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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, 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 We’d love to hear from you!