Into the Zone: Druid Like Me (S1 EP1)
October 25, 2020 12:08 PM - Subscribe

Hari's visit to Stonehenge on the solstice prompts an investigation into the gray zone between being a native and a migrant, and his memories of growing up in Essex during the Thatcher years. He also tracks down an old friend, whose work with Harvard geneticist David Reich overturns centuries of nationalist thinking. Official site: Into The Zone

I stumbled across these ethno-philosophical peregrinations by Hari Kunzru I think via a sample snuck into a feed of Barry Lam’s Hi-Phi Nation series. The relaxed-yet-lenticular rambling through eras, continents and concepts is like a more formally fastidious version of the explorations I’ve come to enjoy from The Blindboy Podcast. Kunzru describes it as “a podcast about the inside of my head”.

(Two reviews of the series here and here.)
posted by progosk (1 comment total)
So glad you posted this! I also discovered via Hi Phi Nation (don't sleep on Hi Phi Nation folks!). I just came here to start a whole season thread but happy to discuss individual posts. On the broad topic of the whole podcast though: that LA Review of Books review is pretty on point. It's not really a show about opposites, except when Kunzru kind of shoehorns that on. It is a show about borders, but yeah, as they say, mostly a show about Hari Kunzru, and it's at it's best when it embraces that. But I sound negative. I really, really liked it. I think it's terrific and captures a certain set of values and aesthetics that are very close to my heart. I enjoy meandering around in whatever conceptual stew he's chosen for each episode, and hearing new stories and perspectives from that stew.

This episode about Stonehenge was delightful. I didn't know about the timeline of actual historical druids, nor about the extremely distinct genetic subgroups of Europe, and so it was a delightful takedown of race. And I appreciated that while you can tell Kunzru has a pinch of sneering sarcasm about the Stonehenge denizens , he's also empathetic toward them, ultimately postive about them and their belief that Stonehenge belongs to everyone.
posted by latkes at 4:15 PM on November 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

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