This is a blog post about one of my favorite podcasts.
First, I have to vent about something. I saw today on Facebook a meme of Barack Obama allegedly carrying the book The Post-American World, by Fareed Zakaria. The meme alleged that this book is about “a Muslim’s view of a defeated America.” The meme further implied that Obama championed “a defeated America.”
Now, first of all, I just researched the meme on Snopes.com. The Snopes entry about the meme is dated 2008. The meme existed on the internet at least as far back as 2008! Therefore, the “helpful” person who shared the meme in 2019 didn’t actually provide any new wisdom or insight. Also, according to Snopes, the book isn’t actually about “a defeated America.”
Second, here’s the bigger thing that bothered me: this meme implied that we readers endorse the ideas presented in every single book that we ever read. This doesn’t make any sense! For instance, my decision to read Gone with the Wind when I was twelve years old does not mean that I endorse the Lost Cause mythology. I am currently listening to a novel about Varina Davis (the wife of Jefferson Davis, the only President of the Confederate States of America). This does NOT mean that I want my husband to start his own country.
Finally, I am happy that from 2009 – 2017, we had a POTUS who read actual books.
Now for my podcast recommendation.
As I mentioned earlier in this blog, my mom passed away about six months ago. Since then, I’ve listened to several hours of podcasts or audio books every day. I listen during my commute, housework, etc. Listening to these for hours and hours helps me to get through each day.
I used the “browse” section of my podcast app to find any comedy podcasts that exist. I found The Dollop, hosted by comedians Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds. In each episode, Anthony reads a story to Reynolds, “who has no idea what the topic is going to be about.” Most of the stories are from American history. Anthony and Reynolds crack jokes as the story progresses.
Now, I am usually late to the party when I “discover” things that I like. For instance, this spring I “discovered” The Dollop. I told my husband, Jonathan, all about this podcast. Jonathan responded that he saw his Facebook friends post about The Dollop for years!
Listening to The Dollop archives is one of the best parts of my day.
To make this about Pittsburgh: last year, The Dollop did a live show in Pittsburgh. They profiled Henry Clay Frick. Anthony’s story included Andrew Carnegie, the Johnstown Flood, and the Homestead Strike. You can find this episode wherever you download podcasts, or you can listen to it here. I learned from the live recording that the Pittsburgh venue hosted a sold-out show and also that the Pittsburgh venue either ran out of, or just didn’t sell, beer.
Check back for upcoming blog posts about my other favorite podcasts.