Are Some Podcasts Loved Unconditionally?

Podcasts seem easy enough. If you know how to speak, can obtain a microphone and can access to a computer, you (yes you) could become a podcaster. Due to this, the market has become very saturated with storytellers vying to curate a space where they can communicate with a loving, expectant, audience. As with all things that seem easy, creating a successful podcast is a lot different than just sitting in front of a microphone and spewing out words. 

The podcast “Unconditional Love” by This American Life is successful for several reasons that Ira Glass has explained.

A podcast works in a similar way to a web feature — we need character, we need to learn something new, and we need variety. Ira has sad that podcasts are “didactic in nature” and this is highlighted immediately in “Unconditional Love”. 

The podcast drops us right in the middle of an experiment involving several rhesus monkeys and researchers trying to disprove the notion that someone could give too much love.  An intriguing tactic is used here, Ira Glass is keen to the fact that most listeners live in an era where they know that unconditional love is essential, so he presents this experiment with 1960s-esque context so the listener understand that the knowledge they live with now — almost an innate idea — had not always been in vogue. 

  So, I did say that a podcast does most of the work that you’d see in a web feature, however, there are elements that set a podcast apart. The reason this particular story works better as a podcast is because of the conversation set by Deborah Blum, Glass, Heidi and her husband. Their dialogue moves along the story in a way that anticipates the questions the listener is asking themselves, and then immediately answering them. The casual tone offsets the initial psychological background, and makes the listener feel as though they are a part of the conversation as Glass travels back and forth throughout time to present the prevailing idea of excessive love as a toxic habit. 

I imagine the writers pitched this very generally, as with most of the podcasts I’ve listened to, I think that a general cultural value or idea is presented and then the writers conjure a hot take. Love, for example, has been iterated, reiterated, and reinterpreted several times. For the writers, they had to frame the construct of love in a way that has not often been communicated — at least currently.

Media portrays love as undying, unconditional and always positive. The prevailing movement in this decade is that love is all you need, which has been prevalent since the 70s.

The writers had to take that idea and turn it on its head. Collecting evidence and characters that oppose the idea of love as this natural phenomenon helped shape the story and create a meaningful script.

Each section presents a new question, but the main idea is still retained — what work does love actually do? The music also adds coherency between separate acts and ideas, matching the tone of the speakers. Music adds emotions that are often not able to be articulated clearly, which makes the podcast alive, wrapping around the viewer and encapsulating their thoughts. 

The characters of the story are presented later in the podcast, but not so late that the listener would click off due to a lack of human emphasis or connection. 

The story of Daniel and his adoptive parents is enthralling because love is exactly what the adoptive child was uncomfortable with — another idea that is diametrically opposed to what most people believe. Their voices are haunting, as you can still hear the yearning and need to help their child. The listener is confronted with dissonance from conflicting ideas, yet they are met with a journey that leads them back to a truth they believed all along. 

This drives the story because it is not just a repetitive tennis match question and answer interview, the voices peak through when a narrator is not able to completely translate the raw emotion.

Interviews in podcasts are not the succinct interviews that are broadcast on daily news channels, instead Heidi and her husband are able to trail off and are not interrupted. There is no five minute cutoff, instead there is a lingering sense of openness granted to all those involved in the stories. This is a space for us to learn and, in a way, speak with another human being who has been through unimaginable strife. 

I’ve gained a skillset from listening to famed podcasts. I realize now that it is more than a talkshow style radio show, podcasts aim to make you think and connect. The goal of the podcast is to teach and entertain, and to help the viewer walk away from the show with something new to share with others.

Proposal: Why are underaged people in movies framed so sexually?

Remixing has always been a form of art I have dabbled in, considering I like Hip-Hop and find it entertaining to examine how songs evolve through sampling means.

Often times, I only considered remixing splicing together a new creature made for humorous material, as it is easy to highlight fallacies by hyperbolizing opposite ideologies. Watching several political remixed videos altered my views about the tone of remixing material.

There is a way to adjust the narrative in a remixed video by altering the approach — focusing less on hyperbole and more on the contrariness of cultural ideals. 

I aim to create a video that has a more serious context, since I am already familiar with the creation of humorous videos throughout years of creating content with my friends through spoofing videos or songs. The challenge of creating a serious video will inspire me to find resources that I would not normally examine, and help me examine how I consume entertainment. 

My remix video will be reviewing the hyper-sexualization of youth in movies. The preponderance of scenes of underaged characters in movies had often slipped into my sources of entertainment unbeknownst to me until allegations against several producers have come to light. I presume that many people my age may not notice how often a young character is framed to be sexual or directed to be in compromising scenarios, even when it has little to do with the point of the movies. 

It will be a challenge without the actual allegations backing up my point of view, due to the commonplace tropes that are in most movies. Repetition will be my greatest advantage, and I have collected movies about teenagers and youth aimed at teenagers and youth. The repetition will be done under a framework of a culture that simultaneously condemns women for appearing old. 

The video will have several phases that will, hopefully, create a cohesive message of Hollywood’s obsession with youth. The movies will begin with movies from older times and I hope to pair these scenes with recent scenes that parallel what has been filmed in the past, in an attempt to outline the stagnancy of cultural issues such as these.

I will include news pieces towards the end to provide a factual slant, so the persuasion is not simply implied by cherry-picking movies that support my argument.

I have read scholarly sources that portend damaging effects on women that watch movies like this, and I will include the movies that they compiled for their studies. I think that this will be helpful in keeping the video not only based on my preferences for movies, so it is not an amalgamation of movies that are popular to me. Adding in immensely popular movies that I may have not seen is essential so it can reach a wider scope of people that may adore movies that I do not tend to watch. 

With this video I do not want to accuse movies of being perverse, instead I want the viewer to ask themselves why younger characters frequently seem overtly sexual. 

“Sixty-two thousand four hundred repetitions make one truth”, local man reports.

Your living room T.V could be lying to you.

In a video taken of local news providers giving a script on fake news, we are given the impression that local news is scripted by a conglomerate named Sinclair Broadcasting. Although we expect our local news reporters to be working for the communities they speak of, this video communicates the opposite.

The video starts by showing just a couple of the same lines, ones that could easily be a case of parallel thinking. As the video continues, the eerily similar lines multiply. The lines get longer, and the viewer is now convinced there must be something deeper happening. By starting with a small scope, it primes the viewer to think of a rational explanation for the what is unfolding, however, when the explanation cannot persist when there are over 20 clips of the same word-for-word sentences, we are left with no counter-arguments.

When something is portrayed with stark visual evidence, it is difficult to rationalize what is happening. If the public had to rely on their own memory when encountering this repetition, it is easy to think that what has happened is imagined, but the unison chant that is seen here is undeniable 

To enhance the message in this video, the creator should have posted some screenshots of Sinclair or explanations to what the group is and what their supposed biases are. Without that key piece of evidence, the point made only exists in the title. If another user were to take this video for their own purposes they could blame the synchronicity on mind-control or reptilian species.

In order for us to understand that our local media is propaganda, a wise choice could be to compare our news to news in countries that we believe are “controlled” and “not free”. The freedom of America is put into question if press is not free, this tension can be dramatized by explaining more of the sinister possibilities of media being controlled. 

As the comment on the video says,

“Sixty-two thousand four hundred repetitions make one truth”

ed for the uneducated entomologist!

There is a bold divide between the scientific world and the world of popular media. While the two are worlds apart, like star-crossed lovers, they need each other to function. Scientific research is usually meant to better humanity and create understanding, from which even the least scientific person can benefit. When the public is unaware of recent research, it can lead to extremist ideologies, seen in groups such as anti-vaxers. 

Writers often elect to take the responsibility of translating technical jargon into readable entertainment for those that don’t have time to take out of their day to peruse Pub Med or pay egregious prices for access to databases. Some writers use this authority in an unwieldy way, basing their articles off of bogus statistics or misrepresenting a study for the sake of a catchy headline. Fortunately, some writers have the talent to make us learn without giving off that nauseating feeling of cramming for a high-school chemistry exam. 

boring “real” science

Douglas Emlen is the latter writer, able to turn the everyday web surfer into an entomologist. In The Astonishing Weaponry of Dung Beetles, Emlen humanizes beetle interactions second only to Eliza Thornberry from The Wild Thornberrys (sorry, talking to animals is slightly more exciting than personifying them). Even though Emlen is talking about insects, the images he chooses of their armory and attacks conjures up Sparta rather than a couple of bugs milling about. 

To answer why we should care about specific species of beetles, Emlen describes their horns in a way that is more tangible than abstract. The Onthophagus raffrayi has a horn that stems from its head that is twice the size of its body. This is more frightening of an image than a couple of American Revolutionaries with bayonets, the history that all of us are more than familiar with seeing. If Emlen had reported that the horns were an inch long, I might have yawned and went back to my American Revolution picture book, but now I understand the type of equipment the beetles are working with. 

This is not to say Emlen spares all scientific meaning in his article, he informs us of the impossibly long species names of the Onthophagus raffrayi, Onthophagus nigriventris and S. Pius. The reader encounters concepts such as evolution and the reason behind the mutations of specific beetles, as well. The questions are not unanswered and we have a chance to learn about why armament of beetles is effective and why it isn’t. Using terms such as “genetic trigger” are successful because they touch on the theory of genetics without delving into epigenetics or even reiterating Mendel’s infamous yellow and green peapods. Emlen remains self-aware throughout the piece. After discussing complex concepts about beetles and how they mate, he immediately changes the topic to human beings. Most people care more about learning about other people than beetles, so the article switches immediately to famous arms races throughout history. 

It is remarkably easy to learn a few facts about beetles when the beetles seem more like warriors than lowly bugs. 

how to convince the world it’s all gonna be ok (maybe)

Are you good or evil?

The world is rife with injustice, and many of us demand an explanation. In the article The Science Behind Psychopaths and Extreme Altruists, the writer confronts us with a dichotomy, comparing psychopaths and extreme altruists, but does not indulge us with an immediate answer. The placement of this as a header primes the reader to question his or her own actions and examine how mere humans can exist on opposite ends of this spectrum.

Haunting black and white images span the center of the page, usurping the attention of the viewer. The photos are accompanied by death tolls that are in bold under each image. Although the images are deafeningly serene, the number of lives lost shatter that guise and the writer presents us with more contradiction. The dissonance keeps the reader on the edge of every word written, asking for some coherent conclusion that will solve the discomfort that arises. Instead of releasing tension, the writer tightens their scope — choosing to focus on an individual story rather than an entire moment in history. The moment is suddenly magnified, as the chosen women’s story of heroism encapsulates the attention of the reader. The writer uses scope and detail to introduce the two concepts in a way that makes it appear that horror and heroism may occur in equal frequency.

After delving into personal scenarios and national events that the reader can emphasize with, the writer introduces the heart of the article; attempting to tell the world why. Using research on child psychology along with infographics, the writer appeals to the reader’s rational side, the one that craves logic and reason. The article uses logos, pathos, and ethos to convey to the reader that there is an answer to be found within a sometimes non-sensical world. Citing research, researchers, and even arguments the writer convinces the reader that there is hope. This resolves the initial disconcerting reality, offering a way out from the despair that initially seemed senseless.

It seems that there could be a scientific solution to quelling the inner psychopathic animal inside every man, though the writer does not espouse a single answer, they bring flesh to the bare bone concept of true evil.

in awww-nor of The awwwards


I’ve always been a pretty big fan of the triptych, not only were they used pretty often to represent the holy trinity for Daddy Jesus, but they give you that unsymmetrical yet cohesive feeling of poetic triplets. The parallel images on either side seem austere and logical, but the off-kilter middle panel gives the page a pop, pizzazz, or oomph if you will. I want my websites to be organized so I’m not bombarded by one hundred images, anxious my computer might overheat and malfunction (I don’t know how the internet works). However, I don’t want it to be too official like I’m on one of those .edu or .gov type websites. I’m a fun, money-hungry, .com type. The website is clean and crisp, with a lot of negative space. Negative space allows your eye to rest a little as you scroll about the page, focusing on what is most important. The graphic designers chose to introduce an animation as soon as you open the page. This did not work for me. It reminds me of back when people still had Myspace or Tumblrs and put music that automatically played when you opened their pages. Not only does it get old, but the extra effort puts me on edge — what are you really hiding? Some online shops do this, and it always deters me because I feel like they spent their money on the animation rather than on their security. This is probably incorrect, let’s face it those sites are loaded, but too much fanciness keeps me on edge. The style itself is unique enough with the entire hocus-pocus internet voodoo.

This website is user friendly, but there is infinite scroll enabled on my browser when I access the website. As with most insignificant aspects of life, this functionality makes me nervous. Some chic websites include this for optimal sleekness, but at times it can seem as if the page is endless, which is daunting. The color scheme reminds me of the graphic novel Asterious Polyp, in which the author uses indigo and pinks rather than blacks.

The use of color instead of neutrals makes the website seem current, but since they are analogous in color scheme it does not seem elementary or gaudy. A tab on their website outlines their use of characters and handmade icons — I believe this is risky and I am not sure how I feel about it. While this is fresh and inimitable, when icons are not standardized this can come across too daring for those that are visiting the website from an older demographic. Some of the symbols are less obvious than other ones, I spent a couple minutes trying to figure out some of them and I’m not even in my mid-twenties yet. Not that older people would toss their laptop across the room in a fit of rage upon seeing customized icons, but not every business could pull this branding off. The characters in the project are for the purpose of creating a neighborhood that serves as a networking platform for professionals. The website crafts it deliberately to represent a The Sims style suburb with houses that represent different people.

This is appealing because it gives the client an ability to create a community without the team-building platitudes of yesteryear. Daring, appealing, yet user-friendly, this website reminds me of a Rihanna. She has that down-to-earth approachable vibe, yet there are things about her that only certain people could ever pull off.

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