A while ago I listened to a podcast episode from ‘The Generation Why’ that was wild. It was about a minister (Kevin) who saw angels and demons as parts of everyday life, saw car crashes before they happened, and knew when people were going to die. Naturally, I thought that was ridiculous, so I sent the podcast creators a very long-winded message. I politely asked why they didn’t question this Kevin guy on anything of the things he had said, especially considering some of the things he was saying were absolutely mental, and that I really respected their show. This is the response I got:
“Justin here. The Christianity and Supernatural [episode] was really supposed to focus on the origins of our fears and how those are interpreted into supernatural or natural things. Kevin (our guest) was super excited to talk about this and we granted him the time. We allow all of our guests the time to speak, and are not in the business to attack their views. That said, we were not prepared for, or expecting, what transpired that day. We could’ve questioned or contested his remarks, but lets be honest, we’re not changing his mind or getting through to someone who believes the things he does. Aaron and I have our own beliefs, and at the end of the day, at least for me, the take away from that episode is just knowing [there are] people in the world who think the way Kevin does.”
This is what I love about podcasting – the relationship that both the guests, and the listeners, have with the presenters is very direct. It was Justin who replied to me, not an assistant, not a corporation, but the guy who started this podcast with his friend. And he was unapologetic.
A lot of podcasts I have been listening to for a while have grown with me. The first episodes have poor sound quality, no advertisement or business model built around them, and are very experimental, but as time goes on, you hear them announce they’ve landed a sponsor (probably Square Space, Audible or Casper). Soon after, they have money to buy a decent mic, and before you know it, they have some really rad guest who might be a listener to the show, or a high profile comedian.
Another reason I like the podcast medium is because the presenters are the creators, editors, producers and audience. There is no one telling them what they can or cannot say, no one advising them against speaking about that taboo topic – and this makes for guaranteed interesting listening, whether it be about angels and demons, or dropping all the swear words in the English vocabulary. Opinions are served straight up as they come, and everyone has an unrestricted amount of time to voice theirs.
So if you asked me, ‘Why podcasting?’, I would tell you that it’s because it is a unique platform, through which any person can access untapped ideas and opinions on a multitude of subjects. By simply downloading an episode from an app, I can be included in a conversation about how the universe works, learn how economic principles affect me, or better understand politics. Ultimately, it provides a means to deepen my understanding of the world around me at the click of a button.