I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 16-23 February 2020

Shaping Opinion. A long and rather verbose episode about the rise of conservative AM radio in the United States in The Rise of Rush Limbaugh & Conservative Talk Radio .The interviewee, Brian Rosenwald has written a book “Talk Radio’s America: how an industry took over a political party that took over the United States.”. He emphasizes that radio is an industry first up, and that when the AM band was threatened by the superior quality of FM radio, it moved to conversation and talkback because it still sounded alright. The repeal of the Federal Communications Commissions’ Fairness Doctrine meant that radio stations didn’t have to provide ‘balance’ anymore, and conservative radio rated well : better than liberal programs. Liberal programs tended to have  a different sense of humour to conservative programs, and a liberal listenership was more likely to listen to podcasts etc.  This program was recorded after news had broken that Rush Limbaugh is dying of cancer, so they pull their punches a bit.

99% Invisible.   I never liked the song “Who Let the Dogs Out” and even hearing about it’s convoluted history doesn’t make me like it any better. Whomst Amongst Us Let the Dogs Out looks for the very first version of the song, tracing through the various people who have sung it, or something like it, for a range of purposes: as a feminist song (!)  a rap song and a High School football chant. Doesn’t mean that I like the song any better though.

Rear Vision (ABC) From October 2019, Franco’s body- the politics of the Spanish dictator’s remainsexamines the exhumation of Franco’s body from the mausoleum at the Valley of the Fallen, a state memorial to those who fell in the Spanish Civil War. Many felt that it was inappropriate that Franco be interred there, and it was a policy of the Socialist Party and the matter spent many years in the courts. This podcast gives a good precís of the Spanish Civil War, and the issue of reconciliation (which is an ongoing and prickly question, still)

And from August 2019 How history can help shape the debate about an indigenous voice to Parliament probably doesn’t mean to be depressing, but it is. What a litany of false starts and broken promises.

Background Briefing (ABC) From 22 September 2019 Who is burning sacred objects in the outback has a surprising answer.  It’s indigenous people themselves, spurred on by a new wave of Pentecostal churches, some of which feature ‘pastors’ from Zimbabwe or Tonga.  Adds a whole new, disturbing layer to missionary zeal.

Soul Search (ABC) And while we’re on about Pentecostals, Soul Search has a program Pentecostalism in Australia.  Our Scotty is one of 650 million Pentecostals world wide- a number that is growing. Apparently the average Christian today is a 27 year old Brazilian Pentecostal woman. The program has interviews with Prof Mark Hutchinson from Alphacrusis College, a Pentecostal Theological College; Tanya Riches a life-long Hillside attendee and ‘lecturer in theology’ at Hillsong College and indigenous pastor William Dumas from Tweed Heads. Lots of Holy Spirit language here, and not much critical thinking.

Shooting the Past. The picture under discussion this time is of two ladies, looking as if they’ve just come from a CWA meeting or church, standing beside a mallee root still attached to the ground.  An other-worldly thing, the still-attached mallee root bears testimony to how much topsoil has been lost on this Mallee farm. Katie Holmes from La Trobe is one of the historians consulted- I have her (and others) book on the Mallee sitting here, waiting to go.  Flo and Bena and the Mallee Root gives an interesting potted history of land use in the Mallee.

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