June 9, 2014
The London Olympics kicked off with England’s largest military buildup since World War II, complete with a 16-mile electrified wall through the center of the city. Brazil’s preparing for the upcoming World Cup by outfitting their police with Darth Vader armor. Russia used the Sochi Olympics as an excuse to “disappear” protesters. People like to treat sporting events as either wonderful expressions of our competitive spirit or pointless jockery, but really, these giant contests are how we burn off the energy we used to use fighting wars.
In today’s podcast, Jack O’Brien and Alex Schmidt talk about Brazil’s upcoming disastrous World Cup, and how soccer games routinely push millions of citizens to riot in the streets. Holding huge games like the Olympics is terrible for cities: Just ask Toronto or Athens about their rotting stadiums. Brazil expects to spend $11.5 billion prepping for the World Cup, to earn maybe $3.5 billion for their trouble. Why would the government agree to that, especially when the money dump was guaranteed to inspire rioting in the streets? Could it be that we need spectacles like this to make up for our recent lack of world wars? Throw on your headphones and click play above.
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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.