Episode 541: You Left With The Pictures

On the Overthinking It Podcast, we discuss loss, touching on everything from the California wildfires to Veterans’ Day to Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.

Peter Fenzel and Matthew Wrather overthinking what we talk about when we talk about loss, especially the way in which disaster clarifies our understanding of what matters in the world.

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4 Comments on “Episode 541: You Left With The Pictures”

  1. John C #

    It’s maybe (or maybe not) worth making the point that the “strong, silent type” feels campy because it…kind of is. Hopefully not mocking people for not being able to process their feelings, Strong and Silent is a result of raising boys to believe that displays of emotion are for the weak. People really don’t naturally grow up that way, and there’s a growing body of research showing how unhealthy it is. But it does make for protagonists we can pretend to identify with because they’re such blank slates…

    The holiday bifurcation is definitely a nuisance, though. Some almost make sense, since World War I was very different for the United States than the rest of the world, where we basically swooped in at the end and took credit for everything. But then you have the also-mentioned Labor Day, which seems to only exist because an international day about the labor movement sounded too communist. Perhaps in the future, when well-stocked Amazon trucks just circle our houses just in case we order something, Black Friday will become the gift-giving family holiday and Christmas will return to the chaotic bacchanal it was pre-Dickens.

    Of course, smoke and fire are also pretty unhealthy, so everybody out that way stay safe. Hopefully, the recovery operation will move reasonably quickly and not leave many people out.


  2. Margo #

    After every mass shooting, there are always pundits saying that now isn’t the time to talk about gun control. So is it exploitive to mention Climate Change when discussing fires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters? These are events that are not directly caused yet still exacerbated by climate change, according to 97% of the world’s scientists.

    In considering climate change, we are all both victims and perpetrators, both to varying degrees by various people. It would be easier if we could attribute these events solely as the acts of a deity.


  3. MikeO #

    On the topic of whether the California fires could be prevented, this article is interesting:
    It talks about purposefully leaving areas uncleared for aesthetic reasons. And even using housing and roads as fire barriers. If you take anything away from my post, read the article. Because if people are to blame, people involved in urban planning are the ones.

    Trigger Warning. Alternate takes, thoughts, and feelings below:

    California is prone to fires. Just as the south is prone to hurricanes, and mid america in “tornado alley” is prone to tornadoes. So one reaction is “What did you expect?” Coupled with the fact if California were a country, it’s GDP would be in the top 20, and the relatively low loss of life, another reaction is “Could be worse.”
    When rich celebrities post selfies of 1 of their 5 mansions being burned down, another reaction is “Oh boo whoo.”
    And when the likes of Gerard Butler, who took part in fundraising millions of dollars for the Israeli military that routinely demolish entire neighborhoods, another reaction is “I wish you were in that house.”

    To tie the topics of California and WW1 – (ignoring the article) the fires were unavoidable. That’s nature. But war, and especially WW1, are not. They were 100% avoidable and achieved nothing. The take away from it shouldn’t be regurgitating tropish platitudes that allow further wars “Gotta support those troops, fighting for freedom”. The take away should be the leaders during WW1 should have been executed, and leaders today that are taking part in wars, or aiding it, or promoting them, should be executed. Veterans/Memorial Day should be a Purge like holiday, going to all the media and politicians homes that advocated bombing people, and string them up. And I don’t just mean “unjust wars”, that suggests the wars are by large just. No. 99.99% of all wars are unjust. A person in uniform should fill you with dread, disgust, and an urge to make sure people like this don’t ever exist.


    • MikeO #

      And don’t feel you need to shy away from political topics. That’s a form of terrorism, trying to silence you. But as you said, you;re a pop culture podcast so veering into politics is kind of false advertising (but society influences art, and art influences society, so everything is politics). As you can tell by my previous post, my politics doesn’t mesh with the popular ones. But I still want to hear what other people think, and why they think it. Either to change my views, or to reinforce them.
      But as a business model, probably for the best to veer away from politics.


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