April 22, 2018
EP. 236 — All The Baffling Ways America Misunderstands The Middle East
Here’s a mental experiment: think about “The Middle East”. What just popped into your head? It’s probably one or two kinds of places, tops. It might be a dangerous war zone, or a community that’s somehow hundreds of years behind modern life. And it definitely didn’t include skiers, on an indoor hill, in one of the world’s largest malls.
No judgments here, friend: we all have misconceptions about the world. And some of your Middle Eastern mental picture may be accurate. But what if we told you there’s an entire world of big box stores, Lionel Richie fandom, and intricate cultural diversity out there just waiting for you to discover it?
On this week’s episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt joins Anna Hossnieh & Shereen Younes for a revealing trip through the modern Middle East. They’ll dig into how how two rival Muslim-majority nations manipulate the entire region, why there’s all kinds of Middle Eastern modernity the American media misses, how a World Cup bid caused an international blockade, and so much more.
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.