Tag Archives: podcasts

Unpacking Hobo Codes: The Pictographic Language of Train-Hopping Nomads

“With the spread of American train networks in the late 1800s, more and more hobos … tried their luck on the rails… leaving their marks along the way, including visual symbols scrawled or etched as messages to fellow travelers.” [Kurt Kohlstedt] https://99percentinvisible.org/article/unpacking-hobo-codes-the-pictographic-language-of-train-hopping-nomads/

The Blacklist: The Trials of the Hollywood Ten

In 1947, ten “unfriendly” witnesses refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee about Communism in Hollywood. They believed the Constitution would protect them. http://www.youmustrememberthispodcast.com/episodes/blacklist-hollywood-ten

Slow Burn

I’ve been listening to season 2 of the Slow Burn podcast, which covers the impeachment of Bill Clinton.. It’s tough listening. Everybody involved in that conflict comes off as a shitheel.

Bill Clinton is a self-involved egotist, who can’t resist chasing skirt even when he knows his enemies are going to come after him for it.

The Republicans are lousy hypocrites. Half of them were having extramarital sex on the side even as they condemned that same behavior in Clinton. All of them are still around 20 years later and fawning over Trump, who has all of Clinton’s flaws and none of his virtues.

Ken Starr, in particular, is a sanctimonious prick, who has demonstrated willingness to cover up sex abuse scandal when it suits him to do so. Bill Bennett, who preached old-fashioned virtues, turned out to be a gambling addict.

Until literally a few weeks go, I saw Lewinsky as a victim and admired her public stance against bullying. But then she came out with a documentary about the Clinton affair. That was a few weeks ago, and when I saw it on the news I said enough already. Do something else with your life, Monica. Get famous for doing something else, or just stop talking in public and be a private person.

Monica was no child in 1998. She was in her early 20s. Old enough to make her own decisions, and suffer the consequences for them.

Lewinsky was loyal to the Clintons, and they repaid her loyalty by trashing her. Bill and Hillary are both guilty of that.

The Clintons were and are indeed targets of a “vast right wing conspiracy,” as Hillary Clinton says. But they feed that conspiracy by their paranoid, secretive ways.

Obama had a better approach – be transparent, and above reproach. Obama revealed himself a master of transparency during his first Presidential campaign when he wrote a memoir that said he was a heavy drug user in college, thus preventing his opponents from revealing this story themselves and putting their own spin on it. The punchline of that story is that the New York Times interviewed some of his former classmates and they said, nah, not that heavy. Barry did a little blow at parties now and then just to be social, and smoked a joint now and again, but he wasn’t heavily into the scene at all.

The only people who come off as admirable are a few Clinton staffers, all of them women, iirc. And they’re furious with Bill Clinton — here they are, working all hours and sacrificing their personal lives for a cause they believe in, and Bill Clinton is squandering all that for a frivolous sexual dalliance.

And by the way, I do believe that Bill Clinton didn’t inhale. He’s not trying to escape responsibility, he acknowledges having tried to smoke pot but said he was physically unable to do so. Part of the reason I believe the story is that I know another guy who did exactly the same thing.

This American Life: Stories of people in over their heads

Deep End of the Pool, This American Life: “Host Ira Glass talks to Aaryn Zhou. When she was nine, her father threw her into the deep end of pool to teach her to swim. In this classic sink-or-swim scenario, she sank.”

Also, a flamboyant Louisiana lawyer with no criminal law experience is ordered by the court to take on the defense of a man facing 20 years to life for burglary. How is this not a movie?