Standard Issue Podcast
SIM Ep 853 Chops 255: Cornwall, rural poverty, resilience and writing
Working-class poet and writer Natasha Carthew is Cornish. She grew up in a small village called Downderry, where the rockpools, beautiful beaches and hedgerows were as constant as the low wages, high property prices, lack of nearby resources and services, and the high rates of alcoholism, drug misuse, mental health crises and suicide. How’s that for a picture perfect postcard?
Rural poverty often gets lost amid the stats on urban poverty, so in her first non-fiction, Undercurrent: A Cornish Memoir of Poverty, Nature and Resilience, amid recollections of her youth, Natasha investigates the state of poverty in rural places in general, and Cornwall in particular.
In this Chops, Natasha chats to our Mick about the generational trauma of rural poverty, the othering of poor kids, and how careless tourists add to the problem. But it’s not all doom and gloom: Natasha is a huge champion of working-class voices and so they also talk about the power of resilience and writing, and the return of the excellent ClassFest in 2024.
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SIM Ep 894 Pod 272: A mysterious past, an uncertain future, and a leap off a spillway01:18:17Who wants to live forever? That's the question Hannah puts to Dr Aleks Krotoski, tech journalist and podcaster, whose latest series, The Immortals, looks at the tech millionaires searching for the key to eternal life. And if they are looking forward, Jen's looking backwards with Donna Freed, whose search for answers about her birth parents led her to a well-publicised crime. In Jenny Off The Blocks, Jen's got some news about viewership of women's sport, and in Rated or Dated, we're on first name terms with the stars as we watch 1993's The Fugitive.
SIM Ep 893 Chops 272: The voice of Doon26:53Actor, comedian and writer Doon Mackichan has written an incredibly to-the-point memoir, My Lady Parts, and so, OBVIOUSLY, Hannah leapt at the chance to talk to her. They chat about ageing, Smack The Pony, Paedogeddon, telling off Mamet, and dead naked women on TV.
892. SIM Ep 892 Flicking #41: Raising Arizona23:25Raising Arizona, The Coen Brothers’ second film, is a screwball comedy starring Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter, as a loved-up couple who can’t have kids of their own and so decide to steal a baby. It’s also a Dunleavy family favourite, hence our Hannah choosing it for this month’s Flicking. Will Raising Arizona raise Mick and Yosra’s spirits as high as Cage’s hair? Or will it sink like two prisoners returning to the clink through a tunnel of mud? Find out!
SIM Ep 891 Pod 271: Dating, TikTok and see-thru knickers01:24:14Dating: it’s weird, isn’t it? Two strangers having contrived chat in a lost-forever pocket of time. Which all makes it excellent fodder for playwright Miriam Battye, who’s chatting to Hannah about her latest stage offering, Strategic Love Play. Miriam also spent some time in the Succession writers’ room, but Hannah wasn’t interested in talking about that. LOLZ. There is also Succession content, including why Roman accidentally sending Logan a dick pic was always going to happen. There’s more writing that leads to laughing, as Mick catches up with comedian and sketch-based internet sensation, Laura Ramoso, who gives her a few tips on making TikTok work for you even if you’re scared of it. Laura’s one-woman show, Frances, starts its run at Soho Theatre on September 19. Jen’s rounding up women’s sports in Jenny Off The Blocks, and we’re keeping our fingers firmly crossed that Barbara Slater’s replacement as the Beeb’s director of sport is another woman. Preferably another Barbara.And hold onto your transparent panties, because we’re questioning the ‘masterpiece’ status of Sofia Coppola’s Lost In Translation as it hits its 20th birthday. A good few years older than Scarlett Johansson was when making it.
SIM Ep 890 Chops 271: A good Samaritan and some excellent company40:19Preventable deaths by suicide remain the biggest killer of young people under the age of 35 in the UK and continue to rise across the population. Though men account for 75% all suicides, the biggest increase in 2021, according to the most up-to-date Government statistics, was in women and girls aged 24 and under. Keen to bring these numbers down, is the suicide prevention charity, Samaritans*, and for those already bereaved by a loved one taking their own life, Suicide & Co** provides help and support.For World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, Jen caught up with CEO and co-founder of Suicide & Co, Amelia Wrighton, to talk about stigma, shame, the specificities of dealing with such a bereavement, and the help available to those in need. She also spoke to Samaritans volunteer, Roxy McCarthy, about her experience of both using the charity’s services, and becoming a volunteer.* Whatever you’re going through you can contact Samaritans at any time via the phone on 116 123, or via email at Jo@samaritans.org.** You can find out more information about Suicide & Co via its website, or by contacting email@example.com.
SIM Ep 889 Pod 270: Policing, poetry, and pooh-poohing01:30:15ITV crime drama The Tower is back on our screens for a second series, presenting our Hannah with an excellent opportunity to jump on the Zoom with Gemma Whelan, who plays DS Sarah Collins. They chat about the reputation of the Met, telling women’s stories, Gentleman Jack, Upstart Crow and what exactly Gemma was doing with that fox.Jen's chatting to poet Maggie Smith about how when her career took off, her marriage declined, something she charts in her gorgeous new memoir, You could Make This Place Beautiful. They're also talking mumming, wifeing, and the division of labour.In Jenny Off The Blocks, Jen’s talking about the US Open, among other things. And get your strategically placed Chelsea buns out for the lads, as the team revisit 2003’s Calendar Girls. Plus, in the Bush Telegraph*, Britain’s schools are crumbling, but won’t somebody think of Gillian Keegan? Yeah, not even Mick's got the sarcasm levels to sell that one.*If you want to read the story Hannah references in BT about parental alienation, you can do so here.
888. SIM Ep 888 Chops 270: Wifedom23:34Anna Funder’s Wifedom: Mrs Orwell’s Invisible Life is, ostensibly, a biography of Eileen Blair, nee Eileen O’Shaughnessy, aka the first Mrs George Orwell. And indeed, Anna tells Eileen’s story beautifully, using Eileen’s own words from letters to friends and to her husband, with added judicious fiction, as she imagines scenes from the Orwells’ lives, and from Eileen’s life. Turns out, Eileen played a vital role in Orwell’s writing and in his life (in actually saving his life – and indeed in keeping alive many others during the Spanish Civil War) and yet she’s mostly absent from Orwell’s own writing and from his biographies, which are all written by men.And so, as well as shining a light on one woman’s hitherto hidden life, Wifedom is also a polemic against the patriarchy and an examination of what it meant and means to be a wife. In this Chops, Mick chats to Anna about all of this, about wife-ing, about Eileen, about Orwell, and, not unrelated to that last name, a lot about arseholes.
887. SIM Ep 887 Pod 269: To mickle or muckle, that is the question01:09:51Nina Sosanya has been a regular presence on TV screens since the nineties, quite often portraying hard-working and so seen as “difficult” women, including Jenny in Teachers and now Leigh in Screw. Screw is back for season two, so our Hannah took the chance to get Nina on the Zoom to chat about, well, being on the Zoom, putting the prison uniform back on, those ‘difficult’ women and the strikes in America.Jen’s chatting to Dr Friederike Otto, senior lecturer in climate science, about climate change and angry weather – which, coincidentally, is also the name of her new book. And in Jenny Off the Blocks, Jen’s rightly raging about Rubiales while also redressing the balance.And in Rated or Dated, the team visits a time capsule set in the north (so, spoiler, Mick’s delighted), as we watch Sir Tom Courtenay deliver performance magic in 1963 British New Wave classic, Billy Liar.
SIM Ep 886 Chops 269: Shelina Janmohamed’s Story of Now29:39The British Empire has been a hot topic for centuries, but debates around its impact have reignited in recent years. In trying to explain these debates to her children, writer, podcaster and advertising executive, Shelina Janmohamed, was struck by how few resources there were available to help inform that conversation. And so, Shelina wrote The Story Of Now: Why We Need To Talk About The British Empire, her own book for children aged ten and above. In this week’s Chops, she joins Jen to talk about why understanding the British Empire is instrumental in understanding the world around us, how conversations need to extend beyond those around slavery and colonisation, and why it’s important to get children involved in them.