Over the course of the last couple of weeks or so, I really discovered podcasts. I was familiar with the concept of podcasts before, but I didn’t ever really listen to or watch any until fairly recently. What I discovered when I did start listening was a platform that mixes entertainment with education in a beautiful way. Listening to a wide array of people discuss an even wider array of issues and topics is both fun and productive. In this sense, I think that podcasting is a truly revolutionary platform. I’d be amiss if I didn’t point out the fact that podcasting has been around for a relatively long time. My counterpoint to that being that the explosion in the popularity of podcasts occurred much more recently and more people are newly discovering them every day. Moving forward, I think podcasting could be the next great platform of entertainment.
To me, podcasts have two very valuable and practical applications. The first of such applications is their value as a form of entertainment. The first podcast I ever listened to with any form of regularity was Bruce Prichard’s Something to Wrestle With, which centers on various topics in the world of professional wrestling and features all sorts of stories from Prichard’s time as both a man behind the scene and as an on-screen personality with the WWE. I find such stories to be extremely enjoyable to hear, seeing as how I am a fairly big fan of professional wrestling. Another favorite podcast of mine for entertainment purposes is the H3 Podcast. This podcast features the team of Ethan and Hila Klein interviewing different personalities from various cultural fields such as the internet, music, and a wide variety of other areas. Their quirky, nerdy, and borderline weird personalities make them beyond entertaining to watch. Their interactions with musician Post Malone, who is a close personal friend of theirs, are my favorite segments from their podcast just because those are some very funny and laid-back personalities colliding to create a wholesomely entertaining and hilarious podcast. Purely from an entertainment standpoint, podcasts are a great medium, if done properly.
Entertainment value alone does not push podcasting to the forefront of social platforms, however. In my eyes, what pushes them to that next level is their value from an educational standpoint. My favorite podcast to watch with the intention of learning new things about a particular topic is definitely The Joe Rogan Experience. Yes, that Joe Rogan. I’m talking about Joe Rogan, the MMA guy. I’m talking about Joe Rogan, the host of Fear Factor. I’m talking about Joe Rogan, the comedian. Joe Rogan is clearly not the first name most people would conjure up when they think about educational content on the internet. With that being said, Rogan is clearly an extremely intelligent man. He is very articulate and he pairs himself with a wide variety of guests from all sorts of different backgrounds and viewpoints. Some of my personal favorite episodes of his podcast have featured liberal pundit Kyle Kulinski, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Dr. Jordan Peterson, and, perhaps most surprisingly, conservative icon Ben Shapiro. Shapiro’s appearance was particularly enjoyable for me for some peculiar reason. I do not agree with hardly anything he has ever said about political issues or most of his personal beliefs about anything. But with that being said, there is something both very important and deceptively interesting about hearing people discuss viewpoints in opposition to your own. Knowing the other side is half of winning any argument. Shapiro is another very intelligent person and hearing him discuss his views certainly has educational value. Podcasts, in ways that very few (if any) other platforms do, allow for the introduction and understanding of oppositional views in non-hostile and truly interesting ways. Podcasts as educational tool have just as much value as podcasts as forms of entertainment do. I look forward to further exploring the world of podcasting and finding more great content on the platform.
Before I sign off on this article, I just want to point out that the words “Mid-American Culture Podcast” have a very nice ring to them. Just throwing that out there. Thanks for reading!