The Prisoner: The Chimes of Big Ben

This is episode two of The Prisoner by Patrick McGoohan. Number Six is beginning to find his place in The Village. In this episode, we have the good Number Two, played by Leo McKern. Of course, by good Number Two we mean Number Two with a Good Laugh. What does it mean to be an individual? Number Six shows us a few things.

The Prisoner: Arrival

We cover episode one of The Prisoner by Patrick McGoohan. A spy-type angrily resigns in a wordless montage, is kidnapped and transported to a seaside resort prison, and gets pursued by a weather balloon from which he cannot quite escape. What are the dystopian themes of The Prisoner? I’m glad you asked! Listen to this episode to find out!

The Prisoner: Introduction

We’re starting a series on The Prisoner by Patrick McGoohan. There was a reboot of the series, but we don’t talk about that. This episode is an introduction to how Food for Thought Police will handle the series. This TV series inspired a lot of science fiction and futuristic TV series, so it’s a classic to review.

E75: 1984 Part 2, Chapter 7 Soul Force

This is our fifteenth episode in our longer series on Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. Winston has a dream of his mother. Winston remembers his selfishness and how he abandoned his family during the Chocolate Incident. Winston and Julia have a conversation. They conclude that the Thought Police can’t get inside you — they can’t make you change what you feel. Your inner heart is impregnable. That’s a very nice thought. Dystopia CAN get inside you. It leaves you worse than you were before, but it CAN get inside of you. Soul force is not enough. You need a strong soul to resist.

E74: 1984 Part 2, Chapter 6 Foreshadowing

This is our fourteenth episode in our longer series on Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. Winston finally meets O’Brien! Is this a signal? Is this a call from the resistance to the Party? It’s actually a false-flag operation by the Thought Police, but we’ll get to that in another episode. We see Orwell’s foreshadowing in full force.

E73: All the President’s Men, Pt 2 – Editorial Oversight

This is episode two of two on All the President’s Men, a film directed by Alan J. Pakula, starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. In this episode, we look at what this film has to say about the media and how it works. Woodward and Bernstein did a lot of tedious checking up. In turn, their editor checked up on them! Editorial oversight really plays a big role in this film. Working relationships between the press and public officials are also very important for getting the truth out: if they can trust each other, they can help each other. The press bring moral confrontation against public evils, but how heavy is their burden of proof? What about anonymous source confidentiality?

E72: All the President’s Men, Pt 1

This is episode one of two on All the President’s Men, a film directed by Alan J. Pakula, starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. In this episode, we look at the relationship between media and politics. Woodstein reporting brought down the Nixon presidency because it was truly on to something. The Fourth Branch of Government has real influence, but it must be truly independent and not fall to its own version of regulatory capture. The press aren’t the police, but they do have a responsibility to the public not to cry wolf. A bad press is like a compromised immune system.

E71: 1984 Part 2, Chapter 5 – Propaganda

This is our thirteenth episode in our longer series on Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. We look at the meaning of propaganda, how different people respond to it, how young people and old people resist propaganda differently, history as a means to resist propaganda, and the scary thing about propaganda: it works. There’s a look at how love transforms Winston’s life. It takes superhuman effort merely to remain human.

E70: 1984 Part 2, Chapter 4 – Individuality

This is our twelfth episode in our longer series on Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. In chapter 4 of part 2, Winston and Julia rent the room above Mr. Charrington’s junk shop. We look at the role of singing in cultivating individuality apart from political propaganda. Also, the assertion of gender roles against pseudo-egalitarian uniformity as an assertion of individuality. Think about symbolism: is it intentional all along, or is it subconscious? Whatever it is, it’s polyphonic!

E69: 1984 Part 2, Chapter 3

This is our eleventh episode in our longer series on Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. We get to know Winston and Julia a bit better, and we see their differing outlooks on survival in dystopia. Sex in dystopia: sex is personal, but the consequences are hardly private. Winston believes they are dead though they live — against Big Brother, Julia believes now is a good time to have a good time — in spite of Big Brother. Then the old question: What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? (I’ve heard that once before, but not from you . . . )