• AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: podcast


    Evening, readers!

    Here we have Episode 5: Above the Factory. Read, listen, mull it over, throw your listening device across the room in frustration… whatever floats your boat.

    We also introduce a new bookish game: Judging a Book by Its Cover. We read first sentences from famous (or semi-famous) works, and then make educated guesses about the contents of the novels. Are you ready to play?



18 Responses to Episode 5: Above the Factory

  • Jennifer wrote on May 22, 2012 at 3:46 //

    I agree with you about Sharon. I felt very disassociated with her character. She felt a little like a prop to me, until the end of the story–and even then she felt like a conduit for a portrait of an emmense love transcending a sort of “corporate America” pursuit. The imagery of a factory in the basement was, oddly enough, not too terribly shocking given some of the houses I grew up in (hidden passageways and secret doors to rooms we had no idea existed and weren’t told about). Incidentally, I woke up this morning and a construction company were building a highway onramp in my bathroom. Also, there is an actor who abbreviated his name; D.B. Sweeney

    Can’t wait for the next installment! Much love ~Jenn

    • Rider wrote on May 22, 2012 at 3:54 //

      D.B. Sweeney, of course! Who could forget that ice skating movie. Um, whatchamacallit.

      It’s interesting to hear that a factory isn’t all that surprising to you. In California, there’s so little sense of history to buildings. I think Tod and I, especially, probably find it stranger than it really is.

      Thanks for the feedback!

      • Jennifer wrote on May 22, 2012 at 8:12 //

        He was In a skating movie? I’ve only seen him in Fire in the Sky–I was so drawn in by the romantic sounding title that I failed to realize it was dubbed a TRUE story about aliens–I am irrationally terrified of aliens. That’s neither here nor there, however, and remarkably off topic. So glad that Julia mentioned A Wrinkle in Time. It was on a list of classics I promised myself I’d read one summer, but the lost the list and spent most of my time lying in the sun and surfing. Thank You Julia!

  • Tod wrote on May 22, 2012 at 8:55 //

    Uhm, not just “a skating movie”…THE skating movie: The Cutting Edge. I have seen that movie at least 50 times. You see, he’s a hockey star fallen on tough times. She’s an impetuous skating prodigy who can’t keep a partner. The Olympics are coming up…there’s a move that’s physically impossible to achieve (the Pamchenko, as I recall) but…but…somehow…through the will of love…those crazy kids…USA! USA! USA! Horrible film. I absolutely love it.

    • Jennifer wrote on May 22, 2012 at 9:52 //

      Oh my bras and garters, I know that movie! No sooner did I read your description than the sing-song mocking word “toepick” shrillingly attacked my mind. It WAS a charming movie, as I recall, in that “why am I still watching this?” trainwreck sort of way. But I do go on, sorry.

  • Rider wrote on May 23, 2012 at 1:22 //

    I think in light of how everything played out, my crush on Moira Kelly was probably better placed than my crush on Winona Ryder.

    • Rider wrote on May 23, 2012 at 1:42 //

      Especially considering if everything had worked out with Winona — as my 12 year old self had hoped — it would’ve been too tempting to take her last name and declare myself Rider Ryder.

      • Jennifer wrote on May 23, 2012 at 2:23 //

        Ha! That’s better than Jenn Jennings!! (sounds like a candy!) mmmm…Jenn Jennings!! *drool*

  • Emily wrote on May 23, 2012 at 1:45 //

    I love that movie and Moira Kelly is my fav tv mom on One Tree Hill. Plus she voiced Nala in Lion King so cool. yes i’m a nerd i admit it! lol

  • Tod wrote on May 23, 2012 at 3:31 //

    In my continuing quest to learn even more about The Cutting Edge, I have learned tonight that the screenwriter of The Cutting Edge was Tony Gilroy, who also wrote Michael Clayton and three Bourne films. Which basically makes him a goddamn American hero.

  • Laura wrote on May 27, 2012 at 1:14 //

    This has nothing to do with the discussion here, but I just had a truly awful day, and listening to this podcast (and reading these comments) made it much more bearable!

    • Jennifer wrote on May 28, 2012 at 3:13 //

      This was such a beautiful sentiment that it has inspired me to start a video blog. I delight in the idea of making people smile (it’s why I volunteered as a clown for a Summer–but that’s just between us and the toaster). Thank you, Laura. Also, Rider, Todd and Julia for being so amazing. Since leaving University I’ve been reading without thinking about the content. You’ve rekindled my love affair with the written word. My gratitudes, Jenn

  • Caitlin wrote on May 28, 2012 at 4:38 //

    I know this was just a passing comment in a great podcast, but I did brief scan on IMDB for some other actors who used initials as their stage name because it bothered me that I couldn’t think of any off hand. In case anyone was wondering, I’m adding A.J. Cook (Criminal Minds) & B.J. Novak (The Office, but also a writer, so this might be void) to the list of actors with initial names.

  • Erika wrote on May 29, 2012 at 7:07 //

    As a youth services librarian, I was shocked (and miffed!) by Rider’s comment regarding the lack of creativity in children’s and teen literature. While I love my man H.P., the Twilight books are widely acknowledged as absolute garbage in the field, as popular reading often tends to be. Since when is popular reading representative of the scope of literary excellence? Is David Baldacci the peak of creativity in adult fiction? I sure hope not. There is a TON of amazing children’s and teen literature out there. It may not be as popular as Twilight, but it does exist, and it is fairly widely read by young readers. I would gladly send you a booklist to prove my point.

    • Rider wrote on June 5, 2012 at 4:44 //

      Thanks Erika, I’m relieved to hear that there is good stuff out there, and you’re absolutely right that I am only judging based on the mainstream crap. I would LOVE to hear some titles, as I’m sure our listeners would too. I think maybe the fact that children’s literature as a genre has become more and more popular in general (becoming, as it has, culturally acceptable for adults) means that we hear less about the more inventive, creative, and downright weird stuff that is being written. Please let us know what we should check out!

  • Missy wrote on May 31, 2012 at 8:48 //

    I am so happy to find these podcasts! As I’ve learned from hours of procrastination, the internet is full of mostly boring, useless information, but this has really made my day! It feels so worthwhile to listen to your opinions. I don’t feel like an outsider or that I’m wasting my time reading instead of studying. Glad there are people like you guys out there! Time to catch up on the other podcasts.

  • Vanya wrote on December 25, 2012 at 10:49 //

    That was such a great podcast, guys, and I read the story so I definitely enjoyed the discussion a lot more! (Although I do agree that the Das Kapital insertion was heavily expository.) Also, The ‘Judging The Book By Its Cover’ section was just a great listen and I’d love to do that sometime with other people.

    This may be a little off-topic, but I would dispute the argument that Harry Potter is derivative. (Although my bias is that I literally grew up with it. Nine when I read the first book and sixteen when the last book came out.) I think when you take on a cultural mythos then reinvention of the genre through characteristics, rather than the basic structure of the genre itself is equally innovative. One of the reasons Stephenie Meyer gets so much hate (apart from a whole host of other issues) is that her vampires don’t conform to the genre, so there is a marked lack of identification with the tradition, which in turn dissociates her from the tradition entirely. Meyer’s vampires often aren’t considered “real vampires”, which, at a level, is hilarious, because who gets to decide the reality of vampires and their characteristics anyway? But that’s how it exists in the collective consciousness of people.

    I think, in the same vein, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, while introducing Dracula in its fifth season, played it really smartly, because it introduced the character both as an individual and an archetype; they pointedly acknowledged that there is a mythic tradition attached to this one character, which exists beyond the universe of the show. He maintains an aura, even canonically, where everyone including Buffy, is star-struck, because of his placement as the progenitor of this particular phenomenon AS a phenomenon (as in not going into Vlad the Impaler etc etc), even as they encounter and kill the derivatives with monotonous regularity.

    Harry Potter makes use of broomsticks and cauldrons, sure, but I always felt it was more for the purpose of generic identification? Like, writing in a genre and acknowledging its traditional development and all the characteristics associated with the genre, but also completely reinventing them as having been identified and misinterpreted by the people who, after all, are not a part of this universe themselves and therefore their understanding of it is limited to certain ‘markers’. In Harry Potter the broomsticks are used as a mode of transport occasionally, but the ‘Department of Magical Transportation’ regulates and controls the traffic of broom travel. They’re also used in playing Quidditch, which has its World Cup and is one of those prestigious sports which makes kids good at it popular amongst schoolmates. Cauldrons have to be the right shape, size, material etc., as it would be in baking or cooking or something, because otherwise there is a huge chance of spells or potions backfiring, since magic in HP doesn’t work like “ta-da, magic!”

    Then there is a limiting of the scope of the supernatural by imposing regulations; magic isn’t ‘magic’ in the traditional sense, it has its boundaries; it has basic rules which can’t be violated; apparently one of the five fundamental rules is that it’s impossible to magically create food. There are governmental bodies like the Ministry of Magic to deal with legislature and offences; there are departments like ‘Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures’, and ‘Department of International Magical Cooperation’. There is also the ‘International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy’ with its various clauses detailing offences of revealing the existence of magic to ‘muggles’ and punishments for them; all of which are developed and have well-defined functions and come into play some time or the other.

    The interesting part here is of course that even though this is an alternate universe, the real-world correlations are so strong (discrimination against ‘mudbloods’, justification of treatment of house-elves like slaves because they’re ‘not human’, general teen issues) that the coming-of-age/bildungsroman model works and has obviously captured the imagination of a lot of people without any overt gratuity (unlike, in say, the Twilight novels or 50 Shades). Magic exists and witches and wizards exist and typecasts exists, but they’re made a part of an entirely new order, reinvented in a way, which, I think, makes it more than the sum of its parts.

    Oh my god, I am so sorry! This is always what happens whenever I get into any sort of analysis; I can’t seem to shut up, especially since it’s been a while since I had any sort of discussion like this at all! D: So anyway, I’m having a lot of fun listening to the podcasts and it’s definitely making up for that Literary Discussion shaped hole in my existence right now. Thank you!