Priest, Hearse, Potato

Speaking Truth

Episode: “The Priest Who Came Out At 91" | Podcast: Outlook | 16m02s

Anglican priest explains why he finally told his family that he is gay at the age of 91. Stanley Underhill grew up in the UK’s Black Country (part of the heavily industrialised West Midlands) in the 1930s. He loved opera and wanted to play with dolls, and as a result his father barely spoke to him and he was bullied at school. His underdog status was what first attracted him to Christianity — he felt he shared a situation with Jesus. This interview is honest and extremely moving, all the more so because Stanley’s life has seen such radical change in British society’s attitudes to sexuality (16m02s)

End Times

Episode: “Hold Your ‘Hearses!’: A Chat With An Undertaker” | Podcast: Engine Noise Podcast | 37m28s

Car podcast explores the history of hearses. For much of history, they weren’t moving vehicles — rather stands to hold a coffin at a funeral. As people became more mobile, the need for bodies to travel to their burial place created the need for first horse drawn, and then motorised, funeral conveyances. The guest here is an undertaker, and he shares his experiences of driving a hearse: “It’s just an extra long car that’s kind of hard to see out of,” apparently. Those who enjoy morbid trivia will like some of the hair-raising mishaps related towards the end of the episode (37m28s)

Blight Fight

Episode: “The Irish Potato Famine: Who Is To Blame?" | Podcast: The Alarmist | 75m46s

Comedy writer with alarmist tendencies analyses historical events to work out who is responsible. On this instalment, she turns her attention to the Irish Potato Famine, which occurred between 1845 and 1849 and resulted in mass starvation and emigration. There’s a decent if basic primer of events here, but the focus is more on the conversational attempt to work out who was ultimately to blame. Oppressive nineteenth century British landlords are the obvious choice, but there’s also a surprising case made for Henry VIII, who died 300 years before the potato blight arrived (75m46s)

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