Podcasts: Pop Culture Happy Hour

Once again, I'm really late to the party. I've only recently begun listening to podcasts at all because early on I couldn't find any I enjoyed and sort of assumed they all must suck. But I finally got around to this one, and I can say it's what's making me happy this week.

I've been jumping around from recent ones to ones from the past summer, just clicking on whichever ones sound even remotely interesting. And they've all turned out to be good, even if the topic isn't one I have strong feelings about. (Also, I'm glad to learn I'm not the only one in the world who wasn't a fan of Big. I didn't hate it, it just wasn't my thing. You and me, Glen.) The hosts are engaging and funny. They talk a bit fast, so if that bothers you, beware. But they give you good food for thought each week, too. Like this week it was about visceral reactions—what makes you cry, laugh, cringe? And I'm notoriously difficult to make cry. I'm too aware of being emotionally manipulated, and it ends up making me angry rather than having the [desired?] effect of making me cry. But if it's an animal, oh my God . . . The Fox and the Hound, Where the Red Fern Grows, Lassie, Come Home, The Cat That Overcame, The Cat Who Went to Heaven . . . I'll sob over those. If there's an animal involved, you've got me by the heartstrings.

Talk radio isn't my thing, so I'm not sure why I'm cool with all these NPR podcasts. Maybe talk radio has gotten better over the years. I think in the back of my mind it's still all sports and politics, and I just can't be bothered with listening to people carry on about that stuff. That kind of radio is like a never-ending Thanksgiving gathering for all the wrong reasons.

But on PCHH we're doing books and movies and all the stuff I like, stuff I feel I know enough to participate in. I may not have seen Creed, but I did see Rocky . . . a long time ago . . . And I still didn't need to know much about the film series to enjoy listening to the podcast. Because it's not just about the film. It's about reactions and why men feel the way they do about sports and sports movies. And this is the kind of media studies stuff my undergraduate degree was all about.

So I love it. It's like having a really good conversation with smart and interesting people. Even though, yeah, I'm not actually participating in the discussion. Except in my head. I've decided I'm kind of a Glen. There's probably an online quiz for that somewhere . . .

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