Saturday, May 21, 2016

A History Podcast You Might Enjoy...

My friend Tom strongly recommended I listen to podcasts to make my lengthy work commute tolerable. I'd only listened to a few podcasts before, but given how listening to writing-related podcasts when I'm half-asleep in the morning is rather wasteful (I risked not remembering useful advice), I soon found comedy podcasts like Myopia: Defend Your Childhood were the ticket.

My friends Jon and Nick recommended a history podcast called The Dollop, in which comedians Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds discuss American history. I started listening and soon I was hooked. The very best episode I've listened to so far is entitled "Disco Demolition Night" and describes this incident in Chicago in the late 1970s. It is absolutely, positively hilarious. Of particular interest is Steve Dahl, a radio DJ and current podcaster who organized the event and was willing to make parody songs about darn near anything, including serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

Another episode of interest is "The Jones County Deserters," who focuses on a group of white men from a largely anti-slavery county in Mississippi who deserted the Confederate army and became a band of Unionist guerrillas. This band was the topic of the book The Free State of Jones, whose movie adaptation comes out this summer. The episode "Oil Boomtowns of Texas" is full of useful information I might apply to later installments of my Wastelands novel series. I also liked the "Battle of Brisbane" podcast Anthony and Reynolds did live in Australia--seriously, the two of them went to Australia and did a podcast that seriously mocked Australian men during WWII. That takes guts.

I'm often not fond of the duo's politics (one of them is convinced Bush didn't actually win Ohio in 2004 and one or both of them mocked Cold War union opposition to Communism in the "Hard Hat Riot" episode, forgetting that Bolsheviks aren't fans of independent unions), but they do point out in the episode "The Racist Record-Keeping Of Virginia" how government gathering information on citizens can be abused even generations later. That's something to keep in mind, especially in the age of Trump.

In any event, they're both pretty darn funny and I recommend this podcast for those who like good comedy, who like history, etc.

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