I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 17-25 December 2019

annear_nothing_on_TVNothing on TV I’ve just started listening to Robyn Annear’s podcast series ‘Nothing on TV’. It’s great. Annear is a Victorian historian, whose book Bearbrass largely sparked my interest in Melbourne, and she is wry, funny, and quirky. As is this podcast. She draws on the marvellous resources of the online Trove database to chase down odd events, and researches them further. In Episode 1 Enter the Elephant, she takes the story of a tragic drowning of a young boy in Cremorne in 1854 whose body was finally recovered by the elephant at Cremorne Gardens nearby- or was it? She then goes on to a discussion of elephants in 1850s Australia and the phenomenon of the Pleasure Garden. All accompanied by the pop of a champagne cork, and a lovely, broad Australian accent.

RevolutionsPodcast. Well, the revolutionary ‘People’s Will’  assassinated Csar Alexander II in 1881, hoping that it would launch the revolution but it didn’t. All it did was unleash another wave of repression. But by the late 1890s, the stars were aligning for the socialists again. In Episode 10.21 The Socialist Revolutionaries, Mike Duncan identifies four different groups who come under the ‘Socialist Revolutionary’ umbrella, although it’s almost Monty Pythonesque “Peoples Front of Judea” overtones. He talks about Catherine Breshkovsky – what a fascinating life! I wish I could find a biography of her.

In Our Time (BBC) I always thought that the Rapture was an American Evangelical thing, but it originated with Irish Anglican minister John Nelson Darby, who was influential amongst the Plymouth Brethren in England in 1832 and founded the Exclusive Brethren in 1848. He travelled and preached in America, where his ideas about pre-tribulation rapture theory was embraced (i.e. that God would take up the elect and whisk them up to heaven, away from the seven years of tribulation which will end when Jesus returns, ushering in 1000 years of Gods reign on earth). In this program, The Rapture, Melvyn Bragg discusses the Rapture, and its political and theological consequences.  Perhaps not for everyone – it gets pretty hard going theologically, although the second half is more interesting.

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