I’m finally a podcast person, y’all. It has taken me so long to get into podcasts – I can’t just sit and listen to a podcast like I can watch a movie or read a book. It’s basically the same thing, but if I don’t have something to look at, I feel like I need to be doing something while I listen. A lot of people I know listen while they do housework, while they work out, or while they commute, but none of that has worked out for me – until now. Adopting our dog Maggie has had a lot to do with my increased pod intake. I like listening while walking, and I like walking the dog, so I have a lot more chances to listen than I did before. Here’s a few of the podcasts I’ve been enjoying lately. They’re also a great distraction from election anxiety.
Yoga is Dead
Two Indian-American yoga teachers, Tejal and Jesal, spend six episodes discussing the role of white supremacy in Western yoga. They dive into the roots – and I mean the rootiest roots – of yoga and what it means to practice yoga in America today.
To be honest, a lot of this was way over my head. I knew very little about Hinduism going into this podcast and it would have been helpful to have known a lot more. The whole pod also seems to be geared toward other yoga teachers or those who want to get their certification since it talks a lot about industry practices. I found it fascinating to listen to, though, and it has made me think about the way I practice and talk about yoga as a white woman. If you’re looking for more an intro or surface-level yoga podcast, this isn’t it. However, if you want to learn about yoga’s background and its inevitable colonist-tinged history, this is going to be your jam.
Louder Than a Riot
Hip-hop music and mass incarceration in America have been more linked than we realize. Louder Than a Riot deep-dives into the stories of hip hop artists and explores the interconnection between music and racism in policing.
This is another podcast where I went in knowing next to nothing about the subject matter. I’ve never heard of half the artists mentioned so far. But if that’s you, too, don’t let that stop you. The storytelling in this podcast is compelling and easy to follow. I also really like that artists’ stories are fleshed out over three or so episodes. It allows the hosts to get into much more detail and nuance than they could otherwise. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.
Nice White Parents
This 5-episode podcast studied how a school district in Brooklyn was shaped by white parents, even when white students were a minority of the student body. It was an interesting look at individual versus social power.
This was so good. I was homeschooled, so sometimes I get a bit lost when people talk about school policy and public school issues. Not with this though. This was an absolutely fascinating look at one school district where white parents didn’t really believe they had a lot of power, but ended up shaping school policy anyway. If you go into this not believing white privilege exists, you might change your mind after listening. This was a little sad to listen to, because there’s no easy answer to school segregation (which is a main theme), and the story didn’t end up with a clear solution. But the host did a wonderful job interviewing real people on all sides of the story, even including the students, not just the titular nice white parents.
Each short episode of Science Versus chooses one social issue or popular opinion and researches the science behind the who, what, when, where, and how. Topics range from Bigfoot to birth control and everything in between.
My husband and I both really enjoy this one. It takes on some heavy issues, like police reform, but manages to treat every topic with a lighthearted, grounded, and open-minded perspective. They also really do their research (it is a science podcast, after all), and each episode contains extensive notes where you can go to do more reading if you want. This one would honestly be great for audiences middle-school-age and up.
Do I even need to explain this one? Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, stars of The Office, rehash every single episode of the hit show.
This is my go-to mindless podcast. I’ve learned I really like Angela Kinsey as a person and it’s been a lot of fun to learn much, much more about the behind-the-scenes of The Office. They also regularly invite other cast members on to talk about their parts in the show. This has gotten a bit repetitive for me, since they’re discussing 20-minute episodes over the course of an hour, but it’s a great one to put on when I just want something light.
What’s your favorite podcast?
NaNoPoblano 2020: 3/30