Reader Podcast Picks

Ear­li­er this week, one of our read­ers, Scott Dumont, offered up some excel­lent thoughts on a few pod­casts that we’ve pre­vi­ous­ly over­looked. Since he put things so well, I fig­ured why not pass along his thoughts direct­ly to you. Here they go, and thanks Scott …

I’d like to make three sug­ges­tions for addi­tions to your library. Two polit­i­cal pod­casts and one his­tor­i­cal one. For the polit­i­cal ones, you’re lack­ing in the more inde­pen­dent depart­ment; you’ve got Democ­ra­cy Now, which is good enough but I’d sug­gest adding Com­mon Sense with Dan Car­lin (iTunesFeedWeb Site) and My His­to­ry Can Beat Up Your Pol­i­tics (iTunesFeedWeb Site). Com­mon Sense with Dan Car­lin is a true inde­pen­dent news show, putting the cur­rent pol­i­tics in per­spec­tive and ana­lyz­ing the dis­con­nect between what is pro­pa­gan­da and what is truth. His descrip­tion is:

Com­mon Sense with Dan Car­lin is a blend of audio com­men­tary and news analy­sis by one of the lead­ing thinkers among today’s polit­i­cal­ly inde­pen­dent crowd. Author, reporter and talk show host Dan Car­lin takes a look at the issues in the news through the prism of his tra­di­tion­al Amer­i­can “for­ward-think­ing prag­ma­tism” while push­ing a fis­cal­ly con­ser­v­a­tive, social­ly lib­er­al approach to solv­ing prob­lems. Whether he’s rail­ing against the “Fat Police”, explain­ing the exis­tence of “The Chick­en Lit­tle Gene” or con­tin­u­al­ly bring­ing up his­tor­i­cal events no one has ever heard of, Car­lin man­ages to be enter­tain­ing and infor­ma­tive in a unique­ly non-par­ti­san way. His style has been com­pared to Sein­feld’s George Costan­za on steroids. Whether that’s true or not, he does often talk real­ly fast. You’ll have to keep up.

If I had to rec­om­mend a few from the ones cur­rent­ly in his feed, I’d say take a lis­ten to the fol­low­ing shows before you decide: “137- A Vote For None”, “143- The Black Dog”, “146- The Con­ti­nu­ity Of Errors”“154- A Con­flict of Inter­est”, “157- Read It and Weep”, “161- Shhh!”. I know it’s a lot, feel free to pick any of those, but those are prob­a­bly var­ied enough for you to get a taste of what he means.

My His­to­ry Can Beat Up Your Pol­i­tics is exact­ly what it sounds like; it puts cur­rent polit­i­cal events in a his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive and ana­lyzes the his­to­ry to allow us to under­stand our pol­i­tics. For a good sam­pling, just take a look at this most recent stuff. He’s not schiz­o­phrenic like Dan Car­lin and his show is fair­ly for­mu­la­ic, but that’s not to say it’s not infor­ma­tive.

The his­to­ry show I want to rec­om­mend is from Dan Car­lin’s web­site as well; Dan Car­lin’s Hard­core His­to­ry 9.(iTunesFeedWeb Site) To quote:

In “Hard­core His­to­ry” the very uncon­ven­tion­al Dan Car­lin takes his “Mar­t­ian”, out­side-the-box way of think­ing and applies it to the past. Was Alexan­der the Great as bad a per­son as Adolf Hitler? What would Apach­es with mod­ern weapons be like? Will our mod­ern civ­i­liza­tion ever fall like civ­i­liza­tions from past eras? This is a dif­fi­cult-to-clas­si­fy show that has a rather sharp edge. It’s not for every­one. But the inno­v­a­tive style and approach has made “Dan Car­lin’s Hard­core His­to­ry” a New Media hit.

If you want to take a sam­ple of this one, just lis­ten to the “Ghosts of the Ost­front” series he just com­plet­ed from begin­ning to end. It’ll take approx­i­mate­ly six hours, but it’s an excel­lent, chill­ing overview of the for­got­ten bat­tles between the Sovi­ets and Nazis on the East­ern Front of the Sec­ond World War.

I want to reit­er­ate that I absolute­ly love your web­site and have just start­ed bing­ing on your archives. I’m a knowl­edge junkie, and I sup­pose there are worse things to be a junkie of. You might have close to a life­time’s worth of con­tent up already, and I bet­ter get start­ed.

As a quick post­script, these pod­casts can be found in our Ideas & Cul­ture Pod­cast Col­lec­tion.


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