Best Of The Week

Time Out

Episode: “Wish You Had More Time?” | Podcast: The Art of Manliness | 39m06s

Don’t be put off by the podcast’s title; this is a thoughtful and well-researched episode about how we experience time passing and what we can do to be more conscious about how we fill our days. The expert interviewed is articulate and patient, and she explains the psychology behind why time seems to go by more quickly when we’re younger and why we remember certain events and not others. Best of all, she tackles the modern phenomenon of the “phantom of busyness”, making the case for introducing the habit of tracking what time is used for as a way of keeping this sensation at bay (39m06s)


Down Under

Episode: “A Kangaroo Has Three Ears” | Podcast: The Real Thing | 52m34s

Unusual tribute to beloved Australian broadcaster Mark Colvin, who died in May 2017. As well as a news anchor and foreign correspondent, Colvin was a passionate fan of experimental, surreal audio, and before his death he helped to make a sequel to a cult classic of Australian radio: the psychedelic 1970s road trip “What's Rangoon to You is Grafton to Me”. This new piece is also the story of a whacky car journey, richly designed and augmented with sound effects. Colvin takes the role of the “straight man” narrator (who nonetheless utters a few swears). Apparently, he recorded the whole piece in a single take (52m34s)


Happy Helpers

Episode: “Ep One” | Podcast: Dear Joan and Jericha | 18m42s

Deadpan, spot-on parody of British local radio agony aunts by top rank comedy actors Julia Davis and Vicki Pepperdine. Joan and Jericha have the pitch-perfect condescension of the completely unhelpful advice-giver, dispensing banal platitudes like “drink more water” and “get in shape” while remaining completely devoid of empathy or interest in their correspondents. The more you listen, the more deliciously dark this show becomes — these characters are so unhappy themselves, yet also so very unpleasant to others. Be warned: they do rather frankly address questions about sex, so there is some explicit content too (18m42s)


Hear Me

Episode: “Aaron Sorkin Wannabes” | Podcast: For A Bad Time, Call. . . | 4m05s

Call-in show dealing exclusively with women’s rage. Topics covered in this episode include: male co-workers who behave as if they are characters in an Aaron Sorkin show; the inexplicable backlash against Victoria Beckham for not smiling at a wedding; the travails of trying to raise extremely sassy teen daughters; and plenty of other wrongs, big and small. It’s hearing them articulated sequentially like this that makes this show arresting — it’s a reminder that under the surface there is always a boiling, seething mass of resentment about the world’s injustices that is rarely shared out loud (4m05s)


Worlds Apart

Episode: “Long Distance Love Story” | Podcast: Long Distance | 34m23s

Epic love story between high school sweethearts Jun and Terry, who first met as teenagers in Manila but parted ways at graduation, only to find each other again 40 years later on the other side of the world. He briefly went to seminary with the intention of becoming a priest, but staged a daring escape after three months by abseiling down a ten-foot wall using a rope made from blankets. He got married, divorced, and moved to Saudi Arabia, while Terry escaped domestic violence in the Philippines only to find terrible conditions in the US. Eventually: reunion, and a happy ending that I won’t spoil here (34m23s)