Listening To Serial





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Published on Dec 15, 2014

Written & performed by Zach Sherwin.
"Serial" theme by Nick Thorburn.
Beat by Upryz (wondersmithaudio.com)
Filmed & edited by Marc Chester (IG: /thatssomarc)

Special thanks to W. Kamau Bell, Jessica Schmidt, Ian Brownell, and Myq Kaplan.

I've been listening to Serial
Millions have been listening with me
They know when I say I've been listening to Serial
I don't mean Rice Krispies
(Snap crackle pop)
I mean the podcast that's got me
Caught like a bass on a line that a rod cast
Good way to get your pod on
All the kids at Woodlawn
Hae and Adnan
Jay and Don and Asia McClain and the gang
I'm so dang entertained
Although I do feel an occasional pang
When I think about Hae's homicide
And the anguish and pain that it's caused
For the Lee family and the Syeds
Real live human persons
Who've endured such bruising and hurt
While for me it's just been an amusing diversion

But I've been listening to Serial
Really getting into it
Even when the sheer amount of detail
I'm getting regaled with
Makes me rewind in 15-second increments
And I wonder just how much
I should trust our host Sarah Koenig
Sometimes my suspicions that the whole thang's rigged
And that she's phony as a toupee wig grow yay big
How far ahead of us has she been?
Did she really not know how it finishes?
Is she a sinister yarn-spinner
Cynically stringing us along just to keep us interested?
There was one particular time
When I thought “Yeah, she's messing with my mind”
Listen for yourself
It's 9 minutes and 40 seconds into Episode 9.
Sarah says:

“Can we all agree that whatever happened to Hae probably didn't involve a 236 PM call from that phone booth?...I don't know about you, but I'm done considering that it's true.”

“Can we all agree”
That there was no call from that phone booth?
How could I disagree with the facts YOU fed me?
I'm not the homicide sleuth
And, “You don't know about me?”
Please. I see through your ruse
I get what you're doin'
You're trying to make me think
That I arrived on my own at YOUR conclusion

Pretty manipulative
And I'm not gonna let it slip through, Koenig
Of skepticism, I am clearly full...
I've been listening to Serial

And then my friend Kamau has a whole different point
I'll let him say this in his own voice
His take is as follows:
“Serial's kinda racist!”
These are people of color
But Sarah mostly rejects racial discussions
Which, Kamau says, you absolutely can't do
When you talk about criminal justice.
He believes that there are questions
Sarah would take more care to present
If she were other than white
And definitely if she were of Arab descent
And then there's just this anthropological feel
That Kamau describes
As a “'Went-to-a-liberal-college-
But-don't-have-non-white friends' NPR-ish vibe."
Critiques of this kind
Would never have entered my mind, I concede
But I went online and indeed
There's a whole lot more on there you can find and read
Ignorance was bliss
Knowing all this?
Kind of a bummer
Like, can I still laugh at the dude in the ad
Who sounds like Strong Bad from Homestar Runner?

I've been listening to Serial
It's a complicated thing to engage with
And like the show, this rap is nearly through
So I should come up with a closing statement
Some way to sum it all up
That feels real confident and seems strong
But I gotta be honest
I wrote this in large part
Cause I wanted to spit over the theme song
So I may not finish things off
In a tidy, clever, conclusive way
But the season might not end like that either
Before Thursday, who's to say?
Maybe we'll get some answers
Or maybe we never really'll
No matter what, we're gonna find out
Next time....on Serial.


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