Episode One: The Power & Joys of Podcasting

Yes, this episode was a bit of a monologue. The truth is we ran into a bit of a technical learning curve when it came to capturing audio from FaceTime and Skype, and so we were not able to use the interview we had planned. That said, we have learned from this and are working to ensure that this functionality is up-and-running by the time our next episode rolls around.

What a journey this was. In hindsight, recording and editing the show was far easier than getting it live. We ran into a number of issues with publication, host and RSS setup but it seems we are on the path to a wide network of distributors. The show will be on iTunes, Spotify and Soundcloud as soon as the validation is complete.

If you haven’t listened to the show yet, you can find it here.

The Show Notes

Much of this episode was focused on my own journey into this new and exciting realm of storytelling.

A promotional poster for South Korea’s hit show “Call Me Mother”. (Credit: tvN)

The inspiration for me to finally jump into podcasting came from a Korean television show entitled “Call Me Mother”. The show is a remake of a Japanese series of the same name. In the Korean rendition of the show, we follow a 9-year-old girl who is abused by her mother’s live-in boyfriend. When faced with this daily abuse, a child tends to grow up quite fast. There’s no space in one’s mind for petty disputes as everyday is a struggle for survival. The child, Hye Na, hides her physical and emotional scars everywhere she goes, but opens up to her substitute school teacher who she suspects understands her pain. The teacher, Soo Jin, has never aspired to motherhood, but has this overwhelming urge to whisk this child away from her unsuitable domestic situation.

A plan is soon hatched, involving the child methodically faking her own death, allowing her to be willingly kidnapped by Soo Jin, whom she now considers her mother. The child chooses a new name, and the pair are now on the run.

The first episode of “Call Me Mother” is the one I reference in the podcast. It’s a difficult viewing. It left me very angry, and I only realized later that there were certain scenes in the show that I could somewhat relate to. I, myself, am a product of a troubled existence as a teenager. Nothing nearly as bad as what’s portrayed in this show; but there relationship between my story and the fictional television one playing out before me connected in a very visceral way.

“Call Me Mother” is currently airing in South Korea. You can catch it on DramaFever — the first five episodes are available with a free subscription.

On the power of podcasting

  • Monthly podcast listening in the US was at 21% in 2016, according to a study from Edison Research;
  • This represents roughly 51-millions Americans listening to at least one podcast a month;
  • This is roughly the same number of Americans who were active on Twitter in 2016;

The Edison Research paper summary can be found here.

On Gun Control in America

I brought up some statistics on the B-Block related to school shooting in the United States. Not to be confused with mass shootings, which are multiple fatalities in any location, the figures I bring up are isolated to mass shootings which take place in schools across the US. Though having the potential to be easily manipulated by Internet users, the numbers I pulled up were from Wikipedia:

In 2017, there were:

  • 9 school shooting incidents;
  • 14 fatalities reported;
  • 26 injuries reported.

In the 45 days of 2018 up to February 14th, there were:

  • 8 school shooting incidents (on pace for 65);
  • 20 fatalities reported (on pace for 162);
  • 40 injuries reported (on pace for 324).

America needs much more than “thoughts and prayers” — it needs leadership and action from its elected officials. But if the NRA continues to buy the people in power, as it has with Florida senator and one-time presidential candidate Marco Rubio, we can project no meaningful debate on guns in the United States.

Sen. Rubio received $9,900 in direct contributions from the NRA, but was supported by the NRA indirectly for re-election to the tune of over $1-million. Some estimates put that number over $3-million for his re-election campaign to the United States Senate. You can get a comprehensive list of NRA contributions to political candidates in the 2016 election here.

The Centre for Responsive Politics operates a website where you can get information on NRA donations to political candidates, as well as a host of other information at www.opensecrets.org

Quotable, from the show

There is absolutely no difference, with the exception of creed and skin colour, between those people who bastardize the spirit of the Second Amendment and those who bastardize the Islamic faith to rationalize the killing of innocent people around the world. It’s also ironic that those most critical and fearful of Islamic extremism, so much so that they profess the benefits of border walls and travel bans, are generally those most passionate about their constitutional arguments permitting them to bear arms.