And now you can once again listen to one of the best.
If you are a reader of The Onion’s brilliant little sister, The A.V. Club, their snarky, intelligent look into the world of popular culture, then you may be aware of the Tolerability Index, a regular feature contributed by Amelie Gillette. If you have yet to see one of her indexes, here is a glimpse of what “we’re barely putting up with” for the week of June 25th, 2014. I’ll wait.
Since my opinion of Dr. Jenny McCarthy, Ph.D from the University of Google, specializing in logical fallacies, fear-mongering, and child endangerment, hardly needs to be restated, I am sure my appreciation of this index comes as a surprise to no one. But the Tolerability Index is so much more than cheap shots against easy targets. Rather it is cheap(but deserved) shots against easy(but always deserving) targets. Her pop culture voice is intelligent, witty, snarky, and familiar. Rare is the index I find myself in total disagreement over. That all being said, it is a short, weekly feature. If you forget about it, you can catch up in moments rather than hours. It serves as a decent introduction to Amelie, but I always find myself wanting more once I finish a group of indexes. I guess it is better to always leave them wanting more.
You may be asking yourself at the moment, “Sure, the Tolerability Index is fun and all. definitely worth a weekly click, but damn, in the time it took me to read this post I could have caught up on half a year of indexes. What gives?”
Well you see, faithful reader, Amelie once had another feature at the A.V. Club; a podcast by the name of “The Hater.” (Or The Hatecast, depending on which sensory organ you use to discover the title.) The show is more amusing than one has any right to hope, although it is far from perfect. Perhaps the biggest knock against The Hater is that it is dead. Not “dead” like Sandor Clegane, Catelyn Stark, or Lord Beric Dondarrion, to borrow from a different reality, but dead like the parrot. Pushing up the daisies. The Hatecast is an ex-podcast. For a cast that deals with pop culture, that could be a blow that shatters any interest you may have held. Every single episode is dated, and there will not be new casts next week, month, or year. Perhaps it is due to this fact, or some other reason that escapes my reasoning at the moment, that the podcast is exceedingly difficult to find. Each original post still appears at The A.V. Club. I could provide you links to the shows original RSS feed, or the link to the iTunes subscription, but they would do nothing but frustrate. Everything is there but the actual files.
And if you enjoy the Tolerability Index, that is a shame. While certainly dated, Amelie provides a window into the culture of the late aughts. For those of us who lived through those days as adults, or older teens, the cast will bring back a torrent of memories with no risk of a virus coming along for the ride. They are neither overly long or maddeningly short, clocking in around the 15 minute range. Each episode features Amelie and a guest vocally publishing a version of the Tolerability Index, except without either the structure of a chart, or the forced brevity of one. They can go much deeper into each subject than the index allows, although do not read me as saying it becomes high minded social critique. Each episode is hilarious, and some of the lines are vicious, cutting deep into the never innocent target. The format is vital in this regard. Some of the things that are said would not only cross the line, but first order a troupe of dwarves to perform a line removing farce detailing every glorious step taken in the journey across the line, if read. Much like text messages often give offense due to the lack of vocal tone and inflection. Coming from Amelie’s mouth, however, all malice falls away from each word as her voice gives it sound. I can picture her sharing a drink with one of her targets, laughing over the attack. She doesn’t mock Bruce Willis for explaining, unasked, the proper way to kill a wolf during an unrelated interview because he is a bad person, or an evil person, or even just a jerk; she mocks everyone in the story due to the sheer absurdity of the entire situation. Bruce for thinking anyone actually cared his opinion on proper wolf slaying, the interviewer for thinking his audience so worships this actor that they would want to read his wolf killing tactics, and the magazine for making the same assumption, and failing to realize that very few people on Earth actually know less about wolf killing than a multimillionaire Hollywood star. To be honest, the advice sounds like a perfectly good way to get killed by a wolf. I wonder if the magazine faced any wrongful death or dismemberment lawsuits? “Your Honor, I did everything Mr. Willis told me to do, yet the wolf still bit my arm off.”
Recently I was in need of a podcast for my listening pleasure. I didn’t want anything serious, I have many casts that fall into that category. No, I wanted mindless fun, and I thought relistening to the Hatecast would be just what I needed. This morning, after searching for longer than I care to admit, I finally found a downloadable archive of The Hatecast. In case anyone else has fond memories of this ancient podcast and wants to hear the snark again, or if you are a fan of the Tolerability Index and just want more Amelie, I figured I would pass my find on to you, along with 1000 words or so. (My writing is out of practice, which is a big reason for slow updates. If I had a thousand Euro’s for every article I trashed halfway finished throughout this month, I’m fairly certain I could emigrate to a Scandinavian locale. )
Gpodder.net, where I found the downloadable archive of The Hatecast. I will never again need them, as they are now on my ipod, my hardrive, and on an external backup drive and a flash stick. Thankfully, they are small files.