Posted in episodes, homework

Episode 33: Virtue

The homework for the episode:
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

Two angels exiled from heaven find a loophole that will allow them back in and thus destroy the universe – a mortal woman is enlisted to stop them, and is joined by a flock of holy idiots.

A small New England town is swept up in hysteria when a group of girls start accusing people of witchcraft.

A teen boy kills two people defending his family, escapes prison, and hides in the wide expanse of middle America. His pious family takes off in a motor home to find him, and in the process, discover the missing pieces of themselves and their family.

Did you listen to our last episode on Vice? If not, start there – we’re continuing the conversation today with the topic of Virtue.

Your podcasters’ credentials:

Pete: “This is America”/”Call Me Maybe” mashup (located here)
Martha: Pop Rocket podcast on Maximum Fun
Sara: HAIM concert in Chicago

Martha plugs yet another podcast that isn’t hers (but if you like DYDYH you’ll probably enjoy Pop Rocket, TBH). Pete and Sara talk excitedly about bands Martha couldn’t sing music from if you paid her, but it’s just really nice to be excited about stuff these days.

We use our discussion questions but be warned, this episode is long because Sara and Martha discover the conversation we SHOULD have been having all along towards the end of the episode.

  1. What is the definition of virtue?
  2. What makes a character virtuous, both in the context of our homework and in relation to our world and morals?
  3. All of our homework, consciously or not, deals with virtue in a very religious sense. Are there agnostic contexts in which we think of people as being “virtuous”?
  4. How do the characters in our homework abuse the idea of virtue?
  5. Do justice and virtue have anything to do with each other?

Hey y’all I’m real tired tonight so I’m not going to be writing much useful in the way of description. Suffice to say it’s a good ep and you should listen to it.

Sara cites an article on Virtue Ethics which you can read here.

A slightly spoilery article on morality in Infinity War, which did not come up in our discussion but is very interesting and relevant, can be found here. I don’t really agree with all of it but it’s interesting to consider.

Join us next time for something completely different! 40 Going on 14 member Joel Kenyon (also of Creepercast and The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour) returns with us to the world of mental health and pop culture in our discussion about PTSD.

Your homework for June 6:

Martha: Jessica Jones, 1.01 (“AKA Ladies Night”) and 1.02 (“AKA Crush Syndrome”)
Pete: Macbeth (2015, dir Justin Kurzel)
Joel: Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012, dir. Stephen Chbosky)

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.

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 31: Anti Heroes

The homework for the episode:
Martha: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (2008 thriller)
Pete: The Maltese Falcon (1941 film directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor)
Bill: Dredd (2012 action opus directed by Pete Travis and starring Karl Urban and Karl Urban’s Chin and also Olivia Thirlby)

A journalist enlists the best hacker in Sweden to help him investigate the disappearance of a girl from a wealthy family, and discovers she may have a connection to a string of murders committed over decades.

A PI’s partner is killed during an investigation, and he gets drawn into the frantic search for a priceless artifact.

While investigating a triple homicide in a gigantic skyscraper, a Judge and his protege find themselves needing to fight their way to the top to confront a mob boss and drug cartel leader.

The oft referred to husband of cohost Martha is our guest today: please welcome Bill Sullivan and enjoy our discussion of Anti Heroes! We are following up our toxic masculinity theme, but before we get into that we are obligated to give you….

Your podcasters’ credentials:

Pete: The single “Summer Songs” by Field Report (and not Isle of Dogs, which he was hoping to discuss, and which probably would have led to a heated argument on the merits of Wes Anderson)
Martha: PokemonGo (and not THE MEG, which she was hoping to discuss, because it is an incredibly stupid and amazing creature feature book being turned into an action movie starring Jason Statham)
Bill: The Penguins vs. Flyers hockey game, which they won because the Philly Flyers are trash

It is probably for the best that Pete can’t by our own rules talk about Isle of Dogs, because he and Martha almost certainly would have disagreed vehemently about whether Wes Anderson should be allowed to make movies set in Japan and not actually include any Japanese people (the answer is no). Martha is back in the Pokemon ARG game, with the advent of Field Research, and frankly she and Bill were both on pins and needles waiting for the outcome of the Pens NHL cup game. But enough about that!

 

To follow up our discussion on toxic masculinity, we’re talking about a particular offshoot of the subject: Anti Heroes. In particular, we are addressing the following questions:

  1. What defines an “anti-hero”? How has this definition changed?
  2. Do we think our main characters qualify?
  3. Why are we as a culture so fascinated by anti-heroes?
  4. Why are there so few female anti-hero characters?

We also end with a little coda on whether or not we think our culture will ever move on from its romanticization of anti-heroes, and you can probably expect a follow-up blog post of some kind because Martha did not even get in to the fact that one of the most popular TV shows right now does not actually have any anti heroes in it (it’s Game of Thrones and if you thought there were any she will disabuse you of this notion).

Next week we have another guest from the 40 Going on 14 podcast, Patrick Whaley! We will be digging into Vice as a story point and character trait, and we have some wickedly fun homework for you to explore.

Your homework for May 9:

Martha: Repo! The Genetic Opera
Pete: Neuromancer by William Gibson
Pat: Rounders

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.

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 extra credit

Alternative Facts Follow-Up

(Written by Martha S.)

I wanted to follow up our episode on news media with a short discussion of why I picked the topic to begin with. As I have said on the podcast many times, I’m a librarian, and specifically I am a teen services librarian. One of the foundations of my profession is providing access to, and helping people find, reliable information, a principle which is more important than ever these days and particularly for teens, who are far less likely to go beyond their curated social media feeds to find alternate or corroborative sources of information. Teaching information literacy is no longer optional for librarians, it is a necessity. Because of that, I thought it would be useful for us to look at how pop culture presents the news and journalism, and how we react to that.

This past Saturday, Melissa McCarthy returned to SNL to reprise her role as Sean Spicer. Her portrayal has been brilliant, I think it’s fair to say, and highlighted something about the way Spicer is dealing with his role as the disseminator of information for an administration that tells us nothing but lies: hostilely. Spicer, and our current White House, are our antagonists, and they are helping foster a culture of distrust and skepticism when it comes to the news. Our first reaction is to assume that he’s lying (because he is).

One of the things I thought was striking about all the homework we talked about in this episode was that the news sources in them are treated first and foremost as being trustworthy, and then only later shown not to be: CJ is a trustworthy source of information, which is how she gets away with sidelining stories that should be a bigger deal. The Daily Prophet can spread misinformation about Harry Potter because it has a reputation for telling the truth. No one questions Glass’ articles because the New Republic has a good reputation. When we find out those things aren’t true (in the case of The West Wing, we see this develop over the course of the episode), we are meant to feel betrayed. This isn’t how the news is supposed to work! And yet, it does, and recently, it does often and without shame.

Anyway, I don’t really have any more profound thoughts than that I’m sad that our news media culture has turned into one of distrust and hostility. I don’t think it’s new, clearly news has always been a cultivated experience for us so that the people in charge can control the way the population thinks and feels about things (which sounds WAY more 1984 than I thought it would, yikes). I hope some day we get back to a place where I can read a headline and not feel the urge to cross-check in on four other sites, if for no other reason than that I don’t have time for that every day.

Supplementary Materials

Lois Lane: Fallout
The first Lois Lane YA novel by Gwenda Bond, this series follows a teenage Lois as she investigates and exposes scandals for her high school newspaper. Clark Kent shows up only occasionally as a texting partner for Lois to bounce ideas off of, which is really the best use for Clark. I mentioned (awkwardly) in the episode that the relationship between journalism and superheroes is fascinating to me, and it’s fun to read about one of comics’ most famous journalists in her nascent teenage years.

Wag the Dog
A 1997 film directed by Barry Levinson that shows some truly epic misdirection from a president’s shenanigans (Dustin Hoffman invents a war in actual 1984 style to take attention away from a president’s sex scandal, and oh man do I wish that our president would actually be punished for a sex scandal to the magnitude that would necessitate a fake media war).

“Waiting on the World to Change” by John Mayer
Political music was something we didn’t really have a chance to touch on in the episode, and maybe that’s because it wasn’t totally germane to the conversation. Music, after all, doesn’t really get used as a delivery tool for news – it can’t be timely enough. The closest it gets, I think, is as a way for musicians to enter the news conversation; it’s commentary on the environment rather than an informative source itself. But I appreciate deeply the lyrics from this song (despite not being a huge fan of John Mayer), particularly the lines “And when you trust your television/ What you get is what you got/ But when they own the information/ they can bend it all they want.”

Posted in episodes, homework

Episode 2: Welcome to the Resistance

The homework for the episode:
Martha: The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson (novel)
Pete: Heavn by Jamila Woods (album, streaming on SoundCloud)
Calee: In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

In our second episode, we all get real fired up about the current political climate, while also DEEPLY admiring the role that people of color, teens, and especially teenage girls are playing in our resistance. We talk about music for the first time! Warning: this episode is deeply biased and reveals the biases of all your hosts (spoiler alert: our biases influence the things we love and how we react, and thus will always be an inherent part of our podcast).

Your podcasters’ credentials:
Pete: Brooklyn Nine-Nine (tv show, streaming on Netflix and Hulu)
Martha: The Great British Baking Show (available through your local PBS outlet for a monthly donation – support your local arts and education station!)
Calee: Steven Universe (streaming on Hulu)

Show Corrections and Additions: Pete references the film Chi-Raq, but attributes it to Spike Jonze. The film was actually directed by Spike Lee.

Calee would like to pull out the following quote from The Summer Prince as being particularly relevant:

“I wish…is it so hard to just be honest? To just say, no, this is wrong, and stand up for that, and not think about advantage and placement and promotion and all that Auntie bullshit for just one second? Is that all you grandes are? Is anything real?”

Resistance and Revolution – Additional Material
A Seat at the Table, Solange Knowles (music album)
Captain America: Civil War (film)
Drawing Blood,
Molly Crabapple (memoir)
Lemonade
, Beyonce (music album)
Little Brother, Cory Doctorow (novel)
March, vols. 1, 2, 3 by Sen. John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (graphic novels)
Pirate Cinema, Cory Doctorow (novel)
Pussy Riot YouTube channel (here)
Telefone, Noname (music album)

Supplementary reading:
Support the ACLU and CAIR by buying original art from In Real Life! (here)

Our theme for our next episode is going to be: Bullying. Enjoy doing your homework!

Your homework for February 15:
Pete: Dazed and Confused (film)
Martha: Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher (YA novel)
Calee: Hjørdis (mini series on Netflix – 4 half hour episodes)