The homework for the episode:
Pete: The Fifth Elephant, 1999 novel by Terry Pratchett (part of the Discworld series
Martha: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, 2014 film directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and starring Chris Evans
Cory: Gone Home, 2013 PC game available on STEAM
Commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, Sam Vimes, finds himself in over his head when he travels to Uberwald on a diplomatic mission. Amongst his cohort are a dwarf, a werewolf, and a troll who used to call the cold nation home.
Steve Rogers misses the 1940s. Also he and other vets find solace in each other, until he finds out a missing piece of his past is still running around killing folk in the modern era. SHIELD is there also, but they’re terrible.
A girl comes home from a trip abroad to find her family missing. Over the course of discovering what happens, she learns a whole lot of new things about her sister, her family, and the secrets that they keep.
Home is a construct, but is it one we build, or is it built despite ourselves? We get a chance to play with a new media format, welcome a new guest, and figure out what home means to us in today’s episode.
Your podcasters’ credentials:
Pete: NPR First Listen Live: The National, “Sleep Well Beast”
Martha: Crash Override by Zoe Quinn
Cory: In Defense of Food: PBS Documentary by Michael Pollan
Martha may be the only one who didn’t know NPR played music. She’s also here to stand on a soapbox for Zoe Quinn and women on the internet, and don’t you even start with that “every story has two sides” thing. (Wikipedia has a pretty good dissection of the whole GamerGate debacle, I recommend it as a starting point. Read it here.) Cory and Martha get excited about Michael Pollan, and overall we’re all having a pretty good time ingesting pop culture. Go us.
You Can’t Go Home Again (…or can you?)
- How do we define the act of “going home”?
- What is home for our various characters? How does this change through the course of the narrative?
- How do characters react to returning “home”?
- What causes the inability to return “home”––is it us who change, or home, or both?
“Home” is a nebulous concept that is, by its nature, constantly redefined. We attempt to make sense of what it means to our main characters, and in the process get to talk about format and world building a whole lot. Home is pretty deeply tied to identity for all of our main characters, so we end up looping a little bit back to our very first topic for the show as we explore the struggle to define oneself by an idea that is constantly shifting.
I’m gonna be honest with y’all – I really want you to listen to this episode, so I don’t have a lot of show notes to give you! Here is a link to a YouTube playthrough of Gone Home in case you were not able to play it yourself.
Also, the song Martha poorly articulates is the Dionne Warwick “A House is Not A Home.” It featured in the 1964 film of the same name, starring Shelley Winters and Robert Taylor. Martha knows it because Kurt sang it on Glee once.
On September 13, we’re talking about Ambition with special guest and fan of the show Lizzie Buehler. Your homework for next episode:
Pete: The soundtrack to a little 2016 musical Hamilton, you may have heard of it
Martha: Glee episodes 1.01 (Pilot) and 3.22 (Goodbye)
Lizzie: There Will Be Blood
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