Semantic Shenanigans Episode 13 – Farshtinkener Sharks

Semantic Shenanigans Episode 13 – Farshtinkener Sharks

Farshtinkener Sharks? Well, yeah.

Semantic Shenanigans Episode 13 – Farshtinkener Sharks

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Shanna just finished her preliminary exams for her doctoral program, and boy is she tired! She also went up to Detroit to see Gary Numan in concert on November 30 to celebrate.


NaNoWriMo! She won on the 21st and is currently at 90k and still going. And she still doesn’t have an ending …. Work continues to be good but busy. And the house renovations have not stopped but at least the toilet is out of her dining room. Now she just has a sink in two pieces and the room still needs to be painted and finished …

Sexual Harassment Allegations Come Out of the Woodwork

We spent a lot of time on this one, because apparently a lot of men in Hollywood are creeps – so many, in fact, that Janet felt compelled to keep a running list. In terms of the effect on fandom, we spent the most time discussing Anthony Rapp’s accusations against Kevin Spacey, the accusation against George Takei, and Louis C.K.. In particular, we talked about the victim-blaming lobbed at Rapp by the public, such as this, this, this, and this. We also gave Rapp props for his great attitude about the whole thing.

So why do some people get away with this kind of behavior and others don’t? And are there effects beyond the individuals involved? Shanna schooled us on “death of the author” may be a factor. She also explains how a case like Lauer’s can help to reinforce patriarchy through gatekeeping practices in terms of determining what stories are covered in the news as well as how they’re presented.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Relatedly, ’tis the season for the controversy surrounding this old holiday standard, which has now come to be regarded as a marker of rape culture. A Tumblr post has been circulating that offers a different – but no less problematic – reading of the song, and Shanna makes a connection to a possible new reading of Han Solo and Princess Leia’s first kiss in The Empire Strikes Back.

Gary Numan

On a completely different note, Shanna got to reward herself for all her hard work by seeing one of her all-time favorite artists, Gary Numan, in concert in Detroit. Most Americans think of him as a one-hit wonder with “Cars“, but he’s actually had a 40-year career including the release of 21 albums. Shanna talks about why it’s awesome to be a Numan fan, as well as developments in his career such as his being blackballed from the Billboard dance/electronic music charts possibly being a result of systemic ageism. Numan has also been in the media recently discussing the lack of originality in music today as well as his struggles with Asberger’s syndrome and depression. Shanna recommends reading Numan’s autobiography if you want to learn more.

Holiday Plans

Janet and Shanna discuss the upcoming holidays, as well as how freaking awesome it is to be a fan in the months of December and January with the coming of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Season 11 of The X-Files, and the second half of Star Trek: Discovery Season 1. We’re also pretty stoked about Netflix’s announcements that they’ve green-lit both a spin-off of Riverdale involving Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Season 3 of Stranger Things. It’s definitely a great time to be a fan!

So how do you, as a fan, react to what’s going on? Tell us in the comments, if you like. Or send us a note!

Thank you!

Thanks for listening! So our show would not be possible without the help, kindness, and generosity of some truly wonderful people. First of all, we would like to thank Busy Little Beaver Productions and more specifically the G & T Show for giving us this great opportunity. We would also like to thank our music providers, Cerys and Kailani of Invocation Array. Thank you, ladies!

So our biggest thanks go to sound engineer extraordinaire, Michael Medeiros, and his niece, Katie, our announcer girl. Yes, we have the only announcer who has to take a break and study fractions and the times tables.

Furthermore, we would also like to thank our families for instilling in us our curious and creative impulses, and for encouraging us in all we do.

Finally, thank you, our audience. Because you’re why we are here. We do this for you.

Our Next Show

Yes! We will have another show (at least, we’re planning to unless the Farshtinkener Sharks get us first) before the end of the year.

Show Note URLs

Finally, please check out these links to everything we talked about!


Sexual Harassment Allegations Come Out of the Woodwork

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Gary Numan

Holiday Plans and Fandom Delights

Busy Little Beaver Productions and The G & T Show

While you’re here, please check out our parent show and the links to our sister shows.

Invocation Array

Thank you SO much, Cerys and Kailani!

Mike & Announcer Girl Katie

And Mike is a published author, too! Please check out his work. It’s just wonderful.

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  1. Baby It’s Cold Outside was a feminist anthem in it’s day before we even had a term. Written by man as most well known female anthems are and sung by him and his wife at parties. It was a HUGE hit before it became a Christmas classic or was ever on film. And for it’s day it was shocking to have a women express any sexual desire or even let alone an unmarried couple spending the night together. “What would the neighbors think?” was serious business well into the mid 60s.

    And anyone steeped in bar culture knows “what’s in this drink” refers to it being a strong and thus “proper” drink.

    But the kicker is really at the end where is appears the woman agrees to stay through her own free will and personal agency and obviously sexual desire. What the hell? That was revolutionary for period steeped in blacklist, the Hollywood censorship code (pre Hollywood was whole other grand utopia of sexually freedom not seen since).

    And I will defend the song as such in the face of overwhelming odds because ignorance is not bliss for me.

  2. While it may be true that we are more willing to separate male artists from their work, Lena Dunham isn’t the best example for the author. She put more of her personal views out there. Does Louis CK have a podcast or newsletter like her? She made dumb comments about abortion and defended a Girls writer by assuming all the accusers were liars. However, there aren’t any equivalent situations regarding female artists. When people criticized the Grammys and Oscars for nominating Chris Brown and Casey Affleck, others said the awards are for music and acting, not Man of the Year. Would people defend nominations of female artists who got into trouble for domestic violence or sexual misconduct?

    As a callback to your Joss Whedon discussion, I saw an article comparing him to Louis CK. Basically, it says they used feminist cred as a cover for bad behavior.

    You should also check out Warp 5’s discussion of #metoo. Although I normally get annoyed by tangents (it’s supposed to be about Precious Cargo/Perfect Mate), this is a very good one.

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