Pandemic Diary—What I’m Listening To

On Listening to Sean Illing and The Gray Area): The Church of the Celebrity was really good. Men and Boys are Struggling had me rolling my eyes—feminists want gender equality and have been conveying that in like forever; are men not listening unless other men tell them? Don’t @ me—that was hypothetical. A Veteran Reporter talks about fixing the news was a good listen. Yuval Noah Harari is always fascinating to read and listen to. Is America Losing its religion was annoying and biased, especially in regard to the generalization and absolutism discussion about atheism and they forgot the biggest, most maladjusted religion of all—the patriarchy. I actually stopped listening to it because it was too condescending and eye-rolling even for my ears. Maybe I was in a mood. I get those more as I get older and listen to more bullshit. 

On Listening to Ezra Klein: The Conversation about the Reading Mind, George Saunders, and the interview with Bill McKibben all were really good. Ezra still continues with the less than subtle intense dislike of social media and I’m done listening to this until it’s presented in a more nuanced and less biased way. I’m just not sure that he can report fairly on this issue because he has always spoken so negatively about it. Give me a meaty argument that is established in facts. Social media has been around for a long time now—do they think it’s going away? How do they propose to do that? What would make social media better or more tolerable in their eyes? How would they detail and describe the social justice movements historically that are attributed to social media? There are so many questions and arguments to be made for this issue but totally getting rid of social media seems unrealistic at this point. This is an entire industry and focusing on the industry totally ignores the broader societal issues. 

On Listening to Open Source with Christopher Lydon: Speaking of George Saunders, I listened to an old episode called Write Like the Russians that was really good. I also loved Orwell’s Roses with Rebecca Solnit episode. 

On Listening: I started listening to ReThinking with Adam Grant and find it interesting. Brené Brown, the Malcolm Gladwell episodes were far more compelling than I thought they would be, Celeste Ng, Adam McKay, and two that I have yet to listen to that I’m excited about—Dolly Parton and Lin-Manuel Miranda. If Teachers Took Over the Government was fascinating but they did not touch upon abortion and bodily autonomy or reproductive rights, which tells you lots—nothing good. 

On Listening: Amicus with Dahlia Lithwick on the law is fantastic. Why are we still Obsessed with Roe v. Wade is a must listen as is “Is this How We do Law Now?” 

On Listening: As always, the Ted Radio Hour for everything. I’m in the middle of the For All Eternity ep and this info will def feed future stories. 

On Listening: The Spotify playlist Choir Classics was my go-to music this past month. The old-school-Renaissance-feel of it was relaxing to me. But it is church choir music and you’re an atheist, you ask? As long as I cannot understand what they’re saying and it sounds like I’m time traveling through the Renaissance, especially when I’m reading, I’m fine with it. You wanna hear something odd? I used to go to Sunday mass in downtown Raleigh, sit in the back pews, pull out a book, and read. It was the overall aesthetics and the social and dulcet tones—it was soothing. 

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