Radio vs. the Mailbag: Restoring Your Faith In Humanity (Just a Little Bit)


In the modern world of the internet, it can be incredibly easy to see the ugly, embarrassing, and toxic side of fandom.

But this also makes the good stuff all the more welcoming. For this post, rather than only dwell on the bad, let’s take a moment to recognize the people and moments that remind you that people have often used their shared love of popular culture as a vehicle to be awesome.

Which prompts this month’s Mailbag question:

“What have you seen or experienced that’s left you feeling really proud of and happy about pop culture fandom?”

Here’s what our hosts had to say…

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Radio vs. the Mailbag: Tapping Out!


There are times when you just give up on a piece of fiction. You walk out of a movie theater before the show is over. You drop a television show from your DVR lists. You take a comic book series off of your monthly pull list. You hurl a book across the room in frustration.

Thought we both pride ourselves on our ability to finish what we start, sometimes…you just have to give up.

In short, you quit. You tap out. You’re just done with it.

That prompts this month’s question:

“Has a Movie, Book, Television Show or Piece of Media Ever Made you Tap Out?”

Here’s what our hosts had to say…

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Radio vs. the Mailbag: Rooting for the Bad Guys


Let’s face it. Sometimes the good guys just suck.

More than once in fiction, we’ve been asked by a novel, television show, comic book or movie to get behind a hero who is insufferable, obnoxious, morally repugnant or just plain awful.

And sometimes, we’re given a villain who isn’t. Sometimes we get antagonists who are more interesting, nuanced,  or….actually morally justifed in their actions. Bad guys that we want to see win in the end.

This month, listeners, we have a doozy of a question for you:

“Have you ever found yourself cheering for villain to win (and the hero to lose) in a work of fiction?”

This is a question comes with an important qualifier.

We are not asking for you to name your favorite villain. Fiction has plenty of excellent, compelling, or hilarious villains who outshine their respective heroes. And we’re not talking about stories like Breaking Bad or the Sopranos where the main character is a “bad guy.”

We’re specifically asking about villains who you wanted to see defeat the main characters  and win at the end of the story.

Our hosts had this to say:

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Radio vs. the Mailbag: Rip Off!


One of the harshest — and most common  — epithets in fandom is to label a work of media as a rip-off.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a rip-off of Babylon 5!” “The Hunger Games is a rip-off of Battle Royale!” “Captain Marvel is a rip-off of Superman!” “The Island is a rip-off of Parts: the Clonus Horror!”

(Okay, that last one is definitely true.)

But not all derivative works are intrinsically inferior. Some actually transcend the quality of their media muses as pieces of art that stand the test of time.

So, dear listener, this month, we’re asking you:
“What derivative works of art are superior to the works that inspired them?”

Our hosts had this to say:
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Radio vs. the Mailbag: Of Sorcerers and Spaceships


The Mailbag is back! And this time, we’re jumping into one of the most divisive issues of fandom: genre.

Many geeks contend that the differences between the genres of science fiction and fantasy cannot be any more dissimilar in terms of artistic intent, overarching themes and subject matter.

Others argue that science fiction and fantasy tell similar stories, but just use different settings, props and popular tropes.

So, what do you think, listeners? This month. we ask:

“Are the genres of science fiction and fantasy truly opposites in meaningful thematic ways, or are their differences merely cosmetic?”

Our hosts had this to say…

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Radio vs. the Mailbag: Childhood Nightmare Fuel


In the inaugural blog edition of Radio vs. the Mailbag!, we’re asking you to re-experience the fictional traumas of your childhood.

We all experienced media as kids that drove us to tears, gave us nightmares or forever colored the way that we saw the world. Some of those old feelings are still with us when we rewatch, reread or re-examine this media as adults.

This month, we ask:

What frightening or disturbing  moment of popular media scared you as a child and has really stuck with you into adulthood?

Our hosts had this to say…

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Episode 7.5 – Unlicensed Nuclear Accelerators


In the latest mini-episode, Mike and Casey aim for the flat top as we puzzle over our last big question: Are drivers legally obligated to pull to the shoulder of the road for the Ghostbusters’ Ecto-1?

We read your responses, and ask panelists Ryan Chaddock and Chris Walker their thoughts on the matter.

Is the Ecto-1 a licensed emergency vehicle? Are they breaking the law when they flash blue lights and blare a siren? Do the Ghostbusters even care about the potential danger of wielding totally unregulated, dangerous technology in a major city?

And for the next Radio vs. the Mailbag!: “What was the turning point that pushed geek culture into the mainstream of popular culture?”

We want to hear from you!