One of the core questions raised in sociology is are we determined by society or do we determine society? Comedian Tom Ballard interviewed journalist Stan Grant on his podcast Like I’m A Six-Year-Old. In the second half of this episode (122) arguments of structure and agency arise around Aboriginal people’s rights and treatment in Australia. Within the interview the two also discuss assimilation, defining a nation’s history, and the role of media in politics.
image from Tom Ballard’s website
The episode can be found at the above link or here: 122 – Stan Grant (Live At Yack Festival) Pt. 1
In Code of the Streets, Elijah Anderson discusses how poverty, racism, fallout from drugs, and a lack of faith in the criminal justice system in inner cities have resulted in alienation. The code of the street is a set of informal rules governing interpersonal behavior that act as a framework for obtaining and maintaining respect or “juice.” The code creates an alternative status system whereby respect is hard won and easily lost. The presentation of self, such as facial expressions, body language, manner of dress, and word use can signal intentions. Ignorance of the rules are no excuse; everyone is expected to know the code and behave in the prescribed manner.
In Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, Byron Hurt talks to academics and rappers about representations of masculinity and violence in rap music. Though the documentary is a bit older (2006), the content is still relevant. In an interview, rapper Fat Joe talks about how even at music industry events and in night clubs, everyone feels the need to present themselves as “hard.” Later, rapper Mos Def talks about growing up as a black man you “don’t want nobody taking you for short…but when shit got critical, you can’t be no punk…and you will get tested.” Hurt also includes discussion of the need for poor men who lack financial power to have control over their bodies and be able to present themselves as deserving of respect.
The Risk podcast, episode 510 “Impulsive,” featured a story called “Judgment Day” by J.J. about his experience coming from inner city poverty, going to college, and returning home to visit. The storyteller gets in an altercation with a man from the neighborhood and comes very close to killing the man as retaliation for hurting his pride.
Last week there has been a twitter argument centered around Assata Shakur, a black feminist who was convicted of the murder of a state trooper, escaped prison, and now has political asylum in Cuba. The Women’s March tweeted a happy birthday message to Assata on July 16th.
Jake Tapper, generally liked by the moderate left, responded to the tweet.
Assata Shakur is a bit of a flash point for the “alt-right.” This tweet was seen as legitimizing arguments of white supremacists. The Women’s March responded with a series of 20 tweets explaining who Assata is and why they support her. COINTELPRO, or the counter intelligence program of the FBI, became a talking point and some other journalists entered the discussion.
The Politically Reactive podcast with W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu was in an interesting situation. On July 13th they aired an interview with Linda Sarsour, the most well known of the Women’s March organizers, and the following week were scheduled to air an interview with Jake Tapper. The podcasters reached out to both after the twitter argument but did not hear back. They thought it would be inappropriate to simply air the second interview and instead made an episode “Hold Up, Wait a Minute: Twitter Feuds & Threat Models” featuring Prof. Jessie Daniels of Hunter College and CUNY College and cyber security expert Nicholas Weaver.
The most notorious episodes of the Risk podcast are probably the ones where host, Kevin Allison, talks about kink camp.
In number 229 “Kevin Goes to Kink Camp 1” and number 230 “Kevin Goes to Kink Camp 2” Kevin walks the listener through his first experience of kink camp and what it is like to be a gay man at a primarily heterosexual orgy.
In episode number 828 “Make Believe,” Kevin tells a story called “The Whiz Kid” about his return to kink camp where he participated in “water sports” or urine play.
When I was listening to episode 171 of the No Such Thing as a Fish podcast titled No Such Thing as a Half-Ape Vampire*, the podcasters mentioned this confusing phrasing from The Independent’s article “The World Is Running Out of Camembert.” The article states:
Out of the three hundred and sixty million made each year, just a treasured four have true Camembert credentials.
That’s just over one percent.
When presented in an online article with ads and the creation of the new paragraph, the podcasters discussed thinking it was literally 4 camembert cheeses, significantly less than 1%. *Warning: if you choose to listen to this episode they also talk about maggot excrement in the cheesemaking process.
image from QI because there is no way I’m looking at pictures of cheese after listening