The London Review of Podcasts

shakahislop

Well-known member
Was shattered yesterday and listened to, I don't know, about five episodes of Red Scare, something which I hadn't listened to a lot of before. A few reflections on it and on podcasts as I don't see another place.

One, it's surprising that it works at all, given that at first its essentially slightly annoying and quite boring. They come across as some pretty well-off people in all kinds of ways, I mean they live in a fancy bit of Manhattan, they're pretty hot, they're moderately famous, I mean one of them is on TV. The thing is quite self-indulgent at times, talking about whether they fancy someone or not, quite a lot of personal stuff giggling, no attempt to edit it to make it feel directed, like they know what they're talking about, often feels off the cuff and unprepared. It does work though, on an affective level I think, it's nice to listen to and I found myself warming to the style.

Two, the recurring dismantling and hostility to woke-ism is pretty striking. On the level of using recently(ish) proscribed language, notably 'gay' to refer to......I mean I'm actually not sure what she's referring to, but it feels more like the usage that people used at my school than as a descriptor, it feels like sometimes she basically means 'bad'. There's probably more nuance than that. 'Retarded' is another, that they reflect on themselves. But in general beyond those simply linguistic things, there is something about hearing their hostility and disdain for some of the woke stuff, given that they aren't on the face of it right-wing arseholes. I sort of wonder if that might be one of their sources of popularity - almost a kind of strike back from 30 year olds against the 20 year olds who are telling them / us how wrong our culture is. There is a kind of emotion-legitimation thing going on I think.

Third, there is something weird going on at the affective level. Moreso than most podcasts part of the effect of listening to it is that it feels a bit like talking to your mates. It kind of replicates part of that feeling (obviously only one side of it). I think in general there is a kind of interesting strand to podcasts in general where it replaces some aspect of social interaction. I feel like the existence of podcasts, the transmission of ideas like through that form, has had a big effect on some of the more serious conversations that I've had with people over recent years. Actually sometimes it feels a bit more like people are reciting podcasts to one another on occasion.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
Was shattered yesterday and listened to, I don't know, about five episodes of Red Scare, something which I hadn't listened to a lot of before. A few reflections on it and on podcasts as I don't see another place.

One, it's surprising that it works at all, given that at first its essentially slightly annoying and quite boring. They come across as some pretty well-off people in all kinds of ways, I mean they live in a fancy bit of Manhattan, they're pretty hot, they're moderately famous, I mean one of them is on TV. The thing is quite self-indulgent at times, talking about whether they fancy someone or not, quite a lot of personal stuff giggling, no attempt to edit it to make it feel directed, like they know what they're talking about, often feels off the cuff and unprepared. It does work though, on an affective level I think, it's nice to listen to and I found myself warming to the style.

Two, the recurring dismantling and hostility to woke-ism is pretty striking. On the level of using recently(ish) proscribed language, notably 'gay' to refer to......I mean I'm actually not sure what she's referring to, but it feels more like the usage that people used at my school than as a descriptor, it feels like sometimes she basically means 'bad'. There's probably more nuance than that. 'Retarded' is another, that they reflect on themselves. But in general beyond those simply linguistic things, there is something about hearing their hostility and disdain for some of the woke stuff, given that they aren't on the face of it right-wing arseholes. I sort of wonder if that might be one of their sources of popularity - almost a kind of strike back from 30 year olds against the 20 year olds who are telling them / us how wrong our culture is. There is a kind of emotion-legitimation thing going on I think.

Third, there is something weird going on at the affective level. Moreso than most podcasts part of the effect of listening to it is that it feels a bit like talking to your mates. It kind of replicates part of that feeling (obviously only one side of it). I think in general there is a kind of interesting strand to podcasts in general where it replaces some aspect of social interaction. I feel like the existence of podcasts, the transmission of ideas like through that form, has had a big effect on some of the more serious conversations that I've had with people over recent years. Actually sometimes it feels a bit more like people are reciting podcasts to one another on occasion.
Yeah I think the anti-woke sentiment is a sort of pushback to the sense that our culture is being pasteurized and astroturfed by niceness (IE rather than actual kindness), which is essentially enforced by scolding at least or cancelling at most.

In the case of Red Scare, I think they're too libidinally oriented to abide by this kind of woke astroturfing - or at least they're trying to be.
 

version

Well-known member
Was shattered yesterday and listened to, I don't know, about five episodes of Red Scare, something which I hadn't listened to a lot of before. A few reflections on it and on podcasts as I don't see another place.
What do you do while you listen? I've tried listening to podcasts while sitting online and I just zone out after about a minute and have to keep pulling it back to keep from missing stuff. I've only been able to pay attention when they've been filmed and I've just watched them like a TV interview.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
Yeah I think the anti-woke sentiment is a sort of pushback to the sense that our culture is being pasteurized and astroturfed by niceness (IE rather than actual kindness), which is essentially enforced by scolding at least or cancelling at most.

In the case of Red Scare, I think they're too libidinally oriented to abide by this kind of woke astroturfing - or at least they're trying to be.
Like you can be kind and empathetic without having to scold people for offhand comments that aren't 100% considerate of the full gamut of social discrimination.

Although I do think the likes of Red Scare are also in it for the lulz, for being provocative. It is more or less their craft, after all.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
What do you do while you listen? I've tried listening to podcasts while sitting online and I just zone out after about a minute and have to keep pulling it back to keep from missing stuff. I've only been able to pay attention when they've been filmed and I've just watched them like a TV interview.
They're good for driving, or listening to during meals perhaps.
 

shakahislop

Well-known member
What do you do while you listen? I've tried listening to podcasts while sitting online and I just zone out after about a minute and have to keep pulling it back to keep from missing stuff. I've only been able to pay attention when they've been filmed and I've just watched them like a TV interview.
i spend a lot of time walking around, and they're great for that. doing housework as well. but it's never an effort if it's something i'm into.
 

shakahislop

Well-known member
Four, there is some aspect of red scare which is mean girl name calling, which isn't wholesome, but which is engaging. every now and then they pretty much pick on someone (normally in the public eye) and go in pretty hard. they aren't as polite or cautious about this as most podcasts or indeed most public dialogue. adds to the feeling of being part of the club
 

forclosure

Well-known member
@shakahislop honestly i've never understood why Red Scare as a podcast is so polarising even with all that's been explained about it.

Two marga apathetic looking white women with excessive vocal fry only this time they're vaguely political

to borrow a Cam'ron line white women look apathetic everyday b, so forgive me if i fail to grasp what makes them different from other bored lookin gal from decades past
 

WashYourHands

Cat Malogen
Podcasts fail exactly because they’re false representations of conversations, or conversational style

Vocal fry drones, sorry yanks but wtf is going on with certain pronunciation? Second is that which cannot be communicated through language (and therefore missing) - intimacy, gestures and modes of thought listening to someone speaking. It’s like comparing sex to wanking. Prefer a lecture format, call me old fashioned

There are exceptions but they’re specific to personal interests and infrequent. The only pod I turned to for fun was Joey Diaz simply for its surreal dose of east coast patois
 
There are exceptions but they’re specific to personal interests and infrequent. The only pod I turned to for fun was Joey Diaz simply for its surreal dose of east coast patois

I think we have talked about Diaz before, his podcast worked mostly because he didn't really try to make it about anything and was just the experience on being in a room with him stoned

I've listened to a few red scare ones, the k-punk one was alright, the Adam Curtis, OK. But its a very self-conscious experience and when you start going down that route it seems to drain a lot of spontaneous energy, or is unable to generate it

Then again the only one i still watch is Under The Cosh which is all lower-league footballers. So maybe I'm not really the target audience
 

version

Well-known member
It seems difficult to make an engaging podcast because conversation can be so sloppy, likewise someone recording themselves monologuing into a mic.

Linebaugh had me and Luke listen to an episode of Death Is Just Around the Corner and it was alright, but I didn't learn anything new from it and Luke was right that it came off like stoned rambling.
 

version

Well-known member
I keep meaning to check out Blowback as they seem the most interesting to me, what with the subject matter, the trailers they do for each season and them doing their own score, but I just never feel like sitting and listening to a podcast.


 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
I keep meaning to check out Blowback as they seem the most interesting to me, what with the subject matter, the trailers they do for each season and them doing their own score, but I just never feel like sitting and listening to a podcast.


If you're still in the habit of exercising, a podcast can be good for that.
 

version

Well-known member
If you're still in the habit of exercising, a podcast can be good for that.
How are you supposed to concentrate on both at once? The podcast would just end up being background noise. I don't have anything I can listen to them on whilst exercising anyway.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
How are you supposed to concentrate on both at once? The podcast would just end up being background noise. I don't have anything I can listen to them on whilst exercising anyway.
Maybe my approach is off, but my exercise routine doesn't really involve that much concentration. I just do a couple dumbbell sets, sit-ups, squats, calf-raises. My breathing patterns I think are suboptimal, but even sorting that out would still seem to leave bandwidth for following along with podcasts.

Unless the podcast in particular really does require more concentration, like if its a narrative or something.Most of the podcasts I listen to are technical or educational in nature.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
How are you supposed to concentrate on both at once? The podcast would just end up being background noise. I don't have anything I can listen to them on whilst exercising anyway.
Would you be exercising in public? I just exercise at home, so I play the podcast aloud.
 

version

Well-known member
I exercise at home and don't have any speakers or earphones, just over ear headphones plugged into a PC that I don't want getting all gross and sweaty and which would probably fall off while exercising anyway.

That and I time myself during certain exercises and I'd lose my place in the count if I was trying to concentrate on a podcast about the history of the Cuban revolution or Korean war at the same time.
 
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