 Podcast: Juiced
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. I’m also on Instagram at @audiblefeast.