Episode 209: Earthseed – Books of The Living

July 28, 2015


Kathie drops by to talk about Octavia E. Butler‘s harrowing post-collapse books Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents which make up the Earthseed – Books of The Living series. Not to be confused with the 1983 novel Earthseed by Pamela Sargent . Which actually sounds like it could be adapted to be a sequel to these books, though perhaps a terrible one.

Episode Notes:

In the books, the protagonist Olamina creates a compelling religion based on a somewhat Taoist notion of  eternal change called Earthseed which, not surprisingly, has inspired people in real life to create their own organized belief systems. One is the vaguely bonkers SolSeed and another is the more acutely bonkers Terasem Movement.

We touch on some reasons why these books won’t be make into a movie or television franchise despite being full of as much brutal violence, rape and (perhaps more) consensual sex as Game of Thrones. We also reference the Every Word Spoken By A Person of Color In… videos by podcaster Dylan Maron.

Later on we talk about male and female leadership styles and how they affect society. A concept beautifully explored in this clip from the 1991 film Mindwalk.  Skip to 2:37 if it doesn’t start there, but the whole film is worth seeking out.

We also touch upon the pros and cons of religion and discuss whether or not Earthseed’s “Destiny” (colonizing the extraterrestrial worlds) is a valid goal for humanity.

Mandi mentions The Story of Stuff.

And finally, Kathie briefly mentions the universal, unconditional basic income initiative. Jakob happened to ask a resident of the city about it not too long ago.

EDIT: Matthew Fava, who gifted us our copies of the two Parable books, commented this link at Soundcloud. “This panel has some interesting conversations about hollywood and lead roles for black characters/actors…and it is all centred around reflections on Octavia.”

And while we’re at it, this is a great article on the type-casting of middle-eastern actors in Hollywood (Spoiler: they’re always terrorists).

April Search Terms: Don’t make me release the flying monkeys

May 4, 2011

April showers bring May weirdos. We were showered with odd search terms this month.

don’t make me release the flying monkeys: And if you don’t settle down back there, I’ll pull this tornado over and whoop those ruby slippers right off your feet. Actually a tornado is the only explanation for this search ending up here.

christina aguilera importants events in his live: Gender reassignment surgery, August 2011 — A live pay-per-view broadcast.

significant dates of christina aguilera: Bob Saget, dinner and a movie, no make-outs. Conan O’Brien, niece’s wedding, quickie behind the chapel. Vin Diesel, Swan Lake at The Met, sensual back-rubs. Lady Gaga… Yeah, in your dreams, grandma.

keanu reeves personal life 2011: For some reason I keep thinking Keanu is dead. Maybe that’s just his career.

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Episode 43 – Apocalypso

December 11, 2009

Since I first saw The Road Warrior on the big screen at the tender age of (about) ten, I’ve been in love with stories about post-apocalyptic adventures. Something about the idea we’re going to blow ourselves to hell and the few hardy survivors of our race will be doomed to make the same mistakes in a future jerry-rigged together from the scraps of our disposable culture simply resonates with me. I have a famously dim view of human nature and this is a genre built on dim views of human nature.

Not only does humanity bring the world to the brink of oblivion but, with the social contract brushed aside in a maelstrom of decay, people begin to feed on each other. Stories about the thin veneer of civilization being ripped away simply tickle my gloomy bone.

I think in the middle ages I would probably have belonged to a doomsday cult or have been a wandering bard preaching the approaching Day of Judgement. You could argue I already belong to a doomsday cult. A weekly feature of the community radio show I used to co-host was The Apocalypse Watch where we’d report on all the news of the day which suggested we were about three degrees from the world going Mad Max on us. Most of the stories were climate change and oil related—little indications the thundering machine is about to sputter and stop— and I loved every minute of it.

Of course, really, to be honest, I probably just want to wear buttless chaps, a feather boa and a pink mohawk and ride a motorcycle with a Vince Neil ladyboy chained to the backseat.

Reading list: The Hunger Games (trilogy) | John Wyndham | Post-apocalyptic WP article.

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