Posted in episodes

Episode 32: Vice

The homework for the episode:
Martha: Repo! The Genetic Opera, 2008 film directed by Darren Lynn Bousman
Pete: Neuromancer, 1984 novel by William Gibson
Pat: Rounders, 1998 film directed by John Dahl

In response to a global epidemic of organ failures, a genetic modification conglomerate starts financing replacement organs – and repossessing them when clients fail to pay. Also this fosters a cultural addiction to surgery and general anesthetic.

A career hacker gets a second chance when a wealthy client hires him to tackle an immensely powerful AI – who may also be double playing him at a much larger game.

A reformed gambler finds himself back in the game to bail out a friend – and discovers the gambling lifestyle may be too powerful to resist, despite his own personal obligations.

We continue our eternal cross-over with the more-popular-than-us podcast 40 Going On 14 by welcoming guest Pat Whaley to our show! He’s bringing real life experience to our discussion on Vice, but before we really get into that it’s time for…

Your podcasters’ credentials:

Pete: Janelle Monae’s new album Dirty Computer
Martha: Childish Gambino’s new music video for “This is America”
Pat: Parks & Recreation

For the first time both Martha AND Pete have music to talk about, although we digress much longer about “This is America” but DAMN, Donald Glover! Keep on keeping on. Martha starts a hot streak of segues here when we transition to waxing rhapsodic about Parks & Rec, and how inconceivable it is that someone might not have seen it before (that someone being another 40GO14 boy – look for him coming soon to our podcast!).

As always, we have some questions that are meant to loosely guide our discussion, although Martha gets pretty easily distracted by Pat’s stories about dealing poker in the real life version of Rounders. As to the question of Vice, we discuss:

  1. How are our characters driven by vice?
  2. What role is vice playing in these stories?
  3. Much like our fascination with anti-heroes, our pop culture frequently glorifies vice (the glamour around professional gambling, for example). Are these stories glorifying or vilifying vice as a character motivation?
  4. Is there a distinction to be made between vice and addiction?

Martha *gasp* did not finish reading Neuromancer but is able to discuss it anyway, since she is a Millennial and has been exposed to steampunk at some point. Pat graciously chooses not to unfriend Martha even though she made him watch a pretty terrible (terribly awesome) goth rock opera, and we all sit in impressed silence while Pat tells us true tales from the gambling hall.

We’re continuing our conversation on our next episode, when we look at the other side of this coin and discuss Virtue. Pete’s friend and former coworker Sara Shaw will be joining us.

Your homework for May 23:

Martha: Dogma, the 1999 film by Kevin Smith
Pete: The Crucible by Arthur Miller (for extra credit, watch the film adaptation starring DYDYH’s unofficial mascot Daniel Day Lewis!)
Sara: Peace Like a River, 2001 novel by Leif Enger

Find Pete on Twitter @piko3000, and find Martha on both Instagram AND Twitter @magicalmartha. Follow us online @DYDYHpodcast, e-mail us at show@homeworkpodcast.com, and find us on Facebook.

Listen to Pat’s show 40 Going on 14 wherever podcasts are found – and find them on the web here.

And remember, if you have questions, comments, or ideas for a show, give us a shoutout here or send us an e-mail to show@homeworkpodcast.com. We’d love to hear from you!

Posted in episodes

Episode 26: Body Image

(CW: body image, eating disorders. We talk about anorexia, bulimia, and other sensitive subjects.)

The homework for the episode:
Martha: The Art of Starving, 2017 novel by Sam J. Miller
Pete: Zoolander, 2001 film directed by Ben Stiller and starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Christine Taylor
Maren: Hairspray, the 2007 film directed by Adam Shankman and starring Nikki Blonsky, John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Queen Latifah, among others

A teen boy believes that starving himself gives him super powers, that he plans to use to get revenge on the people he thinks are responsible for making his sister run away.

Male models overcome professional jealousy to take down the seedy underbelly of the fashion industry, which is secretly the cause of political assassinations throughout history.

A girl on the chunky side takes a local dancing show by storm in 1960’s Baltimore, and uses the momentum to fight racial discrimination.

Friend of the show Maren Hagman is back to help us get into the serious topic of Body Image. Our subjects range from conceited male models to small town teens, that deal with eating disorders, self image, body positivity, and other related topics. It’s a sensitive conversation and we get a little prickly about it!

Your podcasters’ credentials:

Pete: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel
Martha: “Girls Talk” by Dave Edmunds
Maren: Civilisations trailer

Everyone freaks out a little when Pete tells us that In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is TWENTY YEARS OLD, WHAT. Martha has been watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but not close enough to the episode for that to be her pick, so instead she waxes poetic about one of the closing credit songs. Maren catches us all up to speed on our Historical Society

Much like our episode on bullying and suicide, this is an episode where there are a lot of feelings about a very sensitive topic. We dig into the way our three homework media portray different bodies and the relationships we have to them, across the spectrum from positive and healthy to decidedly not. If you find talking about bodies and eating disorders too overwhelming, you may consider skipping this one.

Some of the questions we discuss are:

    1. How do these media conform to or subvert expectations of body image? Are they body positive?
    2. What does healthy body image mean for the protagonists?
    3. How do gender and race impact characters’ body image?
    4. Do Hairspray and Zoolander use humor effectively to reinforce or challenge traditional body image?

Here is a link to the article I mention about body image on Broadway. Also, here is a tremendously relevant article that just came out in the New York Times about Adam Rippon and the prevalence of starving in figure skating, that also gets into the idea that eating disorders among men are one of the worst kept secrets in our cultural landscape.

In addition to the broader discussion on weight and eating disorders, we also have the chance to touch on the question of self image and race, although we all acknowledge that we are three white people talking about things we can’t possibly have experience with.

If you or someone you know suffers from an eating disorder, you can reach out to the National Eating Disorders Association via phone (1-800-931-2237) or chat through their website here.

Next episode, we are joined by Martha’s coworker Lauren Maxwell to talk about Fairy Tales!

The homework for February 28:

Martha: Pan’s Labyrinth, 2006 film by Guillermo del Toro
Pete: Hellboy volume 3: The Chained Coffin and Others by Mike Mignola
Lauren Maxwell: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

Find Pete on Twitter @piko3000, and find Martha on both Instagram AND Twitter @magicalmartha. Maren is educating children on Twitter @a_star_danced.

Follow us online @DYDYHpodcast, e-mail us at show@homeworkpodcast.com, and find us on Facebook.

And remember, if you have questions, comments, or ideas for a show, give us a shoutout here or send us an e-mail to show@homeworkpodcast.com. We’d love to hear from you!