ShitTown ACTUAL EPISODE 1

Instead of jumping up and down about the mistake that happened in my podcast app I’m deciding to embrace the misunderstanding. And it’s a good thing too because episode 3 is much stronger, and its no wonder because it flips the entire story on it’s head.

S-Town is an amazing and intricate story that suffers from the same issue as many podcasts with a massive twist suffer from, the people working on the podcast know why the story is worth telling, but it’s hard to convey to the audience the worth of the story without giving anything away. So the listener has to just trust in the host that this story is going somewhere.

So now the allusions in the later episodes to John’s maze make sense, and people being frustrated with the large swathes of exposition also makes a lot more sense.

I wonder the whole episode was needed.

But I still love it.

I still love John, even if he suddenly reminds me more of my father in law than he did previously. The maze also adds another dimension to the treasure hunt foreshadowed in what I now know to be episode 3.

What has this experience in misplaced chronology told me?

Apart from the eccentricity of podcast apps, the importance of editing, the dangers of immediate publishing and that I’m a sucker for non-chronlogical narratives? Well listeners and readers don’t need ALL the details right away. I must remember that in my own writing.

Chronology and time are abstract and fallible, huh, how fitting for a podcast featuring a depressed, fatalistic, genius clockmaker.

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ShitTown Chapter 3 mislabelled 1 dammit

So my podcast app messed up the labelling of this podcast…. and I ended up with episode 3 labelled as episode one…shit.

I pity the podcast that gets released today, surely the latest project from Serial and This American Life is one tough act to follow. S-Town is the euphamistic listing name for ShitTown, a new podcast narrated by Brian Reed in which he explores the unfolding drama in small town Alabama.

I WILL be binging this series, but I will not be posting all of my review articles today. I’m going through the episodes carefully, 1 at a time, and I WON’T be conducting external research yet, but I don’t rule that out in the future.

Spoilers to follow. You have been warned

“John B McLemore lives in Shittown Alabama”, he is a clockmaker and he is not a joyful man. He is extrodinarily clever, meticulous, intriguing and fatalistic. He has a fine sense of injustice and the world slowly turning to shit. He has a mother he cares for, friends who love him but he is deeply depressed a lonely in a way that people who feel the full weight of the problems of the world can relate to. He sometimes upsets people with his grim world view. Particularly his employee and close friend Tyler. Tyler maintains John’s house and helps out with his mum and is an unexpected saving grace for the middle aged, “celebate homosexual” as he termed himself. Tyler rides a motorbike, is covered in tattoos and has an unmistakable southern drawl. John is dependent on Tyler, John is a surrogate father figure for Tyler, Tyler  has a bed and clothes at John’s place, Tyler’s wife implores him not to go running everytime John calls in a suicidal funk.

So when John drinks cyanide one evening with seemingly no preparations made to deal with his estate or look after his mother confusion and chaos ensues. Including surprise appearances from suspiciously unconcerned distant relatives.

See John didn’t trust banks, he told his lawyer that he had a plan for his assets. A plan that seems to include gold…

Right out of the gate ShitTown is riviting and bewitching. John is relatable and endearing, and the chaos he left in his wake seems to be completely in advertant at this stage.

There are also hinted at connections to deeper mysteries that John was interested in which I hope will be a thread that gets picked back up.

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