Literary Merit

Literary Merit

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By Alex Vigue, Ashley Hall
Two queer WWU grads approach pop media with an academic eye, and dispel the myth of the guilty pleasure.
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Let's Get Hygge
So... what the heck is hygge? How do you even pronounce it? And what does it have to do with Hayao Miyazaki? We answer these questions and more in this extra cozy episode. Also, Alex is experiencing a time slip and Ashley has no more bones.
1:03:17
October 8, 2018
September Round Up
Once again we've prepared a nice scatter-shot of stuff we watched. Looking for a new series to start? We've got you covered. Also, Ashley achieved culinary perfection and Alex might be cursed.
1:07:09
September 26, 2018
The Last Airbender and Cycles of Violence
Now that Ashley has finished watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, we wanted to discuss what we saw as being one of the most prominent themes running through the show: the perpetuation and breaking of cycles of violence and abuse. Also, Ashley found a new favorite show and Alex has a hot date.
1:09:25
September 10, 2018
Musical Movies
This episode required the help of a special guest, Ashley's husband Will! The topic of the day is movie musicals, especially those adapted from the stage. Also, Alex is still very tired, and Will and Ashley went to Black Mirror.
1:20:14
August 27, 2018
Fairy Folklore
How has fairy lore evolved over time, and what even IS a fairy? We discuss these questions and others as we compare fairy folklore to the modern idea of fairies. Also, Ashley saw a show, and Alex just can't. Ashley's new show! Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/junkadventure Youtube: https://bit.ly/2MlkW4B
1:06:48
August 13, 2018
Mini Film Reviews (and AtLA!)
This episode is a little different! We each went to the movies, and want to tell you about what we saw. First is Alex with Mama Mia: Here We Go Again, and then Ashley with Ant Man and The Wasp. And as a special bonus, we discuss what Ashley has watched so far in Avatar: The Last Airbender, and just how dang good it is! Also, Alex is an important poetry boy, and Ashley's legs almost fell off.
1:20:43
July 30, 2018
The Good and Bad of Genre
Springboarding off of an article from the New Stateman featuring Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro, this episode is about how genre fiction is disparaged, the usefulness of genre, and how it can be used or subverted to tell great stories. Also, Alex went to the park and Ashley endured a living nightmare. Article Discussed: https://www.newstatesman.com/2015/05/neil-gaiman-kazuo-ishiguro-interview-literature-genre-machines-can-toil-they-can-t-imagine
1:02:20
July 16, 2018
June Round-Up
Things have been a little crazy for us lately, so we decided to chill out and do a nice breezy media round-up. What have you been watching, reading, or listening to? Let us know on twitter @litmeritpod! Also, Ashley is the boss now, and Alex has the water you crave.
59:47
July 2, 2018
Lessons Animation Taught Us
Inspired by Mikey Neumann's "Lessons Animation Taught Us" project on YouTube, we decided to try out the concept in our own medium. We talked about Avatar: The Last Airbender, We're Back!, Princess Mononoke, and of course Quest for Camelot (as well as a few others). Also, Alex struck out, and Ashley learned why you should go to a graveyard. If you want to join in the conversation you can find us on twitter, and please check out Mikey's original video on the FilmJoy channel as well as the various great responses other folks have made, which can be found in the Lessons Animation Taught Us playlist.
1:12:06
June 11, 2018
Greek and Norse Mythology (Double Dip Your Baby Part 1)
This time we're talking Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology, God of War (again), and Troy: Fall of a City, and wondering why it's gotta be so hard to keep track of these darn pantheons. And why are the gods so dumb? Also, Alex has the sleep schedule of a kindergartener and Ashley has identified the one time when double-dipping really is the best plan.
1:07:19
May 28, 2018
Infinity War/Catch Up
It's been a little while since Alex and Ashley found time to chat, so this episode is a little bit of a media round-up. We're talking Infinity War, Troy: Fall of a City, and of course the Met Gala. Also, Ashley had some housing troubles and Alex met some dinosaurs.
1:15:11
May 14, 2018
God of War (PS4) (w/ Will and Dillon aka. Zoodle)
Well this was a little bit of a weird one! Since Ashley and Alex just couldn't find the time to get together, Ashley's two best boys Dillon and Will stepped up to fill those big shoes and discuss the new God of War game with her. Also, fight choreography is hard, and GO KAYLEY O'CONNOR!!!!
59:38
May 7, 2018
Teaching Poetry/Ashley's Wedding
This episode is all about Alex's recent experience teaching poetry to elementary schoolers, but we ended up talking about Ashley's wedding for a good while anyway. How do you make poetry accessable to beginners, and what's poetry even for? Also, Alex got some new duds and Ashley is going to live forever.
1:05:01
April 17, 2018
Miriam Beach (with brentraptor)
In this episode we're delighted to have brentraptor (aka. Droosy, aka. Brent, aka. Rachel) back on the show, this time to discuss their recently-launched webcomic Miriam Beach. We talk sitcoms, inspiration, insecurity, and Miss Vanjie. Also, big life changes ahoy! Miriam Beach: www.miriambeachcomic.com
1:06:56
April 2, 2018
Pixar's Coco
In this episode, Ashley and Alex found themselves recording in the same room! Such a treat! The topic is Coco, why so many people missed it, and why that was such a tragedy. Things ended up turning into a bit of a group therapy session, but it was mostly relevant. Also, Ashley is now terrified of the natural world and Alex keeps on truckin.
1:18:01
March 19, 2018
Movie Villains/Killmonger
Like everyone on Earth, we loved Black Panther and we knew we had to talk about it in one way or another. We decided to focus on the rad and terrifying Killmonger, and see how he compares to other supervillains, as well as movie baddies in general. Also, Alex is giving it another go, and Ashley hates cake now.
1:16:04
March 5, 2018
DDLC Summary
In episode 24 we ended up summarizing a lot of Doki Doki Literature Club, so we cut it out and stuck it here. Enjoy.
22:22
February 19, 2018
Doki Doki Literature Club
We had a wild time talking about this one, and had to bring back an old guest to do it right. Welcome back to the show Dillon, aka Zoodle! Doki Doki Literature Club is a very popular visual novel/dating sim, but with a twist. This one gets a big, big spoiler warning. Also, Alex has a lot of time on his hands, and Ashley's staying put.
1:15:40
February 19, 2018
Queer Coming Of Age
This one got a bit heavier than we expected, but in retrospect we really should have known better. The topic is queer coming of age stories, and a key phrase we hit on was "deferred adolescence." Hit play to hear what on Earth we were on about! Also, Ashley's headed northward and Alex had a snack.
1:17:54
February 7, 2018
Best Of 2017
Another year over... what good stuff happened anyway? Ashley and Alex look back on 2017 and the best things in it, and mostly gloss over the rest. Also, Alex joined the artistic elite and Ashley waited for a bus.
1:18:37
January 22, 2018
Holiday 2017 (w/ Chris Hatton)
Happy holidays! In this very special episode of Literary Merit we discuss Star Wars, mashed potato movies, and a whole lot more with a very special guest! Sit down with a glass of egg nog, spiced cider, or something a little stronger and cozy up for a nice chat with good friends (and maybe escape your visiting relatives... ). This episode's theme song can be found at jonathancoulton.com
1:14:48
December 25, 2017
The Good Place
So this episode was supposed to be about The Good Place, and it was... for a while. Things got a little out of hand. Also, Alex is more stylish than ever, Ashley's getting into the Christmas spirit, and we fixed Brooklyn Nine Nine!
1:12:46
December 12, 2017
JRR Tolkien and Middle Earth
This episode is all Tolkien. Well, mostly Tolkien. We discuss the varius adaptations and spin-offs that take place in Middle Earth, with a dash of Lovecraft for good measure. Also, Ashley has a new appreciation for Ryan Gosling and Alex invented a new flavor of doughnut.
1:08:54
November 27, 2017
Thor: Ragnarok/Stranger Things
Too much good stuff happened recently, so this one's a double header. Ashley and Alex may have seen two entirely different movies when they saw Thor, though. Also, Alex spent some time on the road and Ashley has a new best friend.
1:28:29
November 13, 2017
All Hallow's Read 2017
Happy Halloween! Stick your broom in the closet, put the werewolf in the other room, and pour yourself a nice glass of wine (or the dark red beverage of your choice). It's All Hallow's Read!
59:24
October 31, 2017
Lore (Amazon Prime)
For this spooky episode, we're talking about The new Amazon Prime series Lore. Also, Alex has a lot of lunches and Ashley's got a costume dilemma.
1:20:41
October 30, 2017
Brooklyn 99 (w/ Brentraptor)
We sat down with a fantastic new guest to talk about Brooklyn 99, and it was a more fraught discussion than you might think. Also, Ashley invented a new hair treatment and ALEX'S BOOK IS OUT!!!!
1:18:09
October 16, 2017
The Myth Of Man
This episode is a special sneak peek at Alex's forthcoming chapbook "The Myth of Man," plus we finally followed up on Solid State. Also, Ashley got a new rock and Alex wandered the outside world.
1:06:38
October 5, 2017
Hannibal (NBC)
At long last, Ashley got to yammer about her favorite show in the world, so this one ran a little long. Also, Alex shoots aliens and Ashley got (temporarily) stranded at the beach.
1:32:27
October 5, 2017
Game Of Thrones Bonus
Things got a little out of hand, and we ended up with a whole other episode. This is it! It's all GoT S7 finale nonsense, and we know it's what you crave.
34:59
October 1, 2017
The Adventure Zone (Balance)
Buckle your fantasy seat belts, because we're taking off for The Adventure Zone! Also, Alex is publishing a book, and Ashley is spending even more time in that closet.
1:04:31
September 30, 2017
Guilty Pleasures (w/ Allie)
This time we've brought on another guest and the topic is our own guilty pleasures, so you can make fun of us for the stuff we like. Also, Alex and Allie went shopping and Ashley escaped from a room.
1:10:50
September 30, 2017
Zombies!
A topic that should be dead and buried has risen from the grave to plague us. Also, Alex went on a boat and Ashley puts small girls in car trunks (not really).
52:00
September 30, 2017
Jonathan Coulton's Solid State
This time it's a deep dive onto Jonathan Coulton's recent album Solid State. We're talking internet trolls, pictures of cats, and mankind's relationship to technology and each other.
1:28:47
September 12, 2017
Queer Web Series
What's better than a web series? A queer web series! This time we're talking about The Outs and The Feels. Mean girls and soft boys. Also, Alex has different hair and Ashley cannot stop saying TRUE.
1:05:40
September 12, 2017
Inglorious Basterds
Things are a little different this time, as we drill down on one particular piece of media: Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. Also, Ashley had a birthday, and Alex has big news.
1:10:46
September 12, 2017
Bonus Episode 7
We just had too many funny things to say! Here's the rest on Wild Wild West, The Borgias, and more.
16:38
September 12, 2017
Historical Fiction
Historical fiction is the topic of the day, as we contemplate the difficult balance between factual integrity and good storytelling.
1:08:27
September 12, 2017
Overwatch Anniversary
We look back on what Blizzard did so, so right to make Overwatch the phenomenon that it is. Also, we talk about how tiny infants are and Pikachu's character arc.
1:10:36
September 12, 2017
Bonus Episode 5.1
Stuff left on the cutting room floor of episode 5 for not being about comics, including smoochable boy faces and cancelled TV shows.
14:47
September 10, 2017
Queer Comics - Episode 5
We're talking queer comics, the history of LGBTQA+ representation in comics, and our favorite queer heroes. Also, we've got mixed feelings on the Wachowskis, as well as dogs.
1:04:57
September 10, 2017
Bonus Episode 4.1
More than we ever wanted to know about Twitter's thoughts on Jeff Goldblum, and Sonic's new family.
09:03
September 10, 2017
Nostalgia - 4 (w/ Zoodle)
Our first guest episode! We talk about nostalgia in new video games and other media with Dillon, aka. Zoodle, who may or may not have gotten on the show thanks to nepotism.
1:10:39
September 10, 2017
Bonus Episode 3.1 - Star Wars
We ended up talking about Star Wars for a long time after episode 3, and dumb jokes were enjoyed by all.
20:08
September 10, 2017
Representation - Episode 3
We drilled down on the topic of representation and diversity in Hollywood. Buckle up, this is rocky terrain. We mostly looked at Power Rangers (2017) and Ghost in the Shell (2017).
54:57
September 10, 2017
Bonus Episode 2.1
Some rants cut from episode 2, including romantic misadventures with aliens and why Sherlock is dumb.
12:53
September 10, 2017
Adaptation - Episode 2
We talk about adaptations of classics, and get a little sidetracked at times. Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes and more are on the table.
59:54
September 10, 2017
Salutations - Episode 1
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50:20
September 10, 2017
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