One of my favourite ways to relax for the last decade has been through podcasts in my headphones. These are absolutely made for people like me. First, EVERYONE has one so it is easy to find topics that are interesting by people who you like. Second, its right there on my phone so I can carry them around with me anytime. Third, they range in time from under 10 minutes to a couple of hours so I never have to leave something unfinished for too long. I actually thought about starting a podcast rather than a blog but eventually decided that the laboured way I breathe and the way that I prefer to have 6 revisions before sharing a thought probably wouldn’t make for good radio.
I used to feel a bit nerdy sharing my podcast love, but you know what? We are all a bit nerdy about something. This is where my nerd flag flies and I am cool with that.
I thought I would share some of the best here.
First is the top 3 that I have been listening to ever since I discovered podcasts: This American Life, Savage Love, and My Brother, My Brother, and Me (MBMBAM)
If you don’t know This American Life, you don’t listen to NPR. It is a collection of stories based around one theme. The range of stories and people you will meet listening is astounding, and you’ll never find a show better produced than this. There are several episodes that stick in my mind, but one of the all time classics was replayed in April. It’s called Fiasco and even though I’ve heard it a few times I was still so eager to listen again when I saw it on my playlist. They have a handy dandy tool for sharing clips so here you go: https://shortcut.thisamericanlife.org/#/clipping/699?_k=76oatt
Savage Love is the podcast made by sex advice columnist Dan Savage. He starts every episode by sharing rant from the news of the week. Often, it is politics related. As a gay married man who was survived the HIV crisis of the 80s, he knows how important it is for a government to be working for the people. He also will find obscure stories that aren’t getting a lot of press and bringing them into the light. Then of course he goes on to answer relationship questions posed by his callers. I love the level of empathy he brings to the job, and how he is never ever surprised by anything he is asked. https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/dan-savage/savage-lovecast/e/69571229
My Brother, My Brother, and Me is just *chef’s kiss* quality. It is, shockingly enough, 3 brothers goofing off together. They give advice that should never be followed to fans who write in and the interesting folks on yahoo answers. I discovered the brothers McElroy not too long after their podcast launched and I kind of feel like I grew up with them. I tend to rotate which podcasts I am listening to, often unsubscribing from ones that are solid favourites for long periods of time. I’ve never unsubscribed to this one. Here is a YouTube clip of one of their most famous early bits. You can find the podcast itself at maximumfun.org https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR0Ubck0IRA
My newest favourite is also a Maximum fun podcast. Its called FANTI. It is hosted by Jarrett Hill and Tre-vell Anderson. They discuss pop culture that they love but has problematic elements. I love how thoughtful it is and how much I have learned from it. I also think it is a great answer to cancel culture. It allows us to love what we love while continuing to demand better. https://maximumfun.org/episodes/fanti/rhoa-who-gon-check-them-boo/
I have, at different times in my life, been subscribed to up to 100 podcasts. I’ve whittled it down to about 30 currently which is more manageable. I’ll be sure to share more with you as time goes on.
This week is a busy one for me. I’m going to try to continue posting but I am also giving myself permission to make them short and not quite so emotionally draining. I hope you’ll still join me. Stay well, everyone!