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A Circuitous Route

It’s funny how one thing leads to another sometimes, especially on the infinitely connected world of the Internet. A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to Top Four #5, where Marco and Tiffany Arment were discussing their favorite podcasts. Because of their recommendation, I checked out 99 Percent Invisible, which is a great podcast. On episode #178, which is a fabulous examination of the restoration of a castle in Scotland, they included bonus audio introducing me to The Allusionist, which is an amazing and addictive podcast that I can’t believe has flown under my radar for so long. Seriously, it’s wonderful. That show, in turn, brought me at last to Answer Me This, which is a delightfully weird podcast that is almost, but not quite, entirely unexplainable. (Apologies to Mr. Adams.) It’s a comedy podcast that is as hilarious as it is strange, and I love it.

Any of the above shows, including Top Four are worth checking out. I hope you find one you enjoy as much as i enjoy these.

So now I have three great new podcasts to listen to, and each led me to the next like a trail of breadcrumbs through the dark forest of the Internet.

Glorious times!

Muggles and Media

Credible, respectable journalism, with a small and ever-shrinking number of exceptions, is a dying trade.

This will come as no surprise to anyone who follows the coverage of Apple news by Wall Street analysts, but it really extends into just about every area. We see it in everything from politics to celebrity gossip1, and now it has even arrived in the Wizarding World.

MuggleNet writes:

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? Well, in our view, all J.K. Rowling has admitted was to feeling that the scene in the tent was a shared vulnerable moment between two characters that revealed an intriguing degree of compatibility between each of them, emotionally. In saying that Ron needed to get over his self-doubt, Rowling is mentioning a key component that readers would agree could certainly cause some trouble in an adult relationship. However, by the article’s end, Rowling and Watson have both found a value in Ron that Harry doesn’t possess: Ron’s humor and his ability to level Hermione’s character. Thus, for all of this talk, the result is that the characters end up safely nestled where they were before, inside the canon of the Potter books.

I agree with this assessment. Increasingly, the news media, (especially mainstream news media), favors sensational stories over the truth. Of course, this is all done in the name of capitalism, and so the public, more and more often, simply accepts it. We have reached a point where our beloved freedom of speech is being overshadowed, and indeed undermined, by something which, sadly, we value more than respectability: the almighty dollar. Rita Skeeter would be proud.

  1. Has anyone else noticed that it is getting harder and harder to tell celebrity gossip from political news coverage? ↩︎