John Walker's Electronic House

Rum Doings Episode 104: The Pied Piper Of Podcasts

by on Apr.27, 2012, under Rum Doings, The Rest

In episode 104 of Rum Doings, we do something we said we’d never do. We Skype. It’s not going to be a habit, but hopefully it’s worked out pretty well. We don’t discuss those food colourings, but instead talk over each other and then John has Nick deported. Then it’s time to discuss the family Murdoch’s appearance at the Leveson Inquiry. Which of course means Nick brings out the libel. Should you visit Bath? Should you? We talk about the hypothetical version of reality where Dexter isn’t immortal, and the terrible crimes of Biddles.

Do you have to be insane to murder 72 people? What about to murder one person? What is sane? Was Hitler sane? Find out today! Then we consider our retribution-based criminal justice system. John regails us with the tale of the lying idiot who crashed into his car, and we consider what Victoria Wood is for now. Finally how to cope with compliments, how funny we are, and how we’re adored by young people. Oh, and heroin.

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12 Comments for this entry

  • Daniel Rivas

    I’m not sure this is acceptable.

  • Gassalasca

    Won’t someone please think of the failing standards gone maaaad?!

  • Mike

    Perhaps my standards are quite low but I didn’t mind this Skyped podcast. Nick seemed to interrupt less frequently which was quite refreshing.

    And good to hear Dexter meow.

  • Hugo Krunk

    I thought this didn’t sound much different from a normal Rum Doings, although clearly it would have been a very different experience for you making it.

    If the alternative is no Rum Doings for another week, then of course this is far better. This episode was as entertaining as ever.

  • Nick Mailer

    In case anyone wonders what that odd countdown and clap at the beginning is: we did it so that we could syncronise our independently-recorded audio when recombining it for the podcast. For some reason, John left it in.

  • John Walker

    I left it in because it amused me.

  • Gassalasca

    I just want to say, Nick’s voice sounded very sexy with this setup.

  • Ryan

    Start of this episode was very charming, I approve of skype, for now. Continue.

  • Alex

    The insanity/crime-of-passion stuff was interesting. There’s this weird practice in society, where any sort of mental issue, even depression or anxiety, will get a person labeled as mentally ill and broken, while people who are quite clearly not in their right minds are railed against as evildoers who need hard prison time, not rehabilitation.

    There was a case over here recently, centering on a man with an undiagnosed case of schizoaffective disorder, who’d beaten and stabbed his wife to death. He was ruled not criminally responsible and was placed in a mandatory treatment program before being slowly eased back into society. Even then, there was a big fight over his wife’s life insurance policy. Even though the man had been declared not responsible for his actions at the time, a judge overseeing the insurance claim called him a murderer and tried to cite some common-law precedent about withholding the profits of a crime from its perpetrator (a judgement an appeals court overturned this past week, thankfully).

    All that said, I don’t know if I’d go as far as you two when it comes to calling ‘evil’ people insane. In general, I’d call someone sane if they could understand the effect their planned actions would cause, AND if they had some coherent understanding of society’s norms and behaviours. That’s not to say that many criminals don’t have personality disorders. They might have emotional control problems, or an inability to display empathy. I’d also support rehabilitation programs for people like that, instead of putting them in a prison that would just exacerbate those personality traits. I still wouldn’t call them insane, though.

  • Xercies

    I think saying someone is insane is the easy way out to be honest, because clearly Anders is not insane he knew exactly what he was doing and why he was doing it. But unfortunately that doesn’t sit comfortably with us for various natural reasons so obviously we go to the easy route of saying his mind is broken sweep him under the rug.

    We must know why he would have views like that and why he would do these things and not just say he was insane and forget about it. But unfortunately that kind of process scares us because well, we could be like him in very many ways.

  • Eth-Zee

    How connected to a crime do you have to be to be thought of as insane, to have a distinct mental problem?

    Using the really bad example, we say that Hitler was insane. As far as I’m aware Hitler didn’t actually take part in the genocide himself – he had the Nazi government and military take care of that. Do we say that everyone in that government, in their army was insane? Was everyone in Germany who knew of the atrocities but did nothing to resist insane?

    Which also reminds me, John – about your idea to not let the law apply to people over the age of 80. You said it broke down when it came to someone like Robert Mugabe.

    The solution is obvious: make it so that anyone over the age of 80 can commit crimes without repercussion, but ONLY them; if they order anyone to do crimes, those people still get punished.

    Mugabe could still continue to do warcrimes and things but he’d have to do them all by himself. One wobbly old man trying to oppress an entire country by his own hand; should be a funny sight.

  • mister k

    I think if you start using insane to refer to Hitler, you do devalue the word. Its got a lot of particular connotations, hence CS Lewis’ “Insane, prophet or liar” dilemma for Jesus, where the alternate suggestion of deluded is not given.

    Brevik is delusional, just as most terrorists are, and deluded about the way the world is. But he is also fully in control of his actions.

    Of course, as Nick says, if you don’t care about punishment then it really doesn’t matter that much.