July 14, 2014
Did you know Michael Jordan is convinced no one ever believed he’d be a great basketball player? It seems inconceivable — just as crazy as that pristine, perfect image of the 1950s so many old white people seem to believe in. Or, the memory millions of Americans have of watching the Challenger explode on TV (even though most of their classrooms didn’t have TVs). It’s not because MJ, those elderly folks and everyone who attended grade school in the 80s are liars. It’s because the human memory is fucking awful, and our brains actively make up shit based on things we hear or decide after-the-fact. On today’s podcast, Cracked editors Jack O’Brien and Jason Pargin talk about the “filter” in our brains that makes us remember everything the wrong way.
There’s a reason most fatal accidents happen close to home: your eyes aren’t windows to the world. They’re crafting a picture of reality based on what you’ve seen before and what you expect. History isn’t as much a list of ‘what happened’ as it is a collection of lies and misperceptions a bunch of people have passed down over time. Remember Tom Cruise running out on stage and jumping on Oprah’s couch like a crazy man? No you don’t, because that’s not at all how the actual interview went down! We just want to believe he’s crazy hard enough that we invented a lunatic episode for the man. Remember seeing that first plane hit the tower on 9/11? No you don’t, because that first impact wasn’t recorded on television. Your brain is lying to you, and if you click play you’ll learn exactly how.
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.