In Review

Podcasts of the week: culture wars, cops and cooking

Featuring Jon Ronson’s Things Fell Apart, Bad Cops, The Genius Recipe Tapes and Honey & Co

Podcasts of the week

“For those of us who have tried (and doubtless failed) to write about the culture wars in a spirit of honest, open-minded good faith”, Jon Ronson is “something of an icon”, said James Marriott in The Times. His 2015 book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed remains the “definitive” account of online cancellation, and its warnings of ever more rancour to come have proved “depressingly prescient”.

Now he is back with Things Fell Apart, a superb BBC Sounds podcast about the genesis of the culture wars. Ronson starts by looking for their “pre-Twitter history”, and finds it in the battles the US’s religious Right fought against abortion and gay rights in the 1970s and 1980s. He identifies this conflict as the “first important intersection of moral fury and new technology”, when Evangelical Christians took to the new mass medium of satellite TV to try to ban books and stir moral panic. It’s a bleak but riveting listen.

Aimed at adults and older children (it includes bad language and “uncensored” accounts of gruesome and violent events), Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby! is a millennial’s take on Greek and Roman mythology, said Charlotte Runcie in Prospect. This is first-class educational entertainment: witty and sarcastic commentary from a modern-day perspective is mixed with rigorous scholarly research.

On a completely different subject, I’d recommend Bad Cops, a BBC World Service series in which Jessica Lussenhop, of This American Life, looks at one of the US’s most corrupt police units, the Gun Trace Task Force in Baltimore, in an effort to find out why good cops go bad.

The world is awash with cookbooks, but “milestone recipes – the true keepers” – are rare indeed, said Dale Berning Sawa in The GuardianThe Genius Recipe Tapes, a weekly pod by Kristen Miglore of the website Food52, explores one such recipe per episode, and talks to its creator. Listening to her descriptions of what she loves about these recipes – from the way “Rachel Roddy slow-cooks her beans in the oven, to the whole lemon Ruth Rogers puts in a startling strawberry sorbet” – is a lip-smacking pleasure in itself.

Another great podcast for home cooks is Recipe Club, from the American chef David Chang and the journalist Chris Ying. The fun of this one is that many of the recipes discussed are “sourced the way most of us decide what to cook for dinner: by Googling”. It’s “a bit millennial, a bit punk, very entertaining”.

Less recipe-focused – and more discursive – is Honey & Co: The Food Sessions. London restaurateurs and columnists Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer talk to guests drawn from the food scene, mostly in Britain, ranging freely across food-related anecdotes, tips and experiences.

Recommended

Best properties: houses around the UK average of £270,000
2 Old Rectory property
The wish list

Best properties: houses around the UK average of £270,000

Tonga’s tsunami: the aid effort turns political
A search and rescue team looking for a missing woman
In Brief

Tonga’s tsunami: the aid effort turns political

Helen Frankenthaler: Radical Beaut – this may be ‘the show of the season’
Madame Butterfly (2000) by Helen Frankenthaler 
In Review

Helen Frankenthaler: Radical Beaut – this may be ‘the show of the season’

The Ticket Collector from Belarus: a ‘heart-rending tale’
Book cover
In Review

The Ticket Collector from Belarus: a ‘heart-rending tale’

Popular articles

Are we heading for a snap general election?
Jacob Rees-Mogg
Today’s big question

Are we heading for a snap general election?

Is Bosnia on the brink of another civil war?
Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik
In Depth

Is Bosnia on the brink of another civil war?

Why is New Zealand shutting its borders again?
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern adjusts her face mask following a press conference
In Depth

Why is New Zealand shutting its borders again?

The Week Footer Banner