August 18, 2014
Why do we listen to self-help gurus? It’s not because they’re all so much better at living than we are — it’s because we want to believe the path to success starts by asking “how” rather than just nutting up and starting. On today’s podcast, Cracked editors Jack O’Brien and Jason Pargin discuss the myths we build around self-improvement. Diets focus on cutting carbs or sugar or fat, while all that really matters is being willing to sacrifice the part of yourself that loves eating to build a new person who loves being skinny. The method doesn’t matter as much as the resolve to start doing something.
Some cultures have no future tense in their languages. You’d think that might be a handicap, but people who use languages like English, with a future tense, are more likely to be obese slackers who wind up in debt. It seems insane, but the weird fact is our brains perceive future-us as a different person than now-us. That’s why you’ll eat a whole carton of ice cream at midnight, because obesity and diabetes aren’t YOUR problem. They’re some future asshole’s problem, and screw that guy.
See? Our brains are programmed to betray us. And media that shows off the absurd lifestyles of the wealthy and famous don’t help matters. Rather than focusing on our actual options and the paths to success that are really open to us, we look at Kim Kardashian and secretly set ‘born into wealth and celebrity’ as our unstated, unachievable life goal. But if you throw on your headphones and click play above, we’ll teach you how to fight back.
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.