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An ocean of noise

ATSMYK: Guide to Podcasts

Not since the halcyon days of Marconi (or Tesla, or whoever) has radio enjoyed such popularity. Sure, it's not television but your eyes are crying out for a rest, what with you subjecting them to the YouTube, boring Ken Burns documentaries, and your beloved Chicago Cubs getting their asses handed to them by some team from Arizona.


To help give your eyes a much needed break I've compiled a list of quality podcasts that you can listen to while ignoring the important people in your life.


All podcasts complete with links to the iTunes podcast directory or, if you prefer, over the real internet.


1.) This American Life (iTunes link)(On the Web)
Let's get one thing clear right off the bat. This list will be a little NPR heavy but I'm not a sycophant. This is no place for a rant about the striking similarities between Garrison Keillor and Beelzebub but let's just agree that A Prarie Home Companion is the aural equivalent of the Eighth Circle of Hell.

2.) The Sound of Young America (iTunes)(Web)
Things that make you laugh are good. This show consists mostly of comedians being interviewed. Warning if you are a dedicated NPR listener: this show may occaisionally contain hip-hop music that does NOT reveal anything whatsoever about genocide in Darfur, is not related to beat poetry, and is not protest against politcal oppression.

3.) NY Times - The Ethicist (iTunes)(Web)
Randy Cohen answers your peers' tough ethical dilemmas allowing you to silently chuckle at the thought of considering yourself the peer of people who write to the New York Times. It's a verbatim reading of his column but the letters are usually voiced by struggling authors with a book to promote and they always bring the voice acting chops.

4.) All Songs Considered (iTunes)(Web)
Host Bob Boilen used to be the producer of All Things Considered until he was fired for what I must assume was soliciting an undercover police officer in a Minneapolis airport bathroom. Anyway, he brings the same sort of edgy, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, devil may care style that made All Things famous to his work on All Songs.

Ok, Boilen is as boring as the day is long but you can discover some good music here.

5.) NY Times - Backstory (iTunes)(Web)
In my fantasy world where Robert Redford and Bob Woodward are the same person, this is what I imagine journalists talk about during their days off. Having a brother who worked as a journalist disabuses me of such pie in the sky thinking because I know that all they talk about is the Phoenix Suns. So now I just imagine all journalists are Christopher Hitchens.

6.) Fresh Air (iTunes)(Web)
Teri Gross is hot. I guess the photographer surprised her while she was playing Re-enact the now transvestite Lee Harvey Oswald's role in the Kennedy Assassination using an imaginary handgun. Oh right, like you've never played that before!


So enjoy adding listening to podcasts to your list of things that you'll feel like a failure for not accomplishing every week. I'm just glad I made it through this whole post without once using the phrase aural pleasure.