I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 9-16 April 2020

Heather Cox Richardson. Really people – this is must listen stuff. She does two video casts a week: on Tuesday about current affairs, and on Thursday about American history. In the episode on Tuesday 7th (I think) which is about current events,  she discusses the Wisconsin debacle and previous attempts to disfranchise (which is a word, apparently) voters then she moves on to gerrymandering… and even little ol’ Australia gets a mention. She picks up on that strange comment by Jared Kushner that the masks and PPE belonged to ‘us’ (i.e. the federal government). Who is ‘us’? Very discursive and wide-ranging, but she really brings a historian’s eye to current events. Her Thursday 9 April history podcast looks at the west coast, and the way that there was a strong push by the oligarchs of the slave states to replicate a slave-based economy in the West as well. There’s a bit of myth busting here about the Alamo (I never did get Davy Crockett and all that stuff, fodder of black-and-white afternoon movie fare).  You can access her videos through her Facebook site https://www.facebook.com/heathercoxrichardson/

The Documentary (BBC) I’m always quite interested to learn what other people think of Melbourne.  In ‘Melbourne: The Sounds of the City‘, Peter White, blind since birth, negotiates Melbourne’s tourist highlights – MCG, St Kilda etc.

The Eleventh (ABC). In Episode 5, Deadlock,  Elizabeth Reid, Whitlam’s advisor on women, tries to convey a warning from artist Clifton Pugh, that Governor General John Kerr was on the move. The Khemlani loans affair just goes on and on, and Malcolm Fraser starts playing hardball.

Revolutions Podcast  Back with Mike Duncan for the Russian Revolution up to 1905. (He’s taking a six month break, then returning in October to take the Revolution up to the early 1920s).  In Episode 10.28 The Spark  Lenin and his wife Nadia Krupskaya returned from a relatively easy exile in Siberia. Lenin moved first to Germany, then after Nadia’s release, they moved to London where they established the marxist newspaper Iskra (The Spark). In Episode 10.29 Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, the second conference of the Russian Social and Democratic Labour Party was held in 1903, also in London after being disrupted by police attention in Brussels. Duncan here argues that the famous split between Bolshevik/Menshevik was a question of whether the party was to remain a fist, or more of an open hand encouraging a wider membership. He also suggests that it was a highly personalized split. Lots of lessons for any organization, actually.

Strong Songs  Oooh! A new discovery (courtesy of Looks 10 Chats 3 which I drowsed through while enduring a migraine)!  This is a fantastic series where Kirk Hamilton takes a song and pulls it apart, showing why it works. I started from the beginning, with Episode 1 Toto’s “Africa”, created when he didn’t even know if there would be an episode 2. He obviously decided that there would be because there is an Episode 2 You Can Call Me Al, looking at the Paul Simon song from the Gracelands album. You’ll hear the song with different ears afterwards.  Really, really good.

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