Friday, January 05, 2018

Podcast Roundup Week #1

I am currently subscribed to 86 podcasts, most of which are active. I actually had over 100 at the beginning of our holiday break and have been slowly purging the ones I don't listen to or are no longer active.  I'm usually about a month behind in my episodes, although I am getting closer and closer to actually being caught up.

When people ask how I listen to so many podcasts, I have to admit that it's because I'm basically always listening. I listen when I work out, when I sew, when I walk, when I drive, and when I clean house. Basically if I'm doing something I don't LOVE to do, I'm listening. This provides me with multiple hours each day to listen to podcasts. I don't watch television or movies much, though, so this replaces visual media for me.
I use Podcast Addict as my podcast player.

This week I listened to 35 podcast episodes and here are a few that I would recommend.

The Adventure Zone: Live in Nashville - I don't think you can actually listen to this episode without having listened to the rest of TAZ, but here's the gist. Three brothers and their father play D&D and make a podcast about it. They are hilarious and the family dynamic is sweet and fun. There was this moment at this live show when the dad, who plays a cleric, uses a spell that he's used before in ridiculous situations for an actual useful purpose and the audience breaks into applause and I'm not going to lie, I did a little fist pump while I was walking in the woods, too, because it was great. The dad in the group sometimes catches some flack because he's not always the best D&D player, but he sometimes has these golden moments. The Adventure Zone is one of my favorite podcasts, and I've never played D&D in my entire life.

What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law: Prosecuting a President - Roman Mars, the host of 99% Invisible, another super popular podcast, puts out this occasional show of indefinite length on Trump's destruction of presidential and governmental norms with constitutional law scholar Elizabeth Joh.  There's a moment at the end of this episode when Joh asks Mars to think about the debate about whether or not we want someone in charge who thinks the president is above the law and Mars has this little laugh and says "no, that wasn't hard at all," that made me laugh out loud as I was, again, walking in the woods.

Code Switch: (Legally) Selling Weed While Black -  I have a complicated assignment in one of my race and politics classes in which I have the students listen to a combo of Johann Hari talking about the early stages of the War on Drugs as it relates to a war on blues (which was largely aimed at the black community) and the racist policies of the Bureau of Narcotics under the leadership of Harry Anslinger and then listen to an explanation of the song "Strange Fruit" as it relates to that, but this Code Switch podcast actually does a lot of that work for me and I don't have to send students off in to so many different directions. I think too many people automatically link Richard Nixon and the War on Drugs, but I think Anslinger should be a household name, too.

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