Tag Archives: podcasting

Bookshelf Battle Cast Episode 002 – The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe – Analysis and Discussion

A good glass of wine is supposed to be relaxing, unless you’re sharing a bottle with a Montressor.  Damn, that family of dicks won’t let anything good.

But there’s a lesson in this dickishness, 3.5 listeners, for if you act like a dick, you never know how badly your dickish ways have upset someone – so much, in fact that this person might lay in wait, plotting an intricate, fiendish plan of revenge against you…muah ha ha!

And you’d never know it because if you’re as obtuse as Fortunato, you’d probably think whatever dumbass thing you said to your pal Montressor is all water under the bridge by now.

We’re never told what the slight was that turned Montressor into a homicidal mad man.  Then again, it’s doubtful that Fortunato could have done anything that merited being walled off in a tomb and left to suffer and rot while still alive.

Is there a method to Poe’s madness?  Montressor avenges his family against Fortunato’s slight.  Worse, the evil narrator accomplishes his goals – a) he Fortunato, but makes Fortunato suffer and makes him aware that he, Montressor did him in b) Montressor is not caught c) fifty years later, Montressor, as an old man, has lived a full life and now he can make the world aware of his supposed genius, how he masterfully killed Fortunato without getting caught.  One assumes the narrator is so old now that jail would matter little to him.  He’s lived most of his life as a free man so now he can boast of the evil deed he is most proud of to the world.

We see a lot of foreshadowing and ways in which Montressor plays on Fortunato’s ignorance and pride.  Montressor gets Fortunato liquored up, lulls his victim into assuming safety by asking him to leave the dumb under feigned fears of the old man’s health and insults Fortunate’s pride by suggesting Luchesi, Fortunato’s rival in the world of wine tasting, be the one who give the thumbs up or down to the amontillado.

Was there even a cask of amontillado to begin with?  Oh Monty, you devious prick.

Is it better to seek revenge, or as Jesus would advise, to turn the other cheek?  Alas, Montressor doesn’t seem to suffer for his revenge, though he might suffer in reputation as you, the reader, end up fearing and hopefully looking down at him, right?  Honestly, if you walked away from this story think Montressor is a good role model to emulate, you might need some counseling my friend.

Keep in mind that Fortunato isn’t just dressed as a fool, he is one.  He’s prideful and into himself and easily manipulated by appeals to his narcissism.  The idea that his rival wine taster might be consulted him makes him lose his senses.

Sometimes people are dicks…and sometimes these dicks will insult you.  They act like fools when they do, they have already damaged their reputations by being rude to you.  Often, when a person insults you, it is less about you and more about them, about their need to prop themselves up by dragging you down, feeling better by giving you a verbal kick to the ribs.

Montressor would tell you to get revenge but I mean, yeah we aren’t in Montessor’s day so you’ll totally get caught and even if you don’t get caught, you’ll be torn apart inside over the horror you committed and if you are like Montressor and don’t feel bad about it then yeah, again, seeking counseling for your screws are loose.

What say you, 3.5 listeners?

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Bookshelf Battlecast Episode 001 – “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley – Analysis and Discussion

I’ve made a resolution to podcast once a month in 2018 and seeing as it’s very late on January 31, I’m really squeaking by.  In fact, I’m cutting it so close that WordPress will probably date this post as February 1 but oh well.  Like I can tame the WordPress gremlins who screw with my fine blog.

The text (and my notes.)

“Invictus”

By: William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
BQB NOTE: Shit happens and while Henley isn’t sure exactly what god or gods may be out there, he thanks them for the fact that he can control his reactions to the shit coming his way.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
 My head is bloody, but unbowed.
BQB NOTE:  We are caught in “the clutch of circumstance.”  Life throws shit our way and often we can’t control many things.  All it takes is one major shit storm to ruin all the work we put in towards a goal and suffer a major setback.  Henley feels like the constant stream of unexpected, unrequested shit is knocking him over the head and leaving his head bloody, but he’s not going to cave into the shit.  He’s not going to bow down and be all like, “OK shit, you got me!”
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
 Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
 Finds and shall find me unafraid.
BQB NOTE:  Life sucks and then you die.  Don’t like life and all the unfair shit that happens.  Sorry.  Guess what happens next?  You’re worm food, bitch, so start trying to find whatever little joy you can amidst the shit because soon you’ll be in the shit.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
BQB NOTE:  I can’t control life but I can control myself.  Am I going to fall apart when life doesn’t go my way?  No, I’m going to be a straight up baller, son, and I’m gonna keep doing me and all the shit in life can go suck a D.
Your thoughts?  Share in the comments.  Did you like my podcast?  Leave a review.  Didn’t like it?  Did you know there are many interesting cat videos on the Internet to watch?
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Bookshelf Battle Cast – Episode 003 – “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens – Stave 3 – The Second of the Three Spirits – Analysis and Discussion Questions

vintage-1705170_1280Scrooge’s reckoning with his crusty ways continues, though his ghostly visitor is more pleasant this time.  The Ghost of Christmas Present is a big ass baller, a giant of a man, full of food and drink, joviality and laughter, tooling around in a fine robe with a wreath on his head, hardly a care in the world.

Yes, the present is the best time to be in.  The past is unchangeable and thus to think of it can lead to regret.  The future is unknown.  The only time we can be effective in is now…right now…before right now becomes the past…oh no, now just became the past, oh no it happened again, but wait the next moment is in the future, it’s in the present and oh, crap, it’s in the past again.

See how quickly life moves?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

#1 – The Ghost of Christmas Present states that all sorts of things happen “in his name” i.e. hatred, bigotry and so on but urges Scrooge to charge these wrongdoings to those who would perpetrate them, not the ghost.  What does the ghost mean by this?

#2 – Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present visit the Cratchitts and see how happy this poor, not very handsome family is, despite the fact that they all live lives of hard labor, meager wages and little ability to improve their situation.  Scrooge is then taken on a tour where he finds miners, light house keepers and others working dismal jobs in the worst locales are all having a grand time.  Scrooge has fat stacks of cash yet he is miserable, whereas there are so many carefree poor people.  What gives?  What is the message Dickens is trying to tell us?

#3 – Tiny Tim is the epitome of man’s ability to change the future by acting in the present…before an ill fate becomes written into the past.  Scrooge must act now in the present to help Tiny Tim, to provide the family with the money needed to get Tim extra care, medicine, and help.  If Scrooge does not act now, Tiny Tim will die, and all that will remain is a memorialized little crutch in the corner of his family’s home.

Are there any warning signs in your life of a dismal future if swift, decisive action is not taken now?  Consider what negative fates might befall you or those you love if a negative situation is not change.  Do you foresee a way in which change is possible?  What steps will you take to make positive change happen?

#4 – The Ghost of Christmas Present reveals that two “children” have been clinging to him all this time – “Ignorance” and “Want.”  These two children or rather, states, mess up the present something awful.  When people are ignorant, i.e., stupid they make bad decisions that lead to a destroyed future.  Often, bad decisions are made in the name of “want,” i.e. people who covet material possessions over positive life experiences.

What will you do to rid your life of ignorance and want?

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Rate the Bookshelf Battle Cast!

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

CHECK OUT MY PODCAST HERE

So…I don’t have a big interest in becoming a podcaster at this time.  My voice sucks, my improv skills stink, my main talent lies in writing so that’s what I need to focus on.

But I’ve been toying with the idea here, learning Garageband when I could…I figured it couldn’t hurt to read “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens and see how it goes.  Sadly, I have found all sorts of errors and all around shittyness just after listening to the two episodes, but each time I make one I learn how to improve for next time.

Should I take them down and fix them?  Probably.  But I think for now it’s just a learning exercise and getting them produced and up there.  I’d like to finish “A Christmas Carol” reading and then get back to my writing and not worry about podcasting for awhile.

It’s water I’d like to dip my toe in but isn’t really my forte.

I do think if I could improve there would be some service i.e. you could listen to me read public domain fiction rather than pay for audio books.  On the other hand, I’m a shitty reader who coughs a lot and sounds like I have a mouthful of farts so you get what you pay for.

It’s on iTunes.  It’s on Soundcloud.  The link above is for iTunes.

Follow me on Soundcloud here.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Impression

Hey 3.5 readers.

Will you please drop what you are doing and listen to “Not Arnold Schwarzenegger” make fun of me, my fat flabbiness, my lack of muscles and love of pizza and so on?

Hey by the way, “The Bookshelf Battle Cast” is on iTunes so, yeah, go listen, subscribe, vote, leave a review.

This little soundbite is short, and is hilarious so, check it out:

 

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In Case You Missed It – A Movie Trailer Guy Talks About BQB

Hey 3.5 readers.

A little bummed that my podcast never got off the ground, but I can only do so much I suppose.  Maybe one day, when I’ve got the time…and develop some speaking talent.

In the meantime, this Movie Trailer Guy talking about my awesomeness is the funniest thing ever.  You gotta listen to it.

(FYI I think there’s an actually guy called “The Movie Trailer Guy.”  This isn’t the official Movie Trailer Guy but it is a dude from Fiverr who is very talented and can do a movie trailer guy voice.)

 

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S-Town Podcast – Spoilery Review

Hey 3.5 readers.

So, I’ve had the chance to listen to the entire S-Town podcast.  This post will have spoilers, so if you don’t want to have it spoiled for you, don’t read on.

My observations:

  • It’s hard not to feel a little bit jerked around.  After all, it starts out as the wacky and eccentric John B, a prolific hater of his hometown (he calls it “Shit Town,” calls upon a reporter, Brian Reed, to investigate a murder.
  • There’s no murder and as a listener, this is disappointing.  I mean, obviously I’m glad that there was no murder, but once you learn that early on, you end up wondering what the point of the podcast was.
  • Reed, like many good reporters, takes a big nugget of nothing and turns into a pile of something.  Often, a reporter will put a lot of time and effort into a lead (i.e. a rumor of a murder) only to have that lead go nowhere.  Many reporters, at that point, will throw their hands up in the air and write the time they spent as lost.  Reed, on the other hand, kept in touch with John B and the residents of Shit Town for years and after awhile, found a story.
  • The podcast tragically shifts gears when we learn that John B has killed himself.  John B is a clock restorer, and so time becomes a big theme – how quickly it passes, how John B, while clearly having a screw loose, could still be relatable to the average forty something year old.  John B is smart, has an aptitude for science, has skills with chemistry and clock repair – he laments that he didn’t run from Shit Town in his 20s.  He can’t vocalize an explanation as to why he didn’t other than no one would have taken care of his elderly mother or his family property.  In short, at some point, and maybe we never really know when, but we always think we’re going to break out of our ruts and “become somebody” and depression comes when we get old enough to realize that it’s unlikely we’ll catch some great big break.  We then end up beating ourselves up, being able to see our lives in hindsight and knowing what we should have done, though we didn’t know or realize it at the time.
  • People on both sides of a dispute can be understandable.  John B’s longtime friend Tyler gets in a legal battle with Rita and Charlie, John B’s cousins from Florida that he rarely saw in life.  For part of the podcast, you cheer Tyler on, that he’s a quasi-adopted member of John B’s family and that John would have wanted the young man to inherit something from him.  But then you also get to know Rita, and you realize that John B hadn’t done the best job of taking care of his mother.  Though he did his best, his mother now flourishes with the cousins as they take her places and tend to all her needs.  And as distant cousins, they could have easily put the old gal in a home and washed their hands of the whole thing, but they’re taking care of her, and the old lady needs money for her expenses and that would come from her estate and that money won’t be there if Tyler keeps taking things from the property.
  • In short, you’re able to see both sides.  No one wants to go through the exercise of writing a will.  It’s too much of an admission that we will all croak one day, a fact that is part of the human experience and yet we try our best to push it out of our minds because if we didn’t we’d never do anything in life.  Still, if you have stuff, and people who would fight over the stuff, best to suck it up and leave behind a legal document that explains what you want to happen.
  • It’s a good podcast and Reed is to be commended for sticking with this for so long when most other reporters would have given up and decided there was no story here.  He ultimately turned nothing into something.
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Podcast Review – S-Town (2017)

Hey 3.5 readers.  BQB here.

The first season of Serial was great.  The second, not as much but still pretty decent.

The peeps at This American Life are back with a new podcast, S-Town.

Short for “Shit Town,” its a tale of John, an Alabama man in his late forties.  He’s full of regret, fancies himself as an intelligent person but feels bad he never left his backwater burg.  When he overhears talk that a local young man committed a murder and got away with it, he contacts a reporter.  The reporter heads to the town to investigate and, well, that’s the point I have listened up to.

Thus far, it’s great and binge-able.  I highly recommend it.

Available on iTunes, or check out their website and listen.

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This is Not Donald J. Trump (Trump Impression)

I’ve hit the big time, 3.5 readers.  I have been lampooned by Not Donald J. Trump:

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This Is Not Al Pacino

I still think the Bookshelf Battle Cast may be a lackluster endeavor, unlikely to ever get off the ground.

However, I have enjoyed being roasted by various Fiverr comedians.  Here, “Not Al Pacino” has his way with me, Scent of a Woman Style.  Umm…I may have used erroneous phrasing just now.

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