Friday, 8 January 2016

listening to this stuff: five radio programmes/podcasts

I've been attempting to catch up on all of my podcasts for changing over 'phones of late, so some of these are rather out of date, but that doesn't stop them being good.

1. Witness on the WI

I've always been interested in the Women's Institute. They've been at the forefront of campaigns around Domestic Violence and AIDS, which were really useful. Some branches still focus on scones and tatting, but other branches do more stuff that I like (campaigning and crochet?). The WI change to include the women who are members, and the WI is always changing. Find your local WI here (Scotland) or here (England/Wales).

2. In Search of the Real Searchers

So apparently The Searchers is an old Western movie (I'm a bt hopeless on this stuff). Western movies tend to make me uncomfortable with their white alpha males. I suspect the true stories are much more interesting. This documentary is fascinating on both the construction of the Hollywood Western and the history of the time, especially the taking of Western women and children by some tribes, and how they would be returned. Which brings me on to...

3. Olive Oatman

Olive Oatman was one of those women who were taken. Twice. First she was taken from her family by Native Americans, and then, years later, she was 'rescued' from her new family. She never saw her children again. This is a really interesting story, which raises lots of questions.

4. Thinking Allowed on Being Single

Thinking Allowed is Radio 4s Sociology programme, and it often has me shouting at the radio, so I don't listen every time. But I'm glad I caught this one; in it was a really interesting study by sociologist Eric Kleinenberg  and comedian Aziz Ansari which found that back in the day, especially in cities (the study was in the US), lots of people married people who came from the same street at them. Many people married those who lived in the same apartment block as them. Of course, you can only marry the people you meet, and back then you met at dances, at church, at school. You met through friends, and through family. The marriage market was fast, and local, and you married someone to leave home, so you married someone who was good enough.

Things have changed. In the 80s and 90s lonely hearts columns became more popular, as did dating agencies, but now the action is online on sites like OK Cupid, and, at the more hookup type end of the picture are apps like Tindr. Now more people than ever before live alone, and people don't always have to find someone to live with to be able to leave home.

Three questions arise here: Firstly, are our lovers coming from further away? I did a quick poll of friends and found that typically our grandparents travelled about 2 miles to get together, our parents about 5 miles, and we travelled around 250. There are of course, people who are outliers, and the survey was by no means representative, but it's food for thought. Secondly, is the future going to be more about single people choosing to link up for specific time periods and particular reasons. And thirdly, does it matter? Personally I hope that my kids don't live alone when they grow up, but that's just me, I tried it once and I hated it.

5. Last up for this post is another Thinking Allowed, the thing that fascinated me in this was the topic of siblings. I'm the oldest of three, so I'm the chosen one, the clever one, and the one who is a pain in the butt. You don't need to thank me siblings.