Pop Culture Thoughts from a Lady Gay

I consume a lot of pop culture. I'm also a gay lady, so some of the things that might annoy me or make me happy might not be the same for you. I'll talk about that as well.

Top Five Podcasts You Should Listen To

I'm going to start this off with a great life hack if you live in a busy city. Are you ready? Put on headphones and pretend that everyone doesn't exist. There you go! The next time you're on a crowded subway, or find yourself surrounded by throngs of tourists, just toss those headphones on and the crowds will suddenly slip away. It might take some practice but I promise, it's a real game-changer.

After you've mastered the trick, you'll probably need some podcasts to listen to. There's always the obvious. If you haven't listened to This American Life or Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, then get out there right now and do it. For me, I find that those work best for a car ride that you know will be about an hour long. For This American Life, I recommend, #009 Julia Sweeney,  #0061 Fiasco!, #104 Music Lessons, #241 20 Acts in 60 Minutes, #623 We Are the Future. For Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me just choose based on the guests you like. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and if you're like me, you'll have a strong opinion about Paula Poundstone. My opinion is: Get it together Paula! Learn more about the news!

Once you're done with those, or you just need a break, here are five podcasts that I love.

Pop Culture Happy Hour: This weekly discussion panel style show is well moderated and covers movies, television and events in a fair and thoughtful way. They do a good job at making sure to bring in relevant guests for specific genres and to ensure diverse opinions and cultural sensitivity. It's a fun and funny discussion and their What's Making Us Happy segment has led me to some great Pop Culture finds.

Crimetown: If you loved Serial, Making a Murderer, and The Jinx, then kick back and listen to this podcast about Buddy Cianci, Rhode Island, and organized crime.  Ponder why it is that sometimes we accept criminal politicians as long as they seem to really care. The first season is great, and as a person from New Jersey, it was nice to listen to a story about ridiculous mafia-types living in another state.

Planet Money: Classic NPR. Interesting and well researched stories about economics. I don't have an innate interest in economics and this podcast always pulls me in and explains things in a clear and interesting way. I mention this one, in particular, because I find that I stop listening to it at times because I get overwhelmed by "the state of the world and who the president is" and things like that. Whenever I start listening again, I remember that it's a great podcast and I'll listen to a bunch at a time. So if you've drifted away from this one, come back! Economics can be interesting and understanding what is going on is a always a useful weapon against the idiots in charge.

Homecoming: I am really rooting for well written fictional podcasts. I loved Thrilling Adventure Hour for all of its silliness. Paget Brewster is a comedic delight and I have yet to find something that fills that void. Homecoming, is not a humor podcast, but it is well written and interesting. It takes some unexpected twists and I sped through it pretty quickly. Also, if you want to really hate David Schwimmer, then give this a listen. 

They Walk Among Us: This is one of my favorite true crime podcasts. I have tried to listen to comedians talk about murder and or friends get drunk and talk about murder and it just hasn't scratched that itch. This podcast is one British man methodically describing the haunting details of murders through history. His voice is enjoyable to listen to and it is graphic while also at times taking a moment to reflect on humanity. 

There you go! Start listening and start tuning other people out!


Jess Sutich