Culture Crash 18-47: Amazon Prime’s Homecoming

Culture Crash Logo

Director Sam Esmail has taken Gimlet’s hit podcast Homecoming and infused it with a whole lot of cinematic flair in his new Amazon Prime series that serves as a throwback to classic thrillers and a trailblazer for the brave new world of 30-minute dramas.

Stay in the loop! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook! Subscribe and review on iTunes!

Culture Crash 18-44: Serial, the podcast that captivated America, returns for its most important season yet

Culture Crash Logo

Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture. What’s new and old in entertainment.

Back in 2014, the podcast Serial stormed into our culture with its in-depth look at a 1999 murder of a high school student in Baltimore. The podcast revolutionized the form and brought podcasting to the forefront. The first season dominated the iTunes charts, was satirized on Saturday Night Live, and even won a Peabody Award.

Its second season, about Bowe Bergdahl, a US sergeant who went AWOL during the War in Afghanistan, similarly dominated the charts but didn’t reach the heights of season one. Frankly, its unlikely any podcast ever will. The first season of Serial was lightning in a bottle.

But now comes season three, and while it continues to be unlikely anything will ever match the popularity of season one, this third season is even more important. While seasons one and two told the stories of specific, extraordinary cases, season three sets its sights on the mundane. This time, the team at This American Life and Serial took on telling the story of criminal justice in Cleveland over the course of a year. The reporters follow little cases: a bar fight, a drug bust, individuals who break parole. It tells the story of a fractured system: a system where the community doesn’t trust the police. A system where prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges alike are overtaxed and overly reliant on plea deals. A system that determines years of people’s lives, and could affect any of us at any time.

Season three of Serial isn’t as flashy as season one. There isn’t quite as much intrigue week to week. But it is examining the daily workings of criminal justice in America, and shedding light on problems that have been accepted for far too long. It’s investigative reporting at its best, and it’s definitely worth checking out.

You can find episodes of Serial at https://serialpodcast.org/

I’m Evan Rook. 

18-39 Segment 1: Hank Green on the Internet, Fame, and Our Reaction Culture

VP 18-39A wordpress


Hank Green has a massive internet presence as a podcaster, vlogger, tweeter, and more. Now, he’s become an author. His new book, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, deals with internet fame and our reactionary culture head-on. He joins the show to discuss these issues, and whether is the internet is good.

Guest:

  • Hank Green, author, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

Links for more information:

Stay in the loop! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook! Subscribe and review on iTunes!

17-49 Segment 1: Making an Impact as a Citizen Scientist

Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction, authored by Mary Ellen Hannibal, attempts to rekindle the notion that science is available to all citizens, not just the experts. Charles Darwin, was a so-called citizen scientist, with no degree or training, he is now considered the ‘father’ of Evolution.

With modern technology, it’s easier than ever to collect data and share it with anyone on the planet to create mass collections of data. Hannibal says we are currently in a mass extinction of plants and animals, and argues it’s crucial that citizens come together to share their observations. She explains observing and recording different species of plants and animals, like Darwin did, can lead to the same kind of groundbreaking analysis that led to the theory of Evolution.

The director of Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count, Geoff LeBaron, says average citizens can be the eyes and ears of big data collection. LeBaron shares many scientist were apprehensive to use data collected by citizens, but because of the techniques created scientists now accept the findings of studies like the Christmas Bird Count. If you’re interested in getting involved in citizen science, go to the Nature’s Notebook webiste: https://www.usanpn.org/nn/become-observer to become part of an observational science team.

Guests:

  • Mary Ellen Hannibal, author, Citizen Scientist: Searching for heroes and hope in an age of extinction
  • Geoff LeBaron, director of Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count

Links for more information:

Share this:

Stay in the loop! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook! Subscribe and review on iTunes!

17-49 Segment 2: Author Jack London’s Writings and Social Activism

 

Jack London is known for the adventure and intrigue of his writings. Lesser known are the struggles London faced before he became a published author. He was well acquainted with manual labor under terrible working condition for minimal wages. The plight of laborers and the injustice they felt is woven into his fast paced plots.

Cecelia Tichi, Professor of English and American Studies at Vanderbilt University, as well as author of Jack London: A Writer’s Fight for a Better America, went back and reread all of London’s writings with social activism in mind. She found that London made a habit of commenting on social topics, specifically poverty and exploited workers.

Tichi explains Call of the Wild, London’s breakout work, contrasts American ideals with poverty and exploitation. She argues London deserve to be recognized as a forward political thinker, not just an author of exciting plot twists. Learn more at Tichi’s website: jacklondonbook.com  

Guest:

  • Cecelia Tichi, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English and professor of American Studies at Vanderbilt University, author, Jack London: A writer’s fight for a better America.

Links for more information:

Share this:

Stay in the loop! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook! Subscribe and review on iTunes!

17-48 Segment 1: Giving Back This Holiday Season

 

During the holidays, many parents fret over the materialistic messages their children are exposed to. We talk to a mom and an author who together have created a children’s book and game designed to make giving back to others a fun pursuit.

Guest:

  • Sarah Linden and Tyler Knott Gregson, co-authors, North Pole Ninjas: Mission: Christmas

Links for more information:

Share this:

Stay in the loop! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook! Subscribe and review on iTunes!

17-48 Segment 2: W.E.B. Du Bois’s Lasting Impact in Sociology

 

At the beginning of the 20th century, W.E.B. Du Bois revolutionized scientific sociology, but was denied accolades because of his race. Now, we talk to scholars about what exactly Du Bois did to improve the study of sociology and what his impact truly was.

Guest:

  • Aldon D. Morris, professor of sociology and African-American studies at Northwestern University, author of the book, The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. Du Bois and the birth of modern sociology

Links for more information:

Share this:

Stay in the loop! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook! Subscribe and review on iTunes!