July 27, 2015
EP. 81 — A Genealogy of Modern Fear
If you turn on the TV or scroll through Facebook for any short period of time, it seems like we’re consumed with fear. There’s always a new airborne virus or a new piece of legislature destined to sink the country into Purge-like anarchy, not to mention the sharks, snakes and spiders that have been trying to kill us for millennia.
It’s easy to place the blame on media in the 21st century, but fear mongering is no recent addition to the human experience. You can go back through history and trace all sorts of fears through the written word. Where now our movies depict zombies, alien invasions and nuclear wars, medieval literature spoke of demons, hellfire and apocalypse scenarios more fitting to the times.
This week Jack O’Brien is joined by Kristi Harrison and Michael Swaim to tackle everything related to how we experience fear in the 21st century: what fears we can blame on evolution and what fears we can blame on society, whether it’s true to say we’re more afraid now than ever before and what our most common fears say about us as a species.
January 26, 2020
Freedom sucks…and that is why we have to defend it. Because our democracy involves doing a lot of stuff that takes energy, takes time, and lacks that Michael Bay Quality that only a surprise missile launch can provide. So on this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt and special guest Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) are exploring the ways being afraid of everything (an easy action) can stop us from being free. Discover the decades-long tradition of some Americans wanting to give up everything in exchange for not needing to think, the centuries-long tradition of people inciting fake panics, and the reasonable ways you can help change things for the better.
January 19, 2020
How’s your local shopping mall doing? Have you checked on it lately? Swing by sometime, because its department store might’ve turned into a call center or a hospital or a go-kart track. On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by the one and only Kai Ryssdal (Marketplace, Make Me Smart) for a look at surprising, strange, and shocking stories from all over the U.S. economy. Discover an international pig flu, a 26-word statement that built the modern Internet, and more amazing ways cash is ruling everything around you. By the way, if you’re an American listener, you spent the past few years funding an astonishingly huge bailout. Surprise! Listen for details!
January 12, 2020
Movies, TV, gaming: three things that are theoretically a waste of time. Oh sure, they deliver value in the art sense, and comfort in the goofing-off sense. But what if they’re more valuable than that? What if consuming shows and playing video games (accidentally) turns people into real-life heroes? On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians/writers Caitlin Gill and Alex Watt for a look at the surprising number of times that exact thing happened. They’ll explore stories of regular people who saved a life thanks to skills gained randomly from cartoons, sitcoms, ‘World Of Warcraft’, and more silly entertainment.