January 20, 2019
You’ve probably heard jokes about lawyers before. Here’s a more advanced version, coming from future Chief Justice Of The U.S. Supreme Court John Roberts in April of 1983: “The generally accepted notion that the court can only hear roughly 150 cases each term gives the same sense of reassurance as the adjournment of the court in July, when we know the Constitution is safe for the summer.” We know, we know, it’s not exactly a kickass one-liner. But what if it is getting at something true about the U.S. Supreme Court’s overwhelming power? What if our whole Constitution can vanish because five out of nine Justices get a little too active? And what if Chief Justice Roberts is a perfect example of the inconsistent, insensitive, inscrutable jurists who’ve hamstrung American democracy for centuries…all without most people noticing?
On this week’s episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by Ian Millhiser, author of the book ‘Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted’. They’ll re-discover the forgotten SCOTUS decisions that endorsed everything from racism to sexism to wildly villainous child labor. They’ll explore the complicated make-up of today’s Court, with a view to how its faults could destroy it. And great news: they’ll celebrate the rare past SCOTUS that got a whole lot of things right, and look at how that golden era could happen all over again.
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.