Childhood’s End

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Giant spaceships appear in the sky and hover over major cities across the globe! Soon they start wiping out cities and hunting down the beleaguered survivors… or am I getting Childhood’s End confused with “Independence Day?” Turns out that these aliens want to bring unprecedented peace and virtual utopia to the people of Earth. But at what cost? This week, we get away from dystopia and examine utopia. Is it realistic? Is the cost too high? We discuss these issues, along with our usual hot buttoned topical pals, feminism and religion. And for good measure, we throw in a discussion of race because nothing makes people feel more comfortable than a discussion about racial issues. Our new recording studio (aka our “new” recording “studio”) is refreshingly free of sirens, barking dogs, and leafblower engines, but does neighbor a bird who badly wants to be a guest on the podcast.

The music this week is “The Darkest Day” from David Arnold’s soundtrack for “Independence Day,” because that joke really needed to come full circle.

08 – Childhood’s End – Most Depressing Utopia Ever

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A Handmaid’s Tale

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Welcome back, book lovers! This week’s episode features A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, a dystopian future where women are second class citizens. The conversation is a little longer and darker than average as we take turns atop the feminist soapbox. We also attempt to offend the whole world by discussing religion and motherhood. Our high standards of broadcast quality are maintained as a landscaper starts his leafblower and leaves it sitting outside the window. Prepare to be slightly depressed and more than slightly outraged as we explore yet another dystopian future.

The music this week is Rockapella’s arrangement of “Amazing Grace,” because: 1) Rockapella is awesome, 2) Amazing Grace appears in the book, and 3) we find it difficult to take even twenty seconds of Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel.”

A quick administrative note: If you are reading along at home, there is now a schedule link at the top of the page so you can follow us more easily.

07 – A Handmaid’s Tale – Feminism Gets Boned

A Wrinkle in Time

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This week we talked about Madeline L’Engle’s classic YA fantasy novel A Wrinkle in Time. We got a little carried away this week and forgot to leave our spoiler policy on air, so know that we will spoileverything. If you’re the sort of person who is bothered by this, you might want to go read the book before you click on the link. For those of you brave, stubborn, or just plain different enough to continue, join us as we trip balls with the Murry family and friends. Hear what local ambient noise thinks about the book as dogs, trucks, and leafblowers join the podcast through our very not soundproof studio walls.

The music bump this week is “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News because that is the one thing humans have that IT doesn’t.

06 – A Wrinkle in Time – Tessering Balls

Dracula

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Vampires are hot right now. Sexy, sexy vampires. So this week we decided to talk about Bram Stoker’s Dracula. We’re kicking it old school with the Count and his band of noble adversaries. Check out the podcast where we discuss the diverse and interesting cast of the book, sexism, and a very interesting modern screen adaptation of this frequently movie-ized classic. So strap on your man-brain and prepare to find out how much Dracula sucks. Blood, that is.

This week’s musical selection is “Sortie (Le Vent De l’Espirit)” by the great Olivier Messiaen. It’s a tad anachronistic, but what self respecting, centuries old, avatar of evil doesn’t want some creepy organ music in the background?

05 – Dracula – Man Brain Fever

The Giver

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Do you see things in black and white or do you see shades of gray? Or both. Literally. If you live in the world of The Giver, by Lois Lowry, then you do. Unless you are one of the lucky (Possibly unlucky?) blue-eyed minority who can see beyond. This week’s podcast is a colorful discussion of the world of sameness, brought to you by insightful blue-eyed siblings who have a strangely hard time keeping memories of a book they just finished reading. The professional quality of the broadcast is quite evident this week with special guest appearances from sirens, motorcycles, and the neighbor’s dog.

The music bump this week is “Hey Nineteen” by Steely Dan. If you read the book closely enough, the joke will be apparent. If you have no idea what that means, drop a comment.

04 – The Giver – You Have Been Released

Stranger in a Strange Land

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To yesterday we are learning about the man from Mars brightly, brightly and with beauty. When the cusp appears, we must grok it and act rightly. The result is this week’s episode, featuring Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, the science fiction classic where everyone learns how to be happy; mostly by having sex with all of their closest friends all the time. Join us as we explore the colorful cast, “Madmen” style sexism, and the idea of free love. We hope this helps you understand a deeper grokking of the book.

This week’s music bump is the “Mars” movement from Gustav Holst’s Symphony of the Planets. Because what else could possibly be more appropriate?

03 – Stranger in a Strange Land – Go Grok Yourself

Pride and Prejudice

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This week, we dispel the myth that Pride and Prejudice is chick lit and explain the humor behind it. Characters are judged based on their manners and on their actions. We pridefully assign labels to the cast, including, but not limited to: troll, twerp, idiot, buffoon, and shitbird. As far as you know, all of those words are taken directly from the text of the book. Could it be that you are being deceived on that last point? Listen to the podcast and find out.

This week’s music bump is Mozart’s Sonata No. 17 in B-flat, mvt III. It was chosen for period appropriateness (even if slightly less contemporary than Beethoven) and because every accomplished young lady is able to play the pianoforte.

02 – Pride and Prejudice – Idiots, Buffoons, and Catastrophic Proposals