Best Iconography podcasts we could find (Updated September 2018)
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How do we understand the places we visit (and even the places we’ve never been)? As a shorthand, we use agreed-upon touchstones - famous places, famous people famous foods, and, of course, dreams. Dreamed-up people and dreamed-up places and dreamed-up things. This podcast looks at a culture's icons - real and imagined - to see what they say about the culture itself, as well as the outsiders who've elevated those icons above all others.
 
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As an icon, Squanto is known, but he isn’t really known. What Santa is to Christmas and the Easter Bunny is to Easter, Squanto is to Thanksgiving. He is a sense memory from childhood. He’s more than a man, or really much less than a man, now. He is a symbol. There he is smudged into the paint of the handprint turkey you made in kindergarten. Yo ...…
 
Look up. This month, July 2018, Mars is as close as he'll get for another 17 years. On a recent trip to Houston and the Johnson Space Center, this struck as deeply moving, inspiring, and a bit sad. It also reminded me of the first episode of scripted audio I ever produced, about The Martian and Martians. I hope you enjoy this little interruptio ...…
 
The story of how John Smith made New England, and how New England destroyed John Smith.By charlesgustine@gmail.com (Charles Gustine).
 
Season 2 of Iconography begins with a look at the relationship between two New England icons - a marathon that's become not just the definitive marathon experience but perhaps the definitive Boston experience, and an advertisement that's transcended its commercial beginnings to become a symbol of civic pride. In our attempt to figure out how th ...…
 
From England to New England. No I didn't move from London to Boston so I could have that catchy tagline, but I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Heck no, I'm going to ride that horse all the way from Charlestown to Cambridge shouting "Season 2 is coming! Season 2 is coming!"By charlesgustine@gmail.com (Charles Gustine).
 
Revisit 2015, when the most recent Bond film came out on the tails of a series of revelatory spy films - and world events - that argued for 007's irrelevance. This episode: How the NSA shows up in mainstream entertainment So many Bond themes Melissa McCarthy showing the men (mostly Statham) how it’s done Kingsman’s scathing class critique Ilya ...…
 
There are very few things in life that are truly once in a lifetime experiences. If you had picked up the New York Times on August 6, 1975 you would have experienced one of them. “Hercule Poirot Is Dead; Famed Belgian Detective.” It would have been the first time you had ever seen the Times honor a fictional person with an obituary, let alone o ...…
 
This is the story of Guy Fawkes, but it's also the story of the comic book that forever gave him rosy cheeks and a smile that taunts authority.By charlesgustine@gmail.com (Iconography).
 
You never know what your legacy is going to be. There once was a scholar at Cambridge who dedicated probably 90% of his adult waking hours to scholarship - cataloging dusty old manuscripts, caring for fragile old artifacts, studying creaky old churches. He never married, never had children, never retired. In the other 10% of his time, for kicks ...…
 
How does one map onto our world a fantasy world that rides around on the back of a turtle, where there is no London or England - or, to be more precise, where those places exist, but only in a magicless round world that’s kept in a glass sphere at Unseen University? I went to the HisWorld exhibition at the Salisbury Museum to find out.…
 
What started as the second half of a series on Dunkirk turned into a meditation on Charlottesville, Nazis, statues, and symbols.By charlesgustine@gmail.com (Iconography).
 
It all feels immersive, especially in IMAX. But I’m having a wider screen experience when I watch Dunkirk. I imagine what’s just on the periphery; who else, besides Mr. Dawson, is setting off from England in a little dinghy? Who is up in the air monitoring fuel readings alongside the self-assured RAF Pilot Farrier? Who else, besides the baby-fa ...…
 
An episode dedicated to Michael Bond, and his little bear from Darkest Peru.By charlesgustine@gmail.com (Iconography).
 
To wrap up our three-part series on the turn of the 13th century, we take a look at King John - no longer a petulant prince - and how he transformed England for the best by being the absolute worst.By charlesgustine@gmail.com (Iconography).
 
This episode we consider the legacy of Richard the Lionheart - was he a disobedient son, a bad governor, a harbinger of death? This far out from the 1190s, does it matter anymore who he was, or does it matter who he's become?By charlesgustine@gmail.com (Iconography).
 
It might surprise you how much Robin Hood has been transformed by the way we want to see history; and by how much the way we see history has been transformed by Robin Hood.By charlesgustine@gmail.com (Iconography).
 
This week, our first culinary icon. The Full English. The fry-up. What does it mean for a national cuisine - one that finds itself frequently derided for its blandness - to be tied so obviously to a meal as fickle - as subject to trends, whims, diets, advertising forces, and let’s be honest, early morning laziness - as breakfast?…
 
This episode: why Britpop orphaned the very British, very popular Spice Girls, and why feminists refused to adopt them.By charlesgustine@gmail.com (Iconography).
 
20 years ago, in March 1997, our world was in truth, a Spice World. Revisit those heady days as we look back at Girl Power and its influence today.By charlesgustine@gmail.com (Iconography).
 
The lights are out in Piccadilly Circus, just the latest change for an icon that's characterized by change. We look to a lot of icons to tell us about the past - Piccadilly Circus is that rare icon we want to look like the future, right down to the simplest of questions: what will I be buying tomorrow?…
 
This is the iTunes debut of the podcast that inspired Iconography. In this episode, I considered Crimson Peak within the context of American vs. British ghost stories, and within the context of Gothic Romance.By charlesgustine@gmail.com (Iconography).
 
In 1994, it became the highest grossing British film of all time. How Four Weddings and a Funeral changed Richard Curtis's career - for better and worse.By charlesgustine@gmail.com (Iconography).
 
What happens when an icon dies? It's not just people that pass away, or buildings that get demolished... ideas to can be weathered away by time. Twelfth Night, as it was celebrated in England for centuries - as Shakespeare knew it when he wrote a comedy named after it - is but a ghost of its former self. But that's the thing. If an idea is big ...…
 
This is a special in memoriam episode of the podcast, dedicated to one the brightest stars in the constellation of British music, George Michael. And specifically, dedicated to his fascinating relationship with his most iconic of totems - the leather jacket.By charlesgustine@gmail.com (Iconography).
 
Every day of the holiday season, there is probably someone in your neighborhood watching or reading some version of A Christmas Carol. If you think about it, that means we probably see early Victorian England as often as any other time period. What has kept the story so vital? And how did a young Charles Dickens engender so much empathy for suc ...…
 
The poppy is an elegant symbol of remembrance - for soldiers who died and for those who came back; but there's a lot of conflict behind the story of its creation - the war that inspired a poem, and the two women who fought to be the true Poppy Lady.By charlesgustine@gmail.com (Iconography).
 
The London Bridge you cross today may not be anything to write home about, but there have been many London Bridges, going back to Roman Times.By charlesgustine@gmail.com (Iconography).
 
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