November 2, 2018

A few podcasts to recommend

I’m on my way to the airport, and I prepared for a six-hour flight by downloading a bunch of podcast episodes to keep me entertained.

Here are a few podcasts that I’ve been listening to recently that I heartily recommend checking out if you haven’t already:

Articles of Interest: You’re probably already listening to 99% Invisible, but the special Articles of Interest miniseries—about the clothing and its affect on culture—is worth a re-listen. From pockets to Hawaiian shirts, Avery Trufelman deftly strings together a story about how and why we dress the way we do, and why thinking about our fashion design decisions is important as we think about the way we shape society.

Sold In America: The conversations around sex trade and sex trafficking these days are often tied to a moral crisis, and lack the nuance needed to fully understand what the sex trade really looks like, and who it really impacts. Noor Tagouri’s exploration of the world of selling sex tries to approach the issue with the nuance and intricacy that it needs, in a way that is absolutely compelling.

Scene On Radio: Men: The most recent season of Scene On Radio is all about masculinity, and especially toxic masculinity. It explores how we got here, why we have a problem, and what we can possibly do to make it better. This is an important, and pertinent, conversation for our times.

Body of Essays: If you haven’t listened to the first two series of Body of Essays—where writers reflect on various organs of the human body—on the BBC just yet, start there. Then, jump into Series 3, which opens with one of the most beautiful ruminations on the liver that you’ve ever heard.

Love Letters: Here’s the thing about breakups: they feel like the worst thing that could ever happen, but they also happen to be something that almost everyone goes through. This series from the Boston Globe looks at life post-breakup, and at how we heal, persevere, and move on.

The Shadows: How do you follow up from a show like The Heart, one of the most poignant and beautiful shows ever recorded? That was the question we were all asking after Kaitlin Prest decided to start on a new project, and she answered perfectly: The Shadows is just as intense, heart-wrenching, and poetic as its predecessor. This quotation is but one of many beautiful passages in the podcast:

The lending of a sweater is a sacred message after all. Much more than just, I want you to be comfortable,” it says, I want to put my arm around you but I’m too afraid of what that might mean.” It says, I want to be spread across your bare skin.”

Listen to The Shadows, and then be prepared to think deeply about everything you ever believed about love, sex, relationships, and the people you care for.

And two more. There are two other podcasts that just launched so I can’t fully endorse them just yet, but am extremely excited to dive in when the catalog grows: Black Tea, and Function with Anil Dash.