Welcome to Week 5. It’s been trying to comb through audio about heavy events, but we think we’ve found some great perspectives. We’re working on some processes to streamline the discovery of audio, but wanted to give a shout out to the team at Audiosear.ch as they’ve become invaluable to our initial discovery. If you have any strategies for finding new shows or topical episodes, please reach out to us!
We’ll be brief in covering our topics this week. Sunday brought violent clashes over an unsanctioned independence vote in Catalonia, Spain, further highlighting nationaist divisions across the globe. Sunday night, America experienced one of its largest mass shootings in history, a record that seems to be getting broken regularly. On Monday night, rock and roll legend Tom Petty passed away. For our last topic, we cover Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose new book We Were Eight Years in Power came out on Tuesday.
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Across the globe we’ve seen electoral turmoil surrounding isolationist movements. Last weekend Catalonia was no different as Spanish federal riot police clashed with local law enforcement over an unsanctioned independence vote. Over 700 were injured and yet it seems the American media is largely skipping the story.
To understand global trends, it’s important to look at individual instances and tie them to a broader narrative. Monocle gave a great breakdown of the Catalonian independence movement over a year ago, Yascha Mounk examines the decline of liberal democracy, and Yuval Noah Harari warns of the divide between Nationalism and Globalism.
Monocle — The Foreign Desk
We stumbled upon Monocle and their suite of podcasts in researching this topic, and almost used three different shows from them. I settled on a brief explainer from The Foreign Desk, but would highly recommend exploring their shows. One year ago, they laid out what was happening with the Catalonian separatist movement. [6:23]
Slate — The Good Fight
Yascha Mounk, Lecturer on Political Theory at Harvard, began The Good Fight podcast with Slate to discuss authoritarian populism and what we can do about it. This episode addresses the rise of dictators and similarities between the far-left and far-right across the globe. [36:29]
TED Talks Daily
We found this last podcast on Radio Public, but couldn’t find the canonical, so we’re linking to the video. To take the broadest view of how the events in Catalonia and Mounk’s observations about populism, we found this talk by Yuval Harari. It’s an interesting debate on how technology, climate, and media are effecting our divisions. [1:00:20]
Guns in America#
There’s not much we feel we can say about Sunday night’s mass shooting in Vegas that hasn’t already been said. Gun violence in the US is a known problem, not only in mass homicide but also suicide and domestic assault. This week, we just wanted to find voices of other people talking about the issue.
Regardless of your politics, it’s an appropriate time to reflect. We go to WNYC’s On The Media for a reflection on how the debate has been covered previously, The New Yorker for an interview with an extreme gun enthusiast, and Call Your Girlfriend, an unconventional podcast for firearms debate, to hear close friends reflect on the problem of gun violence in the US.
WNYC — On The Media
As regular listeners to On The Media we’ve found their perspective to often times be impartial yet critical. In understanding the gun debate and why we seem to never make progress they don’t disappoint. Last summer, after Democrats staged a sit-in over gun regulation, On The Media put together a detailed look at why it would ultimately be ineffective. [53:08]
The New Yorker — Politics and More
In the search for diverse perspectives on gun ownership, we came across this New Yorker conversation from last year. Evan Osnos joined the NRA at 11 and has been involved with firearms ever since. One of the best takeaways from this interview is how the NRA has evolved since its inception. [22:20]
Call Your Girlfriend
Call Your Girlfriend isn’t where we thought we’d end up. Typically billed as wine-filled banter, these two friends have a sobering conversation with gun owners, gun reform advocated, and the mother whose son was shot and killed. Even as an undeniably progressive podcast, the hosts do a wonderful job with this divisive subject. [1:03:42]
Goodbye Tom Petty#
Monday brought more sad news with the passing of rock icon Tom Petty. He spanned the music industry for over 40 years, and — like many of his peers — witnessed the music industry’s fundamental shift, away from record sales to streaming.
In dealing with the passing of cultural icons, we’ve found it helpful to hear their perspectives and remember their contributions. For your weekend, we found an interview between Petty and Rolling Stone about his latest tour, a conversation with a Petty biographer, and a decade old conversation with Terry Gross, the queen of interviews.
Rolling Stones Music Now
In one of the last interview we could find with Tom Petty, Rolling Stone checks in before he and the Heartbreakers head out on tour. Tom sounds hopeful and excited for his 40-something-th year of performing. It’s an honest — mildly meandering — interview, but for fans of Petty, it will go quickly. [47:16]
Tom Petty wasn’t an obvious star coming out of Gainesville, and the story of how he became one is interesting. In a conversation with Warren Zanes, Freakonomics Radio takes a look at what makes or breaks a rock band and how Tom Petty navigated the music industy for over 40 years. [45:28]
NPR — Fresh Air
Few people can interview as well as Terry Gross. In a closing rememberance of Tom Petty’s music, we look back at their conversation 11 years ago, the 30th anniversary of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. [38:48]
Race relations have been especially in focus lately with events like White Supremacist rallies and political dismissal of protest over the disproportional killing of young black men. If you haven’t heard of Ta-Nehisi Coates, he’s one of the most powerful voices addressing America’s race divide.
Ta-Nehisi was on Colbert this past week offering sobering critiques of our current political climate and we felt it prescient to surface some interviews with this brilliant man. Listen to him talk about his life, his response to Charlottesville, and — unbeknownst to us — his experience writing the new Black Panther comics.
New Yorker — Out Loud
Two years ago, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote about reparations for The Atlantic. To provide context about the author, David Remnick interviewed him about his life and career. This is the shortest, most accessible conversation we could find with Ta-Nehisi, but in searching for podcasts with him, we’ve learned to stop and listen whenever he talks. [31:16]
In his new book, We Were Eight Years in Power, Coates writes about the past eight years of his career — his pursuit of an understanding of America, and his route to becoming a celebrated author. In this podcast, other Atlantic staff conducted three separate interviews about three different periods of his life. [1:24:04]
Women of Marvel
We also wanted to shed light on something new we learned about Ta-Nehisi — he’s the author of new and different Black Panther comics. While we probably won’t be listening to Women of Marvel often because it’s a bit outside our wheelhouse, this conversation was fascinating not only because of the subject matter, but also because of the voices on it. It was a reminder of how open podcasting can be for the less-heard. [47:32]
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