Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Offspring of Righteous Indignation

Two British groups have broken up that I am aware of that have left me rather depressed.  The first occurred about a year and a half before I was born when the Beatles broke up, and the other when I was about 40 years old when Righteous Indignation ceased production.  The Beatles spawned among other things the Plastic Ono Band and Wings.  Now Righteous Indignation has spawned Fortean Radio and Be Reasonable.

The Beatles near the end 
Fortean Radio is hosted by Trystan Swale and Anna Nimeton.  Nimeton is new to podcasting as discussed on the initial episode, so it is not surprising that Swale took the lead during the episode.  The show is not billed as a skeptical show per se, but rather it is a show about the odd, weird, wonderful, and paranormal that has a skeptical bent.  The guest for the episode was UFOlogist Andy Russell.  However, before the interview began, Swale gave a bit of background as to Charles Fort for whom the name of the show pays homage.  It was a nice touch, and set a nice mood about the program. Then the interview with Russell.  The interview consisted mostly of a discussion of crop circles and the trouble/ misunderstanding that occur with cereologist when confirmed manmade crop circles are taken as something else.  Russell told of an incident where he helped to create a crop circle, but then some folks who took it as a paranormal crop circle used the circle as a predictor of doom and gloom to come based on ley lines.

The interview was a breezy affair.  Nimeton did not add much during the interview, but given how this was her first podcast I suspect her input will increase with time.  Clearly, Swale was enjoying himself back behind the skype microphone, and was into the swing of things.  I enjoyed the episode, and look forward to the promised bi-weekly episodes.  I also want to note that the production values were first rate, and it sounded quite good.

Be Reasonable is hosted by Hayley Stevens and Michael "Marsh" Marshall.  The episode focuses on interviewing those who are a proponent of some questionable claim in a respectful and thoughtful manner.  Be Reasonable is a more upfront skeptical show, but as Hayley, Marsh, and Trystan did on R.I. interviews, they never tried to drown out or speak down to those on 'other side' of the culture.  The show after the opening music went right into the interview with Anita Ikonen, a self described medical intuitive.  Ikonen claims she can see and/or feel what an underlying person's physiological problem is by looking and sensing the issue.  Ikonen shared that she could tell that a person had uterine cysts before they were diagnosed.  She also has been tested a few times on being able to tell when a person is missing a kidney.

Interestingly, Ikonen is studying physics, and is attempting to test herself and her abilities scientifically.  While none of her tests by skeptics (one by the IIG and the other by the JREF) support her contention, she is willing to continue to be tested.  It was clear that it would be difficult to disprove Ikonen's ability to her, but she does indicate an open mind.

The Be Reasonable interview was much more clinical and sober than the interview on Fortean Radio, which was much more a chat.  While both shows are attempting to do roughly the same type of interview program, they both have their own spin on the matter.  In both shows I could hear echoes of RI during the interviews much like on Walls and Bridges or Band on the Run one hears a bit of Fab in those LPs. Yet, they have their own styles.

Be Reasonable promises to produce a monthly episode, so it will not be released as often as Fortean Radio.  I do plan to continue to listen to both.


  1. I've not listened to either, but after seeing that picture I now hope that Trystan has mighty beard.

  2. Also, where is the review on the rebooted Irreligisiosophy?

  3. The Walrus was Trystan.

    I just listened to the latest Irreligiosophy 2.0. I like the show returning to podcast production, but I am struggling what to write about it. I want to be fair to Matt, and give the show a few more episodes before I write on it.

    Let's face it. Nothing beats Just Skeptics. : )


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