The Happiest Place

The Happiest Place

Episode: “Gangs? At Disneyland?” | Podcast: Household Name | 35m52s

Documentary  about the adult fan groups that frequent Disneyland, often wearing  motorcycle gang-style vests and patches. These “social clubs” took off  in 2015, boast hundreds of members, and can be found in the theme park  almost every day. The reporter finds that media reports of fights and  mobs are inaccurate. Instead, a much more charming and eccentric tale  unfolds (35m52s)

Capacity For Joy

Episode: “Mary Oliver — Listening to the World” | Podcast: On Being with Krista Tippett | 51m26s

Interview  from 2015 with the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver, who died on  17 January 2019 aged 83. Here, she speaks unromantically about the  years of graft it takes to write good poems — “many, many, many have to  be thrown out” — and movingly about what she felt to be the semi-sacred,  ancient attractions of verse over other forms. This episode includes  several readings of poems and a pleasant, minimalist musical score (51m26s)

Pebble On The Beach

Episode: “Nine pebbles of quartz” | Podcast: Describing A Rock | 7m41s

Story  about an experience in the natural world told via a description of  quartz shards. The host is economical with her language, carefully  evoking the sensation of touching and hearing her rocks: “When I hold  them in my hand, they look like baby teeth.” After precisely cataloguing  each one, the episode expands outwards to tell of how and where she  found the stones. Repetitive background music makes this a hypnotic,  calming listen (7m41s)

Power Lines

Episode: “Masters In Our Own Home” | Podcast: Outside/In | 31m23s

First  of a compelling four-part series about the relationship in Quebec  between hydro-electric power and political identity. From the  mid-twentieth century, the success of the Hydro-Québec utility company  has been tied to a resurgence in French-Canadian pride. However, there  is a colonial narrative underlying this: in order to build these  enormous dams, thousands of indigenous people had to be moved from their  land. A group of journalists from New Hampshire investigates (31m23s)

God’s Own Country

Episode: “24/01/2019” | Podcast: The Essay | 13m50s

Novelist  meditates on his county of origin, Yorkshire. Greater devolution  elsewhere in Britain has kindled a resurgence of “Yorkshireness” and  interest in political independence for this northern English region.  Five million live there, but young people who move away to study rarely  return, a problem that is widely acknowledged but remains unsolved.  Confusion and competing demands impede progress. Parts of this Yorkshire  patriotism contain a hard kernel of anti-immigrant sentiment, too (13m50s)

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