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I don't listen to a lot of podcasts, but the one that I've been the…

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delphica
I don't listen to a lot of podcasts, but the one that I've been the most avid about is Serial, which means that the streaming service is always trying to recommend other types of true crime stories, in that "if you enjoyed Serial, you might like ... " way. But I probably won't necessarily, I'm not that into true crime on its own. However, I did decide to try out one of the recommended shows, a Canadian cold case show ...

The story is very sad, it's about the case of a 5 year old boy who went missing while on a family fishing trip in the early 1970s. Literally missing without a trace. It's very heartbreaking. As a parent, it's hard to listen to a mother, even all these years later, talk about missing her son.

YET. Yet, the most fascinating part of this is HOW DARN CANADIAN this show is. It's actually become a delight. The host is Canadian (and the hook, I guess, is that he's from this same small town in Canada where the child went missing), and obviously, so is the family, so it's like listening to the nicest people in the entire world talk about this horrible occurrence (which was probably a crime). OOOOOH GOSH. Early on the host turns up this friend of the family guy, and I'm not sure I completely followed this but the gist is that he was along on the fishing trip (as an adult), and then either the police (at the time) only spoke with him briefly or maybe even not at all. The host tracks this guy down, and goes to his house, with the commentary of how nice it is (in a homey way, because it's like a cabin in eastern Ontario), and essentially he asks the guy "so, do you think maybe there is anything you remember about that day now, that maybe didn't get into the police report or was overlooked by investigators?" which I *think* is the Canadian way of asking "so, did you murder a small child and not tell anyone at the time?" and the guy's response was "Oh gosh, I don't think so, no." And then they both talked about how sad it was. And then the host talked about how you can see these lovely birds from the woods behind the guy's cabin.

There are also a lot of parts where a lot of air time is spent on ambient sound, like the birds chirping in the backyard, or when the host drives out to the lake where the family was fishing, parks the car, and then walks down a trail to the fishing area. He says "I'm walking down the trail to the lake" and then you hear him walk down the trail to the lake, step, step, step, step, etc with that crunchy walking on a path in the woods sound. Step, step, step, step, step until he gets to the lake. The podcasts are about half an hour long, and I swear, by US standards they have about 7 minutes of content. I fully understand that these are intentional creative choices, to give time to these sounds in order to establish a setting or a tone, but still, they are the most charmingly Canadian of choices.

LOVE YOU, CANADA, NEVER CHANGE.
  • (no subject) - bristlesage
    • Right? I do feel a little badly that I've started to think of this as "a heart-warming Canadian story ... about a child abduction."
  • (no subject) - scout1222
    • I was just thinking about Serial. The second season almost felt like a different show to me. It didn't have the same hook, where I was on the edge of my seat all the time, as the first season.

      But like you, I still enjoyed it. I felt like it was half the story of that guy. Right, should NEVER have joined the military, and I would say should never have been ALLOWED to join the military ... but I recognized a lot of things about him from dudes I remember from high school/college, like very into the lofty concept of "the military" but there seemed like a big disconnect with the idea that a lot of being in the military (from my limited understanding) is about doing crap you're not particularly interested in or personally committed to, with people you don't necessarily like. But it makes me wonder if there are a lot of guys like that stewing around in the armed forces; and it just happened that this one guy, of many, was in the wrong time and place to act on his weird ideas.

      The other half was probably more useful to me personally, because I am a bad person who slacks on following the news when it is too complicated and yeah, so my understanding of the the nuances of the war in Afghanistan was sketchy at best. It was good for my personal edification to get some additional information about the various factions and how Pakistan comes into things ... but that felt more like, hmm, attending a decently solid lecture than the "suspenseful entertainment" of the first season. Then I reflected on whether or not it was right for a girl's murder to be my entertainment, suspenseful or otherwise.

      And yep, this Canadian thing is somewhat interesting enough to noodle over how Canadian everybody sounds, but it's not like I'm saying it's SO good anyone should really make room in her line-up for it. If they find the kid by the end (40 years after the fact), I'll post an update, but since surely something like that would have made the real news, I'm strongly suspecting this is a "musing on the nature of the unknowable" story.
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