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The Thoughts for July 2014

Here, you can browse my erratically updated blog. For the most part, this has become the base for postings about new episodes of the Library Police podcast, but every so often I do a post about something else that's on my mind. If you're really interested in knowing my thoughts about the world, I recommend checking out my Twitter page, to which I post far more frequently. (You can see the latest posts below.)

I do keep all of my older thoughts pages archived onto the site in case you're truly bored. If you'd like to browse the archives, click here.

July 6, 2014: The Library Police - Episodes 145 and 146

Every so often, life gets in the way and keeps me from posting about the Library Police episodes as they go up, and this is one of those weeks. If you're subscribed to the podcast through iTunes (or even through the RSS feed), you've probably already heard both of these episodes; if not, maybe these will be new to you! (But seriously, why aren't you subscribed yet?)

First up: in episode 145, Dietrich and I jump in to the debate over trigger warnings. As the debate over trigger warnings in college literature classes starts spreading around the web, we try to figure out why the idea makes people so angry, whether it's a good idea or not, and where our own feelings lie on the matter. In addition, you've got Dietrich revisiting a favorite classic, a couple of new albums from artists I've come to love, and more.

Episode 145: Trigger Warnings

This week's lineup:

0:00 - 19:55

What We're Reading Now:

  • Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Scott Lynch, The Republic of Thieves
20:24 - 1:05:59 Trigger Warnings: Recently, a university openly considered putting so-called "trigger warnings" on its literature courses - in other words, warning students over troubling content that could be featured on course materials. The resulting debate was surprisingly strident and passionate, with many really furious at even the suggestion of such an idea. So this week, Dietrich and I weigh in on the debate, trying to figure out why passions have risen so high on it and debating our own positions on the argument. And our own feelings end up even surprising ourselves, I think.
1:06:26 - 1:26:37

Off the Bookshelves:

  • Godzilla (2014)
  • The Black Keys, Turn Blue
  • The Roots, ...and then you shoot your cousin
  • Monument Valley
  • Splendor

To download episode, right-click here and choose "Save As"

Subscribe via RSS or iTunes

Next up, here's an odd treat: a week without yours truly. With me out of town for a week, the episode is manned by Rachel, Chris, and Dietrich, who discuss the way that various types of media - from games to TV, from movies to social media - are all bleeding into each other and shaping each other. It's a discussion uniquely suited to a bunch of gamers, of course, but a lot of other media is discussed, and there's an attempt to predict what the future could hold, as well. And, of course, you've got all the usual joys, including a horror comic book, Polish fairy tales, Spanish surrealism, and Lego blocks. Seriously.

Episode 146: Media Bleedover

This week's lineup:

0:00 - 21:26

Book Club Announcement, Listener E-mails, and What We've Been Reading:

  • Book Club Selection: Alan Moore, From Hell
  • Joe Hill, Locke and Key: Welcome to Lovecraft
  • Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher
  • Stephen King, Mr. Mercedes
  • David Baldacci (editor), FaceOff
22:01 - 1:04:47

Media Bleedover: This week, Dietrich, Chris, and Rachel sit down to discuss when various forms of media jump the boundaries between film, books, television, and games. The conversation begins with examining adaptations and the balance that has to be struck between adhering to the source material and the need to tell a good story in the new medium. The discussion then shifts to pieces of work that draw storytelling techniques from other media, such as shows that behave like novels, novels that borrow from film, and film that samples video game techniques. And to wrap it up, the three consider the possibilities of the future, including storytelling techniques that may borrow from social media, verbal tradition, and more.

1:05:21 - 1:24:50

Off the Bookshelves:

  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • Lego blocks!
  • El Topo
  • Transistor

To download episode, right-click here and choose "Save As"

Subscribe via RSS or iTunes

Hopefully you've enjoyed them both! Next time, Chris and Dietrich will sit down for a chat about the feud between Hachette and Amazon, and try to sort out the facts from the rhetoric. And, in addition, don't forget to jump in for our next book club selection: From Hell, by Alan Moore. It should be a fun, silly read! (Maybe not.)

As always, we love to hear feedback on what you loved, what you hated, or what you'd like to hear more of, so don't hesitate to drop us a line either at the podcast e-mail address or at my personal address. And don't forget, you can check out our website at, or you can browse the archive of all of our podcasts over at Thanks for listening!



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page updated:
July 6, 2014