How Do You Like It So Far uses pop culture to take soundings of a society in transition, exploring intersections with civic imagination and engagement, and social and political change. Henry Jenkins and Colin Maclay are your guides on this adventure.

Episode 47: Women Who ROCK with Evelyn McDonnell, Shana L. Redmond and Alice Bag

Here’s to another week How Do You Like it So Far? crew!  Henry and Colin have a fantastic group of women join them in Recording Studio B this week.  They welcome Evelyn McDonnell, an Associate Professor of Journalism at Loyola Marymount University and former music editor at The Village Voice, Shana L. Redmond, a Professor of Global Jazz Studies Musicology at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and Alice Bag, an author, feminist and lead singer/co-founder of The Bags, a punk rock band that dates back to the initial wave of punk in Los Angeles.  Their lively panel discusses “Women Who Rock: Bessie to Beyonce. Girl Groups to Riot Grrl,” edited by McDonnell with Redmond and Bag serving as contributing essayists.  This book celebrates 104 of the greatest female musical artists in the 20th and 21st century.  Each profile is accompanied by artwork by female artists to create a lively portrait of the musicians in this book.  They analyze the women featured in the book from Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes to Aretha Franklin. McDonnell, Redmond and Bag highlight the importance of this book with an examination of the gender disparities in the music industry and the legacy system that keeps those inequalities in place.  They talk about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Board stacked with mostly white men and the music industry’s role as one of the last bastions of the patriarchy. Listen in as McDonell, Redmond and Bag dissect music as a strategy to incite action for change and call for more women in the music landscape. An added bonus: McDonnell is also a former student of Henry’s!

Here are some of the references from this episode, for those who want to dig a little deeper:

Rock She Wrote: Women Write about Pop, Rock and Rap (First book Evelyn edited)

Shana L. Redmond’s Work:
Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora
Forthcoming book – Everything Man: The Form and Function of Paul Robeson 

Alice Bag’s memoir “Violence Girl: East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage, A Chicana Punk Story” 

Alison Wolfe – Contributor to the book | Formed Riot Grrrl

Artists mentioned in this episode:
Aretha Franklin
Brittany Howard
Lead singer of Alabama Shakes
Jamie – Recently released solo album
Queen Latifah
June Millington
Formed a band called The Svelts
Formed Fanny
Founded a school
Worked in the women’s music movement
Olivia Records
Fanny Walked the Earth – released new music last year
Invited a lot of groups to sing back up: The Runaways | The Bangles
Bessie Smith
Sister Rosetta Tharp

List of songs mentioned in the episode:
Joni Michell – “All I Want
Alabama Shakes – “Don’t Wanna Fight
Brittany Howard – “Stay High” and “Tomorrow
Fanny Walked the Earth – “When We Need Her, She Comes
Alice Bag – “Turn It Up
Dolly Parton – “Working 9 to 5

Rock & Roll – Rooted in the blues and gospel

Iconic Grace Slick self-portrait

Women historically marginalized in music

Brandi Carlile performed Joni Mitchell’s Blue 

Elton John at The Greek with Taron Egerton

Yoko Ono Tribute at The Greek

Music industry as the last bastion of patriarchy

Go-Gos first all-girl band to have an album hit #1 

Female artists on Top 20 of country radio charts

Rock &  Roll Hall of Fame has small percentage of female inductees
Few women on the Board

Punk focus on white suburban men
Patti Smith as a woman who stepped up and made punk rock

Transgress Fest – pioneered by a transgender artist

Spinal Tap – “Turn it Up to an Eleven

Turn It Up show in July

Ken Burn’s Country Music Documentary for PBS

Women in Country Music Hall of Fame:
Carter Sisters
Patsy Cline

Number of women in the Country Music Hall of Fame

Share your thoughts via Twitter with Henry and Colin and also through email at [email protected]!

Episode 46: “Legos for the Blind” with Matthew Shifrin

Welcome to November How Do You Like it So Far? fans!  We kick off the second to last month of the year with Matthew Shifrin, an activist and advocate on issues impacting the visually impaired.  His work has been integral in The Lego Group’s inclusion of braille and audio instructions with their modular sets.  He received his first set of braille instructions to build a Lego model at 13 years old from a family friend. Over time, they created instructions for over 20 different Lego modules.  Matthew has been a proponent of experiences that include the visually impaired. His passions have extended to podcasting and 3D sound experiences for the blind where they can enjoy activities similarly to sighted people.  Matthew promotes adaptive tools for the blind, but he also wants to get the word out that these types of tools are right around the corner in the future. He wants to ignite conversation with the hope that others will start their own projects to foster a new wave of innovative tools for the visually impaired.  Listen in as Matthew discusses his partnership with Lego, the other projects he has in the pipeline and his overall enthusiasm that his work will have an impact on other visually impaired people like himself. Also, you will get to hear the hilarious story of how he met Henry for the first time!

Here are some of the references from this episode, for those who want to dig a little deeper:

Matthew’s Ted x Talk

Blind Guys Travels podcast

3D Sound Experiences

Blind people and traveling

Lego building sets for the visually impaired

Matthew’s website with text instructions for building Lego sets

Legos started on 4 sets but expanding to 50

Number of visually impaired people in the US and worldwide

NPR’s piece on Matthew

Erik Weihenmayer – Blind Mountain Climber

Audio descriptions for folks started in the 1980s

WGDH explains Arthur the Aardvark for the blind

Comics References:
Daredevil comics (Audio Edition)
Comic Book Scripts Archive
Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore
Brian Michael Bendis
Neil Gaiman
Frank Miller

Henry’s talk at MIT with Neil Gaiman

Nonny de la Peña – VR experiences

Eric Arthur von Hippel – adaptive medical technology and innovation

Lego Lead User Lab

Matthew’s advocacy for comics for the blind

Share your thoughts via Twitter with Henry and Colin and also through email at [email protected]!

Episode 45: “Radicalized” with Cory Doctorow

Miss us yet?  Welcome to another week, How Do You Like it So Far? crew!  Henry and Colin welcome science fiction writer, blogger, and policy advocate, Cory Doctorow.  His newest book, Radicalized, is a collection of four science fiction novellas:  “Unauthorized Bread,” “Model Minority,” “Radicalized,” and “Masque of the Red Death.”  Through social, technological and economic visions, each story paints a vivid picture of what America could look like in an all too near future.  Through a bold sense of humor, especially as we are bombarded by anxiety inducing daily headlines, Doctorow explores our dark, technologically ambiguous present through a sharp, witty and political lens.  Inequities in technology in our modern times have highlighted that America in 2019 is broken. Doctorow, through the chaos of the Trump Presidency, tries to make sense of it all. He posits the urgency of using Sci-Fi as a medium for imaging alternate realities around our society’s reliances and roadblocks to imaging a peaceful existence.  Doctorow’s insightful interview shines a light on the perils of technology through the amalgamation big tech companies and their individual histories of adversarial interoperability. Listen in as Doctorow breaks down the current (scary) state of technology by analyzing where we have been in the past and where we might go in the future if we do not imagine a new reality.  He even drops a hint on what his next book will be!

Here are some of the references from this episode, for those who want to dig a little deeper:

Cory’s Blog Boing Boing

Cory’s Books:
Radicalized – Collection of the four novellas above
Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom
Eastern Standard Tribe
Little Brother

Policies and Laws Mentioned in this episode:
Section 12.1 of the Digital Millennium Protection Act in 1998
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Chaos of the Trump years

Copyright infringement and the Unintended Consequences of DMC

Cybersecurity Issues → firmware updates in pacemaker

Shitty technology adoption curve

Matt Taibi’s book on the Eric Garner case

Michael Weinberg’s Book

Read/Write Web

Adversarial interoperability:
Facebook’s history of adversarial interoperability
Apple’s iWork Compatible Suite 

Douglas Rushkoff – Programmed or Be Programmed 

Ed Felten on how keeping honest users honest is like keeping tall users tall

Cyberpunk Writers
Rudy Rucker
William Gibson

Lawrence Lessig’s Four Forces Model

AOC and Naomi Klein’s Animated Science Fiction Short

Ronald Coase’s Theory of the Firm

Naomi Klein’s No Is Not Enough

Facebook lost largest body of users → who went to Instagram

Facebook’s violation of antitrust laws

John Gilmore, “The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.”

Anti-trust and tech companies – No Poaching Agreements; Digital Privacy is Making Anti-Trust Interesting Again; How Elizabeth Warren Came Up with a Plan to Break Up Big Tech   

Google walkout

Facebook Kavanaugh Appointment – Chief Lobbyist in audience

Microsoft contracts with ICE

Apple blocking HK Live app

Glorious Revolution

Henry’s blog

My Side of the Mountain

Patriot Act

New Maleficent Movie