The Curse of Charlie Decker With Melissa from The Brook Reading Podcast

“Then you can blame it on your parents,’ I said, smiling. ‘Won’t that be a relief?”
– Charlie Decker in Rage by Richard Bachman

Episode 2 of Season 2 of The Frankenpod is a conversation with Melissa of the Brook Reading Podcast about Stephen King’s notorious novel Rage published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman.

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The texts we discussed included:

  • Rage by Stephen King writing as Richard Bachman (1977), previously printed as part of The Bachman Books
  • Guns an essay by Stephen King (2013)

Melissa of The Brook Reading Podcast was such a wonderful guest and her insight as a Stephen King fan and a middle school teacher. I highly reccomend checking out her podcast if you haven’t already. The Brook Reading Podcast is a great podcast to casual listen to, or as I have attempted to do when time afforded it, you can read along with her.

Stephen King’s Rage has a troubled legacy and we loosely explore some of the events that led King to remove the book from publication. But if you are looking for details of school shottings there are some fine… and less fine… true crime podcasts and online resources that can help you out with that information.

Now I read some where that King either started this book in high school or completed in entirely, but I am struggling to rediscover the source of that information because I take crappy notes. It may be entirely hypocriphal. If you know you can email us or tweet at me.

So what makes Rage gothic? Well as we discuss in this episode the gothic aspects of the novel are not as obvious in other King offerings such as the more deeply upsetting The Stand (1978), and, I would argue, the suburban and blatently supernatural Pet Sematary (1983).

Listen to the episode for more on my thoughts on this book check out the podcast.

 

 

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In Cold Blood & Capote – Or why you should never trust a writer…

Welcome to season 2 of The Frankenpod in which we will be looking at Truman Capote and his “literary non-fiction” novel In Cold Blood (1966).

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The media that we focused on included;

  1. The 1966 novel In Cold Blood: A true account of a multiple murder and its consequences by Truman Capote.
  2.  The 2005 film Capote directed by Bennett Miller and starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the title role.
  3. The 2011 collection of critical essays Truman Capote and the Legacy of In Cold Blood by Ralph F. Voss.
  4. The 1967 film In Cold Blood directed by Richard Brooks and starring Robert Blake as Perry Smith and Scott Wilson as Dick Hickcock.

In this episode, we touch on some aspects of the real events surrounding the murder of a ‘nice family’ from Kansas by two complex and dangerous men who have been recently paroled and believed that the father, Herb Clutter, kept a large amount of cash in a safe in the home. No such safe existed. We don’t go into great detail so if you are looking for a more comprehensive look into the murders of the Clutter’s I would suggest the In Sight Podcast episode on the case.

In Cold Blood was the last book ever written by Truman Capote and was first published in 1965 as a four-part series for the New Yorker and was published as a novel in 1966. Capote was an acclaimed writer of fiction and perhaps his most famous book after In Cold Blood was Breakfast at Tiffany’s. He was controversial largely due to his flamboyant self promotion and the brutal confronting honesty of his prose. Truman Capote promoted the book as an entirely new genre of book, the “literary non-fiction” novel. But it didn’t come out of nowhere, these things seldom do, historical fiction and non-fiction accounts that embellish and twist the truth to suit the author’s needs have existed for centuries. He claimed that In Cold Blood was an accurate account based on years of correspondence and investigation into the horrific murders of the Clutter family and Capote certainly spent an enormous amount of time researching and interviewing those involved. The issue that many critics have with the book is Capote’s embellishment and manipulation of the truth, often including scenes and quotes in the novel that never happened. Another contentious issue was Capote’s obvious attachment to one of the convicted men, Perry Smith and his story was given primacy when many thought that the book should have focused more on the victims and the impact the crimes had on others.

The efficacy of the creation of In Cold Blood and the scandal that surrounds it is almost as interesting, if not more so than the book itself as evidenced by films like Capote and the critical work of Voss. After the film adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s Capote was determined to exercise more creative control over the film of In Cold Blood and the director Richard Brooks worked with him to create a beautifully shot if the somewhat narratively choppy film that they were both happy with.

 

 

  • Brooks, Richard, 1912- & Blake, Robert, 1933- & Wilson, Scott, 1942- & Capote, Truman, 1924-. In cold blood & Columbia Pictures et al. 2003, Truman Capote’s In cold blood, Widescreen ed, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, Culver City, CA
  • Capote, Truman 2000, In cold blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences, Penguin, London.
  • Miller, Bennett, (film director.) & Baron, Caroline, (film producer.) & Vince, William, (film producer.) & Ohoven, Michael, (film producer.) & Futterman, Dan, 1967-, (screenwriter.) et al. 2006, Capote, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Culver City, California
  • Voss, Ralph F & ProQuest (Firm) 2011, Truman Capote and the legacy of In cold blood, University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

Four Days to Go!

It’s 2pm Australian Eastern Daylight savings time on the 27th of October 2018 which means The Frankenpod season two starts in just four days on the 31st of October!

Halloween Spppooooookyyy.

Not really intentional it just seemed as good a time as any.

We have some amazing episodes coming with Melissa of The Brook Reading podcast on a particularly divisive and controversial book and I don my tinfoil hat with the ladies of Wives Tales to talk about a cinematic adaptation of one of the most popular conspiracies based novels of the 20th Century.

But for the first episode of season two Brent and I tackle a little true crime by examining a masterpiece of “literary non-fiction”, some of the controversies surrounding it and it’s cinematic adaptations.

We’ve recorded a short promo just to keep everyone in the loop and you can find the initial relaunch blog post here.

If you want a bit of a refresher on what we define as gothic you can find our introduction to gothic literature here and we will be updating this definition soon to include some of the things we have learnt along the way. There is also our everything is gothic unless it’s not and then it’s something else which might be useful if you are looking for more specific information about what we include as part of the gothic genre.

This season we will be featuring creepy stories submitted by listeners and some classic gothic short stories you may not have heard before. It doesn’t have to be frightening, it doesn’t have to be dramatic, just a little something that can be read in 5 minutes. If you like you can send it to us as the text for us to read or you can read it yourself and send us an audio file. If writing isn’t your thing we are also happy to accept music.

Make sure you let us know if you want us to promote your project, podcast, writing or anything. It is literally the least we could do.

If you want to come on the podcast and have a chat about your favourite gothic book, movie, television show, graphic novel, poem, character or author you can email us at thefrankenpod@gmail.com.

We can’t wait to be back!

http://thefrankenpod.libsyn.com/season-2-starts-on-the-31st-of-october

 

Promo Music: Swing Gitane by The Underscore Orkestra is licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Image: A digitized image of the original painting American Gothic that Grant Wood, a master artist of the twentieth century, created in 1930 and sold to the Art Institute of Chicago in November of the same year.

The FrankenPod Relaunch

Hi there!

It’s been a while, I know. We just kind of disappeared for a bit didn’t we? Sorry about that. It has been a weird few months. Everything is good though.

Kind of.

Sco Mo is PM which is strange, the world getting crazier and the Insane Clown Posse and Limp Bizkit were relevant there for a hot second.

And I am in the middle of kicking a seriously out of control rainbow popcorn habit.

But starting this October the 31st we are back! Yep back for Halloween because we are a walking, talking, recording cliche.

Things are going to be a little different this time around.

We aren’t going to be weekly anymore. It’s all a bit much. We both work, we have kids, Morgan is studying and Brent has just discovered cosplay.

So we are now a fortnightly podcast. Which we should have been in the first place but past Morgan really does love making problems for future Morgan.

There will still be Everything is Gothic, Unless it’s not… Then it’s something else and we’ll be adding a new bit in which we will be reading creepypasta that YOU send in!

That’s right, we will not be profiting from your creativity because we don’t profit but we will be using your gorgeous brains to fill 5 mins or less of podcast time at the very end of the podcast. You can read it yourself or we’ll read it for you!

Well, Morgan will.

Brent will listen. Kind of.

Anyway, you guys are so amazing! Thank you so much for continuing to listen and share our podcast when we ghosted on you.

You are wonderful and we don’t deserve you

Also a huge thank you to Melissa from the Brook Reading Podcast and Jen and Shelby from the Wives Tales podcast who have waited so patiently for me to edit their episodes.

We love you

See you on the 31st

xo

P.S.

So I watched Twin Peaks again because I decided to write a short story adaptation of Fire Walk with Me for my writing and film unit and then I went to a con as the Log Lady and I feel this very intense desire to cover Twin Peaks. So if you are a Twin Peaks nerd hit me up.

P.P.S.

Only one person recognised my costume

P.P.P.S

He was dressed like Rick from Rick and Morty. Rick, whoever you are, you made my day.

P.P.P.P.S

Is anyone listening to the new season of Serial? Goddamn, Sarah Koenig can tell a tale.

P.P.P.P.P.S

Oh my god, you are still reading? Aren’t you the sweetest. *sigh* Let’s talk about you… How are YOU doing? Read any good books? Seen any good movies? Played any good games?

Me? Well, I finished Rusty Lake Paradox about 2 weeks ago. It was pretty fucking good I have to say. The new Ian Rankin novel is out so I’m going to start that tomorrow and I just watched Thor Ragnarok with the kids. Hot damn Valkyrie can get it.

I should probably do some work…

Sherlock and the Case of the Upset Fandom with Megan of Oh No! Lit Class!

Download episode HERE

Listen HERE

This episode I’m joined by the hilarious Megan of Oh No! Lit Class to talk about her favourite detective boy Sherlock Holmes. We examine the adaptations of the most adapted character in English literature.

The character is the invention of Arthur Conan Doyle, lover of fairies and enthusiastic proponent of the Victorian spiritualist movement. He famously resented the popularity of holmes, wishing for more recognition for his adventure stories, so like the second half of the first Sherlock Holmes novel a study in scarlet which we talked about in one of our earlier episodes, desperately seeking Watson. The basic pretence of the stories, for anyone who has missed the sherlock holmes party bus, is that a veteran of the second Anglo-Afghan war, Dr John Watson moves in with an eccentric, dangerous and terrifically gifted ‘consulting detective in air quotes Sherlock Holmes who works and condescends to the police.

The original canon, that is the accepted 4 novels, A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of Four and The Hound of the Baskervilles. And then 56 short stories which give us a nice neat 60 stories as the basis for a whole bunch of great, average and abysmal television and film recreations, adaptations and very vague nods to. The entire works that are included in the canon were released from 1891 to 1927, which I’ll be honest surprised me a little because I didn’t think Doyle made it that far into the 20th century!

What we know about Sherlock from Arthur Conan Doyle:

As far as canon biographical information goes, we have his birth year as 1854, which places him in his late 20s for some of the early works and 60 by ‘His last Bow’

He started taking on detective cases as an undergrad

He has a brother named Mycroft who is seven years older than him and is a civil servant who seems to know where all the skeletons are buried. He also spends time at the Diogenes club which is a gentleman’s club invented by Doyle,

He says his quote ancestors were country squires

His grandmother was the sister of a French painter

We talk BBC Sherlock and Moffat’s special brand of emotional manipulation.

We talk Robert Downey Jr.’s ACTION SHERLOCK and Jude Law’s moustache game.

Love, Actually gets a roasting. For some reason…

The muppets make an appearance because we love some muppet action.

What we do in the Shadows with Meg from Indoorswomen

This episode I’m joined by Meg from the fabulous pop-culture podcast Indoorswomen. We talked about the 2014 vampire spoof What we do in the Shadows. I love this movie and Meg took part in the Kickstarter to get a US theatrical release of this distinctly New Zealand gothic parody. We completely spoil this movie so if you haven’t seen it before and you plan on watching it, watch it before you listen.

Listen Now

Every few years a secret society in New Zealand gathers for a special event: The Unholy Masquerade.

In the months leading up to the ball a documentary crew was granted full access to a small group of this society.

Each crew member wore a crucifix and was granted protection by the subjects of the film.

References

The Conversation Review: http://theconversation.com/what-we-do-in-the-shadows-the-nz-gothic-with-sharp-comic-chops-30764

Some History of Gothic Parody: http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198119920.001.0001/acprof-9780198119920-chapter-5

 

The Lady Pod Squad and Online Creative Communities

Header Image: Radio love by r2hox tm :CC BY-SA 2.0

Apple says that there are over 525,000 podcasts registered with Apple Podcasts (Locker 2018), formerly part of Itunes, and let me tell you the Apple Podcast registration can be a pain in the neck. There may be many who are just publishing to RSS feeds that haven’t jump through the necessary hoops for Apple Podcast listing.

So if you are one in those 525,000 how do you get people to listen?

And if you are new to podcasting how do you navigate the technical stuff without being sold something you really don’t need?

Creator communities are a great way to crowdsource the information needed to get started on a creative endeavour. There is a multitude of podcast communities designed to not only help by trading promos but also to share advice and collaborate.

Lady Pod Squad was started by Hannah from the Boozy Movies Podcast and it remains volunteer managed and no one directly profits from the squad, although some of the Lady Pod Squad members receive payment of some kind through their own podcast in the form of advertisement, merchandise and donations.

Lady Pod Squad functions as a Facebook Group, Twitter account, cross platform hashtag #ladypodsquad, Google drive and Slack channel.

Below is a tweet that includes #ladypodsquad in a promotion for an episode that features me and another member of the Lady Pod Squad. This hashtag can be tracked so that other Lady Pod Squad members can retweet. However, the easiest way to find other podcasts new episodes to share is on the Slack. The Slack is a workspace that makes it easier to track what new episodes other members have released so that it is easy to share the right ones on Twitter.

Here is another tweet of mine in which we credit the Lady Pod Squad drive for the promo we were able to run for 6 Degrees of Wiki. The promo drive is a great resource for sharing promos that you can download very simply and insert into your show and upload your own for similar inclusion in other people’s shows.

So why do these communities work?

How can they be sustainable when theoretically every podcast is competing for listenership on an increasingly competitive media platform?

The use of the creator communities on social media can be used to “accumulate group experience and knowledge through social interaction and information exchange behaviours.” (Wu, Li & Chang 2016). The exchange of experience, information and ideas result in a net positive for the group. Not only is there an informal skill exchange, but also the exchange of content and marketing between podcasters. The benefits of the creative networking for the individual are manyfold and include not only an improvement in the quality of their own work but also emotional support in the case of the Lady Pod Squad. Users of the Lady Pod Squad attest to the benefits of the creator community:

Female singer by Orion 8 and tatewaki • Public domain • modified by Morgan Pinder

Check out the podcast for more personal experiences with the Lady Pod Squad.

In addition to this Wu, Li & Chang assert that the use of social media to engage in creative producer communities build “individual habits of social learning within various groups; this helps to enhance the users’ creative performance.” (Wu, Li & Chang 2016).

The use of the Lady Pod Squad across media platforms to create collaborative content such as interviews, crossover episodes and content sharing is usually carried out in a reciprocal and mutually beneficial fashion. This is in line with Kaplan & Haelein’s ideas surrounding collaborative projects as a form of social media:

“The main idea underlying collaborative projects is that the joint effort of many actors leads to a better outcome than any actor could achieve individually” (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010)

The Lady Pod Squad is just one example of a creative community that exists as a symbiotic network fostering creativity and assisting with social media marketing. No matter what you are creating there is sure to be a network of people out there sharing information and ideas…

Or make one yourself like Hannah did…

‘I guess my unique perspective is that I started this community when I noticed there was a lack of safe space & support for women in podcasting. I found amazing women who felt the same way and together we grew this group into a community. it’s really been an incredible journey and we’ve only been around a little over a year.’

~ Hannah from Boozy Movies Podcast and creator of Lady Pod Squad.

References

  • Kaplan, AM & Haenlein, M 2010, ‘Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media.’ Business Horizons, vol. 53 no. 1, pp.59-68.
  • Locker, M 2018, ‘Apple’s podcasts just topped 50 billion all-time downloads and streams’, Fast Company, 21st April 2018, retrieved 18th August 2018,
    <https://www.fastcompany.com/40563318/apples-podcasts-just-topped-50-billion-all-time-downloads-and-streams>
  • Wu, Y., Li, E.Y. & Chang, W. 2016, “Nurturing user creative performance in social media networks”, Internet Research, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 869-900

 

Images

With thanks to the following podcasts:

6 Degrees of Wiki
Amanda’s Picture Show a Go Go
Bygones
Boozy Movies
Pups n Pop culture
Vibrant visionaries

 

Podcast

Music: Kelli’s Number by U.S. Army Blues is licensed under a Public Domain Mark 1.0 License
<http://freemusicarchive.org/music/US_Army_Blues/Live_At_Blues_Alley/0_-_08_-_The_US_Army_Blues_-_Kellis_Number>

Image: Megaphone, Elegant Themes, GPL, modified by Morgan Pinder
<https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Circle-icons-megaphone2.svg#mw-jump-to-license>