Frak That! Ep. 90: ‘Rogue One’

Randall Kennedy and Joe Wilcox spend 40 frakking minutes of Episode 90 blathering about other topics before they finally get around to discussing “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, which one of them paid to see. Chalk the other’s viewing to desperation living somewhere where the movie isn’t showing and may not be for some time yet.

Randall isn’t impressed with the lead character played by Felicity Jones—perhaps because he repeat-watched “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” right before “Rogue One”. “Daisy Ridley just grabbed me again”, he says. “It was an amazing performance by her…I was totally transfixed, totally rooting for her by the end of the movie”. By contrast, he feels “no real empathy” for Jones’ Jyn Erso. The charter’s transformation from “whiny Millennial” to “inspiring heroic figure” is unbelievable. “Why would anyone follow her? She’s done nothing to generate that kind of loyalty”. 

Other topics are culturally rogue—or taboo, if you prefer. Joe tells Randall about a new scientific study showing how mothers’ brains change because of pregnancy. “Gray matter pruning”—what Joe later calls “shrinkage”—takes place, so that the woman feels more motherly to her child. The pruning is similar to what happens to kids, when, at around age 10, their spongy synapses reduce in number. Meaning: Youngsters are smarter, absorb lots more information than oldsters—and apparently so do women who aren’t pregnant compared to their child-rearing counterparts.

In what some listeners will find sexist, Joe suggests that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who was secretly pregnant when hired from Google, might have done a better job turning around the ailing, aging dot-com if not for “gray matter shrinkage”. “It’s not us!” Randall tells listeners. “It’s the study!”

Other topics include: Listerine as cure for throat gonorrhea; Calexit supporters opening an official embassy in Russia; the Surveillance State as popular culture; the psychology of iPhone breakage; and Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere.