Reply All: #174 Search Party
June 17, 2021 7:55 AM - Subscribe

Reply All comes back, hosted by Alex Goldman and Emmanuel Dzotsi. This week, with the help of tech reporters Ashley Feinberg and Katie Notopoulos, we venture to one of the darkest places on the internet -- our own search histories.
posted by ellieBOA (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I found this episode deeply cringe-inducing, so cringe-sensitive friends beware. Both a great deal of secondhand embarrassment as well as folks who claim to be incredibly online learning (or pretending to learn) about the fundamental nature of fanfiction.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 9:17 AM on June 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

Glad to see the show carry on. This was a fun one. I think the future for Reply All is bright.

I'm also intrigued by the comment above. I didn't get any second-hand cringe from this show. That slashfic is distinct from other erotic fanfic isn't something I'd know about if a few specific friends hasn't mentioned it on twitter. I've only ever actually encountered fanfic in untrustworthy parody. (I've got nothing against it. I like much weirder things. But, it's pages deep on the list of things I've actively spent time pursuing.)

The thing that would actually embarrass me is all the stuff I look up because I can't remember the incredibly obvious word or name I really should know when I'm trying to make a joke. e.g., "capital of Spain," or "german documentary film director bear antarctica." That and the number of times I use search engines to spell check things while on a phone. Everything else either has a genuinely good excuse, or I can come up with a plausible fake excuse.
posted by eotvos at 11:56 AM on June 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

Specifically, when I say "the fundamental nature of fanfiction" I mean the notion that a poorly characterized character wouldn't be fertile soil for writers. For many writers the less personality the better, since there's more room to project and fill in the gaps with whatever you want. I guess if you don't read much fanfiction that may not be obvious, but the idea that writers wouldn't flesh out a flat character is delightfully naïve.

I do like the fact that since Master Chief's defining characteristic is his helmet it has to stay on no matter what he's doing, and it also gets him paired with similarly helmeted folks for R&R.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:32 PM on June 17, 2021

Given that the podcast just took a long break to reckon with Gimlet’s history of sidelining Black creators (as well as other incidents of racism), I found the almost-complete absence of Emmanuel Dzotsi in this episode really jarring. I hope he’s just not in this episode because he was off producing an amazing new feature that we’ll hear in the coming weeks and this episode is not indicative of the new normal dynamic.
posted by ActionPopulated at 9:25 PM on June 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

That was my feeling too, I was listening with a lot of trepidation and felt the absence of Emmanuel.
posted by ellieBOA at 9:34 PM on June 17, 2021

To be fair, loved this summary: "german documentary film director bear antarctica." Knew exactly what it was.

Embarrassment is often sharp to the person it originates from, sometimes it overshadows a lot of beautiful nuance or genuinely pleasant details.
posted by firstdaffodils at 9:38 PM on June 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

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