February 29, 2016
If you go back one hundred or even fifty years ago to ask kids what they wanted when they grew up, they’d say they wanted to have families and to have good jobs. Now when you ask that question to kids the resounding answer is, “to be famous.” Not to be a famous actor or a famous musician or athlete, just to be famous. And in our culture being famous is an easy reality. There are real Twitter and Vine and Instagram celebrities, but in a way we’re all the star of our own curated reality show, broadcast over Facebook updates and Snapchat stories. We have a word for this kind of self-aggrandizing behavior-narcissism-but sometimes we use that word to mean “asshole” or “jerk” when there’s an actual clinical meaning behind it that’s much more complicated than the informal insult. Narcissism is a diagnosable condition that statistically only 1% of the population has. But why does it seem people are becoming more self-obsessed, more vain, more arrogant? In this week’s episode, Jack O’Brien and Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) flesh out the theory that narcissism has become our cultural status quo. They discuss the differences between clinical narcissism and our colloquial version of the word; how Hitler, Trump, Jobs and countless other celebrities were certified narcissists; and how narcissism plays a part in Harry Potter and the new Star Wars.
Articles Referenced in this Episode:
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.