yuzu & suzette
I made it to the beach.

It was cloudy and the water was cold. Saw a hermit crab. Took a nap. Had a good day.

True crime is a strange genre

I like listening to podcasts more than I like listening to music while I'm working. Because the music I like is fun, it tends to be really distracting and I can't stay productive. And if I try to sit down and listen to a podcast on its own, I'll start falling asleep (Lore by Aaron Mahnke is a good one if you're trying to do this on purpose). One of my favorite podcasts recently went on an indefinite hiatus because of controversies not worth getting into, and my second favorite is done as far as I can tell. So I've been searching for something new to mask the hum of my computer's jet engines while I'm held hostage by my screen for 10+ hours a day.

For whatever reason, most podcasts seem to fall pretty comfortably into one of 3 categories: politics, true crime, or "nerd" culture. Maybe 4 if you count sports (gross). Of course, there are plenty of outliers too. Sometimes those outliers will try leaning into one of the "main" categories, politics in particular (as it turns out, trying to be a political podcast when 1.) you're not that good at journalism and 2.) have nothing remotely meaningful to add to a conversation, sometimes leads to controversies again not worth getting into). The "nerd" culture podcasts are pretty hit-or-miss, usually miss, especially if it's not a deep dive. I have no interest in hearing strangers talk about their favorite Marvel movie or how Star Wars changed their life with way too much reference "humor" (and if I did, Reddit has no shortage). I think Wizard and the Bruiser is my baseline for assessing the listenability of "nerd" podcasts. I liked their Jem and the Holograms episode. Asstown is a pretty fun Animal Crossing podcast, mostly about New Leaf if I remember correctly.

So while I can give most kinds of podcasts a reasonable chance, I struggle when it comes to true crime even though this seems to be the most popular kind of podcast. I guess it's a fairly easy thing to talk about. Especially for unsolved mysteries, since it's easily to make up one up (because it's a mystery) and facts are allowed to be fuddled (because truth is actually not a requirement of true crime). I can see the appeal of those. But if the mystery has already been solved, thoroughly, in full, it's kind of like starting a book from the end. Takes a lot of the intrigue out of it. And I have absolutely no interest in the iNsIdE tHe MiNd Of A mUrDeReR?!?!? angle. People kill people because they want to, it's not that deep. Humans have done it since they realized they could, and will continue to do so. I don't know anyone who hasn't thought the world would be better if someone or another were removed from it. You can probably think of 5 off the top of your head right now. Maybe you can justify those thoughts because those people are "bad" people, but it's so remarkably easy to decide someone is "bad" that, as a necessity of society, we have to train our brains not to do that (that's the development of empathy). So it's not so shocking that someone would kill someone else, maybe even a series of people, because they thought they rightfully deserved it and wanted to make it as painful as possible, or they were just perverts. The important thing of course is for those actions to have consequences. But there is so much media readily available that neglects that part to instead romanticize the suffering of others as some kind of beautiful tragedy. Or that people that cause the suffering are just troubled genuises who would have turned out differently if society would have only just given them a chance! :(

Though, I don't really want or expect true crime to focus on the victims over the criminals either. I think it would be even more cruel to invade their privacy or the privacy of their family, or for survivors, ask them to relive their suffering for...enterainment? But occasionally, I'll come across something like Hunting Warhead, which instead focuses mostly on the nature of the crime (in this case, CSA) itself. While it's really well made and hard to put down (or pause, I guess), it was also still really hard to listen to. Unlike fictional horror, you can't separate it from reality at all, and it's horrifying knowing how much awful stuff goes on without anyone knowing or caring, or is being actively facilitated by those in power, or there are little resources to do anything about it at all.

So in short, I don't really get true crime. I much prefer fake crime, or even hypothetical crime. Ideally, the podcasts I do listen to won't worry me by talking about worrisome things or getting involved in worrisome controversies at all.