September 25, 2017
EP. 204 — The Terrifying Truth About Why We Love Apocalypse Stories
From Mad Max to The Road to the illustrious career of Roland Emmerich, it’s clear that the modern pop-culture consumer loves apocalypses. Climate change and the threat of nuclear war or worldwide super-virus make imagining an apocalypse easy. And if you look back through history, it’s obvious that as long as there has been civilization, there has been the fear of complete and utter worldwide destruction.
One of the most prolific names today in speculative fiction is N.K. Jemisin. The first two books of her Broken Earth trilogy have won the Hugo Award for best novel the last two years consecutively. If you want to read the best sci-fi about the apocalypse, you need to be reading N.K. Jemisin’s books.
That’s what we did, and N.K. Jemisin was kind enough to join Cracked’s Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim in New York for a conversation about world-building contemporary sci-fi, some of the most interesting real-life apocalypses in human history, and the difficulties of writing end-times fiction when the world so often is stranger and crueler than fiction.
Footnotes and other links: https://goo.gl/BRmXxG
This episode is brought to you by Squarespace (www.squarespace.com code: CRACKED) and Felipe Esparza: Translate This on HBO.
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.