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    Wednesday
    Aug262015

    Zanstars - Episode 1


    Zanstars stands for "Zach and Neal's Super Totally Awesome Rad Show"

    Oh that sounds like nonsense? Well, it sort of is. This show stars Zach Miller (Frozen North Dinnercast, Nintendo World Report's Connectivity) and Neal Ronaghan (Syndicated, NWR's Connectivity) as they just talk about like, you know, whatever.

    In this episode, recorded in the far away time of August 9, Neal explains to Zach why he saw Fantastic Four and what he thought about it. Then, the dynamic duo talks about Justice League: Gods & Monsters and DC Comics before moving on to sidle back into talking about their usual material: video games. Specifically Splatoon and Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold.

    Let us know what you think on Twitter! Neal is @nron10 and Zach is @zmiller1902. We'll be back roughly twice a month (optimistically) to discuss a bunch of random things.

    Direct Download

     

    Wednesday
    Aug262015

    Guns in America

    Yet another shooting occurred today, with a cameraman and a reporter from a local news outlet in Roanoke, VA shot and killed by a coworker live on the air. You may have already heard about this, about how the cameraman's finace had to watch it happen while she was left powerless in the control room, about how the reporter had just moved in with their boyfriend. These people had full lives left to live, and they had them cut short because a disgruntled ex-employee snapped. The gunman was later found, but he eluded justice by committing suicide. Unfortunately, before this happened, he uploaded POV footage of the shooting, which I will not link to and have no interest in watching. The important thing to focus on right now is preventing senseless violence like this from continuing in the States.

    Something I hear a lot is the idea of a "gun ban," similar to the one instated in the UK back in the 90s. The more radical gun control supporters want it, and the more radical gun owners are deathly afraid of it, and bring it up at every opportunity to justify the moronic and unquestionably damaging actions of the National Rifle Association. So I wanted to talk about the idea of banning guns for a moment.

    You can't ban guns outright in America. Not even because of the 2nd Amendment. I'm talking about logistics. There are way too many guns in way too many rural and hard-to-reach areas to systematically remove and dispose of them. How would you even start a process like that? Gun buybacks are good, but you never see crazy-huge turnouts.

    The only way to actually do this would be to literally go door-to-door to every registered gun owner (thereby incentivizing illegal and untraceable ownership) to confiscate the gun and reimburse the owner. This is completely unfeasible from a logistics and a financing perspective, and that's before you consider the fact that many of these nutjobs (not all gun owners, but the ones who won't give them up quietly) would likely start an uprising against the government in the process. So now you've got the fucking National Guard storming some backwoods patch of land in Georgia because so-and-so wants to be a big man and stand up to the government.

    And all of that ignores the already-sizable amount of guns owned illegally or untraceably. How do you find those? Raids? It's a PR nightmare.

    So you can't ban guns in America. We've unfortunately gone too far down the rabbit hole and stuck in it for this generation. Maybe over time, we can roll the tide back, but it's not going to happen any time soon. But, fortunately, there are things we CAN do, and soon. Things like:

    - Tighter regulation on gun purchasing in relation to customer background and a semi-frequent license renewal process (every 3-5 years would be my preference) that entails a test for mental health, safety and competence.
    - Reinvestment in our public mental health facilities. This guy may not have been mentally ill, but many of these shooters are, and the more people we can help before a homicidal episode, the more lives we'll ultimately save.
    - Addressing the severe imbalance in our wealth distribution that creates an environment for poor people to turn to drugs and violence as a means of survival, necessitating their (almost-always illegal) gun ownership.

    Ultimately, most gun owners are sensible, normal people. My brother-in-law is a gun owner. He takes one of my nieces to the range all the time. It's a great way for them to bond, and he always emphasizes safety and respect for what they're doing. I've seen his gun safe - it looks like it could take a fucking nuclear blast. I've never once seen one of his guns outside of the context of him taking it out of the safe to go to the range or him putting it back into the safe after coming back. I imagine most gun owners have the same attitude.

    I asked him once if he'd be fine doing an extensive background check and doing various tests every several years to keep his gun license, and he had no problem with that. Again, I'd imagine most people who own guns wouldn't care, because these things sound like common sense.

    The problem is that every time you want to even slightly tighten the grip on gun control, you're going up against the NRA, the manufacturer lobby, Fox News and every other public conservative figure in America. They won't budge a fucking inch, and have managed to fool thousands of people that the answer is, in fact, MORE GUNS. The NRA's ideal America is one where we send our children to school in bulletproof vests, teach them how to assemble AK-47s and essentially train them to be good soldiers.

    And so, as a result of all of this, three people died today for no reason at all, two of them innocents. A fiance had to watch in a control room while the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with was shot and killed simply because he was there. There will be no justice for her, or for the reporter's family. We'll mourn their loss for a few days, it'll stir up conversation, and then we'll get on with our lives. Because gun death is the status quo. People talk about a dystopian future where America loses all of its guns, but we're already living in a dystopian future where we can't stop killing ourselves with them. Personally, I'd like to focus on the problem that's actually happening.

    Monday
    Aug242015

    A Force to Remember: Episode 1

    Hello and welcome to the very first episode of A Force to Remember! Each week for the next six weeks, your venerable host, I, Karl Castaneda, will discuss each of the six Star Wars films with my girlfriend, Shannon. You see, Shannon's never seen any of the Star Wars films, and has agreed to indulge me in this on one condition: I also have to see one of her favorite films from her childhood/teenage years, all culminating in me seeing her favorite film of all time - An Affair to Remember.

    So this week we're covering Episode I: The Phantom Menace (yup, we're going in THAT order) and Shannon's pick - Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. How will a childlike Anakin compare to Lisa Kudrow accepting an award on-stage with only a bra on? You'll have to listen in to find out!

    Want some of your listener mail to be read on-air for Episode 6? Send it over via email (crosstawk@gmail.com), Twitter (@crosstawk) or in the comments section on the website. Thanks for listening, and we'll see you next week!

    Direct Download

    Sunday
    Aug232015

    A Thousand Words - Episode 14: Dick Abs

    Jessica, Ron, and Stan venture again into the unknown with a modern painting by Jeff McMillan. There we find Ron's favorite hair style, Jessica reveals her favorite movie review of all time, and Stan drops some serious Friday the 13th knowledge.

    Subscribe and Review us on iTunes!

    Check us out on Stitcher Radio!

    Direct Download

    Friday
    Aug212015

    BOX OFFICE POISON: EPISODE 113

    Hey everybody! On this episode of BOP we shine a spotlight on the most dangerous movie about rap in the theaters right now: Straight Outta Compton! Then we get into what else we've seen by covering Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Fantastic Four, Unfriended, Hyde Park on Hudson, and more! After that it's Jon's pick for Movie of the Month, Woman in the Dunes!

    Next episode will be feature another batch of your listener mail so send your questions on over to crosstawk@gmail.com or to Twitter(@crosstawk) and be sure to leave us a review on iTunes. See you in two weeks!

    Direct Download

    Sunday
    Aug162015

    A Thousand Words - Episode 13: The Siren

    In this episode, Jessica, Ron, and Stan veer wildly off course and crash into John William Woodhouse's The Siren. Along the way they debate Anne Hathaway's existence, rant about Rent, and discover new ways to prevent Siren accidents.

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    Direct Download

    Saturday
    Aug152015

    Discover Music Project: Episode 68

    Episode 68: The Band

    Co-hosted by Alex Culafi; check out more of his work at ninwr.com

    1. Up on Cripple Creek (The Band)
    2. Orange Juice Blues (The Basement Tapes)
    3. Yazoo Street Scandal (The Basement Tapes)
    4. Chest Fever (Music from Big Pink)
    5. Whispering Pines (Music from Big Pink)
    6. The Shape I'm In (Stage Fright)
    7. Stage Fright (Before the Flood)
    8. Ophelia (Northern Lights, Southern Cross)
    9. Acadian Driftwood (Northern Lights, Southern Cross)
    10. Baby, Let Me Follow You Down w/ Bob Dylan (The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4: The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert)
    11. Tough Mama w/ Bob Dylan (Planet Waves)
    12. The Weight w/ The Staples Family Singers (The Last Waltz)

    Encore:
    Counting Crows - If I Could Give All My Love, or Richard Manuel is Dead (Hard Candy)

    Direct Download (MP3)

    Sunday
    Aug092015

    BOX OFFICE POISON: EPISODE 112

    Here at Ziggy 105: The Trough, it's our fifth birthday spectacular! Karl, Jonathan, Jonny, and Stan discuss a wide variety of films ranging from instant classics like The Cobbler and Ant-Man, documentaries about Tig Nataro and James Randi, as well as a slew of horror flicks. On our special second segment we pick and choose our favorite movies of the month! What movies will get the nod, and how many times will Fiddler on the Roof the fingered? Listen to find out! 

    Direct Download

    Wednesday
    Aug052015

    Syndicated - Bloodline

    We're not bad people, but we made a bad podcast.  Just kidding, this episode is great! Light on hosts, but heavy on great discussion; Andy and Luke sit down and talk about the bitter pill that is Bloodline.  

    This Netflix exclusive was so divisive, one of our hosts outright refused to finish it!  Why the controversy?  You'll need to tune into this gritty family drama to find out. 

    After you're done listening to the episode, why not send us an email at syndicatedpodcast@gmail.com or maybe tweet at us @SyndicatedPod?  We'd love to hear from you!  

    And don't forget that Syndicated now has a dedicated RSS feed for those of you who like that kind of thing. You can subscribe using the link above or by searching for Syndicated in iTunes or whatever else you use to listen to podcasts with.  I recommend Downcast for iOS, personally.

    Direct Download (AAC)

    Previous TV shows covered:

    Friday Night Lights
    Veronica Mars
    Fringe
    House of Cards 
    Derek
    Chuck
    Arrow
    Heroes
    Alias
    Twin Peaks 
    Mad Men
    Orange is the New Black

    Sunday
    Aug022015

    A Thousand Words - Episode 12: Moses

    What is the true meaning of Ron's last name? Is a burrito with everything the essence of perfection? Just what the hell is this painting all about? Jessica, Ron, and Stan explore all these questions and more as they wrap their brains around Frida Kahlo's Moses.

    Subscribe and Review us on iTunes!

    Check us out on Stitcher Radio!

    Direct Download