Afghanada

I continue to be thankful that we are lucky enough, as Canadians, to have access to the best-of-breed, thought provoking, genuinely compelling content from CBC Radio One. I have talked about their shows both positively (e.g. Ideas) and negatively (e.g. Wiretap) before, and now I’d like to draw another excellent program to your attention: Afghanada. … Continue reading “Afghanada”

I continue to be thankful that we are lucky enough, as Canadians, to have access to the best-of-breed, thought provoking, genuinely compelling content from CBC Radio One. I have talked about their shows both positively (e.g. Ideas) and negatively (e.g. Wiretap) before, and now I’d like to draw another excellent program to your attention: Afghanada.

Afghanada is a radio drama series about the day-to-day life of a small group of Canadian soldiers stationed in Kandahar Province. The writing is strong, with a cast of characters that truly feel like living, breathing individuals put in frequently hellish situations. Having never been a soldier, I cannot say whether the portrayal of these people’s lives is accurate, but I can say that the power of this show has made me feel more compassion for the individuals in our armed forces than all of the traditional news reporting put together.

I am particularly pleased that you can now get all three seasons worth of Episodes of Afghanada via iTunes. Season one is an awesome deal, at $12 for 22(!) half hour episodes.

I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys well acted, radio programming.

(and say “Hi” to Coach for me)

Ideas

I am an avid listener to CBC Radio 1. It wakes me every morning, and is on almost exclusively when I’m driving — the only exception being when Dennis wants to listen to the U.S. driven, R&B, pap[*] that Hot 89.9 puts out. It is also the only station that I have ever made the … Continue reading “Ideas”

I am an avid listener to CBC Radio 1. It wakes me every morning, and is on almost exclusively when I’m driving — the only exception being when Dennis wants to listen to the U.S. driven, R&B, pap[*] that Hot 89.9 puts out. It is also the only station that I have ever made the requisite effort to be listening to at a specific time in order to catch a particular program of interest.

Now there are many good shows on CBC1 (and a few duds), but of all of them, one of their greatest jewels is the show Ideas. The basic premise of the show is effectively captured by it’s title: to expose you to ideas. According to their website…

Ideas is a program about contemporary thought. It explores social issues, culture and the arts, geopolitics, history, biography, science and technology, and the humanities.

… but this typically Canadian understatement hardly does it justice. By turns Ideas can be enlightening, frustrating, shocking, heart warming, awe inspiring, disgusting — the gamut of human potential. I have learned more in a week of listening to Ideas than I have in some university courses.

Of course, the show is not easy listening. It requires real engagement on your part, and depending on the subject matter, may be a dry slog. It’s worth sticking with it, though. In this world of focused specialization and heads-down scrambling through the immediacies of life, it is wonderful to be reminded that there is a bigger picture, and we’re all part of it.

If you’re looking for Ideas, their site has broadcast times and show notes. CBC1 can also be streamed over the net if you can’t find some other way to get there.

If you want just a taste of Ideas, you can subscribe to their “best of” podcast on iTunes. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a podcast of all episodes. It’s too bad, really; that’s one that would definitely be on my iPhone.

Addendum 1: One of my favorite past episodes was Tick Tock Bang: Noise in Modern Art a show about Industrial Music from 1999. For the longest time, a RealAudio version of this episode was available on their site, but the content seems to be gone now. ๐Ÿ™

Addendum 2: I had forgotten that I had posted a HOWTO on capturing Ideas over the web in a previous post. The technical content in that post is probably outdated now, but in any case, I’m glad to see that I said similarly nice things about the show that time too. ๐Ÿ™‚


[*] According to The Free Dictionary:

pap
worthless or oversimplified entertainment or information

CBC Radio’s WireTap

I am an avid CBC Radio 1 listener, and as such, I have heard pieces of the CBC program “WireTap” somewhere around twenty times now. In all those times, the longest I have ever been able to convince myself to listen to the show was about five minutes. I honestly can’t imagine how such blecherous … Continue reading “CBC Radio’s WireTap”

I am an avid CBC Radio 1 listener, and as such, I have heard pieces of the CBC program “WireTap” somewhere around twenty times now. In all those times, the longest I have ever been able to convince myself to listen to the show was about five minutes.

I honestly can’t imagine how such blecherous dreck ever got the green light, let alone how it can continue to be aired. It is essentially a half-hour of incoherent, neurotic rambling, of the sort that you would barely put up with if it was being generated by someone you cared about. In this case, the host is one of the singularly most unlikeable on-air personalities since Kenny versus Spenny, so the only possible reaction is to leap for the channel change dial.

Please, CBC, kill this show. It single-handedly lowers the quality of your entire station to the level of “crappy audio-blog”.