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11.05.2014

Wordy Wednesday

On Halloween I started listening to the podcast Serial and did little else for the next three days, including listening to the Slate Spoiler podcast (it's shit) and reading Reddit posts.

Yeah, so needless to say this podcast is seriously addictive.  It's produced by This American Life and the narrator, Sarah Koenig, is investigating the murder of Hae Min Lee that took place in 1999 in Baltimore County.  The jury convicted her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, who has been in prison these past 15 years and still claims that he's innocent.



This podcast brings up the issue of memory; how hard it can be to remember exactly what you were doing on a certain day, at a certain time.  For example, Adnan cannot remember what he was doing during the 25 minutes when Hae was likely murdered, and so he doesn't have any alibi.  Additionally, an acquaintance of Adnan's remembers him behaving strangely that evening, and now chalks it up to his just having murdered Hae.  I wonder if her memory of that evening was accurate, since other people say that he was acting normally.  What I mean to say is, her memory of the evening may have altered once she discovered that he was convicted of being a murderer, and his just being high may have taken on a more sinister quality.

My own view on the case up to this point (episode 6) has been largely influenced by this reddit post; the commenter makes the point that Jen was probably much more heavily involved than she admitted, due to a lie that she told during her police interrogation regarding the number of shovels involved in burying Hae's body; she initially says there there was one, then more than one, then she says that she can't remember (she ought to remember since she was with Jay when he went to clean off the handles).

It kind of frustrates me that Sarah prefaces the entire discussion of cell phone calls made the day of the murder by saying that they are pretty unreliable as evidence, and then uses these cell phone records as laying out almost the singular account of what happened that evening.

This 'Nisha' call that she singles out as being so incriminating to Adnan (it was made when Adnan was suposedly in school, and the cell phone was exclusively in the hands of Jay; except that Nisha was Adnan's friend, and Jay did not know her)--I mean, if they're so unrelable, why is she giving the cell phone calls so much weight?   Shouldn't the alibai that Asia (a friend of Adnan's) gave about seeing him in the library carry equal weight?  And why has no one even discussed looking into Adnan's old e-mails (assuming that they exist) to see if he was checking or sending e-mails in the library as Asia says he was?
I do think that Jay and Jen are heavily involved, and that Jay may have in fact done it.  Jay; because he knew where Hae's car was left after her murder, and he was so careful to clean off the shovels, plus his account of what happened that day shifted so dramatically that he's clearly deliberately lying some of the time.  And Jen, for the reasons already discussed.  Is Adnan really the know-nothing, not-at-all-involved that he claims to be?

The Slate Spiler podcast basically discusses the podcast in the same way that reddit does, however the hosts/guests say a lot of things like "I don't know.  I just kind of think Adnan is guilty by the sound of his voice" and that's such a bullshit observation.  It really gives me a lower opinion of these people at Slate, that their observations can be so banal.  As though they are those kind of i-went-to-ivy-league-schools-and-got-straight-As-but-in-fact-am-pretty-stupid kind of people who're so exhaustive to come into contact with, as they are quite stupid but have enormous egos.  Ah geez.  My point is, refer to reddit for some substantive discussion of Serial, not the Slate Spoiler Podcast.  (Although one of the Slate guests does make the point about memory and memory experts, and I would like to hear more about this, as I wonder how credible some of these witnesses are in fact, as they are recounting things that happend AGES ago.)

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This week I attended the Comedy Film Nerds Live Podcast in Portland, Oregon--my first live podcast, ever.  Kind of hard to believe, as I've listened to dozens of live podcasts by this point.

It was so cool to see Chris and Graham live since I've been listening to them on their podcasts for about four years now.  The live podcast brought me (more or less) up to speed on the movies coming out now through Christmas Day....and quite frankly, NONE of them make me want to run to the theater.  Except for maybe that Big Eye movie by what's his face.  The WWII movie, meh.  I'm sick of these movies the demonize Nazis and put halos over the British and the Americans.  And the Disney Movie with Johnny Depp that's coming out on Christmas Day......Mancini says that's a Christmas gift from Satan--only take your kids to see this if you hate them, he says.  lol.  Ah geez.  But I've gotta see at least some of the Oscar Bait, if only to keep abreast of what's happning, right?  What about Jon Sewart's movie?  Sounds like it might be entirely bullshit.  Maybe that's an inaccurate assumption.

Have a feeling that I've already seen the two best (no, let's make that three) movies that I'll see all year; Boyhood, Kill the Messenger, and Finding Vivian Maier.  Doesn't looks like Interstellar or The Theory of Everything or any of the others I discussed above will top these three.

Chris Mancini and Graham Elwood are real workhorses.....not only do they do their podcast once/twice a week, but they also host the L.A. Podcast Festival and are creating the podcast documentary Earbuds.  And they supposedly have lives outside of all of this work as well.

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So yeah, I also watched Frost Nixon this week.  Had seen the play several (almost 6!) years ago.  What kind of fascinated me (and I know this is self-centered) is how much more fascinating I found it to be this time than the last time I watched it.

I love how Frost put so much money on the line in order to do the interviews.....and it became a risk well-worth taking.  He's spent almost $2 million by the end, right?  And then he pulled that apology out of Nixon.  Frost's facial expressions are much more exaggerated in the move, yes it is a dramatization of what actually happened I suppose.

Here's the actual video of Nixon apologizing.  I've enjoyed listening parts of these actual interviews (only 20-30 minutes worth of the 28-ish hours of interviews).

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Vell and I suppose that's it.  I could ramble on about some other videos / podcasts I came across this week.....but I'm tired!  so nuf said.

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