'Revenge!'

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Any form of personal retaliatory action against an individual, institution or group from some perceived harm or injustice. 

Noun, sing.

 Hey Fellow Wordies, 

Has someone wronged you? Not willing to rely on established legal channels? Are you looking to get even? 

This week we investigate the word "Revenge" and how some historically renowned thinkers (from the Sumerians to Shakespeare to...Quentin Tarantino) believe it impacts society at large.

A facet of humanity that can focus or entirely disrupt the reasoning process, revenge has a long and sordid history. It is subject to pithy quotes aplenty and has been scrutinized in music, movies and literature for as long as those media have existed.

Without giving too much away, we arrive at two separate conclusions as to how revenge fits into society. On the one hand, we see that it can be incredibly destructive to the detriment of all. On the other, due to our infatuation with revenge stories and the antagonist receiving their just desserts, it can be unimaginably satisfying and validating. This leaves us with plenty of room for further discussion.

And with that, let's have a few words! 

'Manliness!'

1. The fact of being typically male; maculinity.

2. The traditional male quality of being brave and strong.  

 Noun, sing.

 Hey Fellow Wordies, 

We're puffing our chests out and pridefully strutting in celebration of the release of the third episode of Here Are Words!

On today's show, we're dedicating one half hour to the subject of MANLINESS!   

*Breaks keg on face*

What does it mean to be 'typically' or 'traditionally' manly? We explore the differences between sex and gender, make wild suppositions about the evolution of fashion in the human species, and throw some smack-talk on our appearance driven mass-media culture and its effect on gender identification. 

So snuggle up in your bear-skin pelts, put some syrup on your tubs of bacon, and put your axes down for one moment while we pulverize your ears and minds into submission with our manly words. 

'Blockbuster!'

1. A film that sustains exceptional and widespread popularity and achieves enormous sales. 

 2. A high-explosive bomb used for demolishing extensive areas, such as a city block. 

Noun, sing. 

 Hello Fellow Wordies,

In today's episode, Cameron and I delve into the history and evolution of the term 'blockbuster.' We cover a lot of ground: the British Royal Air Force, mechanical sharks, space operas, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, and Iron Man abroad.  

While we spend a portion of today's show talking about the term's super-literal origin, the focus of today's episode primarily addresses the word's more widely used definition (courtesy of Wiktionary):  

Since the summer blockbuster era commenced in 1975 with the massively successful release of Steven Spielberg's Jaws, filmmakers and studio honchos alike have sought to acquire and exploit the magic formula that would guarantee the highest audience turnout. After nearly forty years of tinkering and testing, we've reached a critical point where just about every genre and convention has been tapped, twisted, and turned out with the efficacy of an assembly line system. Every passing year (or fiscal year, for that matter) has yielded everything from monster flicks (Jaws, the Kings Kong, Cloverfield), to fantasy tomes (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings), to buddy cop films (Lethal Weapon, Rush Hour, Bad Boyz), and even summer romances (The Notebook, When Harry Met Sally).

What this process of experimentation has taught discerning film audiences is that success is rarely predictable, that risks don't always yield promising results, and that, above all else, audiences tend to defy expectations at every turn. If film audiences weren't the unpredictable rabble they so frequently prove to be, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and After Earth would be the top-grossing film of the year. On the opposite side of the coin, just look at Pirates of the Caribbean. Who the fudge could have predicted that shirt was going to be a hit? 

If we arrived at any sort of determination after recording this show, it's that it's often difficult - if not impossible - to boil cultural and artistic values down to an economic science. As the film market expands into the globalized world, we see a tendency on the part of film investors to tap into a global zeitgeist: an internationally homogenous appetite for entertainment that may not ever truly exist...or maybe shouldn't. 

So, without further ado, please silence your cell phones and enjoy the show!  

P.S. Please feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below, or rate our show on iTunes. Thanks for listening!  

  

'First!'

Welcome! Have a seat 'n stay a while. Thank you for visiting our little corner of the Internet, and joining us for the launch of Here Are Words , a new podcast for people who love media, science, nerd-culture, and inappropriate conversations. 

Listen each week as we select a word that is relevant and meaningful to our lives and worthy of a compelling, albeit meandering discussion. We'll provide inarticulate commentary on an interesting and exciting array of subjects all while striving to enlighten and amuse you with our turns-of-phrase, cringe-inducing punnitry, and rare moments of intellectual insight. It's sure to be great fun for dozens of listeners. 

On today's inaugural episode, Cameron and I discuss the word "FIRST"! Seeing as this is the first official episode of our first official podcast, we thought it seemed rather fitting. Not only that, but Cameron just had his first child! He'll tell you his wife was the one who did all the baby-having, but that's an argument for another episode. 

While we dedicate most of the episode to Cameron's new bundle of joy, we wanted to provide our listeners with a little bit of intellectually stimulating background on the first of many words we'll be discussing on the show. So, that being said, let's take a look at our word - courtesy of Wiktionary! 

FIRST (Definition)   

Adjective: Having no predecessor. The ordinal number corresponding to one. 

Adverb: Before anything else (as in; firstly) .

Noun: Something that has never happened before; a new occurrence.  

FIRST (Etymology)  

From Middle English first, fyrst, furst, ferst; From Old English fyrst, fyrest  ("foremost, principal, chief, original"); From Proto-Germanic furistaz  ("foremost"); superlative of Proto-Germanic fur/fura/furi ("before"); From Proto-Indo-European per/pero ("forward, beyond, around") . 

Our lives are filled with many memorable first experiences: from our first steps, to our first words, to our first consensual boob-grab (amirite, guys? No, really. Is that a thing?). While it's possible that no event in a potentially infinite and ever-expanding universe lacks precedent, designating these events as "firsts" allows us to share the joy and fear that comes with our individual rites of passage with the rest of the human community. We gain access to a vast linguistic mine of human experience and emotion, and implicitly acknowledge a sense of commonality with the rest of our species. 

One's first bicycle ride becomes less intimidating when one knows others have treaded the same path. One's first day of school seems less traumatic when one realizes how many previous students survived. Even this effort of launching and committing to a podcast, website, and blog becomes less mortifying when we know other amateurs and professionals have overcome their insecurities and surrendered themselves to the open arms of the Internet. Which is why we're here, ready and willing to fail, and hopeful that you'll join us on our first adventure in the land of podcasting! 

So, if you please, share your reviews of the podcast on iTunes, obsessively follow everything we do here at our official website, check out our Facebook page, or catch us via our @HAWCast Twitter. And, of course, send your comments and topic suggestions to contact@herearewords.com. We'd love to hear some of your own words! 

- M.