When last we met I was unsure if I had graduated or not. Well I have. Honestly, finishing school let me see just how bad my mental health was there at the end. I didn't even go to graduation, I went on vacation with my family. Still not sure if I regret that, even though it was a full semester after I finished I think I was still too close to it. I value the education I got and the people I met and the things I got to do, but I wish I would have listened when I knew I needed a break. That's probably a lesson lots of people learn at some point, this was just my time to learn it.
Also, I'm going to try switching up the way I do these blogs, so in the future there will just be one focus: Consumption Report, I Make Stuff and Queer in the Wild will all be separate posts. I'll see if I like that and what I want the frequency to be over the next couple months as I get back into blogging. Let me know how you like it or if there's anything you want me to check out or talk about!
Somehow I have gained the ability to listen to podcasts. My whole life I have been incapable of audio learning. In lectures I would have to be taking notes or looking at the book or even just doodling just to stay focused. But I started listening to the Cracked Podcast at work and now I’m subscribed to Too Many Podcasts. It’s 45. I’m subscribed to 45 podcasts. I think I can listen at work because it’s all routine and nothing that needs my constant attention anymore, but it’s not so little that I can do it, listen to the podcast and daydream all at once. A very delicate balance has been struck and now I’m sucked into a podcast black hole.
The full 45 won’t be included in this breakdown because that would be way too long and there’s several that I just started and haven’t formed hard opinions on, or that are popular and I don’t feel like I have anything to add to. This is loosely organized with informational podcast first and comedy podcasts at the end. Here we go.
The Cracked Podcast
This is a great podcast for diving deep into whatever kind of bullshit you can imagine. They go equally deep into class and racism as they do whether cats or dogs are better. Their discussions are always interesting, but more than that the reason I love Cracked is there’s always a sense that they truly believe knowing things is the first step to fixing things. That information doesn’t exist in a void. There’s such a sense of goodness and the desire to be respectful and kind without being sappy. I just really love Cracked the website and it’s been very influential on my comedy sensibilities and worldview.
Back in June former Cracked Editor-in-Chief Jack O’Brien announced he was leaving the company. Jack was the main reason I listened to the Cracked Podcast, and not just because his dulcet tones often aided me in the search for sleep, but I love the new host Alex Schmidt, he has the same affable and interested vibe I loved with Jack.
None of the other entries are going to be this long.
Recommended Episode: 20 Unheralded Geniuses Who Basically Invented Modern Movies
One From the Vaults
Morgan M. Page is a transgender historian, and honestly I’m kind of choked up thinking about how little I know about my own history. Queer history is so important considering the current political environment and if not growing acceptance, growing public acknowledgment of trans folk. Unlike many of the podcasts I listen to I can honestly say I have little to no familiarity with anything she talks about, but I’m always really engaged and interested with whoever or whatever the episode is about.
Recommended Episode: Stormé Weather
Baseball History Podcast
I love baseball. Specifically, I love baseball history. Old timey baseball is the craziest shit. This one ended in 2012, possibly due to the death of the host Bob Wright but it is impossible to find any solid information. If you have any interest in baseball history I absolutely recommend going through the backlog.
Recommended Episode: Norm Cash
Trillbilly Worker’s Party
This is a great podcast on so many levels. I couldn’t get into any popular leftist podcasts, I just found the tone really alienating. But I feel much closer to the hosts on this podcast, they’re the kind of Appalachian working class people I kinda come from outside of Pittsburgh. The hosts are Tom Sexton, Tanya Turner and Tarence Ray, and they’re all very funny and engaging and talk about the working class in a way that doesn’t feel either patronizing or polished.
Recommended Episode: The Mothperson Prophecies
I never had a good history teacher, never enjoyed the subject, but this podcast is so so so good. It’s just one guy telling another guy a story from history, but the stories are so interesting and weird and unexpected, and Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds are great at riffing on the story without sacrificing the story being told. They’ve created something really good and interesting that never goes quite where you’re expecting, and it helps that they’re both on the left politically so they really dig into the dirt and it never feels like historical propaganda, which thinking about it might be why I’ve never liked history.
Recommended Episode: Comanche Quanah Parker
This is a weird one. First of all, it’s not a sports podcast. Bob Mortimer is one of my favorite comedians and he and Andy Dawson play off of each other so well. They’re constantly starting and not finishing riffs, singing original songs and doing loose interpretations on impersonations. But it works.
Recommended Episode: Dinner With Morrissey
Now We’re Talking!
My all time favorite twitter user is @RuinedPicnic, and this is his podcast. Josh is the host and two other twitter users play some real odd folk. For me it works a little better than some improv podcasts which can feel too loose and unfocused, and it plays very well with the podcast/radio interview format. If you’re a fan of “weird twitter” first of all stop calling it that, but also check out this podcast.
Recommended Episode: Bring Your Son