This week on Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to explore America’s adult film industry, which has its heart in California’s San Fernando Valley. In this episode Farrier heads for a mansion in the hills of Calabasas to attend an adult film shoot, hoping to understand why Americans spend an average of 9 minutes and 44 seconds on porn sites at a time. David meets a porn director also called “David” to ask why they still have all that dialogue and plot in amongst all the sex, before chatting with porn stars Hadley and Lucas about the joys, trials, and tribulations of their unique job. At the end of the day, David sits down for 45 minutes as the actors all have sex with each other and tries to come to a conclusion about what this all means. David also meets one of the (now adult) stars of the popular 90s sitcom “Boy Meets World,” to find out why Mailand Ward decided to make a late entry to the adult film industry. They discuss her new book “Rated X” and the challenges and misconceptions of the porn world.
Flightless Bird: RVs
This week on Flightless Bird, David sets out to understand America's obsession with recreational vehicles, also known as RVs. Joined by Monica and Dax, David discovers why 11.2 million American homes have an RV of some kind and why 10 million more are considering buying one within the next five years. David sits down with Monica Geraci, the official spokesperson for the American RV Industry Association, to find out some tips and tricks before descending into Griffith Park to meet an actor who lives in an RV full time. It's there he learns of a mysterious man who rents RVs out to the unhoused around Los Angeles, begging the question: is this mystery man doing them a favor or is he exploiting their situation as a kind of RV slumlord?
Flightless Bird: Bunkers
This week on Flightless Bird, David descends underground into the world of preppers and bunkers, learning that 40% of Americans believe that stocking up on supplies or building an underground shelter is a better investment than saving for retirement. Joined by Monica Mouse, David discovers that humans have wanted to live underground for the last 2000 years. David interviews ethnographic researcher Bradley Garrett about the mindset of the American bunker enthusiast since Covid and finds out why Brad was arrested on the tarmac back in 2012, spending two years marooned in the UK. David finds out about the American man who wanted to buy a nuclear bunker with 56 bedrooms and calls up a bunker company to find out what’s in their million-dollar bunker package.
Flightless Bird: Baseball
This week on Flightless Bird, David heads to San Francisco to meet the San Francisco Giants. Joined by Wobby Wob, David attempts to learn how to catch a baseball, before becoming distracted by some loud screams coming from the field. It's there he meets the Chicago White Sox's Liam Hendriks, an outspoken Australian with a good arm and lots of opinions. David learns why 16 million Americans play baseball in some kind of organized fashion and talks to bench coach Kai Correa about how to win a game. Farrier then interrogates Giants pitcher Logan Webb about pre-game rituals, before watching his first-ever baseball game... trying to figure out what he likes more: the game, the drinks, or the food?
Flightless Bird: Tipping
This week on Flightless Bird, David gets out his wallet and dives into the culture and politics of tipping. Joined by Monica Padman, he sets out to discover why 52% of Americans tip their hairdresser while only 14% always tip their barista. David interviews Mike Lynn, a professor at the Cornell Hotel School, about the social pressures of tipping and why we tip what we tip. David also talks to Saru Jayaraman of “One Fair Wage”, who explains that tipping is a deeply warped version of what Americans brought back from Europe - and that in America tipping has some fairly racist origins - which has led to power imbalances for the 5.5 million Americans that rely on tips. David is encouraged to hear that America is at a tipping point for workers and that there may be a future with a decent minimum wage - as well as tips. Unless you’re one of the 4% of Americans who refuse to tip, ever.