Category Archives: Podcasts

I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 30 Nov- 6 December 2018

Rear Vision It’s the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday agreement in North Ireland, but I was more attracted to these podcasts, broadcast earlier this year, in relation to Brexit and the fears of a ‘hard border’ in Ireland again. It’s a two-part series, with Part I looking at The Troubles and Part II looking at the agreement. It’s really good to revisit the history of the Troubles brought right up to date. I didn’t realize how fragile the ‘peace’ is.

Another Rear Vision episode that I’ve had saved for a while is Red Marauder: A History of Drought in Australia. An interesting idea: that drought only really entered settler consciousness after the Selection Acts of the 1860s and 1870s that made it possible for small-scale farming, rather than earlier when squatters could just move their flocks and herds if one area became dry. An interesting review of drought policy over the last 30 years, too, and the way that really good policy was unstitched to return us to ad-hoc drought relief again.

Russia, if you’re listening. This episode is called “Why are news networks calling Paul Manafort an idiot?” but it also goes on to talk about Russia and the naval standoff with Ukraine. And interesting to go back to the Felix Sater episode, now that he’s popping up in the news again.

Revolutionspodcast. Episode 9.13 The Plan of Ayala. Francisco Madero decides to rile up his old friends, including Emiliano Zapata who issues the Plan of Ayala, a blue-print for third-world agrarian revolutions everywhere.

Duolingo Podcasts. These really are good. La voz de la calle is about a man in Buenos Aries who had fallen from a job, his own home and family into homelessness in the Argentinian economic crisis of 1999. My Spanish teachers had mentioned the Argentinian pronunciation of words with double-L, and it’s certainly apparent here.

 

 

 

I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 22-29 November 2018

Revolutionspodcast.com continues with the history of the Mexican Revolution. In Episode 9.11 Not Quite President Madero, Francisco Madero has seen off Porfirio Diaz, but he hasn’t yet been elected in his own right. He thought that it would be a shoo-in, but all of a sudden all these other contenders come out of the woodwork. And (spoiler alert!) after finally being elected, in episode 9.12 No Peace, he finds that incumbency doesn’t necessarily mean that your problems are over.

BBC Outlook has some interesting true stories, often (but not always) related to crime. In The Fraud and the Missing Boy, a private investigator has his suspicions when missing American schoolboy re-appears after three years. His family is overjoyed…but is this really a happy ending?

The History Hour.  A one-hour program contains about four stories of events from history, told from an eyewitness perspective. Vera Brittain: Anti-Bombing Campaigner has five very different stories.  Vera Brittain wrote Testament of Youth, her autobiographical account of World War I. But this is about World War II, when she spoke out against the saturation bombing of Germany. There’s also a segment on the Omagh bombing in Ireland in 1998, the biggest single atrocity in the Troubles, killing 29 and injuring some 220. It also looks at the arrival of television in South Africa in the 1970s, going straight to colour,  the African-American photographer whose coverage of Martin Luther King’s funeral won him a Pulitzer Prize, and the invention of the instant noodle.

WWI: Britain’s Conscientious Objectors examines the treatment of Britain’s First World War conscientious objectors. It also revisits the nuclear weapons inspections in Iran, the CIA’s first coup in Latin America in Guatamala in 1954 from the point of view of the son of deposed president Jacobo Arbenz Guzman, what happened to Eastern Europe’s dancing bears, and the culling in Wales of a sacred bull.

Rough Translations This American program produced by NPR looks at an American issue from the perspective of somewhere else in the world. But this time is really IS about translation, because the episode The Apology Broker looks at the concept of “sorry” and the way that it is interpreted in different languages.  Japanese has many gradations of “sorry” and they came into focus when a Japanese woman living in America orchestrated an apology from the Mitsubishi company to one of the few living POWs who were sent to Mitsubishi as slave labour during WW2. It’s a really good episode.

 

 

 

I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 14- 21 November 2015

Background Briefing (ABC)  Progressives here in Australia feared for the effects on the availability of abortion after Brett Kavanagh’s ascension to the Supreme Court. But we shouldn’t be too smug about the provision of abortion here in Australia. At the time of this recording, abortion was still illegal in Queensland under a 119 year old law (it has since changed), and the provision of late term abortion is very difficult to access. This podcast looks at the Marie Stopes provider in Maroondah, known as The Clinic of Last Resort for women all over Australia seeking a late surgical abortion.

Rear Vision (ABC) In celebration of Armistice Day, Rear Vision put out an excellent episode The Centenary of Armistice: Australia and World War I. There’s been so much about WWI and this encapsulates Australia’s war both overseas and domestically in just half an hour. Features Robert Bollard, Rae Francis from ANU and Meleah Hampton from AWM. So if you want to listen to just one podcast about the war- this could be it!

I recently read Laura Spinney’s book on the influenza epidemic and I saved Rear Vision’s The Influenza Pandemic of 1918-19.  The broadcast is actually from 2009, and it draws quite heavily on Geoffrey Rice’s book ‘Black November: The 1918 Influenza Pandemic in New Zealand’.

History Today And other podcast about the influenza epidemic, this time from History Today. The Spanish Flu pandemic features author Catharine Arnold, whose book Pandemic 1918: The Story of the Deadliest Influenza in History takes a more biographical approach to the spread of disease, particularly in Britain

Revolutions PodcastEpisode 9.10 Chickens Coming Home to Roost is a bit of a stop-and-take-a-look-back type of episode. The presenter Mike Duncan was on a book tour so in  his absence,  he reads an essay that he wrote in grad school on the fall of the Porfirio Diaz’s long regime. I enjoyed this episode because, when you’re listening to something as elongated as this, you wonder if you have forgotten important things along the way. It’s reassuring to find that I haven’t.

I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 6 -13 November 2018

Well, the mid-term elections are done and dusted, Jeff Sessions has been ordered to let himself out the door- what does it all mean? There’s a new Trumpdate episode of Russia If You’re Listening.

News in Slow Spanish Latino Episode #282

99%Invisible Episode 326 Welcome to Jurassic Art has a podcast about the depiction of dinosaurs and how it has changed as artists have been liberated to draw from analogy and imagination. I’ve often been amused looking a sketches of a dinosaur that show the one little tiny bone that has been discovered.

Big Ideas. Kirsten McKenzie is one of the historians who influenced me most when I wrote my thesis on Judge Willis (see my review of A Swindler’s Progress which she released in 2009 ). In this podcast A scandalous empire she talks about colonial scandals – Viscount Lascelles in NSW and Chief Justice Wylde in the Cape Colony- and what they tell us about respectability and anxiety, and the bringing of social change. It’s a lecture recorded on 4 October 2018 at UWA Institute of Advanced Studies. The recording has not been kind: it’s rather shrill, (says she who is very self-conscious about her own voice) but the content is excellent.

Conversations.  Everybody’s favourite interviewer Richard Fidler talks with David Marr, who is so witty, arch and caustic. A rather more tentative and emotional interview subject is Louisa Deasey who talks about how she completely re-evaluated her view of her long-deceased father when she received a Facebook message from a stranger about a cache of letters a French family had found amongst their grandmother’s possessions. The episode Discovering a father’s secret life in France ties in with Deasey’s book A Letter from Paris. The interviewer Sarah Kanowski sure has to work hard to get this story out of a very nervous interviewee.

I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 30 Oct – 5 November 2018

History Hour (BBC) I don’t know why it took me so long to find this program. The episode from April 29 2017 is a cracker: the campaign beginning in 1977 by the mothers of children who disappeared during the military dictatorship in Argentina who are now known as the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, Bulgaria’s attempt to crush Turkish language and culture. and a gruelling interview with a woman who survived Bosnia’s rape camps. I also listened to a recent one about when Russia’s richest man was jailed, which had a good section on the discovery of oil in Nigeria.

Conversations (ABC). Richard Fidler is such a good interviewer. I listened to him interviewing Leigh Sales about her new book Any Ordinary Day. And in Inside the Family: the bizarre and brutal Australian cult, from a writers festival somewhere Richard interviews the authors of a documentary and book on Ann Hamilton-Byrne’s cult up in the Dandenongs, where children were adopted under very questionable circumstances (originally broadcast in 2017)

Earshot (ABC) The Conquistador, the Walpiri and the Dog Whisperer is about two Chilean women, from different sides of Chilean politics who ended up working in Central Australia managing Warlukurlangu Art Centre in the desert community of Yuendemu. I have conflicted feelings about the industrializing and commercializing of traditional art, and feel even more conflicted after listening to this.

But Robert Manne’s Voice is absolutely, completely wonderful. Robert Manne is an Australian public intellectual who has spanned the political range from left wing to right wing and back again. He has recently had surgery for throat cancer, which means that this man, who continues to speak out about climate change and refugees, now speaks only in a whisper. Even if you don’t know who Robert Manne is, listen to this. It’s really good.

History Hour (ABC) For Armistice Day, there’s an interesting podcast about the tradition of the ‘minute’s silence’,  suggested by an Australian soldier who enlisted from England. He originally planned for five minutes silence until they realized how l-o-n-g five minutes of silence was.

Duolingo. Episode 13 Refugiados. An interesting episode about a political refugee from Uraguay during the military dictatorship during the 1970. A mixture of English and slowly-spoken Spanish. There’s a transcript on the webpage.

I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 22 October-29 October

Revolutions podcast. Episode 9.09 The Tiger.  At last! Francisco Madero finally does something, Portfirio Diaz finally retires (after promising to do so thirty-odd years earlier) and we finally bring all the gang together by introducing Pancho Villa, whom I vaguely remember from History I back at La Trobe in 1974.

Articles of Interest. Episode 1 Kids’ Clothes introduces the concept of this podcast series about fashion and clothing and then goes on to explore the design restrictions on children’s clothing, especially for an adult of small stature who has to shop in the children’s wear department. Episode 2: Plaid looks at tartan, its history and its use as identity marker from Highlanders to the gay community. It starts with a woman with such a bad case of vocal fry that she sounds like she’ll just combust, or croak away into silence.

The Horror of Delores Roach I listened to Episode 2 You Know He Lives Underground, Right? I’m not really sure about this one. It’s pretty grimy and it has a lot of swearing. Even I am finding it gratuitous.

News in Slow Spanish Latino Episode #280

BBC History Hour This is a weekly broadcast that has about four stories in a 50 minute episode. Although there might be a contemporary event or publication that has prompted the segment, the podcasts themselves don’t date. I listened to an episode from 23 Dec 2017 about the filming of To Kill a Mockingbird and a fascinating one from May 6 2018 where Margaret Thatcher’s personal secretary, a left-leaning public servant, spoke about her ambivalent relationship with her. It also had a segment on the Childrens’ Crusade during the early 1960s civil rights movement, and the striking changes to the way Shakespeare is interpreted brought about the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Russia If You´re Listening (ABC) The series has officially finished, but Matt Bevan sometimes releases ‘Trumpdates’ if something has arisen worth discussing. In this podcast he is talking with Leon Neyfakh the host of the podcast ‘Slow Burn’ which examined Watergate in its first season, and White Water/Monica Lewinsky in its second season. Here they discuss Trump’s Russian travails against these earlier scandals. Couldn’t find the episode on the ABC website, so you might have to go to your ABC Listen app.

Rear Vision (ABC). This was an interesting podcast about Megacities, comparing the past and future of megacities in the global north and south.

 

I hear with my little ear: 15 Oct -21 Oct 2018

Background Briefing: Haircuts and Hate: the rise of Australia’s alt-right. An excellent program. If you thought Pauline Hanson’s little ‘It’s OK to be white’ foray was harmless, listen to this and think again.

Articles of Interest is a podcast about fashion, which doesn’t really sound like me at all, but it’s fascinating.  Episode #3 is about pockets and why women don’t have them when men do (it was estimated that a suit had 24 pockets during the 1940s!!!)  Episode #6 is about Punk fashion, focussing particularly on Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren. I never really ‘got’ what punk was about, but I think I have a bit more of an idea now.

Revolutions Podcast continues with the Mexican Revolution. Episode 9.08 The Plan of San Luis. Portfirio Diaz won the 1910 election by imprisoning the opposition, an old trick. But the opposition leader, Madero, who went to the US after being released from jail, cooked up the Plan of San Luis, which planned for uprisings  all over Mexico as the results of the election were declared invalid. But Diaz got wind of it, arrested the ringleaders and the city uprisings didn’t happen at all. The day was saved by rural rebels, including those led by Pascual Orozco.

Duo Lingo Podcast. Episode 12 Sin verguenza. A woman is determined to expunge every bit of her Peruvian background from her language and identity, only to find that she is seen as a ‘gringa’. She finally can accept her Peruvian identity “without embarrassment”. Dual English and Spanish.

99% Invisible. Episode 325 The Worst Way to Start a City. A fascinating history of the chaotic settler invasion of Oklahoma City on one day in 1889 when they declared the area ‘open’ at 12.00 noon and ‘boomers’ and ‘sooners’ scrambled to claim their spot. Really interesting in comparison with how the ‘unoccupied’ land of Port Phillip was opened up.

In Our Time Frederick Douglass, accompanied by a recent article in the New Yorker on 15 October 2018. But really, sometimes Melvyn Bragg really annoys me, like when he asks the only male on a panel of three about the links between the women’s movement in the 1840s and Frederick Douglass. Sheesh!

The Horror of Delores Roach. Episode 1: All the Gory Details This is made by the same company that produced ‘Sandra’. I generally listen to non-fiction on podcasts, but fiction works really well too. A woman is released from prison after 16 years and returns to her old apartment to find that her former boyfriend and the drug money they had secreted away have both long gone. She’s taken in by Luis, the owner of a empenada joint. I’m hooked!