I realize I’m more than a little late to the whole podcast thing. My rather lame excuse is the fact that while I like to be rather trendy fashion-wise, I am loathe to jump on the bandwagon of pop culture trends. Maybe it’s a bit snobbish, or maybe it’s simply a means of trying to critically think my way through the massive wave of media we’re bombarded with on a daily basis.
Regardless, I’ve recently discovered how much I love podcasts. Every few weeks I spend 3 hours in my car driving to my parents’ farm, a 6 hour round trip. I need something that keeps my attention during those hours, and the radio doesn’t often seem to be able to do the trick, unless I’m listening to some sort of talk radio. As there are endless things to talk about, you’d think that talk radio wouldn’t be so repetitive. WRONG.
It hit me a couple of weeks ago that I could listen to podcasts while I’m driving. Well, duh – why didn’t I do this earlier?? Oh me and my pride…
Anyway, here are some of my favourite podcasts. If you have some suggestions, please let me know!
The ‘At Issue’ Panel
Call me a CBC-lover, I don’t care. The ‘At Issue’ panel is the best political panel on Canadian politics in Canada. Period. Andrew Coyne, Chantal Hebert (loooooooove her and can’t wait to read her new book) and Bruce Heyer spend 10-15 minutes each week discussing the ‘view from the Hill’, so to speak. They’re candid, engaging and offer fresh perspectives sans party talking points. If you want actual political punditry and a short yet thought-provoking discussion on the week’s political stories, this is the podcast for you. It’s also available in video form for those of you that like visuals.
For whatever reason, I’m fascinated by American political culture, and general American culture, too. I think it’s the product of living so close to a global hegemon (one never gets to say ‘hegemon’ enough in daily discourse) whose pop culture quite obviously affects that of Canada but hasn’t had the same impact politically. As much as I love watching ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’ (more about that below), sometimes I need a bit of a discussion rather than one viewpoint. The Gabfest’s recent discussion on the Scottish referendum is highly recommended. And while the discussion mostly centres on American politics, American culture always comes into play, making this podcast a perfect blend me.
The Daily Show Podcast without Jon Stewart
This is a very new podcast. There have only been four episodes to date, but I’m already a devoted follower. Each episode is hosted by a different correspondent and a writer or producer. The behind-the-scenes look at how stories are produced and covered is not only fascinating for this Jon Stewart fan, but it offers a more candid and different perspective on reporting and media coverage than most mainstream outlets. And the interview with Jason Jones talking about how he actually got to interview former Mikhail Gorbachev was priceless.
Those are my favourite podcasts these days – what are yours?